Atletico will be desperate to banish the memories of gut-wrenching Champions League final defeats in 2014 and 2016 to their city rivals.They have lost Jose Maria Gimenez to a groin injury meaning three key defenders miss the short trip across town.While Simeone’s side have forged their reputation on a measly defence, they are in fine attacking form â€“ a Kevin Gameiro double sealed a 5-0 rout over Las Palmas at the weekend.But Zinedine Zidane’s Real, hoping to become the first side to retain the Champions League, are formidable opponents at their stadium, where they earned a last-gasp winner Saturday to remain on track in a tight fight with Barcelona for La Liga.“With the fans behind us we are hard to beat here,” match winner Marcelo said after a nervy 2-1 victory over Valencia.Ronaldo opened the scoring against Valencia but also saw a penalty saved.In their last Champions League outing the prolific Ronaldo bagged a hat-trick in the quarterfinal defeat of Bayern Munich, taking his tournament tally above 100 goals and another record.The Portuguese is likely to line up with James Rodriguez after the Colombian played in place of the injured Gareth Bale at the weekend.“He played very well and did the job asked of him, as they all did. I’m very happy with his performance and with the performance of the team as a whole,” Zidane said of the back-in-favour Rodriguez.Monaco are the surprise package in the semis and coach Leonardo Jardim has moulded a thrilling team around the resurgent Radamel Falcao and the break-out teenager Mbappe, whose goals saw off Man City and Dortmund in the last two rounds.Mbappe, 18, who has been compared to Thierry Henry at the same age, delivered another crucial goal at the weekend as Monaco close on their first French title since 2000.It was his 14th league goal of the season.Monaco’s clash with Juventus will be a study in contrasts: the tyros against the Italian champions whose defence is backed by the inspirational Italy captain Gigi Buffon, 39, in goal.Influential midfielder Tiemoue Bakayoko broke his nose in training on Friday, but looks to be the only key player in doubt for Monaco.Beaten 2015 finalists Juve were held to a 2-2 Serie A draw at Atalanta this weekend after conceding a last-gasp goal.“We’ll learn from our mistakes and be mindful for Wednesday’s match,” said coach Massimiliano Allegri, who will be looking to Argentine striker Gonzalo Higuain to fire them into the June 3 Champions League final in Cardiff.TUESDAYReal v AtleticoWEDNESDAYMonaco v JuventusShare this:FacebookRedditTwitterPrintPinterestEmailWhatsAppSkypeLinkedInTumblrPocketTelegram Europe’s hottest strikers from record-breaker Cristiano Ronaldo to potential heir Kylian Mbappe take centre stage this week in two tasty Champions League semifinal first legs.Ronaldo and Real host Atletico Madrid today while Mbappe’s attacking Monaco welcomes Juventus the next evening as Europe’s biggest club competition approaches its climax.Revenge will be on the menu at the Santiago Bernabeu for Atletico and their feisty Argentine coach Diego Simeone, while in Antoine Griezmann they have one of the deadliest marksmen around.
NEW YORK – The memories flooded Jim Boeheim’s mind. For more than three decades, he’s been leading his teams into Big East battles at Madison Square Garden. As he prepared to do so for the final time on Wednesday, Boeheim couldn’t escape the feeling that this was it for his time in the Big East.“I was thinking in the locker room before about the game, some of the games, and some of the highlights we’re playing,” Boeheim said after the Orange’s 75-63 win over Seton Hall. “Things have kind of been two years coming, but now that it’s here, your whole life has been spent in this league, and the last 31 years coming to this building, that’s a lot.”All season, Boeheim’s been asked about his thoughts of playing his final season in the Big East before Syracuse officially moves to the Atlantic Coast Conference in July. On the road, he’s been asked his feelings on coaching in Big East cities for the last time. More often than not, he says he doesn’t think about it.That was different on Wednesday.During his postgame press conference, Boehem reminisced about the Big East tournament and Madison Square Garden. He spoke about how the Big East grew out of former commissioner Dave Gavitt’s vision for a basketball-only conference. It eventually became the most competitive basketball league in the nation.AdvertisementThis is placeholder text“There’s a lot of people in the Hall of Fame that would never be in the Hall of Fame, never, not a chance, if it wasn’t for him,” Boeheim said. “Nobody should ask how the Big East was broken up. People should ask how did it stay together with the differences, the schools.”Boeheim has 48 wins in the Big East tournament, the most of any coach. Syracuse has won the conference tournament championship five times. There have been incredible shots – like any of Gerry McNamara’s in 2006 – and incredible games – like the six-overtime thriller against Connecticut in 2009 – that have molded Boeheim’s view of the event.Brandon Triche, who’s graduating in May and won’t be with Syracuse in the ACC, echoed some of Boeheim’s thoughts. Triche said the Big East and the Big East tournament are reasons he wanted to play for the Orange.“Just being able to play in the Big East meant a great deal for me coming to Syracuse, just to be able to play tough basketball,” Triche said. “All these memories, it’s a lot. Especially being here four years, being able to come down here with my team, it means a lot, especially the last one.”While Boeheim expressed sadness about leaving the Big East, he said the league has changed so much that it’s not the same Big East he entered three decades ago.He also said it’s easier heading to the ACC with so many other schools from the Big East, including Pittsburgh, Notre Dame and Louisville. Former Big East foes Miami, Boston College and Virginia Tech are already there.So while this week brings some sadness, there’s still more to look forward to. Next season, Boeheim will have the new challenge of playing in the ACC.“So it’s a tremendous challenge, and I think that’s good for me,” Boeheim said. “Tired of the same thing every year. It will be great. It will be a different thing, but I think a tremendous opportunity for us and our players.” Comments Published on March 13, 2013 at 9:01 pm Contact Chris: [email protected] | @chris_iseman Related Stories MARCHING BACK: Syracuse returns to form, gets offense humming in 75-63 Big East tournament win over Seton HallBack at full strength, Syracuse looks for revenge against Pittsburgh in Big East quarterfinalsCarter-Williams ties Big East tournament assist record, paces Syracuse in win over Seton HallGallery: Syracuse defeats Seton Hall 75-63 in Big East tournament Facebook Twitter Google+
On the women’s side, the Iowa Hawkeyes have returning Drake Relays presented by Hy-Vee shot put champion Laulauga Tausaga, a junior who was named USTFCCCA National Athlete of the Week earlier this month after tossing a school record 76-3.75 in the weight throw. Hawkeye senior Briana Guillory currently ranks sixth indoors in the 400m. Also look for Mizzou freshman, Mirieli Santos, who set a school record indoors in the triple jump to break fellow freshman Arianna Fisher’s record set earlier this year. All-Session tickets are now on sale at draketix.com/drakerelays or call 515-271-3647. For group ticket packages or more information, contact Dustin in the Drake Ticket Office at 515-271-4949. Print Friendly Version Illinois, which placed third in 2018 in both the men’s and women’s Hy-Vee Cup standings, also looks to reclaim some hardware. The men’s team, which won the Hy-Vee Cup from 2013 through 2016, have standouts in senior Devin Quinn in the 200m and junior miler Jon Davis.On the women’s side, Purdue is back to defend their Hy-Vee Cup title with a stellar team which won four relay events on the Blue Oval and finished eighth at the 2018 NCAA championship. “The Boilermakers are excited to defend our Hy-Vee Cup. This is one of the most respected meets in the nation and we are looking forward to the opportunity to once again compete against quality programs,” stated Purdue head coach, Norbert Elliott. “Nothing compares to the experience our student-athletes gain by performing in such a fierce and talented environment as the Drake Relays.” The Boilermakers had four individual Relays champions in 2018 including senior Janae’ Moffitt who returns to defend her title in the high jump. Expect some very strong challengers, including Illinois in the sprints, Missouri in the horizontal jumps, Utah in the distance events, and especially from Iowa which is ranked 15th in the current USTFCCCA indoor poll.In individual men’s competition, keep an eye on junior Chris Nilsen of South Dakota, the NCAA meet record holder and defending outdoor champion in the pole vault, who has been runner-up in the Drake Relays elite division the past two years. During this indoor campaign, Nilsen has cleared a season best 18-8.75 three times. Missouri has two outstanding 25 foot-plus long jumpers in freshman Roberto Vilches and sophomore Ja’Mari Ward, and look for freshman high jumper Roberto Viches to be in the mix. Loyola has a strong 800m runner in junior Kevin White, while Drake’s standouts include sophomore Kundai Maguranyanga with an impressive indoor campaign in the 200m and senior Kevin Kelly in the mile. DES MOINES – With the majority of NCAA Division I indoor conference championships taking place this week, the Drake Relays presented by Hy-Vee announced the first of two releases of returning Division I university teams for the 110th running of this iconic event. “We’re thrilled to announce this first list of teams returning to the Blue Oval in 2019 and our next release will boast more favorites,” said Blake Boldon, Franklin P. Johnson Director of the Drake Relays. “As always we had so many team and athlete highlights that we couldn’t fit it into one release.”The Iowa Hawkeyes headline the list among the returning men’s teams. “The Drake Relays is always one of the major highlights of our season and something we circle on the calendar at the beginning of the year. We are looking looking forward to defending the Hy-Vee Cup that the men won and win our first cup for the women’s program,” commented Iowa Director of Track and Field, Joey Woody. “It’s always exciting for our student-athletes to compete at America’s Athletic Classic, especially for many of our home-grown athletes who were Drake Relays Champions in high school.” In the men’s division last year, Iowa claimed their second consecutive Hy-Vee Cup trophy by winning the culminating 4x400m relay and their current indoor quartet is ranked sixth in the NCAA. The Hawkeyes have three 400m sprinters ranked in the top 16 indoors in senior Mar’yea Harris, junior Karayme Bartley and freshman Wayne Lawrence, and strong hurdlers in senior Chris Douglas and junior Jaylan McConico.