Kentucky Derby 2018

The most exciting two minutes in sports” only happens on the first weekend in May. This Saturday 20 horses are expected to get in the starting gate to run the one and a quarter mile around the track at Churchill Downs while millions watch.

The race is the first of three that make up the Triple Crown. The subsequent races, the Preakness and the Belmont Stakes are scheduled for later in May and in June. Some fans of the race throw parties themed for the race with the drinks traditionally served at the track and the outfits to match those who attend the race, extravagant hats included.

2018 Kentucky Derby Day Schedule:

The first race of the day is set to happen at 10:30 a.m. ET and races continue throughout the day, happening every half hour or so until the horses running the Derby leave the barn and head for the Paddock at Churchill Downs. Around 6:30 p.m. the jockeys and horses will head to the starting gate, according to the Kentucky Derby schedule. Shortly thereafter, if all goes according to plan at 6:46 p.m. the horses and their riders will speed around the track in pursuit of the title “Kentucky Derby winner.”

How to watch the 144th running of the Kentucky Derby:

There are a few ways to watch the Derby this year for those who aren’t in attendance. The Derby will be broadcast on NBC and NBC Sports. Live coverage of the day starts at 2:30 p.m. ET on NBC. NBCSN will also have coverage beginning at noon, according to NBC.

For those without a TV or those who exclusively stream, NBC’s coverage will be available to stream online with a cable login. That login can be used for the NBC and NBCSports app on iOS, Android, Roku and more devices.

For those without cable or a cable login finding a way to stream the race may take some work. Hulu’s Live TV offers a free trial for new users depending on user location. Hulu TV includes NBC and NBCSN.

 

Arsenal vs Atletico Madrid

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Arsenal had one massive defensive flub in the first leg against Atletico Madrid, but it’s indicative of bigger problems. So is this second leg Laurent Koscielny’s last chance?
Arsenal’s defensive issues have been talked about ad nauseum, not just this season, but tracking back into last last season, where they also had tied for the most goals surrendered of any team in the top seven.

It’s gotten progressively worse, as Arsene Wenger has experimented with back threes and back fours, but he always comes up empty thanks to a combination of individual errors and mental lapses that just never go away.

Now, however, the poster-child of individual errors is Laurent Koscielny against Antoine Griezmann in the first leg. I would love to call it an anomaly, but Koscielny has had these problems all throughout the year, and it’s becoming clearer that he may be past the point of being the anchor at the back.

As the season winds down, and the job security for these players disappears, I have to believe that they all understand the stakes. And those stakes go beyond any one competition. They are playing for their futures at this club, and at other clubs as well, assuming they move on.

Koscielny is one such player. He has not had a good year. Poor, in fact. And we are going to need him at his best against Atletico Madrid. It won’t take much to completely blow this game from an Arsenal standpoint, and the potential of it happening – in any game, for that matter – is always looming.

And it’s usually either carried out or avoided by the defense, and nothing else.

If we don’t get the best out of Koscielny, chances are we aren’t advancing. Because poking a hole in a four man back for a team like Atletico Madrid is enough to poach a goal or two and send the fans home happy.

Assuming that happens, I can’t imagine seeing much more of Koscielny in the future. Not just at Arsenal, but at any other top-tier team. He has been fantastic for the large majority of his career in North London, and injuries have hampered him, but there comes a point in time where you aren’t the player you used to be and Koscielny clearly isn’t.

Roma vs Liverpool

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ROMA’s biggest issue in their Champions League semi-final second-leg with Liverpool tonight will be the mental pressure of knowing they must score three goals without reply to progress.

That’s according to former Reds defender Mark Lawrenson.

The Premier League side lead 5-2 at the half-way point of their last-four tie having blown the Italians away at Anfield last week with ex-Roma winger Mohamed Salah and Roberto Firmino both scoring twice and Sadio Mane also on the score-sheet.

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The visitors scored twice late on to restore hope of a second-leg comeback at the Stadio Olimpico this evening (7.45pm), having come from 4-1 down against Barcelona in the quarter-finals.

But Liverpool possess a fierce threat on the counter with their front three of Salah, Firmino and Mane having scored 88 goals in all competitions this term – and trying to keep them out while also chasing goals at the other end will take a toll on Roma psychologically, suggests Lawrenson.

“With the likes of Salah, you cannot play without the ball,” he said on BBC 5Live.

“Looking at the way that Roma are, I would think that would be the big thing for them, to basically just deny Liverpool the ball.

“I also think as well that it’s really, really difficult if you’re one of the [Roma] back three or back four because all along the way there’s this mantra, ‘Do not concede, do not concede, do not concede’.

“It’s really difficult when you think about the fact that they have to go forward and they need three goals to get through the tie.

“I’m not a great believer in a lot of things when you talk about the mental side of the game, that comes from within and yourself, but I think that’s a real issue for Roma.”

Roma are looking to reach the final of the competition for just the second time in the club’s history, their previous final outing having seen them beaten on their own patch by a Liverpool side starring Lawrenson in 1984.

Five-time champions Liverpool last reached the Champions League final in 2007 and are looking to end a six-year wait for silverware.

The winner will take on defending champions Real Madrid in Kiev, the capital of Ukraine, on May 26.

Warriors vs Pelicans

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The Pelicans are one of the really good stories to come out of the first round of the playoffs, and for a team that has had such bum luck in the last few years, it’s good to see things finally go their way.

But good first-round stories usually die in the semifinals, and even without Curry, the Warriors have way more depth and far better options than New Orleans.

One team was supposed to be here all along. The other was two regular-season losses away from missing the playoffs and setting into motion a major overhaul that likely would have included firing its coach and front office, and possibly would have stretched into a trade involving one of the league’s best players.

But the stunning sweep of Portland by the Pelicans earned them a spot in the conference semifinals for the first time in a decade. (They were called the Hornets then, making this the first time in league history that a team named for a genus of large, migratory water birds has reached any conference semifinal.)

It surely saved the job of head coach Alvin Gentry, and likely the job of GM Dell Demps, too. That means teams anticipating a Pels fire sale can cross off Anthony Davis from their wish lists.

Less stunning was the downing of the Spurs by the Warriors, who were without star guard Stephen Curry and will be without him for at least the opening of this series. There was little dropoff without Curry, though, as the Warriors defense — which had been a question mark coming in — kicked into gear against San Antonio, holding the Spurs to 96.8 points per game.

The offense was buoyed, naturally, by Klay Thompson (22.6 points per game, 51.6 percent on 3-pointers) and Kevin Durant (28.2 points per game).

The Pelicans, led by Davis’ 33.0 points and 12.3 rebounds per game in the Portland series, have looked like a different team lately, cohesive defensively and surprisingly explosive on offense. They’ve won nine straight going back to the regular season, and have scored 118.2 points on 51.8 percent shooting and 39.6 percent from the 3-point line in those nine games.

Different would certainly be good from the New Orleans perspective — going back to 2013, including the playoffs, the Warriors have beaten the Pelicans in 24 of 26 games.

Raptors vs Cavaliers

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For the third straight season, the Toronto Raptors and Cleveland Cavaliers are meeting in the playoffs. Once again, it’s hard to predict what will happen.

Two years ago, there was a sense that the Raptors had achieved their goal by just making it to Cleveland. Beating the Miami Heat in seven games was an amazing achievement, if not ugly in execution. The two home games against Cleveland were more an out-of-body experience than anything. The Raptors are in the Eastern Conference Finals… and there’s hope??? Last year felt like a horror show in comparison. Toronto was supposed to learn from their 2016 experience, but a mismatched and struggling supporting cast got exposed by a three-point barrage from Cleveland. The sweep was unmemorable and, eventually, unavoidable.

So yeah, it’s hard to use any of that as a predictor. Kyrie Irving is gone and this Cavaliers team more resembles the 2015 squad that LeBron dragged to the finals in Irving’s absence. There’s James, occasionally Kevin Love, and seven massive question marks. Forget the regular season too — the Cavs overhauled their roster at the trade deadline, and will likely play different lineups than they did when they beat Toronto twice in the last month of the regular season.

I have this inherent need to explain basketball through numbers, though; to make it easy to understand and predict worrying series such as this one. The thing is, basketball is susceptible to truly wild stuff when a generational talent is involved. On paper, these Raptors have the depth and ability to beat a Cleveland team that struggles on defence and lacks a reliable supporting cast. But still, LeBron James looms.

LeBron was indomitable in Cleveland’s Game 7 win over Indiana on Sunday. Scoring 45 points was one thing, but the public pronunciation of “I’m playing the whole game” before cramping up for a short stretch was just another reminder of his greatness. This is a player who, for 15 seasons, has been able to summon will and drag his team to the finish line. He did it on Sunday, expect it to happen again at least once in this second round series.

I’m sure I’m not alone as a Raptors fan, feeling a strange mix of confidence and fear going into this third matchup with the Cavs. It’s a hard series to predict, but undoubtedly one where Toronto should be favoured — they are deeper, have more ways to win, and a roster that can thwart a lot of Cleveland’s pet offence (save one guy).

Real Madrid vs Bayern Munich

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Real Madrid vs Bayern Munich live stream and TV channel details, plus an in-depth match preview, exclusive videos, team news, kick-off time and much more ahead of Tuesday’s decisive semi-final second leg.

The case isn’t looking too promising for Bayern Munich fans.

Zinedine Zidane’s side might have faltered in La Liga this season, but they continue to thrive on European football’s most prestigious stage.

Under the Los Blancos legend’s tenure, Real Madrid have never been knocked out of the Champions League and are on the cusp of a third successive crown.

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More bad news for Bayern is that no team has ever overturned a home 2-1 deficit at this stage of the competition, from seven such previous occasions.

Despite the history books ruling out a Bayern comeback, their esteemed manager Jupp Heynckes is adamant his side have a shout and will push his treble-chasing squad to utilise the same mentality.

“We’ll do everything we can in Madrid to cancel out the first leg result. There are two legs to the semi-finals and nothing is decided until the end of the second encounter!” Insisted Heynckes, having witnessed his side swarm forward at the Allianz Arena in the first leg.

The Bundesliga champions carved out a host of chances, 17-7 in shots on goal in comparison to Real, and applied the pressure with 10 corners at the Real end.

“Today’s game showed Real Madrid are vulnerable in defence, and we can gain hope from that,” added the Bayern boss.

The problem for Bayern is that Real managed to prevail last week without their talisman Cristiano Ronaldo firing on all cylinders.

The Germans can’t count on Ronaldo having another below-par performance as Los Blancos strive to keep a grip on their precious crown at the Bernabeu.

Real boss Zidane is wary of complacency, particularly after a huge scare in the quarter-finals.

“We will have to fight. We are happy, but we know we have to suffer in the return leg, nothing is sorted yet. After what happened with Juventus, we now we have to change things. If not, trouble will find us,” maintained Zidane, having witnessed his side lose the second leg with the Serie A giants 1-3 on home turf, nearly surrendering a commanding 3-0 triumph from Turin.

“We can be happy, satisfied with that result (in Munich). It was tough at the start and we struggled to get the ball. Winning here is not easy,” continued Zidane. “We have the motivation to do well, but we struggled. We started badly but finished well. They had their chances but we controlled the game.”

It appears Zidane isn’t satisfied with that performance and will be expecting a stark rise in quality defensively from his star-studded squad in the second leg.

Bayern obviously need an early goal to send shockwaves through Los Blancos’ backline, but this Zidane squad has an ability to flourish under the bright lights at the Bernebeu on the grandest of stages.

If Heynckes has his say, we are set for an enthralling encounter. Bayern are most certainly not beaten yet.

Masters Golf 2018 Live

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The 2018 Masters Tournament is just around the corner and fans are super excited to witness the most riveting golfing major of the year at any cost. Continuing to hold its distinction of having the smallest field amongst all four majors, the Augusta National Golf Club will hold the 82nd edition of the Masters Tournament from 5th to 8th April 2018. Five different winners in the last five years show how difficult it has been for the big names to dominate the Masters Tournament. It is one major where one can expect surprises from rookies and new golfers ought to make a name for themselves. The Masters Tournament has seen history being made in almost every edition and fans would be gutted to miss out on even a single shot from their favorite golfer.

This year Garcia, Rose are invited for the tournament. Past Winners like Phil Mickelson, Jordan Spieth, and Tiger Woods will also be on the list of invitees. The tournament will never be complete without inviting the legends of golf like Justin Thomas, Dustin Johnson, and Rory McIlroy.

Apart from its historical significance and excitement in the recent past, fans will remain glued to their devices to watch the Masters Tournament to get a glimpse of their favorite golfer. With many big names making a comeback to the golfing course, interest of almost every golfing fan has reached another level. However, it is not possible for anyone to carry their TV sets along with them wherever they go. Missing out any action from the first major of 2018 for such a reason would be something no fan would ever want. To make sure that doesn’t happen with you, we’ve got this live stream guide prepared for you to make sure you can easily watch the 2018 Masters Tournament even while on the go.

Virginia vs North Carolina

We have the ACC championship game on Saturday night as the top-seeded Virginia Cavaliers take on the #6 seed North Carolina Tar Heels in a college basketball matchup from the Barclays Center in Brooklyn.

The North Carolina Tar Heels punched their ticket to the title game thanks to a 74-69 win over rival Duke on Friday in the semis. Luke Maye led UNC with 17 points on 8 of 18 shooting with a team-high 10 rebounds. Joel Berry II came 2nd with 13 points on 3 triples with 6 assists and 3 steals while Cameron Johnson, Kenny Williams and Garrison Brooks each logged 10 points to round out the scoring in double digits for the Tar Heels in the win, with Williams added 6 rebounds and 6 assists. Theo Pinson also chipped in 8 points with 3 steals and a team-high 7 assists in the winning effort for North Carolina. Berry II leads UNC in scoring with 17.1 points per game while Pinson leads the Tar Heels in assists with 4.8 assists per game and Made leads North Carolina in rebounding by averaging a double-double per game with 17.1 points to go along with his team-leading 10.2 rebounds per game this season. As a team, North Carolina is scoring 82.5 points per game on 46.1% shooting from the field, 36.3% from behind the arc and 74% from the foul line this season.

The Virginia Cavaliers will be looking to win their first ACC tournament title since 2014, and make their case for the #1 overall seed in the upcoming tournament after taking down Clemson by a final score of 64-58 in their semifinal matchup on Friday. Kyle Guy led UVA with 15 points on 6 of 12 shooting with 3 threes while Devon Hall and Mamadi Diakite each added 10 points to round out the trio of double digit scorers for the Cavaliers in the win, with Hall contributing 3 steals to the cause. Jack Salt added a team-high 8 rebounds while Ty Jerome added a team-high 10 assists with 3 steals of his own in the winning effort. Guy leads Virginia in scoring with 14.1 points per game while Jerome leads the Cavaliers in assists with 3.9 assists per game and Isaiah Wilkins leads the Cavaliers on the glass with 6.3 rebounds per game this season. As a team, Virginia is scoring 67.4 points per game on 46.3% shooting from the field, 38.6% from behind the arc and 75.1% from the foul line this season. The Cavaliers still own one of the tightest defenses in the country as well, giving up the fewest points per game at 53.1 per contest on the 3rd-lowest field goal percentage against at 37.4% and the 6th-lowest 3-point percentage at 30% this season.

North Carolina is 8-3 ATS in their last 11 games overall and 4-0 ATS in their last 4 neutral site games while the under is 4-0 in their last 4 games against a team wth a winning record. Virginia is 19-8-1 ATS in their last 28 games overall and 2-5 ATS in their last 7 games following a win while the under is 37-16-1 in their last 54 conference matchups. The favorite is 8-2 ATS in the last 10 meetings between these two teams.

Virginia’s defense has been as good as advertised, but to be honest, I never really read into UNC as a #6 seed as I knew the Tar Heels were better than their position and I personally wasn’t overly worried about North Carolina. This is one of the best situations we could’ve asked for in the ACC title game and given that UNC has had a lot of success in this quick turnaround situations, I’ll take a shot with UNC and the points in a game that could come down to the final seconds.

Villanova vs Providence

The #2 Villanova Wildcats square off against the Providence Friars in the championship of the Big East college basketball tourney.

The Villanova Wildcats earned a trip to the Big East title game following an 87-68 rout of Butler in the semifinals. Villanova stormed to a 19 point lead after 20 minutes and traded baskets the rest of the way. Both teams sank shots at around 48% but the Wildcats totaled nine more shots and connected on 14 long balls.

Mikal Bridges topped the Villanova scoring spree with 18 points and five boards followed Jalen Brunson with 17 points. The Wildcats received 14 points from Phil Booth while Omari Spellman and Eric Paschall netted 12 points each and combined for 19 rebounds.

The Providence Friars enter the Big East tournament knowing they had to win the playoffs to advance to the Big Dance. Providence is one step away after downing Xavier 75-72 in overtime to earn a spot in the Big East championship. The Friars owned a 43.8%-36.8% shooting edge which was the deciding stat.

The twosome of Rodney Bullock and Alpa Diallo paced Providence with 17 points apiece and a combined 13 rebounds on 12-23. The Friars saw 15 points and six helpers from Kyron Cartwright on 6-17 while Nate Watson netted 14 points on 5-6.

Villanova is getting a number one seed in the Big Dance but I know the team wants to go in to as the Big East champion as well. I believe they do but I’m taking the points

West Virginia vs Kansas

We have the Big 12 championship game coming to us from the Sprint Center in Kansas City as the #3 seed West Virginia Mountaineers take on the top-seeded Kansas Jayhawks in a college basketball matchup on Saturday afternoon.

The West Virginia Mountaineers punched their ticket to the title game after a 66-63 win over Texas Tech in their last outing on Friday. Daxter Miles Jr. led WVU with 22 points on 6 of 13 shooting with 5 threes while Jevon Carter added 17 points with a 4 threes to match a team-high 4 assists and Sagaba Donate added 11 points with 3 blocks to round out the trio of double digit scorers for West Virginia in the win. Wesley Harris chipped in 7 points to match his team-leading 7 rebounds in the winning effort as well for the Mountaineers. Carter leads West Virginia with an average of 17 points and 6.5 assists per game while Donate leads the Mountaineers in rebounding with 7.7 rebounds per game this season. As a team, West Virginia is scoring 79.9 points per game on 43.5% shooting from the field, 35.4% from behind the arc and 76.2% from the foul line this season.

The Kansas Jayhawks will be looking for their first Big 12 tournament title since 2016 after taking down Kansas State in the semifinals by a final score of 83-67. Malik Newman led the Jayhawks with 22 points on 8 of 14 shooting with 5 threes and 3 steals while Devonte’ Graham came 2nd with 15 points and a team-high 8 assists. Sviatoslav Mykhailiuk added 12 points on 4 threes while Lagerald Vick added 10 points to round out the quartet of double digit scorers for Kansas in the win. Silvio De Sousa chipped in a team-high 11 rebounds in just 19 minutes on the floor for KU. Graham leads Kansas with an average of 17.3 points and 7.3 assists per game while Udoka Azubuike leads the Jayhawks on the glass with 7.1 rebounds per game this season. As a team, Kansas is scoring 81.5 points per game on 49.6% shooting from the field, 39.8% from behind the arc and 70.4% from the foul line this season.

West Virginia is 4-1 ATS in their last 5 games against a team with a winning record and 0-4 ATS in their last 4 Saturday games while the over is 4-1 in their last 5 conference matchups. Kansas is 5-2 ATS in their last 7 games overall and 18-8 ATS in their last 26 neutral site games while the over is 4-1-1 in their last 5 conference matchups. The under is 5-2 in the last 7 meetings between these two teams.

Many have Kansas as a #1 seed for the big dance, which has caused some controversy and debate as the Jayhawks could potentially have the most losses by a #1 seed, however a win over West Virginia would certainly help make that case. The problem is that even though this isn’t the same dominant WVU defense we are used to, the Mountaineers are still really good and pose a tough test for the Jayhawks. With that said, with the line being this low, you’re essentially just picking a winner and since Kansas had no problem getting the win in the first two meetings and I think the Jayhawks complete the sweep with a win in the championship game here.