NCAA Tournament Bracket
June 26th College Football news ... NCAA Tournament Bracket at ncaatournament-bracket.com
Sources: Rockets aggressively pursuing deals to use trade exception
Rival executives say that Houstons front office has been active in searching out deals in recent days and wants an acquisition completed within the 60-day reaggregation window before the Feb. 19 NBA trade deadline. This way, the Rockets could still have an option of moving the player again this season.
In a deal, the Rockets can use any dollar amount up to the $8.4 million to balance out the incoming salary of a player.
Two teams believed that they had deals taking shape with the Rockets, but sense that Houston general manager Daryl Morey is working to find better deals. The Rockets have been pursuing a best-available-player mantra in talks, league sources said, but there appears to be a focus on wings and frontcourt players.
The Rockets acquired the trade exception from the Los Angeles Lakers as part of the Jeremy Lin trade in July. Houston has until early July to use the exception, but has told teams that its treating Dec. 19 as its own deadline to get a deal done.
Despite missing center Dwight Howard for nine consecutives games, the Rockets are 16-4 and two games behind first-place Golden State in the Western Conference standings. The Rockets play the Warriors on Wednesday night in the Bay Area.
OKLAHOMA SOONERS (3-0) at NOTRE DAME FIGHTING IRISH (3-1)
No. 14 Oklahoma looks to NFL Odds make up for last seasons loss in Norman as they head to South Bend to take on No. 22 Notre Dame on Saturday.
Last season, the two teams were tied at 13 with 5:05 left before Notre Dame scored the final 17 points of the game. The biggest reason for the Irish victory was their terrific job against the Sooners rushing attack (24 carries for 15 yards). However, this is not the same Notre Dame defense as last season, and QB Blake Bell has the Oklahoma offense rolling right now. In a 51-20 victory over Tulsa in their last game two weeks ago, Bell threw for a career-high 423 yards and showed that he is more than just the Belldozer. His favorite target in that game was WR Sterling Shepard, who finished with 123 yards and two touchdowns. However, the Sooners are not the only offense in this game that has been able to throw the ball as QB Tommy Rees has Notre Dames offense rolling as well. With Everett Golson suspended due to academics, it was expected that the Fighting Irish offense would slip. However, Rees along with DaVaris Daniels and TJ Jones have formed one of the most dynamic offenses in the country. Against Purdue, Daniels grabbed eight catches for 167 yards and two touchdowns, including the game-tying touchdown. The key matchup in this game will be Oklahoma CB Aaron Colvin matched up against the receiving corps. Bob Stoops is 12-4 ATS (75percent) when the line is +3 to -3 as the coach of Oklahoma, but Brian Kelly is 10-1 ATS (91percent) after his teams gains 125 rushing yards or less in two straight games as a college head coach.
While Michigan State has a very good defense, their offense is absolutely abysmal. They allowed a subpar Notre Dame defense to look a lot better than it really is last week. That will not be the case with the Sooners however, as they are once again one of the premier offenses in the country. Through four weeks, the Sooners rank 16th in the country with 272 rushing yards per game. Brennan Clay has led them on the ground, averaging 87.3 yards per game while scoring two rushing touchdowns. The offense is once again explosive, but the Sooners appear to be playing the type of defense that Oklahoma did in the early 2000s. In three games, the Sooners have given up just nine points per game, ranking fifth in the country. With Aaron Colvin, they have one of the elite cornerbacks in the country. With Julian Wilson on the other side, the Sooners have the guys that can match up with the Notre Dame receivers. If Jordan Phillips and the rest of the Oklahoma defensive line are able to get pressure on Rees, then there is a good chance that the Sooners will be able to get the victory. If not, then Notre Dame could once again pull off an SU upset.
Notre Dame currently heads into its game against Oklahoma with 13 straight home victories. While it has not been pretty the past two weeks, the Fighting Irish made enough plays late in both games to beat Purdue and Michigan State. Junior RB Amir Carlisle is starting to give Notre Dame a solid rushing attack to complement their high-flying passing attack. Against Michigan State, the Fighting Irish were called for eight penalties, totaling 86 yards. They must play mistake-free football if they want to get their third straight victory, and the defense needs to force more turnovers than its four takeaways in four games this year. Notre Dame's run defense has been pretty strong this season, holding opponents to 114 yards per game on 3.7 yards per carry.