From Comcast SportsNetNEW YORK (AP) -- Kansas State and Oregon are now on course to play for the BCS national championship.After Alabama was upset by Texas A&M, the new BCS standings have the Wildcats (.9674) first and the Ducks (.9497) second.Notre Dame (.9396) is third, not too far behind, but most likely in need of a loss by Oregon or Kansas State to reach the title game on Jan. 7 in Miami."These teams are in their order and the only way that order changes is if somebody gets beat," said Jerry Palm, of CBS Sports and collegebcs.com.As for Alabama's run at three championships in four seasons, and the Southeastern Conference's string of six straight BCS titles, both are in peril.Five SEC teams follow Alabama in the standings: Georgia, Florida, LSU, Texas A&M and South Carolina. But it will take a couple of upsets to give the SEC champion a shot to reach the BCS title game.Kansas State is second in both BCS polls -- the coaches' and Harris -- and in the computer rankings. The Wildcats have two games left, at Baylor on Saturday and home against Texas on Dec. 1, the day of most of the conference championship games.Oregon is first in the both polls and fourth in the computer ratings. The Ducks have two more regular-season games left, against Stanford on Saturday and the next week at Oregon State. They can clinch the Pac-12 North and a spot in the conference title game with a win against Stanford. If they get there, the Ducks would play either UCLA or Southern California in the league title game.If the Ducks and Wildcats can avoid the type of upset that dropped Alabama -- and there are plenty of good teams left on their schedules -- they will play for the national title.The Fighting Irish are third in the polls and first in the computer ratings."Notre Dame is not going to jump (Oregon and Kansas State) without their help," Palm said. "They're way too far behind in the polls. The voters are not on board with Notre Dame."The Irish play Wake Forest on Saturday and are at USC two days after Thanksgiving.Alabama (or Georgia or Florida, which could also both win the SEC with just one loss) needs two of the top three to lose to get to the title game no matter how it finishes.
Highlights from the Boston Celtics' 127-123 overtime loss to the Portland Trail Blazers.
BOSTON – Prior to Saturday’s game, Terry Rozier talked to CSNNE.com about the importance of staying ready always, because “you never know when your name or number is going to be called.”
Like when trailing by three points in the fourth quarter with less than 10 seconds to play?
Yes, Rozier was on the floor in that scenario and the second-year guard delivered when his team needed it.
- Highlights: Portland Trail Blazers 127, Boston Celtics 123 (OT)
- Stars, studs and duds: Lillard steps up in second half, overtime
- Celtics force overtime, come up short in 127-123 loss to Blazers
But Rozier’s fourth quarter heroics which forced overtime against Portland, did not provide that much-needed jolt that Boston needed as the Blazers managed to fend off the Celtics in overtime, 127-123.
For Rozier’s part, he had 15 points on 6-for-13 shooting.
The 15 points scored for Rozier was the most for him since he tallied 16 in a 30-point Celtics win at Orlando on Dec. 7.
But more than the points, the decision by head coach Brad Stevens to draw up a play for him in that moment, a time when most of what Boston does revolves around the shooting of Isaiah Thomas who has been among the top-3 scorers in the fourth quarter most of this season, was surprising to many.
And at that point in the game, Thomas already had 13 fourth-quarter points.
Stevens confirmed after the game that the last shot in the fourth was indeed for Rozier, but Thomas’ presence on the floor was important to its execution.
“He (Thomas) also draws a lot of attention,” Stevens said. “So I think you just weigh kind of … what kind of shot you’re going to get, depending on who it is.”
Rozier had initially screened for Thomas, and Thomas came back and screened for him.
“I was open as soon as I caught … and I let it fly,” Rozier said. “Coach drew up a play for me and it felt good to see the ball go in.”
Being on the floor at that time, win or lose, was a victory of sorts for Rozier.
He has seen first-hand how quickly the tide can change in the NBA for a young player.
After a strong summer league showing and a solid training camp, Rozier had earned himself a firm spot in the team’s regular rotation.
But a series of not-so-great games coupled with Gerald Green’s breakout night on Christmas Day, led to his playing time since then becoming more sporadic.
Rozier, in an interview with CSNNE.com, acknowledged it hasn’t been easy going from playing regular minutes to not being sure how much court time, if any, he would receive.
But he says the veterans on the team have been good about keeping his spirits up, and one in particular – Avery Bradley – has been especially helpful.
Like Rozier, Bradley’s first couple of years saw his playing time go from non-existent to inconsistent. But Bradley stayed the course and listened to the team’s veterans who continued to tell him that his hard work would pay off sooner or later.
Those same words of wisdom Bradley received in his early days, he passes on to Rozier.
“It’s big,” Rozier told CSNNE.com. “He (Bradley) tells me things like that. I felt I was ready for this (inconsistent minutes) after all that he told me. It’s big to have a guy like him that has been through it all with a championship team, been around this organization for a while; have him talk to you is big. It’s always good. That’s why I stay positive, and be ready.”
Which is part of the reason why Stevens didn’t hesitate to call up a play for the second-year guard despite him being a 33.3 percent shooter from 3-point range this season – that ranks eighth on this team, mind you.
“He’s a really good shooter,” Stevens said of Rozier. “I think with more opportunity that will show itself true, but he made some big ones in the fourth quarter. We went to him a few different times out of time-outs, and felt good about him making that one.”
And to know that Stevens will turn to him not just to spell Thomas or one of the team’s other guards, but to actually make a game-altering play in the final seconds … that’s major.
“It helps tremendously,” said Rozier who added that his confidence is through “the roof. It makes me want to do everything. You know defense, all of that. It’s great, especially to have a guy like Brad trust you."