Better balance could create more competition in SEC hoops

FILE - In this Thursday, Dec. 21, 2017, file photo, Texas A&M center Tyler Davis (34) tries to drive between Buffalo guard CJ Massinburg (5) and forward Ikenna Smart (34) during the second half of an NCAA college basketball game in College Station, Texas. Improved balance has created the possibility of a more unpredictable race for the title as the Southeastern Conference gets ready to begin league competition. (AP Photo/Michael Wyke, File)

Southeastern Conference men’s basketball coaches love to talk about how their league is more balanced than its national reputation suggests.

Pivec matures in her second year with No. 17 Oregon State

This photo taken Dec. 10, 2017, shows Oregon State guard Mikayla Pivec, left, bringing the ball upcourt against San Jose State's Danae Marquez during an NCAA college basketball game Corvallis, Ore. Pivec was unsure of the reaction she’d get when she approached Oregon State coach Scott Rueck last spring about possibly joining the track team. Lots of athletes run track in the offseason to help them stay sharp, but Pivec was a bit unusual in that she wanted to moonlight as a javelin thrower. Rueck agreed, albeit with a caveat: The javelin couldn’t take the place of hoops. (Andy Cripe/The Corvallis Gazette-Times via AP)

Sophomore guard Mikayla Pivec was unsure of the reaction she’d get when she approached Oregon State coach Scott Rueck last spring about possibly joining the track team.

No. 13 TCU and Hill rally to beat No. 15 Stanford 39-37

Stanford running back Cameron Scarlett (22) is dropped by TCU safety Innis Gaines, right, after a run during the second half of the Alamo Bowl NCAA college football game, Thursday, Dec. 28, 2017, in San Antonio. (AP Photo/Eric Gay)

SAN ANTONIO (AP) — There is something about TCU and big comebacks in the Alamo Bowl. Never count out the Horned Frogs.

Florida State beats Southern Miss 42-13 in Independence

Florida State quarterback James Blackman (1) passes under pressure from Southern Mississippi linebacker Darian Yancey (22) and defensive lineman Xavier Thigpen (32) in the first half of the Independence Bowl NCAA college football game in Shreveport, La., Wednesday, Dec. 27, 2017. (AP Photo/Gerald Herbert)

SHREVEPORT, La. (AP) — Freshman James Blackman was throwing the touchdown passes. Another freshman, Cam Akers, was gaining big chunks of yards on the ground.

Iowa rallies to beat Boston College 27-20 in Pinstripe Bowl

Iowa players and coaches celebrate after Iowa defensive end Anthony Nelson (98) forced a crucial game-changing fumble after sacking Boston College quarterback Darius Wade during the fourth quarter of the Pinstripe Bowl NCAA college football game, Wednesday, Dec. 27, 2017, in New York. Iowa scored after the fumble to defeat Boston College 27-20. (AP Photo/Kathy Willens)

NEW YORK (AP) — Akrum Wadley had never been to Yankee Stadium, even though he grew up about 20 miles across the river in New Jersey. On his first visit, he seemed to bring out all of Newark to cheer him on. His 40 tickets to give away weren’t enough to satiate his hometown fans.

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