March Madness: 5 things to know about the NCAA women’s basketball tournament

Published: Friday, March 17, 2017 @ 2:00 PM

Jenna Burdette puts up a shot over the George Washington on Jan. 8, 2017. Erik Schelkun/Contributed photo
Staff Writer

Friday is the beginning of the NCAA women’s basketball tournament. 

While No. 1 Connecticut tends to make most of the headlines, there are plenty of other things to know. 

Here are five: 

1. Dayton is the No. 12 seed in the Oklahoma City regional. 

The Atlantic 10 champions will face the No. 5 seed Tennessee in Louisville, Ky., at 4 p.m. Saturday. 

2. The Flyers are 0-2 all-time against the Lady Vols. 

Tennessee beat Dayton in 1986 and against in the 2010 NCAA Tournament. 

3. If the Flyers win, they will probably have to face a team on its home floor. 

Host Louisville is the No. 4 seed in the region. The Cardinals play Chattanooga in the first round. 

4. Ohio State is a five seed in the Lexington regional. 

The Buckeyes, who won the Big Ten regular season title, will face No. 12 Western Kentucky in Lexington, Ky., on Friday afternoon. 

With a win, Ohio State would also have to play a team on its home floor in the second round — assuming No. 4 seed Kentucky takes care of business in the first round against Belmont. 

5. Ohio State made the Sweet 16 last year while Dayton missed the tournament. 

But the last time the Flyers were in the Big Dance (2015), they advanced to the Elite Eight before losing to No. 1 Connecticut. 

The Buckeyes have not been to the Elite Eight since 1993, the same year they made their only Final Four appearance. 

Dale Earnhardt Jr. surprises military veteran before Daytona 500

Published: Sunday, February 26, 2017 @ 7:21 PM
Updated: Sunday, February 26, 2017 @ 7:21 PM


            DAYTONA BEACH, FL - FEBRUARY 26: Dale Earnhardt Jr., driver of the #88 Nationwide Chevrolet, is introduced onstage during the 59th Annual DAYTONA 500 at Daytona International Speedway on February 26, 2017 in Daytona Beach, Florida. (Photo by Chris Graythen/Getty Images)
            Chris Graythen

A lucky veteran got a chance to ride in the Goodyear blimp at the Daytona International Speedway, but didn’t realize that one of the people manning the blimp was NASCAR driver Dale Earnhardt Jr.

Paul Siverson is a Marine Corps veteran who has served in Vietnam, Somalia and Desert Storm. Siverson also volunteers with Charlotte-based NCServes, where he helps veterans and service members transition back to their civilian lives.

>> Read more trending news

“I always wanted to be a Marine. I came for two and stayed for 30. That’s what I tell people,” Siverson said.

Siverson is also a diehard NASCAR and Earnhardt fan.

To celebrate Siverson’s life of service, Goodyear offered him and his wife a free trip to the Daytona 500 and a ride aboard the blimp.

Photos: Kurt Busch wins 2017 Daytona 500

Siverson got a huge surprise when he found out Earnhardt was waiting on board.

Earnhardt also gave a $10,000 donation to NCServes.

Cincinnati Bengals Draft Tracker: Follow the team’s selections

Published: Thursday, April 27, 2017 @ 9:12 PM
Updated: Saturday, April 29, 2017 @ 2:08 PM


            CHESTNUT HILL, MA - OCTOBER 01: Mason Schreck #85 of the Buffalo Bulls attempts to make a catch with pressure from Matt Milano #28 of the Boston College Eagles during the second quarter at Alumni Stadium on October 1, 2016 in Chestnut Hill, Massachusetts. (Photo by Maddie Meyer/Getty Images)

SEVENTH ROUND

No. 251: Mason Schreck, TE, Buffalo

The Bengals wrapped their draft with the 6-foot-5, 258-pound Mason Schreck, a tight end from Buffalo.

He had 59 catches for 651 yards and four touchdowns last season.

SIXTH ROUND

No. 207: Brandon Wilson, Cornerback, Houston

For the fourth-time in franchise history, the Bengals traded up during the draft and selected the 5-foot-11, 200-pound Wilson.

The Bengals gave up the 217th (sixth round) and 227th (seventh round) picks.

Wilson, a converted running back who aslo returned kicks for the Cougars, was the only player in the country to score multiple touchdowns in all three phases of the game in 2015.

He had eight career touchdowns for Houston, scoring them six different ways.

No. 193: Jordan Evans, Linebacker, Oklahoma

A first-team All-Big 12 selection, Evans had four interceptions last year to become the first Oklahoma linebacker to lead the team since 2005. He returned one of those picks 80 yards for a touchdown.

The 6-foot-2, 233-pound Evans appeared in 45 games with 36 starts.

His dad, Scott, was an all-league defensive tackle for Oklahoma in the late 1980s.

FIFTH ROUND

No. 176: J.J. Dielman, Center, Utah

A three-year starter at Utah, Dielman appeared in 32 games with 31 starts before suffering a season-ending lower leg injury midway through his senior year.

The 6-foot-5, 309-pound Dielman played tackle his first three years at Utah before moving to center as a senior.

No. 153: Jake Elliott, K, Memphis

A four-year stater, Elliott holds the Memphis record for consecutive PATs with 202 straight and beat Stephen Gostkowski’s career scoring record with 445 points.

He had 10 fields of 50 or more yards, including a career-long 56.

The 5-foot-9, 167-pound Elliott will compete with Randy Bullock and Jon Brown for the job.

FOURTH ROUND

No. 138: Ryan Glasgow, Defensive Tackle, Michigan

A four-year letterman who graduated with a degree in economics, Glasgow appeared in 45 games with 33 starts.

The 6-foot-4, 299-pounder was second team All-Big Ten in 2016 and honorable mention in 2015.

Glasgow’s older brother Graham also played at Michigan and currently is a center for the Detroit Lions, and his younger brother Jordaon is a sophomore safety at UM.

No. 128: Josh Malone , Wide Receiver, Tennessee

The 6-foot-3, 200-pound Malone caught 50 passes for 972 yards and 11 TDs last season as a junior.

He opened eyes with a 4.40 time in the 40-yard dash at the Combine.

No. 116: Carl Lawson, Defensive End, Auburn

The 6-foot-2, 253-pound Lawson played 33 games at Auburn with 20 starts.

He had 14 career sacks, nine of which came in 2016 when he was a first team All-American and first team All-SEC selection.

THIRD ROUND

No. 73: Jordan Willis, Defensive End, Kansas State

After taking offensive players with their first two selections, the Cincinnati Bengals added some help to their pass rush by drafting Kansas State defensive end Jordan Willis in the third round with the 73rd overall pick.

»RELATED: Willis gives Bengals speed on defense

The 6-foot-4, 255-pound Willis was a second team All-American last year. He was a four-year letterwinner for the Wildcats, appearing 48 games with 39 starts. His 26 career stats are third most in school history and are tied for seventh in Big 12 annals.

He played exclusively at left end, which is the side where two-time Pro Bowler Carlos Dunlap plays.

NFL.com projected him as a second rounder, while ProFootballFocus.com had him as a first rounder.

SECOND ROUND

No. 48: Joe Mixon, Running Back, Oklahoma

After trading down seven spots in the second round Friday night, the Cincinnati Bengals drafted controversial running back Joe Mixon with the 48th overall pick.

»RELATED: Bengals take a gamble on Mixon

Mixon became a national lighting rod when video from 2014 surfaced of him punching a 19-year-old woman, fracturing four bones in her face. He was suspended for the 2014 season but return to play for the Sooners in 2015 and 2016, rushing for 2,027 yards and 17 touchdowns. Mixon also caught 65 passes for 894 yards and nine scores in his two seasons with Oklahoma.

»RELATED: Bengals stay true to themselves with Mixon pick

“Obviously this is a pick that opens everybody’s eyes,” Bengals coach Marvin Lewis said. “We’ve done such a lot of work regarding Joe Mixon throughout the entire process this year. Based on all the time, all the research, we felt that we can continue to move forward.

RELATED: Social media reacts to Mixon pick

“Joe’s situation kind of came to a settlement in all ways this week, which also led us to feel better about the opportunity here and to move forward. We’ve done all of our due diligence we can do, time spent interviewing people, everybody around him, everybody around his background, people that have coached at Oklahoma for insight regarding him and how he has carried himself since that day.”

Mixon joins Jeremy Hill, who is in the final year of his contract, and Giovani Bernard, who is coming off ACL surgery, in the Bengals backfield.

Earlier report: The Cincinnati Bengals traded the 41st overall pick to Minnesota for the Vikings’ second- and fourth-round pick.

The deal moves the Bengals back seven picks in the second round and gives the 128th overall pick in the fourth.

The last time the Bengals traded down was in 2012 when they struck a deal with New England to move down six spots from 21 to 27 while also getting the Patriots’ third-round pick (93rd overall).

New England took Chandler Jones at 21, and the Bengals took Kevin Zeitler at 27. Cincinnati parlayed the 93rd pick into Brandon Thompson.

FIRST ROUND

No. 9: John Ross, Wide Receiver, Washington

The Cincinnati Bengals selected Washington wide receiver John Ross with the ninth pick in the NFL Draft.

»RELATED: Ross clears the air about his durability

The 5-11, 188-pound speedster lit up the NFL Combine with a record-breaking time of 4.22 seconds in the 40-yard draft.

Ross was the third receiver selected in the first nine picks after Tennessee took Western Michigan’s Corey Davis at No. 5 and the Los Angeles Chargers selected Clemson’s Mike Williams at No. 7.

»RELATED: Rapper Snoop Dogg gives Bengals top pick a shout out

He had 17 touchdowns last season for the Huskies, which was tied for the second most in the country.

The Bengals next pick will be in Friday’s second round, No. 41 overall.

Day 3 NFL Draft tracker for Cleveland Browns

Published: Saturday, April 29, 2017 @ 11:17 AM


            Cleveland Browns first round NFL draft choices, from left, Myles Garrett, Jabrill Peppers, center, and David Njoku answer questions during a news conference at the NFL team’s training facility, Friday, April 28, 2017, in Berea, Ohio. (AP Photo/Ron Schwane)

The Browns took Arizona State kicker Zane Gonzalez with their first of two picks in the seventh round.

A Lou Groza Award finalist as a senior, Gonzalez is the FBS career record holder with 96 field goals. His 494 points also are a FBS record, as are his six games with at least four field goals, three field goals of at least 50 yards in a single game.

He’s also the first FBS kicker to make at least 20 field goals in each of his four seasons.

›› RELATED: Browns get their quarterback in second round

6th Round

1. (185)

The Cleveland Browns took Florida defensive tackle Caleb Brantley with the first pick of the sixth round.

Brantley, at 6-foot-3, 307-pounds, was a second-team All-SEC pick in 2016 after he finished tied for the Gators’ lead in tackles for loss (8.5, 2.5 sacks) as a 10-game starter. He also started 10 games in 2015, recording 6.5 tackles for loss and three sacks, and he played consistently enough as a freshman to earn a start in Florida’s bowl game.

Draft analysts said despite being slightly undersized, he is an efficient mover with lean muscle mass and thickness in his arms and legs. He comes with a red flag, has he is facing a misdemeanor battery charge after allegedly striking a woman on April 13. The outcome of that case is still pending.

5th Round

16. (160): Roderick Johnson, Offensive Tackle, Florida State

The 6-foot-7, 298-pound lineman was a two-time first-team All-ACC pick who started every game on the blind side since midway through the 2014 season, when he garnered Freshman All-American honors for his play.

Johnson twice received the Jacobs Blocking Trophy from league coaches because of his work at left tackle for the Seminoles. He has long arms that tend to disrupt edge rushers and he brings power in the run block.

4th Round

20. (126): Howard Wilson, Cornerback, Houston

The Browns traded up to get Wilson in the fourth round, as they were not scheduled to make their first pick of the day until the fifth round.

Wilson was a first-team All-American Athletic Conference pick in 2016 after leading Houston with five interceptions, as well as recording 54 tackles and five pass break-ups. He used a medical redshirt in 2015 after tearing up his knee after an interception in the season’s third game.

Vikings draft Centerville’s Odenigbo

Published: Saturday, April 29, 2017 @ 5:39 PM

EVANSTON, IL - NOVEMBER 26: Ifeadi Odenigbo #7 of the Northwestern Wildcats rushes against Reggie Corbin #2 (L) and Andrew Davis #89 of the Illinois Fighting Illini at Ryan Field on November 26, 2016 in Evanston, Illinois. (Photo by Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images)

The Minnesota Vikings drafted Centerville High School graduate Ifeadi Odenigbo in the seventh round of the NFL Draft on Saturday.

Odenigbo had 23.5 careers sacks at Northwestern, including a career-high four in a game against Iowa last year.

The 6-foot-3, 250-pound Odenigbo was a first team All Big-10 selection in 2016, leading the conference in sacks with 10.