Harlem Globetrotter makes longest backward shot of all time

16. December 2014 13:33 by Julie Merar in Basketball  //  Tags:   //   Comments ()

The Harlem Globetrotters have awed audiences around the world with their tremendous basketball abilities and showmanship. In a recently released video, Globetrotters player Thunder Law broke the world record for longest backward shot at 82 feet 2 inches, beating the previous record by 10 feet. Law is not new to the Guinness Book of World Records, having previously set the record for world's longest shot almost exactly a year ago in November 2013. In his previous feat, Law hurled a basketball 109 feet 9 inches from the floor bleachers of the US Airways Center in Phoenix, Arizona. Now, with two incredible shots in the record book, one can only wonder what shot Law will attempt to make next year.

The record
Law set the record on Nov. 11, 2014, as part of the 10th annual Guinness World Records Day. Similar to the year before, Law set the record at US Airways Center, this time standing on the court, with the previous record of 72 feet 2 inches taped off. Tape markers were placed every foot past the previous record hash, and three members of the Globetrotters attempted the shot for about an hour before Law eventually swished it. Taking a deep backward stance, Law heaved the ball directly overhead using only one hand with an official Guinness representative witnessing the shot.

The record kicks off the tremendous 2015 "Washington Generals' Revenge" World Tour in which the Globetrotters will play more than 310 games in North America alone between Dec. 26, 2014, and May 2015. Law expressed both his excitement about the shot and the upcoming tour on the Globetrotters' website:

"It was incredible to have the opportunity to break a record last year, and this year, it was just as extraordinary," said Law. "The Globetrotters are known worldwide for amazing feats of basketball, and you can see some of the best athletes on the planet bring it night in and night out on our upcoming tour."

The Harlem Globetrotters
The legendary Harlem Globetrotters are celebrating their 89th consecutive year with the upcoming tour, and Law's shot highlights the remarkable type of entertainment fans can expect from this troop of talented athletes. Throughout the franchise's lengthy history, the team has played in more than 122 countries across six continents, introducing basketball to different cultures around the world. The 2015 "Washington Generals' Revenge" World Tour kicks off in Baltimore on Dec. 26, 2014, with dates following across the nation.

Biggest upsets in March Madness history

9. September 2014 09:49 by Julie Merar in Basketball, College Sports  //  Tags:   //   Comments ()

Perhaps one of the greatest things about college basketball is that once the regular season ends, March Madness finds teams and fans alike thrown into a month of unpredictable basketball mayhem. The NCAA Tournament brings over a billion possible outcomes to the table, with 64 of the best teams in college basketball vying for the title of national champions. Perhaps this is why no one to date has predicted a bracket perfectly, because its pretty impossible to fully guess who's going to rise to the occasion and who's going back to the locker room in tears. Of course, the Big Dance does have some methodology. With teams seeded from 1 to 16, every basketball enthusiast and commentator has a system set for predicting upsets and bettering their odds. At the end of the day though, some teams that are considered as good as gone from the get-go come out strong and lead legendary runs over tournament favorites. Here are some of the biggest March Madness upsets of all time:

Indiana vs. Cleveland State, 1986
This first round matchup is still considered one of the biggest upsets in college basketball ever. The Indiana Hoosiers were a No. 3 seed under the coaching of the infamous Bobby Knight, and the Cleveland State Vikings were a No.14 seed that was unknown to the public. Cleveland State thrived on a "Run N' Stun" style of play that encouraged players to play as hard and fast as possible. The Vikings defeated the Hoosiers 83-79, but lost in the next round to a Navy team led by David Robinson.

Oklahoma vs. Kansas, 1988
In 1988, the Oklahoma Sooners were a team to be reckoned with, averaging over 100 points a game and usually winning by a double-digit margin. The Sooners were known for their talented offense and went into the national championship game with a 35-3 record, poised to take on the Kansas Jayhawks for all the marbles. In fact, they had already beat Kansas on two occasions during the regular season. Kansas was an unranked No. 6 seed that no one expected to have a shot against the Sooners, led by future NBA all-star Mookie Blaylock. However, led by Danny Manning, who alone put up 31 points and had 18 rebounds, the Jayhawks won the national championship, pulling off one of the greatest upsets of all time. 

Richmond vs. Syracuse, 1991
In the years leading up to this game, the Richmond Spiders had developed a reputation for upsetting some of the best teams in college basketball. In this case, the No. 15 seed was pitted against No. 2 seeded Syracuse in the first round of the NCAA Tournament. This was the first time in history a No. 2 seed fell to a No. 15 seed, and only one of six times it has ever happened in the history of the tournament. 

Missouri vs. Norfolk State, 2012
The first round of the 2012 NCAA Tournament was a huge year for upsets. No.2 seeded Duke lost to Lehigh, but the more notable story occurred early that day between Missouri and Norfolk State. Why was this game more compelling than the one with the perennially favored Blue Devils? Mostly because Missouri could easily have been a No. 1 seed, racking up 30 wins during the regular season. Norfolk State, on the other hand, hadn't beat a major conference school all season and was predicted to lose by 20-plus points. Both teams made more than 50 percent of their shots, but Norfolk State pulled out a two-point victory, ruining brackets across the nation. 

George Mason vs. UConn, 2006
Since this game, the 2006 George Mason Patriots have often been used as an example of a classic bracket buster. The No. 11 seeded team was presented with an extremely difficult route to the Final Four and came out of nowhere. In the first round the Patriots beat a No. 6 seeded Michigan State team by 10 points, then went on to face University of North Carolina. The Patriots beat the Tar Heels and then Witchita State to wind up in an Elite Eight game against the University of Connecticut. UConn was not only a No. 2 seed, but also had a 30-3 record while playing in one of the nation's toughest conferences. Five of the players on this Huskies team would be later selected in NBA draft before the end of the second round. George Mason took out this star-studded UConn team by two points in overtime, sealing their run as one of the most miraculous March Madness teams of all time.

North Carolina State vs. Houston, 1983
North Carolina State was coming off a mediocre season with a No. 6 seed ranking, whereas Houston had a hyper-athletic team, including future NBA great Clyde Drexler. Earlier in the year, Houston had been dubbed "Phi Slama Jama​," putting up as many as 29 dunks in a single game. Going into this national championship game, everyone assumed Houston was walking away with a title. However, North Carolina State managed to slow down the Houston offense, and in one of the most tremendous moments in March Madness history, won the game with an ironic last-second slam dunk.

Does Your NCAA Tournament Bracket Mean Business?

 

The action and excitement of the NCAA men's basketball tournament beelines it into the workplace every year. Millions of people across the country watch the best college basketball players in the nation compete in an exciting single-elimination style event, hoping that their favorite team makes it to the final round.

It doesn't matter if you're a coffee runner or the CEO, you know you want in on the action, and you're banking on your alma mater.

More than 86 percent of employees say that they sneak peaks at gameday updates while they're at work. American workers spend 8.4 million hours in March watching their favorite teams compete throughout the final weeks of the NCAA Tournament. If you are the type to add even more excitement to your NCAA Tournament experience and participate in an office pool, you're in good company. About 60 percent of U.S. office workers said they have a stake in their favorite teams.

You might think that all this time spent keeping up with each game would create some kind of disruption in the office, but the reality of the situation is quite the opposite. When NCAA Tournaments take over your office, don't worry. Most businesses condone co-worker camaraderie. Teamwork makes the dream work, right?

You can turn the tournament into a great way to bond with your coworkers. Don't get fouled. Keep it light and fun. Wager donuts instead of dollars. Or, you can get a little creative with the prizes. Offer to clean the dishes in the break room or treat the winner to lunch. You might think the best seat in the house is in front of your television, but you can't beat the excitement of seeing the tournament unfold LIVE. Buy your NCAA Tournament tickets today and you'll be the envy of the office.

Tell us the truth. Have you ever watched the NCAA Tournament at work?