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NCAA

Tonight, Alabama center Barrett Jones and the Crimson Tide will take on Notre Dame for the BCS title. But Jones is more than just a football player concerned about winning games, he's concerned about others and winning their hearts to Christ. Our story on Jones originally appeared in the Summer 2011 issue...

Yesterday, Stanford's starting pitcher, Mark Appel, was selected 8th overall in the MLB Draft by the Pittsburgh Pirates. Stanford is currently competing in the College World Series and just advanced to the super regionals and will play Florida State. Appel is featured in our current DigiMag, read his story below: It would be easy to sympathize with Stanford’s Mark Appel if he felt pressure. He is the top pitcher on one of the nation’s best college baseball teams, and he is taking classes at one of the nation’s toughest academic institutions...

The NFL Draft starts on Thursday, April 26 and former Michigan State quarterback, Kirk Cousins, will be hoping to hear his name called by an NFL team some time in the early rounds. In our story about from the Summer 2011 issue of Sports Spectrum, Cousins talked about his future in the NFL. “Ultimately, the whole NFL thing and the future in general, whether you are playing in the pros or just your future, whether you’re an athlete or a college student in general, most of us don’t know what’s going to happen in the next few years." “It’s a little bit scary because I’m the kind of guy who likes to have a plan and likes to have things laid out." “We have to trust in the Lord’s plan and we have to walk with Him and honor Him and trust Him...

Tyler Zeller, who we featured in the Winter 2012 issue, does a video for I Am Second:

Tebowmania in New York Last night, the Denver Broncos and the New York Jets finalized a trade to send Tim Tebow, and subsequent Tebowmania, to New York.... Now with the Jets, Jeff Darlington of NFL.com writes that Tebow has the biggest platform in America, New York City... Ohio State's Aaron Craft The Ohio State Bukeyes play the Cincinnati Bearcats tonight in the Sweet 16, but for the Buckeyes Aaron Craft, basketball is only a part of who he is. "I choose to be a Christian, a student and then an athlete," Craft said. (thelantern.com) Craft is involved in Athletes in Action at Ohio State, attending bible studies and weekly meetings... Louisville's Peyton Siva "Stop being selfish," Siva said to his dad. "He saved my life," Peyton Siva Sr. said. (Seattle Times) Louisville and Michigan State play tonight in the Sweet 16 but Cardinals point guard Peyton Siva's biggest assist in life was to his dad; who was contemplating ending his life before Peyton Jr. boldly said those words... Christian Athletes in the Headlines: Namath on Jets trading for Tebow: 'I think it's just a publicity stunt' (NFL.com) Tim Tebow and the Jets: What could possibly go wrong? (Washington Post) Tim Tebow: King of New York? (ESPN.com) Drew Brees is befuddled, wants an explanation for Payton’s suspension (Yahoo Sports)

The Zeller Brothers The Zeller brothers have fired up their hometown of Washington, Ind. for March Madness. People throughout the town have been seen wearing Tar Heel blue or Indiana crimson in support of Washington's favorite sons. Zeller jerseys have been flying off the racks... Tyler Zeller Tyler Zeller has been named Second-Team All-America by the U.S. Basketball Writers Association (USBWA). Tyler is also this year's ACC Player of the Year, an award a North Carolina senior has not won since Phil Ford in 1978. Tyler and the North Carolina Tar Heels earned a No. 1 seed in the upcoming NCAA tournament and will face the No. 16 seed (winner between Lamar and Vermont in the First Four). The New York Times' Pete Thamel writes about Tyler's quiet leadership... Cody Zeller Cody Zeller and the Indiana Hoosiers earned a No. 4 seed and will play the 13th seeded New Mexico State Aggies in the NCAA tournament. Cody helped IU get their first Big Ten conference tournament win since 2006 last week and their first NCAA tournament appearance since 2008. Cody is the Big Ten Freshman of the Year and appears in the current Winter 2012 DigiMag issue of Sports Spectrum. A four-page feature on Cody is also in our upcoming Spring 2012 issue. Click here to subscribe.

Fearing the future can be like a small flame that ignites into a fire. But that’s a barbecue Butler University senior co-captain Ronald Nored would rather forgo. And it’s an inferno he’d rather extinguish with the lessons of his past...

This is the first of what we hope to make a part of the regular rotation here on SportsSpectrum.com. Every Thursday we are going to dig through the Sports Spectrum archives to find one of our great features from yesteryear. We're calling it "Throwback Thursdays." Enjoy. Colt McCoy and Sam Bradford are – gulp – good friends. Wait! Take a deep breath. Don’t do anything rash. This might help ease the pain a bit: Both quarterbacks are also friendly with fellow signal-caller Tim Tebow, whose Florida Gators chomped the Sooners in last season’s Bowl Championship Series title game. “Sam, Tim and I have a lot in common,” McCoy says. “It was fun getting to know those guys at all of the award events last year, and we’ve stayed in touch. I don’t know if our fans would like it, but Sam and I have gotten really close. We talk pretty regularly.” A Longhorn (McCoy) befriending a Sooner (Bradford)? Will wonders never cease?...

Tom Krattenmaker and Matt Dunn give their take on the Jim Tressel and Ohio St. scandal. Would you feel the pressure to cheat or bend the rules as a head coach in college football? Tom Krattenmaker believes he would if he was subject to the same intense pressures, byzantine rules and tantalizing rewards... Matt Dunn argues that when Christians elevate a football coach to be more of a preacher of the gospel, not only is it unfair to the coach (in this case Jim Tressel) but it is a disservice to the body of Christ...

During this year’s men’s NCAA basketball tournament, I heard an interesting argument re- garding Butler’s postseason success. Bob Kravitz, Indianapolis Star columnist, said one of the keys to their success is their conference, the Horizon League, a conference that most likely won’t get any at-large bids and therefore must be won to advance to the Big Dance. Every game was a “must win” game and significantly affected Butler’s hopes of making the tournament. That’s why, when Butler did make the tournament, the players’ attitudes didn’t change. They’d been playing “do-or-die” all year...

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