NCAA Tournament Intensifies As Florida Advances To Round Of One

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March Madness

James Harden Pretty Sure He Felt Something Pop In Lower Beard

HOUSTON—Expressing concern that the injury could sideline him for the remainder of the postseason, Houston Rockets shooting guard James Harden confirmed Friday that he felt something pop in his lower beard during last night’s game against the Golden State Warriors.

Man Commits To New TV Show Just Hours After Getting Out Of 7-Season Series

UNION CITY, NJ—Recommending that he give himself the chance to pause and explore the other options out there, friends of local man Jonathan Gember expressed their concerns to reporters Wednesday that the 29-year-old is already committing to a new television show just hours after getting out of a seven-season-long series.

Declassified Documents Reveal Bin Laden’s Al-Qaeda Job Application

The Office of the Director of National Intelligence this week declassified hundreds of documents collected during the 2011 raid of Osama bin Laden’s Pakistan compound, including his original job application for al-Qaeda, which, along with requesting regular contact information, asked applicants whether they would be willing to be suicide bombers and who to contact in case of martyrdom. What do you think?

Strongside/Weakside: James Harden

James Harden has become one of the most potent offensive threats in the NBA, leading the Houston Rockets to their first Western Conference Finals appearance in 18 years. Is he any good?

Bored David Blatt Just Drawing Up Plays For Fun During Cavs Game

ATLANTA—Explaining it was merely something to occupy his attention throughout the evening, Cleveland Cavaliers head coach David Blatt revealed to reporters that he was spending the majority of Wednesday night’s Eastern Conference Finals game against the Atlanta Hawks drawing up plays for fun on the sideline.

Items Found In Bin Laden’s Compound

On Wednesday, the U.S. government declassified more than 400 documents and other material seized from Osama bin Laden’s Pakistan hideout during the 2011 raid that resulted in his death. Here are some of the items found in the former al-Qaeda leader’s compound

Starbucks Partners With Spotify To ‘Make The Barista The DJ’

Starbucks announced that it has made a special partnership with Spotify that gives Spotify subscriptions to all baristas around the country so they can curate the playlists that play in local stores, explaining, “We’re making the barista the DJ.” What do you think?

Pros And Cons Of Raising The Minimum Wage

As cities around the country, including Los Angeles, New York, Chicago, and Seattle, pass or propose legislation to substantially increase the minimum wage for workers, debate has raged over the potential economic, social, and fiscal impact. Here are some of the pros and cons of raising the minimum wage

Los Angeles Approves $15 Minimum Wage

The Los Angeles City Council has voted to raise the minimum wage to $15 per hour by 2020, making it the biggest city in the nation to do so in an effort to improve the lives of the poorest Americans. What do you think?

Vilsack Stays Up All Night With Sick Corn Plant

WASHINGTON—Gently applying a cool cloth to the plant’s kernels as he cradled its frail stalk in his arms, Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack stayed up all night caring for a sick corn plant, sources close to the former Iowa governor confirmed Tuesday.

Executive On Hot Streak With 2 Straight Logical Decisions

HICAGO—Saying the impressive display of business sense came entirely out of nowhere, employees of public relations agency Davidson Communications confirmed Wednesday that CEO Donald Marshall was on an absolute hot streak after making two straight logical decisions.

Report: Cannes Bans Women Not Wearing High Heels

According to reports from some publications covering the Cannes Film Festival, a number of women who were wearing flats instead of high heels were turned away from the red carpet for a high-profile screening unless they changed shoes, and actor Josh Brolin allegedly responded that he would walk the red carpet in high heels to protest the policy. What do you think?

Breakup Survival Tips

Everyone goes through breakups, but learning how to deal with your feelings and find closure can help you get over your split in a healthy, productive way. Here are some tips for surviving your breakup and moving on from your relationship

New Report Finds Humanity 10 Years Away From Something Called Ash Age

TUCSON, AZ—Explaining that the large-scale shift in geologic conditions and social organization would require a new taxonomic classification, researchers at the University of Arizona released a report Tuesday revealing that humanity is approximately 10 years away from something that will be called the Ash Age.

Your Horoscopes — Week Of May 19, 2015

ARIES: To improve your spiritual health, avoid the myriad temptations of the flesh. This is most easily accomplished by repeating the word “flesh” over and over until it creeps you out.

Scientists: Flies May Have Capacity For Fear

According to new research from Caltech, fruit flies are capable of entering a fear-like state when they see a shadow from a fly swatter, suggesting that small insects might contain the building blocks for emotion, though it’s unclear whether they experience emotions the way humans do. What do you think?

Famous Television Finales

The award-winning AMC series Mad Men ended its seven-season run on Sunday night and drew critical acclaim for its final episode, a conclusion that many felt was poignant and satisfying. Here are some other memorable TV finales across the years

Wedding Guest Blissfully Unaware She Barely Made The Cut

CARLISLE, PA—Saying she was having a “wonderful time” as she danced and socialized with fellow guests Saturday night, wedding-goer Corinne Bauer was said to be blissfully unaware she had barely made the cut to receive an invitation.

Study: Most Parents Of Obese Children Think Kids Are ‘Just Right’

According to a new study, most parents of obese children don’t recognize their own child as obese because they measure him or her to peers rather than medical standards and estimate that the child is “about the right weight” even if they are significantly overweight. What do you think?

McDonald’s Turns 75

Today marks the 75th anniversary of the McDonald’s restaurant chain, which was founded in 1940 as a Southern California barbecue joint and has since expanded to more than 35,000 locations across the globe. Here are some highlights from the company’s history

Report: Millennials Leaving Christian Faith In Droves

According to a new report by the Pew Research Center, the population of Americans who identify as Christian has dropped significantly over the past eight years, in part because one-third of millennials now say they are unaffiliated with any faith. What do you think?

Study: Humans Now Have Shorter Attention Spans Than Goldfish

According to a small study conducted by the Microsoft Corporation, the average human attention span is now down to eight seconds, or one second shorter than that of a goldfish, which the researchers blame on an increased reliance on technology. What do you think?

Tips For Last-Minute Test Cramming

With the academic year winding down at grade schools and colleges across the country, students are buckling down and trying to maximize their study time before taking final exams. Here are some helpful tips as you cram for a test

Baby-Naming Tips For New Moms

Mothershould’s Grace Manning-Devlin breaks down some of the hottest baby names of the year, such as Cooper, Tanner, Milkman, and Serf.

Brewers Stay After Game To Run The Bases

MILWAUKEE—In what was sure to be a night they will remember for the rest of their lives, a group of excited Brewers players stayed after the team’s game against the White Sox Thursday evening to go onto the field and run the bases at Miller Park, sources confirmed.

ACLU Requests Investigation Into Hollywood Sexism

Citing the fact that only 2 percent of top-grossing films last year had female directors, the ACLU has demanded a formal inquiry by state and federal investigators into the hiring practices at Hollywood studios, networks, and talent agencies. What do you think?

Retailers Testing Virtual Fitting Rooms With Smart Mirrors

To compete with online retailers that can use browsing data to make wardrobe recommendations, upscale retailers like Neiman Marcus and Nordstrom are reportedly testing virtual fitting rooms with smart mirrors that allow customers to see what they would look like in different outfits without having to undress. What do you think?

Features Of The Obama Presidential Library

Barack Obama announced Tuesday that his presidential library will be built on the South Side of Chicago, with construction on the ambitious project due for completion by 2020 or 2021. Here are some features the new library will contain

Report: Professor Requires Students To Take Final Exam In The Nude

According to a local ABC news affiliate, a professor at UC San Diego requires students in the class Visual Arts 104A: Performing the Self to strip naked and enact a “performance of the self” in a dark room for the final exam, though the school responded that students can also perform the exam with clothes on. What do you think?

NASA Announces Bold Plan To Still Exist By 2045

WASHINGTON—In what is being described as the most ambitious mission ever undertaken in the space agency’s history, NASA officials announced at a press conference Tuesday their bold new plan to still exist by 2045.

Whole Foods Launching Chain Of Cheaper Stores For Millennials

Officials for Whole Foods have announced that the chain of high-end grocery stores will soon launch a line of lower-priced stores with a “curated” selection of more simply designed foods for millennials and others who can’t afford Whole Foods’ prices. What do you think?

Neighborhood Busybody Reports Sound Of Gunshots

INDIANAPOLIS—Once again sticking her nose where it doesn’t belong, neighborhood busybody Sally Christensen, 54, reportedly took it upon herself to report the sound of gunshots to law enforcement early Tuesday morning, sources confirmed.

Starbucks Won’t Bottle Water In California During Drought

Starbucks said that it will stop sourcing its Ethos bottled water from a private spring in the Sierra Nevada foothills and instead move bottling operations to Pennsylvania in an effort to “support the people of the state of California as they face this unprecedented drought.” What do you think?

Pros And Cons Of Standardized Testing

As the American education system continues to place more emphasis on standardized testing to measure academic achievement, critics have argued that it can be more harmful than helpful to students’ development in the long run. Here are some of the pros and cons of standardized testing:

Being Older Than Daughter Babysitter’s Only Qualification

UTICA, NY—Possessing no particular proficiencies or training whatsoever, local 12-year-old Jessica Radloff was reportedly hired to babysit Hayley Carden, 7, this week based solely on her qualification of being older than the child she was asked to watch.
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Man Considers Nodding Approvingly After Friend’s Drink Purchase

MEQUON, WI—Seeking to convey his endorsement of his acquaintance's selection at local bar Coney's Draft House this evening, area man Thomas Dodge told reporters that he was considering nodding approvingly at his friend’s alcoholic beverage pur...

NCAA Tournament Intensifies As Florida Advances To Round Of One

ATLANTA—The NCAA tournament field narrowed a little further—and became much more intense—on Monday night as the University of Florida tallied a convincing 84-75 victory over Ohio State University to advance further into college basketball's championship, making 2007 the second time in as many years that Florida has reached the NCAA Tournament's Round Of One.

However, Florida head coach Billy Donovan says that this time around, his team hopes to win it all.

"Anyone who knows their college hoops will tell you that the Round Of One is when the real tournament begins," said Donovan during the post-game press conference from Atlanta's Georgia Dome, adding that his team could go down as one of the best in the history of college basketball if they can advance past the next few rounds. "This was a great victory for our team, and a good confidence-booster, but it doesn't mean anything if we don't win next week."

"I'm just going to enjoy this victory for tonight," he added, responding to a questions about possible adjustments the Gators will have to make in the future. "But tomorrow it's back to work. It only gets harder from here on out, folks."

Thus far, Florida has moved methodically through the tournament, easily making it into the Round Of 32, the Sweet 16, Elite Eight, and the Final Four, but now has to deal once again with the pressures that accompany being the Wondrous One.

"Last tournament we were a young team—we weren't ready for all the media attention and the grind. This year, we are totally focused," said star center Joakim Noah, who was voted Most Outstanding Player of the 2006 Wondrous One for his play against UCLA, but struggled visibly with endurance and composure in subsequent rounds. "This is why I came back to Florida—to get past the Round Of One and, hopefully, on to the championship. I had something to prove, and so did this entire team. We're hungrier than we've ever been."

Noah added that he made the mistake of playing too hard in last year's regular season and failed to pace himself through the early rounds of the tournament, and credits his steady but unspectacular 12 points-per-game average this year as part of a concerted effort to save his energy.

"I think Florida definitely has what it takes," said ESPN college basketball analyst Digger Phelps, who will call Florida's next game. "But there is so much pressure at this stage in the tournament that if a team comes out flat like, say, UCLA did in 1972, you just never know. That's what makes the tournament so exciting."

Ohio State coach Thad Madda admitted in an interview outside a somber Ohio State locker room that his young team was "just not ready" to play amongst the elite, even going so far as to say that if his team did defeat Florida to move on in the tournament he would have had to contend with players wanting to go home at the end of their semesters in late April.

"Heck, to win your final game, and end the NCAA Tournament with a couple dozen victories and no losses is everyone's dream, but truthfully, I don't know if [center] Greg [Oden] would have even been able to play in the championship game," Madda said, referring to the possibility of Oden being drafted by the NBA on June 28, two weeks before the final round of the NCAA Tournament. "I certainly wish Florida the best of luck the rest of the way."

Though college basketball fans across the nation have enjoyed the tournament's close games, many are hoping that there are some upsets as tournament play continues in Charlotte, Pittsburgh, New Orleans, and Portland.  Fans will surely be glued to their television sets as all weekend games can be seen on CBS, while games during the week will air on ESPN, with the overflow being broadcast on ESPN 2.

"I made a few crazy picks in my office pool that I'm hoping will pan out," Philadelphia resident Geoff Caldwell said. "Luckily, I had Florida going this far, but I don't think they'll make it to Nashville. After the Round Of One, the competition just gets too tough."

If Florida does advance past the next round, it will be the farthest the Gators have advanced in the NCAA Tournament since it was fractionated in 1970.

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