NCAA Basketball: NCAA Tournament-Second Round-Houston vs Ohio State
Mar 24, 2019; Tulsa, OK, USA; Houston Cougars guard Galen Robinson Jr. (25) and Houston Cougars guard Corey Davis Jr. (5) celebrate after their game against the Ohio State Buckeyes in the second round of the 2019 NCAA Tournament at BOK Center. Mandatory Credit: Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports

March 25, 2019

Guard Corey Davis Jr. led a balanced attack with 21 points, and backcourt mate Galen Robinson Jr. had 13 points, five assists and a career-high six steals to lift No. 3 Houston to the Sweet 16 with a 74-59 victory over No. 11 Ohio State on Sunday night in the second round of the Midwest Regional in Tulsa, Okla.

Houston (33-3) will play No. 2 seed Kentucky (29-6) in the round of 16 in Kansas City, Missouri. Kentucky advanced with a 62-56 victory over No. 7 Wofford in Jacksonville, Florida, on Saturday.

Houston led 39-31 at the half but missed its first eight shots of the second half to let Ohio State (20-15) remain within striking distance.

C.J. Jackson’s fourth 3-pointer of the game drew Ohio State within 49-44 with 11:45 left. By that time, the Buckeyes had made 10 of their first 23 attempts from long range.

Ohio State got into the bonus with 9:57 left, but every time the Buckeyes appeared to be making a run, Houston blunted the push with a key basket.

Robinson, a senior leader, broke down the Ohio State defense late in the shot clock for a layup and Davis intercepted a pass in the paint and dribbled the length of the court for another point-blank leaner for a 60-49 Houston lead with 7:27 left.

Ohio State committed turnovers on its first three possessions and on four of its first five, and Houston took advantage to take a slim early lead.

The Buckeyes, however, were uncharacteristically on fire from the perimeter, making eight 3-pointers in the first half, including back-to-back bombs by forward Kaleb Wesson, who normally does most of his damage on the inside.

When Wesson picked up his second foul with 5:44 left in the first half, Ohio State led 27-25. But with Wesson on the bench for most of the rest of the half, Houston went on a 12-6 run and led 39-31 at intermission. Fabian White and Robinson had four points each and Corey Davis Jr. had a 3-pointer in the surge.

Davis, who scored 26 points and made seven 3-pointers in Houston’s first-round rout of Georgia State, led Houston with 11 first-half points.

Despite Ohio State’s 3-point success in the first half, the Cougars pounded Ohio State in the paint, 20-2. The Buckeyes also damaged their chances with eight turnovers in the first 20 minutes. They finished with 14 for the game.

Jackson led Ohio State with 18 points, and forward Wesson added 15.

White had 11 points for Houston, and Armoni Brooks had 10.

–Field Level Media

Source: OANN

Kevin Daley | Supreme Court Reporter

Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas did something extraordinary on Wednesday.

He spoke.

Appearing before the Supreme Court is rather like meeting your spouse’s family for the first time. The questions are relentless, probing and impolite. One hundred questions over the course of an hour-long argument is typical. Attorneys arguing cases can expect an interruption from a justice just moments into their presentation, and it is not unusual for the justices to interrupt one another.

Yet Thomas is generally an observer at the blood sport that is oral argument. Since taking the bench in 1991, he has rarely asked questions of the attorneys arguing before the Court. His silent stretches run so long (he did not ask one question from 2006 to 2016) that the very fact of his speaking is a news event.

The questions he asked Wednesday, in a dispute concerning racism in jury selection, were his first questions in almost three years and his second intervention this decade.

Thomas is alone in this approach to argument among his colleagues. His silence draws curiosity and ire in equal measure, particularly since he is widely regarded as the most gregarious of the justices.

Scholarly treatment of Thomas’s silence is similarly mixed. One 2017 journal article in the Northwestern University Law Review from Professors RonNell Andersen Jones and Aaron Nielson compiled and reviewed every question Thomas has ever asked during oral argument, encompassing his service on the Supreme Court and his prior work on the U.S. Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit. Jones and Nielson concluded that Thomas is an adept questioner who should intercede more often.

“Reviewing these questions demonstrates that although Thomas has not frequently spoken, when he has posed questions, they have been thoughtful, useful, respectful, and beneficial to his colleagues of whatever ideological stripe,” the study reads.

Jones and Nielson noted Thomas’s questions focus intensely on the text of the law. Following the late Justice Antonin Scalia’s death, they suggest oral arguments would benefit from a questioner with Thomas’s “laser-like focus on the text.”

“Putting aside the merits of textualism as an ending point, or even as a starting point, in statutory interpretation, the merits of having an active voice in oral argument that demands investigation of and discussion about the statutory language seem incontrovertible,” they write.

“With Justice Antonin Scalia’s departure from the Supreme Court, the need for a justice to ask these sorts of questions is obvious,” they add.

When Thomas does ask questions, Jones and Neilson say, they tend to come near the end of the argument. His Wednesday inquiries came during a brief rebuttal period, only after the attorney asked if there were any remaining questions. The justice himself speculated that his delicate approach to questioning is a function of his southern pedigree during an event at the University of Kentucky in April 2012.

“Maybe it’s the southerner in me,” Thomas wondered. “Maybe it’s the introvert in me, I don’t know. I think that when somebody’s talking, somebody ought to listen.”

Justice Clarence Thomas, at center, awaits the arrival of former President George H.W. Bush's casket at the Capitol Rotunda on December 3, 2018 (Jonathan Ernst/Getty Images)

Justice Clarence Thomas, at center, awaits the arrival of former President George H.W. Bush’s casket at the Capitol Rotunda on December 3, 2018 (Jonathan Ernst/Getty Images)

Others are more harsh in their appraisal of Thomas’s silence. Writing in the Florida Law Review in 2009, David Karp argued Thomas’s approach to oral argument is ultimately self-defeating. (RELATED: Clarence Thomas Clerks Dominate Trump’s Judicial Appointments)

Perhaps more than any other justice in modern history, Thomas is intensely interested in course correction. He does not believe the Court ought to abide by cases which offend his vision of the Constitution, and he regularly invites litigants to bring challenges to foundational decisions he believes are wrong. In February alone he released opinions criticizing and New York Times v. Sullivan (a landmark freedom of the press case), Gideon v. Wainwright (establishing a right to counsel for indigent defendants) and Roe v. Wade.

Thomas is a prolific opinion writer who has pressed his judicial philosophy over dozens of lone dissents and concurring opinions. Karp says Thomas could better advance his own views and enrich the Court’s internal debate by contributing to oral arguments.

“Through his silence, Justice Thomas not only evades the deliberative process, but he also diminishes his own influence,” Karp wrote. “Justice Thomas’s silence allows advocates to ignore him and his views.”

“Because of his willingness to rethink the constitutional order, Justice Thomas would force the Court to reconsider basic premises,” Karp added.

Karp believes the role of oral argument in the deliberative process makes Thomas’s silence especially strange. The justice told Newsweek in 2007 that his views on a given case are well-developed by oral argument. Before arguments he reads legal briefs from both sides, additional filings from interested parties, the decisions below, the record of facts, and discusses his thoughts with his law clerks. As such, in Thomas’s view, the argument is not especially important to the disposition of a case.

But Karp is skeptical of that perspective, arguing that it is unbelievable that even the most gifted jurist could approach the complex work of the Supreme Court without questions.

“It seems unbelievable that Justice Thomas genuinely has no questions to ask about any of the nation’s most difficult cases,” Karp wrote. “Even the most learned judge with well-developed outlooks on the law should have questions.”

The Supreme Court will hear cases through Wednesday touching partisan gerrymandering and the power of federal agencies.

Sarah George and Paul Ingrassia contributed research. 

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Source: The Daily Caller

NCAA Basketball: SEC Conference Tournament-Kentucky vs Alabama
Mar 15, 2019; Nashville, TN, USA; Alabama Crimson Tide head coach Avery Johnson reacts during the second half against the Kentucky Wildcats in the SEC conference tournament at Bridgestone Arena. Mandatory Credit: Christopher Hanewinckel-USA TODAY Sports

March 24, 2019

Alabama and basketball coach Avery Johnson parted ways Sunday, just three days after the Crimson Tide suffered an opening-round defeat on their home court in the NIT.

The two sides had spent the past few days negotiating a buyout of Johnson’s contract, though no terms were announced on Sunday.

“After meeting with Coach Johnson, we made the decision to mutually part ways,” Alabama athletic director Greg Byrne said in news release issued by both Johnson and the school. “This was not an easy decision, and we thank him for his contributions over the past four seasons. We wish Coach Johnson and his family the very best.”

Alabama will begin the search for its next coach immediately, according to the news release. Assistant coach John Pelphrey will serve as head coach in the interim.

“I would like to thank The University of Alabama, Bill Battle and the Board of Trustees for providing me the opportunity to serve as the head basketball coach,” Johnson said in the release. “I’d also like to thank President Bell and Greg Byrne, our assistant coaches, support staff, the fans and student body for making this such a special experience for me and my family. Finally, and most importantly, I’d like to thank all of the players and parents. It was an honor and privilege to work with these young men and their families. This was an opportunity of a lifetime.”

The SEC now has three openings for a head basketball coach: Alabama, Texas A&M and Vanderbilt.

The top-seeded Crimson Tide were stunned 80-79 in overtime at home by Norfolk State on Wednesday night.

Johnson, who turns 54 on Monday, became Alabama’s coach in 2015, but the Crimson Tide have made just one NCAA Tournament in his four seasons at the helm.

Johnson’s contract ran through 2023 and was set to pay him approximately $3 million annually. It called for the school to pay him $8 million if was fired without cause before April 15, but fell to $6 million after that.

In his four seasons at Alabama, Johnson went 75-62, with a 34-38 conference record.

As an NBA coach, Johnson has a 254-186 record over stints with the Dallas Mavericks and New Jersey/Brooklyn Nets. He was the NBA Coach of the Year following the 2005-06 season, when the Mavericks finished 60-22 and won the Western Conference title.

–Field Level Media

Source: OANN

NCAA Basketball: NCAA Tournament-Second Round- Florida State vs Murray State
Mar 23, 2019; Hartford, CT, USA; Florida State Seminoles forward Mfiondu Kabengele (25) dunks and scores against the Murray State Racers during the second half of game in the second round of the 2019 NCAA Tournament at XL Center. Mandatory Credit: Robert Deutsch-USA TODAY Sports

March 24, 2019

Florida State’s depth and height proved way too much for upstart Murray State and star guard Ja Morant on Saturday night, as the fourth-seeded Seminoles reached the West Region semifinals of the NCAA Tournament with a 90-62 rout in Hartford, Conn.

Senior guard Terance Mann paced Florida State’s starters (29-7) with 18 points, eight rebounds and six assists. Mfiondu Kabengele came off the bench to net 22 points, going 10 of 12 from the field, and Raiquan Gray chipped in 11 to go along with five steals.

The Seminoles, who will meet top-seeded Gonzaga in the Sweet 16 on Thursday night in Anaheim, Calif., canned nearly 51 percent of their field-goal tries and were 11 of 27 on 3-pointers. They also dominated the much smaller Racers on the glass, earning a 45-33 advantage.

Morant, a 6-foot-3 sophomore guard who would likely be a lottery pick if he declares for the NBA Draft this summer, poured in a game-high 28 points to go along with five rebounds and four assists. But he made just 8 of 21 shots from the field after a hot start, as Florida State’s length appeared to bother him. Murray State’s season ended at 28-5.


No. 1 Gonzaga 83, No. 9 Baylor 71

Brandon Clarke had a historic performance with a career-high 36 points and five blocked shots to lead the Bulldogs over the Bears in the second round in Salt Lake City.

Clarke, who entered the NCAA Tournament leading the nation in field-goal percentage (.693), made 15 of 18 shots, including five dunks. The 6-foot-8 senior also had eight rebounds, three assists and two steals for Gonzaga (32-3). Baylor’s season ended at 20-14.

Clarke broke the school record for points in an NCAA Tournament game (Adam Morrison, 35) and became the third player in NCAA history with at least 35 points and five blocks, joining Navy’s David Robinson and LSU’s Shaquille O’Neal. The NCAA started tracking blocked shots as an official stat in the 1985-86 season.

No. 2 Michigan 64, No. 10 Florida 49

Jordan Poole scored a game-high 19 points and the Wolverines pulled away with an 11-0 run to start the second half as they bagged a win over the Gators in the second round in Des Moines, Iowa.

Isaiah Livers came off the bench to add 10 for Michigan (30-6), which will face No. 3 Texas Tech or No. 6 Buffalo in the West Region semifinals on Thursday in Anaheim, Calif. Michigan, which owned the boards 42-29, overcame 42.1 percent shooting from the field.

Jalen Hudson was the only double-figure scorer for the Gators (20-16) with 11 points, but he made just 4 of 15 shots from the floor and was 3 of 10 from the 3-point line. Florida fired away to no avail, hitting only 19 of 55 field-goal tries (34.5 percent) and 9 of 26 from 3-point range.


No. 2 Michigan State 70, No. 10 Minnesota 50

After failing to get out of the first weekend in each of the previous three seasons, the Spartans started quickly, then followed star guard Cassius Winston to a victory over the Golden Gophers in Des Moines, Iowa.

Michigan State (30-6) advances to the regional semifinals for the 14th time under coach Tom Izzo and for the first time since 2015, when the Spartans reached the Final Four. Winston finished with 13 points and nine assists.

Minnesota, which was without senior Jordan Murphy for all but four minutes due to a bad back, ended its season at 22-14.

No. 3 LSU 69, No. 6 Maryland 67

Tremont Waters made a tie-breaking layup with two seconds left as the Tigers held off the Terrapins in a second-round game in Jacksonville, Fla.

Waters’ basket created the final separation in a tight game in which the score was tied six times in the last 6 1/2 minutes. Defense dominated the game as both teams shot below 40 percent from the floor.

The Tigers (28-6), who edged 14th-seeded Yale 79-74 on Thursday, will face No. 2 seed Michigan State in a regional semifinal next weekend in Washington, D.C. Skylar Mays added 16 points for LSU. Maryland’s season ended at 23-11.


No. 3 Purdue 87, No. 6 Villanova 61

Carsen Edwards recorded career highs with nine 3-pointers and 42 points as the Boilermakers eliminated the defending champion Wildcats with a victory in a second-round game in Hartford, Conn.

Matt Haarms collected 18 points and nine rebounds, and Ryan Cline added 12 points for Purdue (25-9), which went 16-for-30 from 3-point range to advance to the Sweet 16 for the third straight year. Purdue will face the winner of Sunday’s contest between second-seeded Tennessee and No. 10 Iowa.

Eric Paschall scored 19 points and Phil Booth added 15 on 5-of-13 shooting from the field for the sixth-seeded Wildcats (26-10), who were denied in their bid for a third NCAA title in four years.


No. 2 Kentucky 62, No. 7 Wofford 56

Reid Travis scored 14 points, including a pair of clutch free throws, as the Wildcats fended off the Terriers in a second-round game in Jacksonville, Fla.,

Kentucky (29-6) goes to the Sweet 16 on Friday night in Kansas City, Mo., to face either third-seeded Houston or No. 11 Ohio State. The Cougars and Buckeyes play Sunday.

Wofford’s Fletcher Magee, the NCAA’s leader in career 3-point baskets, was 0-for-12 from beyond the arc, including eight misses in the second half. The Southern Conference Player of the Year finished with eight points for the Terriers (30-5), whose school-record 21-game win streak ended.

No. 5 Auburn 89, No. 4 Kansas 75

Senior guard Bryce Brown made his first six shots, five from 3-point range, to ignite a first-half tear as the Tigers crushed the Jayhawks in the second round at Salt Lake City.

The win was the 10th straight for Auburn (28-9), which advanced to the Sweet 16 of the NCAA Tournament for the first time since 2003. The Tigers will head to Kansas City to face the winner of Sunday’s second-round game between No. 1 North Carolina and No. 9 Washington.

Auburn surged to a commanding 51-25 halftime bulge, the worst deficit Kansas has ever faced at the break in 155 NCAA Tournament games. The Jayhawks (26-10) reached double-digit losses for only the second time in 16 seasons under coach Bill Self.

–Field Level Media

Source: OANN

NCAA Basketball: NCAA Tournament-Second Round-Wofford vs Kentucky
Mar 23, 2019; Jacksonville, FL, USA; Wofford Terriers forward Keve Aluma (24) reaches for a rebound while under pressure by Kentucky Wildcats forward EJ Montgomery (left) and forward Reid Travis (right) during the second half in the second round of the 2019 NCAA Tournament at Jacksonville Veterans Memorial Arena. The Kentucky Wildcats won 62-56. Mandatory Credit: John David Mercer-USA TODAY Sports

March 24, 2019

Reid Travis scored 14 points, including a pair of clutch free throws, as No. 2 seed Kentucky fended off No. 7 Wofford 62-56 in an NCAA Tournament Midwest Region second-round game Saturday afternoon in Jacksonville, Fla.,

It took a miserable outing from one of the country’s all-time great shooters to help the Wildcats pull out the victory.

Kentucky (29-6) goes to the Sweet 16 on Friday night in Kansas City, Mo., to face either third-seeded Houston or No. 11 Ohio State.

Freshman Ashton Hagans racked up 12 points for Kentucky, while classmates Keldon Johnson and Tyler Herro both had nine.

Nathan Hoover scored 19 points and Cameron Jackson added 11 for Wofford (30-5), which saw its school-record 21-game winning streak end. Hoover hit 4 of 5 from 3-point range, accounting for half of the Terriers’ successful 3-pointers.

Wofford’s Fletcher Magee, the NCAA’s leader in career 3-point baskets, was 0 for 12 from beyond the arc, including eight misses in the second half. The Southern Conference Player of the Year finished with eight points.

Herro’s 3-pointer and Nick Richards’ free throw nudged Kentucky to a 58-51 lead with 3:36 remaining, but the Wildcats then went more than three minutes without scoring.

Wofford pulled within 58-56 on Keve Aluma’s tip-in at the 40-second mark.

With 18 seconds to play, Travis connected on a pair of free throws to help seal the outcome. He also pulled in a game-high 11 rebounds, matching Aluma’s total.

Wofford opened the second half with a 9-4 run for a 35-32 lead, but once the Wildcats went back on top moments later they never trailed again.

Wofford led 21-15 even though Magee hadn’t registered a point. He didn’t score until the final 30 seconds of the half.

Kentucky played for the second game in a row without team scoring and rebounding leader PJ Washington, a 6-foot-8 sophomore who had his left foot in a cast from an injury sustained in last week’s Southeastern Conference tournament.

Magee’s 3-point total ends at 509.

–Field Level Media

Source: OANN

A ton of people tuned in on CBS to see Duke beat North Dakota State 85-62 Friday night.

According to TVByTheNumbers, 6.2 million people watched Zion Williamson and company stomp all over the Bison in the first round of the NCAA tournament. (RELATED: The March Madness Bracket Has Been Released)

That number led the TV ratings for Friday night by a massive margin and was more than two million more followers than the same time slot Thursday.

This is great news for America. I was a little worried when the ratings took a dive on CBS Thursday. That wasn’t a good sign at all, but it looks like it was a one off event. (RELATED: March Madness TV Ratings On CBS Plummet 26 Percent)

Of course, the Duke Blue Devils are the biggest draw in the sport right now. Even with Kentucky playing Thursday on CBS, I’m not the least bit surprised that Coach K’s squad garnered higher ratings.

Zion Williamson generates massive amounts of attention. It’s just that simple.

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I guess that we can all breathe a little easier knowing that America still loves college basketball.

My friends, that’s great news. Now, let’s grab a beer and get back to the games on this beautiful Saturday.

Follow David Hookstead on Twitter

Source: The Daily Caller

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell expressed relief that special counsel Robert Mueller's investigation has ended, asking for "openness and transparency" moving forward as Department of Justice officials prepare to make the report's findings public.

"I welcome the announcement that the special counsel has finally completed his investigation into Russia's efforts to interfere in the 2016 elections," said McConnell, a Kentucky Republican. "Many Republicans have long believed that Russia poses a significant threat to American interests. I hope the special counsel's report will help inform and improve our efforts to protect our democracy.

"The attorney general has said he intends to provide as much information as possible. As I have said previously, I sincerely hope he will do so as soon as he can, and with as much openness and transparency as possible."

Attorney General William Barr received Mueller's report on Friday, and he wrote to Congressional leaders that he might be able to brief them on the findings as soon as this weekend.

It's still unclear when the report's conclusions will be made public.

"I am grateful we have an experienced and capable attorney general in place to review the special counsel's report," McConnell said. "Attorney General Barr now needs the time to do that."

Source: NewsMax Politics

NCAA Basketball: NCAA Tournament-First Round-Northern Kentucky vs Texas Tech
Mar 22, 2019; Tulsa, OK, USA; Northern Kentucky Norse guard Zaynah Robinson (5) shoots around Texas Tech Red Raiders guard Kyler Edwards (0) during the second half in the first round of the 2019 NCAA Tournament at BOK Center. The Texas Tech Red Raiders won 72-57. Mandatory Credit: Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports

March 22, 2019

Sophomore guard Jarrett Culver recorded 29 points, eight rebounds and seven assists to lead Texas Tech to a 72-57 victory over Northern Kentucky on Friday in West Region first-round play of the NCAA Tournament at Tulsa, Okla.

Senior forward Tariq Owens contributed 12 points and five blocked shots for the third-seeded Red Raiders (27-6). Sophomore guard Davide Moretti had 10 points and senior guard Matt Mooney added nine points, eight assists and five steals.

Texas Tech will face either Buffalo or Arizona State in Sunday’s second round.

Junior guard Tyler Sharpe scored 23 points for the 14th-seeded Norse (26-9). Junior forward Dantez Walton added 11 points and seven rebounds.

Northern Kentucky senior power forward Drew McDonald, the Horizon League Player of the Year, had just five points on 2-of-13 shooting.

The Norse shot 37.1 percent from the field, including 5 of 22 from 3-point range. Sharpe was 4 of 7 from long range.

Northern Kentucky was hurt by 17 turnovers while falling to 0-2 in NCAA Tournament play.

“I thought we stayed committed to defense, it was one of our better games,” Red Raiders coach Chris Beard said of the defensive performance in a postgame interview with TNT. “We guarded the 3-point line with urgency.”

Culver went 3 of 5 from 3-point range as the Red Raiders were 6 of 17 overall. Texas Tech shot 52.8 percent from the field.

The Norse were within three early in the second half before Texas Tech used a 13-3 burst to open up a 47-34 advantage with 14:15 remaining.

A short time later, Mooney knocked down a jumper to give the Red Raiders a 53-38 lead with 11:03 left.

Culver buried a straight-away 3-point to increase the advantage to 60-43 with 8:35 to play.

Texas Tech increased its lead to 70-50 on a layup by Moretti with 2:37 remaining.

Culver scored 12 first-half points as Texas Tech led 30-26 at the break.

The Red Raiders scored the first six points but Northern Kentucky recovered to take a 13-12 edge on Sharpe’s 3-pointer with 11:24 remaining.

Texas Tech rattled off eight straight points and 13 of the next 17 to open up an eight-point lead.

–Field Level Media

Source: OANN

Chris Cassidy, who leads United Parcel Service's (UPS) global healthcare logistics strategy, is seen at the package delivery firm's Worldport sorting facility in Louisville, Kentucky
Chris Cassidy, who leads United Parcel Service’s (UPS) global healthcare logistics strategy, is seen at the package delivery firm’s Worldport sorting facility in Louisville, Kentucky, U.S., February 5, 2019. Picture taken February 5, 2019. REUTERS/Lisa Baertlein

March 22, 2019

By Lisa Baertlein and Michael Erman

LOUISVILLE, Ky. – United Parcel Service Inc wants to get beyond U.S. doorsteps with a new push into healthcare.

The world’s largest package delivery firm is preparing to test a U.S. service that dispatches nurses to vaccinate adults in their homes, Reuters has learned, as the company and its healthcare clients work to fend off cost pressures and competitive threats from

UPS did not disclose which vaccines it would be using in the project, but drug and vaccine maker Merck & Co told Reuters it is looking at partnering with the company for the initiative.

The project, previously unreported, shows how UPS is targeting a larger slice of the $85 billion outsourced healthcare logistics market. Deutsche Post’s DHL Group dominates the market, which is expected to grow to $105 billion by 2021.

“Over-the-threshold services is where the world is headed,” Chris Cassidy, who joined UPS last year from GlaxoSmithKline PLC to oversee global healthcare logistics strategy, told Reuters in an interview at UPS’ Worldport facility in Louisville.

Here is how the test, slated to launch later this year, will operate: Workers in UPS’ 1.7 million-square-foot healthcare complex at Worldport will package and ship the vaccine to one of the more 4,700 franchised U.S. UPS stores. A home health nurse contracted by UPS’ clinical trial logistics unit known as Marken will collect the insulated package, transport it the “last mile” to the patient’s home and administer the vaccine, which will target a viral illness in adults.

The aim of the test is to “see if we can connect all these dots,” said Wes Wheeler, chief executive at Marken, which was purchased by UPS in 2016 and is overseeing the vaccine project.

It comes as the parcel delivery industry braces for the impact of a cooling economy and competition from customer-turned-rival Amazon, which is building its own logistics network to contain the swelling cost of dropping millions of packages at shoppers’ homes.

UPS healthcare customers, facing political scrutiny over high drug prices and systemic waste, are also under pressure from Amazon.

The world’s biggest online retailer is teaming up with Berkshire Hathaway and JPMorgan Chase & Co to lower prescription drug costs for their employees. And, it rocked the sector last year with its roughly $1 billion purchase of specialty online pharmacy PillPack.

Experts say raising low U.S. adult vaccination rates would reduce healthcare spending by curbing preventable illnesses that result in doctor visits and hospitalizations.

Merck, a major UPS healthcare customer, has a portfolio of vaccines for viral illnesses ranging from shingles and hepatitis B to the flu. Spokeswoman Pamela Eisele said the company is considering the project as it looks for new ways to increase access to its medicines and vaccines and boost adult vaccine rates.

Experts said the UPS project could also save money by having contract home nurses, rather than higher paid doctors, administer the vaccine. But the test, a first for a large U.S. shipper, is not a guaranteed slam dunk for UPS: Marken’s CEO said it must figure out how to get medical insurers to pay for the new service.


UPS, DHL and specialty shippers have a smattering of home health projects around the world – mostly in countries with single-payer health systems.

DHL, the healthcare logistics leader with annual medical-related revenue of more than 3 billion euros ($3.4 billion), transports U.K. patients from home to non-emergency hospital appointments.

Polar Speed, a U.K. specialty logistics company UPS bought in 2014, has trained and background-checked drivers who enter homes to drop off prescriptions, deliver and install medical refrigerators and infusion pumps, and remove waste such as used syringes and wound dressings.

Pharmaceutical companies already pay Marken to give vaccines to patients testing their experimental drugs.

Cathy Morrow Roberson, who founded consulting firm Logistics Trends & Insights after working for more than a decade as an analyst at Atlanta-based UPS, said the vaccine project taps the assets and expertise the company has acquired since getting into healthcare in the early 2000s.

“They’re reaping the benefits of all the acquisitions and investments they’ve made,” she said.

The effort is designed to put even more distance between UPS and Amazon, which lacks the specialized warehouse, temperature-controlled shipping and regulatory infrastructure that healthcare companies require. Amazon currently uses UPS and FedEx Corp for PillPack home deliveries.

Major insurers contacted by Reuters declined to say what they pay to have vaccines administered. But an analysis of 2010 MarketScan health claims data sheds some light on the subject – finding that the average cost of a shingles shot was $208.72 at a doctor’s office and $168.50 at a pharmacy. Flu shots cost less than $30 at both locations. The provider of that data declined to update it.

Delivering home vaccines at a competitive price may not be the only hurdle to the UPS project’s success, said Stephen Buck, chief executive of Courage Health and a former vice president at McKesson Corp.

“Pharmacies and physicians may not be happy about a new player competing against them,” Buck said.

(Reporting by Lisa Baertlein in Louisville, Ky., additional reporting by Emma Thomasson in; Berlin and Mike Erman and Caroline Humer in New York; Editing by Edward Tobin)

Source: OANN

NCAA Basketball: NCAA Tournament-First Round- Marquette vs Murray State
Mar 21, 2019; Hartford, CT, USA; Murray State Racers guard Ja Morant (12) reacts during a time out during the second half of a game against the Marquette Golden Eagles in the first round of the 2019 NCAA Tournament at XL Center. Mandatory Credit: Robert Deutsch-USA TODAY Sports

March 22, 2019

Star sophomore point guard Ja Morant had 17 points, 16 assists and 11 rebounds for the first triple-double in NCAA Tournament play since 2012 to help Murray State roll to a convincing 83-64 victory over Marquette on Thursday in West Regional play at Hartford, Conn.

Morant dominated the contest from the outset despite taking just nine shots. He recorded his fourth career triple-double as 12th-seeded Murray State (28-4) roughed up the fifth-seeded Golden Eagles (24-10). The previous triple-double in NCAA play was achieved by Michigan State’s Draymond Green, who had 24 points, 12 rebounds and 10 assists in a victory over LIU-Brooklyn.

Freshman guard Tevin Brown made five 3-point baskets and scored a team-best 19 points as the Racers won their 12th straight game. Freshman forward KJ Williams had 16 points, and senior guard Shaq Buchanan added 14 for Murray State, who will face fourth-seeded Florida State on Saturday in the second round.

Junior guard Markus Howard scored 26 points for Marquette, which lost for the sixth time in the past seven games. Junior forward Sam Hauser recorded 16 points and 10 rebounds.


No. 1 Gonzaga 87, No. 16 Fairleigh Dickinson 49

Rui Hachimura scored 21 points, Killian Tillie had a season-high 17 and the top-seeded Bulldogs dominated from the start in a beat-down of the Knights at Salt Lake City. Gonzaga set a school record for margin of victory in an NCAA Tournament game.

Brandon Clarke had 14 points, nine rebounds and three blocks for the Bulldogs. He combined with fellow frontcourt players Hachimura and Tillie to make 21 of 32 shots. Gonzaga (31-3) will play in Saturday’s second round against the winner between No. 8 seed Syracuse and No. 9 Baylor.

Fairleigh Dickinson (21-14) got 10 points apiece from Elyjah Williams and Mike Holloway Jr.

No. 4 Florida State 76, No. 13 Vermont 69

Sophomore power forward Mfiondu Kabengele recorded 21 points and 10 rebounds to lead the Seminoles to a first-round victory over the Catamounts at Hartford, Conn.

Senior guard Terance Mann scored 17 of his 19 points in the second half as the Seminoles (28-7) controlled the final 11 1/2 minutes.

Junior forward Anthony Lamb scored 16 points for the Catamounts (27-7), who dropped to 2-7 all-time in NCAA Tournament play. Sophomore guards Stef Smith and Ben Shungu, along with senior guard Ernie Duncan, all scored 15 points apiece.

No. 10 Florida 70, No. 7 Nevada 61

Kevarrius Hayes scored 16 points to help the Gators produce a victory over the Wolf Pack at Des Moines, Iowa.

Jalen Hudson added 15 points for Florida (20-15). Keyontae Johnson recorded 10 points and 10 rebounds, and KeVaughn Allen also scored 10 points. The Gators will face either second-seeded Michigan or 15th-seeded Montana on Saturday in the second round.

Cody Martin scored 23 points, and Caleb Martin added 19 points for the Wolf Pack (29-5). Nevada shot just 34.5 percent from the field, including 5 of 24 from 3-point range.


No. 2 Michigan State 76, No. 15 Bradley 65

Cassius Winston scored 26 points to lead the Spartans to a victory over the Braves in Des Moines, Iowa.

Winston made all eight of his free throws and the Spartans (29-6) finished 25 of 26 at the stripe. Xavier Tillman had 16 points and 11 rebounds and Matt McQuaid added 10 points. Michigan State will next face No. 10 Minnesota on Saturday.

Elijah Childs scored 19 to lead Bradley (20-15), the tournament champions from the Missouri Valley Conference who were back in the NCAA Tournament for the first time in 13 years. Darrell Brown added 17 points, Dwayne Lautier-Ogunleye scored 14 and the Braves made nine 3-pointers to keep the game close.

No. 3 LSU 79, No. 14 Yale 74

Naz Reid and Kavell Bigby-Williams both had double-doubles as the Tigers used their superior size to hold off the Bulldogs in Jacksonville, Fla.

LSU (27-6), playing without coach Will Wade — suspended while the school investigates possible NCAA violations — will play sixth-seeded Maryland in the second round Saturday. Maryland beat 11th-seeded Belmont 79-77 on Thursday.

Reid had 14 points and 10 rebounds, Bigby-Williams had 10 points and 10 rebounds, Skylar Mays added 19 points and Tremont Waters scored 15. Alex Copeland led the Bulldogs (22-8) with 24 points, Jordan Bruner scored 16 and Azar Swain had 12 off the bench.

No. 6 Maryland 79, No. 11 Northeastern 77

Jalen Smith and Bruno Fernando had double-doubles as the Terrapins edged the Bruins in Jacksonville, Fla.

Smith had 19 points and 12 rebounds and Fernando added 14 points and 13 rebounds. Darryl Morsell scored 18 and Eric Ayala added 12 as the Terrapins (23-10) prevailed in a back-and-forth game.

Dylan Windler had 35 points and 11 rebounds and Kevin McClain scored 19 to lead Belmont (27-6), which defeated Temple 81-70 in a play-in game Tuesday in Dayton, Ohio. The Bruins fell 10 points short of their scoring average of 87.4, which is second to only Gonzaga in Division I.

No. 10 Minnesota 86, No. 7 Louisville 76

Gabe Kalscheur scored 24 points to lead the Golden Gophers to a victory over the Cardinals in Des Moines, Iowa. The Gophers (22-13) won their first tournament game since 2013 when they opened with a victory over UCLA.

Kalscheur was 5 of 11 from 3-point range as Minnesota made 11 triples, its second-highest total all season. Jordan Murphy and Amir Coffey scored 18 points each while Daniel Oturu and Dupree McBrayer each scored 13 for the Gophers.

Louisville (20-14) entered the game having won just two of its last seven games and could never seize the momentum against Minnesota. Christen Cunningham scored 22 to lead the Cardinals while Steven Enoch scored 14. Darius Perry added 12 points while Jordan Nwora scored 10 and grabbed 11 rebounds.


No. 2 Kentucky 79, No. 15 Abilene Christian 44

Keldon Johnson poured in 25 points, and Kentucky pounded Abilene Christian in a battle of Wildcats at Jacksonville, Fla. Kentucky played without team scoring and rebounding leader PJ Washington, who had his left foot in a cast from an injury sustained in last week’s Southeastern Conference tournament.

Kentucky’s Reid Travis, a graduate transfer from Stanford in his first NCAA Tournament game, racked up 18 points on 8-for-10 shooting, and freshman Tyler Herro added 14 points. Kentucky (28-6) plays Seton Hall or Wofford in the second round.

Jaren Lewis scored 17 points for Abilene Christian (27-7). Lewis shot 7 of 12 from the field, while the rest of his teammates were a combined 10 of 41.

No. 5 Auburn 78, No. 12 New Mexico State 77

Jared Harper scored a game-high 17 points as the Tigers survived potential game-winning free throws by the Aggies to win in Salt Lake City.

Auburn (27-9) took a 13-point lead with 7:10 left but committed six turnovers after that and was hanging on to a 78-76 lead with 6.0 seconds left after Samir Doughty made the second of two free-throw attempts.

The Aggies’ Terrell Brown missed a 3-point shot but was fouled with 1.7 seconds left. He missed the first, made the second and his third attempt went in and out, with the rebound going out of bounds to New Mexico State (30-5) with 1.1 seconds to go and Auburn up one. Trevelin Queen, off a screen, got an open look from the left corner but shot an airball.

No. 4 Kansas 87, No. 13 Northeastern 53

Junior forward Dedric Lawson recorded 25 points and 11 rebounds as the Jayhawks trounced the Huskies at Salt Lake City.

The Jayhawks (26-9) extended their streak of first-round wins to 13 while making their 30th consecutive NCAA appearance, a tournament record. Kansas advances to play No. 5 Auburn on Saturday.

Kansas also was stingy defensively, holding the Huskies (23-11) to 28.1 percent shooting. Northeastern’s leading scorer, senior guard Vasa Pusica, was held to seven points (10 below his average) on 2-of-13 shooting. Junior guard Jordan Roland paced Northeastern with 12 points.


No. 6 Villanova 61, No. 11 Saint Mary’s 57

Phil Booth scored 20 points as the Wildcats posted a victory over the Gaels at Hartford, Conn.

Booth shot 7 of 13 from the field and added 14 points for reigning NCAA champion Villanova (26-9), which advances to face third-seeded Purdue or 14th-seeded Old Dominion.

Jermaine Samuels finished with 12 points to help Villanova gain a measure of revenge after being bounced by Saint Mary’s in the second round of the 2010 NCAA Tournament. Jordan Ford and Malik Fitts each scored 13 points for the Gaels (22-12).

–Field Level Media

Source: OANN

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