Tennessee Basketball Is Hit and Miss in NCAA Tournament

By Rose Street

RALEIGH, N.C. (AP/UTC The Loop) — The ACC’s national championship hopes now come down to one school: Virginia.

Meanwhile, Tennessee — one of the three SEC schools still in the field — came to Tobacco Road and turned it into Raleigh Top.

The Cavaliers and Volunteers cruised into the NCAA tournament’s round of 16 with lopsided victories Sunday night: Tennessee routed Mercer 83-63 before Virginia beat Memphis 78-60.

No. 11 seed Tennessee (24-12) will play second-seeded Michigan in a Midwest Regional semifinal Friday night in Indianapolis.

Virginia (30-6), the top seed in the East Region, will face fourth-seeded Michigan State in a semifinal that night in New York.

The Volunteers and Cavaliers restored some semblance of order after an unpredictable first day in the heart of ACC country.

It began Friday when Mercer beat Duke for the signature upset of the tournament, included Tennessee’s 19-point victory over Massachusetts and continued through Memphis’ tight win over George Washington.

The Vols had an easy time beating those Bears on Sunday and ended Mercer’s pursuit of a second straight Sweet 16 appearance for a tournament darling from the low-major Atlantic Sun Conference.

With “Rocky Top” echoing throughout PNC Arena all night, Tennessee outrebounded the Bears 41-19 — 24-4 in the first half — led by Jarnell Stokes, who broke the school’s NCAA tournament rebounding record he set two days earlier against Massachusetts.

Stokes had 17 points and a career-high-tying 18 rebounds against Mercer, after grabbing 14 boards against UMass.

“Any time we have Jeronne (Maymon) and Jarnell wearing Tennessee orange,” teammate Jordan McRae said, “we always feel like we have the advantage.”

Tennessee’s win helped the football-first SEC improve to 7-0 in this tournament. The Vols joined No. 1 overall seed Florida and Kentucky in the regional semifinals.

“I’ve been hearing that the SEC has been a football conference for a long time, but I don’t know how you can still say that when you’ve got three SEC schools in the Sweet 16,” McRae said.

Mercer was trying to match last year’s Florida Gulf Coast team in parlaying an Atlantic Sun title into a spot in the NCAA tournament’s second weekend, and become the first No. 14 seed to make the round of 16 since Chattanooga in 1997.

But the senior-laden Bears (27-9) trailed by double figures for the entire second half and couldn’t conjure another fantastic finish.

“I think hopefully by the time (reality) sets in, we’ll all be able to put a smile on and realize that what we’ve been able to do at our school, and for the city, has been phenomenal,” forward Jakob Gollon said. “It’s kind of hard to see right now.”

Mercer’s win over Duke was the most surprising in a series of losses this weekend for the ACC, which has only one team left standing — and it’s not traditional power North Carolina or heavyweight newcomer Syracuse.

“Lot of pride” in that, guard Malcolm Brogdon said.

The league champion Cavaliers were in control throughout against Memphis, leading by 15 at halftime and going up by 27 late while earning their first regional semifinal appearance since 1995.

Joe Harris scored 16 points and Anthony Gill added 13 for the Cavaliers, who hold a No. 1 seed for the first time since Ralph Sampson wore orange and blue.

Austin Nichols scored 15 points for the Tigers (23-10), whose season ended on the opening weekend of the tournament for the fourth straight year.

“Virginia came out, played Virginia basketball, out-toughed us, out-aggressived us,” Memphis guard Goren Johnson said. “They made shots. Every time we made a mistake, they capitalized on it with a bucket. There’s no excuses.”

 

Copyright 2014 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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Tennessee headed to Sweet Sixteen after beating Mercer 83-63

By Andrew Carney

RALEIGH, N.C. (AP/UTC The Loop) — Mercer couldn’t have picked a better matchup for its first NCAA tournament game — or a worse one for its second one.

The Bears’ tournament run came to a decisive end Sunday night when Tennessee routed them 83-63.

Mercer pulled the signature upset of the tournament two days earlier by knocking off Duke.

But the 14th-seeded Bears had no answers for a powerful Tennessee inside game. They were outrebounded 41-19.

Someday they’ll appreciate what they accomplished by ousting the Blue Devils.

Just not yet.

“I think hopefully by the time (reality) sets in, we’ll all be able to put a smile on and realize that what we’ve been able to do at our school, and for the city, has been phenomenal,” forward Jakob Gollon said. “It’s kind of hard to see right now.”

Jarnell Stokes had 17 points and a career-high-tying 18 rebounds for Tennessee. Josh Richardson had a career-high 26 points and Antonio Barton had 18 for the 11th-seeded Vols (24-12), who are making the most of their first tournament appearance since 2011.

“NIT two straight years, I guess that’s what you’d call starting from the bottom,” Stokes said. “A lot of people doubted us, and that just makes the ride much better.”

This rout followed the same script as their 19-point thumping of Massachusetts two days earlier: They outrebounded Mercer 41-19 to keep the Southeastern Conference perfect in the tournament.

They joined Florida and Kentucky in the regional semifinals — the first time three SEC teams made it that far since 2007.

“I’ve been hearing that the SEC has been a football conference for a long time but I don’t know how you can still say that when you’ve got three SEC schools in the Sweet 16,” Tennessee guard Jordan McRae said.

Tennessee will face second-seeded Michigan (27-8) in a Midwest Regional semifinal Friday night in Indianapolis.

Stokes broke his 2-day-old school tournament record for rebounds.

Langston Hall had 15 points to lead the Bears (27-9) of the Atlantic Sun.

Mercer trailed by double figures for the entire second half before the Bears threatened to give themselves yet another fantastic finish.

They had the ball down 12 with about 2½ minutes left when Gollon — one of the heroes of the Duke upset two days earlier — threw the ball away in the lane, then fouled out a few seconds later.

McRae hit two free throws, and Richardson added a fast-break layup to push the Tennessee lead to 77-61 with 1½ minutes left.

McRae finished with 13 points for the Volunteers, who have won eight of nine with the only loss coming to the top-ranked Gators in the SEC tournament.

They are in the round of 16 for the fourth time in eight years, and the third team to go from the First Four to the Sweet 16 since the introduction of the extra round in 2011.

They also got a bit of payback: Mercer ended Tennessee’s season last year with a 75-67 win in the first round of the NIT.

Ike Nwamu scored 12 points, Anthony White Jr. had 11 and big man Daniel Coursey added 10 for Mercer, the plucky Atlantic Sun Conference school trying to match Florida Gulf Coast’s run last year to the regional semifinals.

They were bigger, more experienced and more precise than a Duke team loaded with high school All-Americans and a leaky defense, carving them up down the stretch in a 78-71 victory that ranks among the top upsets in the history of the tournament.

Mercer starts five seniors and has seven on the roster — but the Bears were down one with 6-foot-11 Monty Brown out with a possible concussion.

Even with him, a Tennessee team with Stokes — who set the school’s short-lived tournament record with 14 rebounds in that 86-67 rout of UMass — was going to be a challenge.

Without him, it was nearly impossible.

“It’s hard to match up with them, but at the end of the day, mainly it was probably my fault towards the end,” Coursey said. “They had a lot of rebounds, and I should have boxed them out.”

___

Follow Joedy McCreary on Twitter at http://twitter.com/joedyap

 

Copyright 2014 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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Bode Miller breaks down during NBC interview

Bode Miller was obviously emotional after winning the bronze in Sunday’s super-G, showing tears in his eyes in virtually every photo taken of him.
Bode Miller and his wife Morgan Beth after the race

Bode Miller and his wife Morgan Beth after the race

The surprise medal came after a long year in which Miller lost his younger brother. From CBS Sports:

The guy who for years and years insisted results don’t mean much to him declared he actually did care about this one. The last year has been a difficult one for Miller: the death of his younger brother, Chelone, in April 2013; the court fight over custody of his infant son; the work it took to come back from left knee surgery and return to the Alpine apex.

“It’s almost therapeutic for me to be in these situations, where I really had to test myself, so I was happy to have it be on the right side of the hundredths,” said Miller, who grew up in New Hampshire and is now based in California. “Some days … medals don’t matter, and today was one of the ones where it does.”

He wiped away tears in the finish area after someone mentioned Chelone, a charismatic snowboarder who was 29 and hoping to make the U.S. team in Sochi when he died of what was believed to be a seizure.

 

Fighting back tears, Miller joined NBC reporter Christin Cooper for a post-race interview and things went off the rails as Cooper asked multiple questions about Miller’s dead brother as the skier became more and more upset.

Watch the video: Bode Miller on TODAY

 

 

Deadspin published a transcript of the interview, which left Miller bent over the fence in tears.

Cooper: For a guy who said the medals don’t really matter, they aren’t “the thing,” you’ve amassed quite a collection. What does this one mean to you in terms of all the others?

Miller: This was a little different. With my brother passing away, I really wanted to come back here and race the way he sends it. So this was a little different.

Cooper: Bode, you’re showing so much emotion down here. What’s going through your mind?

Miller: A lot, obviously. Just a long struggle coming in here. Just a tough year.

Cooper: I know you wanted to be here with Chelly experiencing these games, how much does it mean to you to come up with a great performance for him? And was it for him?

Miller: I mean, I don’t know if it’s really for him. But I wanted to come here and…I don’t know, I guess make myself proud.

Cooper: When you’re looking up in the sky at the start, we see you there and it looks like you’re talking to somebody. What’s going on there?

Cooper is taking heat for her rough interview tactics.

Bode Miller is overcome with emotion after his bronze-medal run

Bode Miller is overcome with emotion after his bronze-medal run

 

Miller is taking the high road, asking via Twitter Monday morning for people to ease up on Cooper.

 

And he clearly wasn’t holding the interview against NBC, Miller made an appearance on “Today.”

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Welcome to our humble A’Bode: Breakdown after the Bronze

By: Kelli, Alex and Ariel

SOCHI, RUSSIA – (UTC/TheLoop) — Olympic Medalist gets emotional after winning Bronze

How far is too far? Bode Miller’s moment in the spotlight at the Sochi Olympics took a turn for the uncomfortable when a reporter, NBC’s Christin Cooper, brought him to tears with repeated questions about his brother Chelone, who died of an apparent seizure in April 2013.

Miller was already emotional when he walked over to talk with Cooper after winning bronze at the men’s super-G event on Sunday, Feb. 16. Speaking about the significance of these Olympics compared with others in which he’d competed, the 36-year-old athlete said he wanted to come back and do right by his brother.

“Bode, you’re showing so much emotion down here. What’s going through your mind?” Cooper asked, according to a transcript from USA Today.
“A lot, obviously,” he replied. “A long struggle coming in here. And, uh, just a tough year.”
“I know you wanted to be here with Chilly experiencing these games. How much does it meant to you to come up with a great performance for him?” Cooper said. “And was it for him?”
“I mean, I don’t know if it’s really for him. But I wanted to come here and, uh, I don’t know, I guess, make myself proud,” Miller answered, wiping away tears.

Cooper then asked yet another follow-up question about Chelone, which proved to be too much for Miller to take. “When you’re looking up in the sky at the start,” she began, “we see you there, and it just looks like you’re talking to somebody. What’s going on there?”
At that, Miller broke down and dropped his head, unable to continue the interview. Cooper apologized, but viewers skewered her on Twitter, saying she’d gone too far and should have been more sensitive.

@bodemiller

@bodemiller

Miller, for his part, defended her tactics. “I appreciate everyone sticking up for me. Please be gentle w/ Christin Cooper, it was crazy emotional and not all her fault,” he tweeted on Sunday. “My emotions were very raw, she asked the questions that every interviewer would have. Pushing is part of it, she wasn’t trying to cause pain.”
Addressing the incident further on the Today show on Monday, Feb. 17, he told Matt Lauer that he had no hard feelings toward Cooper. “I have known Christin a long time, and she’s a sweetheart of a person,” he said. “I know she didn’t mean to push. I don’t think she really anticipated what my reaction was going to be, and I think by the time she realized it, it was too late. I don’t blame her at all.”

He continued: “I feel terrible that she’s taking the heat for that because it really was just a heat-of-the-moment kind of circumstance. I don’t think there was any harm intended. It was just a lot of emotion for me…You sometimes don’t realize how much you can contain that stuff until the dam breaks, and then it’s just a real outpouring.”

 

 

http://www.usmagazine.com/celebrity-news/news/bode-miller-breaks-down-over-brothers-death-in-olympics-interview-defends-reporter-against-backlash-2014172

 

 

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Superstitious Mocs? Think Again

Junior Lance Stokes against Samford

Junior Lance Stokes against Samford

CHATTANOOGA, Tenn (UTC/The Loop) – Whether it’s Michael Jordan wearing his North Carolina shorts under his uniform or Jason Terry wearing five pairs of socks during every game, athletes are known for their superstitions.

The Mocs men’s basketball team is currently number two in the Southern Conference with a 9-2 record. There is no doubt that they are great athletes, but some of the players have their own good luck charms and superstitions.

Lance Stokes, a 6-foot-7 forward from Orlando, Fla. said, “I like to wear the same shoes during home games and the same tights under my shorts.” He also said that he likes to talk to his dad before games, but plays just as great even if he doesn’t.

The team is focusing on finishing the season in first place and making it to the NCAA basketball tournament.

Director of Basketball Relations Brooks Savage, who works directly with the team, says that he isn’t really superstitious on game days. Savage said, “I think everybody tries to keep things consistent in their preparation, whether it’s listening to the same music, or whatever, I think we all just try to feel comfortable and relaxed leading up to game time.”

With the Southern Conference Basketball Tournament just one month away, the upcoming games are crucial. Staying focused, motivated, and playing well are the top priorities for the team.

Stokes said that, “The team stays motivated by wanting to finish the year number one in the league, wanting to win a ring, and wanting to go to the NCAA tournament.”

The Southern Conference Basketball Tournaments start March 7 and the NCAA Tournament starts March 16 with Selection Sunday. The Mocs, with or without their superstitions, are expected to play great and finish the season strong.

Photos by Dale Rutemeyer

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A Good Career Move For Scott Stallings

Stallings won at Torrey Pines Sunday by a single stroke

Stallings won at Torrey Pines Sunday by a single stroke

By: Cody Dowler

SAN DIEGO (AP/The Loop) — Scott Stallings had ambitions to be a baseball player until the Sunday afternoon he sat down to the watch the 1997 Masters with his father.

He watched Tiger Woods demolish Augusta National and the field to win by 12 shots with the lowest score ever.

For a 12-year-old in Tennessee, it was inspirational.

“At that moment, I quit everything, every sport I was playing, and said, ‘That’s what I want to go do.’ And every one of my friends thought I was crazy,” Stallings said.

On Sunday, he put his name on the same trophy that Woods has won so many times.

It wasn’t a replica of the Augusta National clubhouse or even a green jacket, but it was no less special.

Stallings crushed a 4-iron from 222 yards that barely cleared the water on the par-5 18th green and left him two putts from 40 feet for a birdie that gave him a one-shot victory in the Farmers Insurance Open.

Woods, the defending champion and seven-time winner of this event, wasn’t around to see it. He missed the 54-hole cut on Saturday, an oddity in its own right and especially because Stallings’ biggest win before that was at The Greenbrier Classic, where Woods missed the 36-hole cut.

Stallings’ seventh birdie of the final round gave him a 4-under 68 and capped a wild day in which eight players had a reasonable chance to win in the final hour.

K.J. Choi had the low round of the tournament on the brutal South Course with a 6-under 66 to post the target at 8-under par. Jason Day and Graham DeLaet each made birdie on the last hole for 68s to join Choi.

Pat Perez, the San Diego native who used to pick balls on the practice range during the tournament when he was a kid, watched with a pained expression and a few choice words when a 12-foot par putt on the 16th and a 10-foot birdie putt on the 17th narrowly missed. He made birdie on No. 18 to tie for second.

“It’s great and bad,” Perez said about his runner-up finish. “This is the one I want to win more than anything in the world, and I came up short. … I thought today would have been my day. I would like to be in that position again.”

Marc Leishman of Australia had the last chance to catch Stallings. His drive onto a cart path right of the 18th fairway bounced off a fan and kept him 260 yards from the green — he might not have gone for it, anyway — and his birdie made it a five-way tie for second.

But no one squandered a chance like Gary Woodland. He was one shot behind with two holes to play — one of them the 18th, which he can reach in two easily — only to pull his tee shot on the 17th into a canyon and three-putt from long range for double bogey.

“This will be hard to swallow,” Woodland said. “I felt like I kind of gave one away today.”

Woodland, who had a one-shot lead going into the final round, closed with a 74. He tied for 10th, a testament to how packed it was at the top. Nine players had at least a share of the lead at some point. Nineteen players were separated by two shots on the back nine. One of them was Jordan Spieth, who had bogeys on three of his last four holes for a 75 to tie for 19th.

For all the emphasis on missed opportunities, it was won by a guy was only thinking about winning — but only after remembering a loss.

It was one year and one week ago that Stallings, who had a five-shot lead going into the final round of the Humana Challenge, came to the 18th hole needing a birdie. He hit a 6-iron from 220 yards, not accounting for the ball being slightly above his feet, and he watched it sail left and bound into the water.

That’s what he was thinking about Sunday when he had 222 yards to the front and was between 4-iron and hybrid to clear the water.

“I actually thought about 18 at Humana the whole time on 18 today,” Stallings said. “Not that I was like, ‘Oh, don’t hit it in the water,’ but it was, ‘Just make sure you pay attention to everything that’s going on.’”

And he did. The cool Pacific air. The hanging lie. Knowing that anything too long would make birdie just as hard as if he laid up. Only he wasn’t about to lay up.

“I was playing to win,” he said.

His caddie, Jon Yarbrough (whom Woodland fired late last year), told him to play it a little back in his stance and hit it as hard as he wanted. Stallings worried only about solid contact, and it was enough to clear the water before trickling back just off the green.

Yarbrough told him, “Let’s see what you’ve got.” Stallings had experience from a failure, which he attributes to his win on Sunday.

And he had his name on a list with Woods, the guy who inspired him to get started.

“Having my name close to his in a great event that he’s obviously dominated is pretty awesome,” Stallings said.

Better yet, that win earned him a trip back to the Masters.

See the final leader board here and the PGA Tour 2014 schedule here

 

Copyright 2014 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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Leave the Biebs Alone, that’s somebody’s daughter.

 

By: Alex Givens
Miami, Florida (AP/Theloop) – MIAMI BEACH, Fla. (AP) — Justin Bieber’s mug shot hints at the boy-next-door image he’s carefully crafted over the past several years, with a glistening smile and professionally upswept hair.
But the red jail jumpsuit also visible in the photo tells a different story, one about the singer’s recent troubles and emergence as a bad boy. The 19-year-old pop star is facing possible jail time after his arrest in Florida on charges of driving under the influence, resisting arrest and driving with an expired license.

Still, as he has been so many times since achieving stardom at age 15, Bieber was swarmed by crowds of news media and screaming young girls as he left jail Thursday afternoon. He popped through a window of his black SUV in a black hoodie and sunglasses to wave back.

Police said they arrested a bleary-eyed Bieber — smelling of alcohol — after officers saw him drag-racing before dawn Thursday on a palm-lined residential street in Miami Beach, his yellow Lamborghini traveling at nearly twice the speed limit.

He was arrested early Thursday with R&B singer Khalil Amir Sharieff, after police saw them racing two luxury vehicles down the street at 4:09 a.m., with two other vehicles apparently being used to block off the area.

The 19-year-old singer later admitted smoking marijuana, drinking and taking a prescription medication, police said.

Police Chief Ray Martinez said the singer was initially not cooperative when the officer pulled him over. Martinez said the singer also had an expired Georgia driver’s license.

Police said Bieber was driving the Lamborghini and Sharieff was driving a Ferrari. Both cars were towed. Police say Bieber was clocked at nearly double the area’s 30-mph speed limit near a high school, youth center, golf course, city firehouse and small apartment buildings.

According to the arrest report, Bieber “had slow deliberate movements” and appeared to be in a stupor when the officer ordered him to exit his vehicle. Bieber was arrested after repeatedly refusing to put his hands on his vehicle so the officer could pat him down to look for weapons, the report said. It says he cursed several times at the officer and demanded to know why he was being arrested. At one point, Bieber said to an officer: “What the f— did I do, why did you stop me?”

The Biebs resisting arrest.

The Biebs resisting arrest.

Bieber failed a field sobriety test and was taken to the Miami Beach police station for a Breathalyzer, police said. Results haven’t been released.

“I think this case will proceed hopefully as any other case would proceed,” said Bieber’s attorney, Roy Black, whose other celebrity clients have included Rush Limbaugh and William Kennedy Smith.

Under Florida law, people under the age of 21 are considered to be driving under the influence if they have a blood-alcohol content of 0.02 percent or more — a level the 5-foot-9, 140-pound star could reach with one drink.

For a first DUI offense, there is no minimum jail sentence and a maximum of six months, a fine of $250 to $500, and 50 hours of community service. For anyone under 21, there is an automatic six-month license suspension.

A Miami-Dade County judge set Bieber’s bond at $2,500 Thursday afternoon. Sharieff’s bond was set at $1,000 for a DUI charge.

Bieber reportedly spent far more money at a Miami strip club Monday night, when the King of Diamonds club tweeted that Bieber ordered $75,000 in dollar bills. The club’s operator later acknowledged that was an exaggeration and that the singer only stayed about an hour.

Bieber and his large entourage were escorted to a closed-off section of the club. They enjoyed the dancers and ordered a large amount of bottled water, but no alcoholic beverages were sold to them, said Ricky “Disco Rick” Taylor in a statement.

“He had a lot of fun,” Taylor said. “We hope he returns again.”

The Canadian-born Bieber was only 15 when his platinum-selling debut “My World” was released. His brand was clean-cut and charming, earning him an invitation to sing for President Barack Obama and his family at Christmas. But his image tarnished as he got older.

Bieber has been accused of wrongdoing in California but has never been arrested or charged. He is currently under investigation in a felony vandalism case after a neighbor reported the pop star threw eggs at his house and caused thousands of dollars of damage.

A neighbor had previously accused Bieber of spitting in his face, and a paparazzo called deputies after he said Bieber kicked him, but prosecutors declined to file charges in either instance. He was also accused of reckless driving in his neighborhood, but in October prosecutors refused to seek charges because it was unclear whether Bieber was driving.

His arrest in Miami is unlikely to affect the egg-throwing investigation, which included nearly a dozen detectives searching Bieber’s home last week searching for video surveillance and other evidence that could be used to pursue a vandalism charge.

Bieber is also being sued by a former bodyguard who says the singer repeatedly berated him, hit him in the chest and owes him more than $420,000 in overtime and other wages. The case is scheduled to go to trial in Los Angeles next month.

Bieber’s arrival in Florida earlier this week also is under investigation. Authorities in the suburban Miami city of Opa-locka are investigating whether the singer was given a police escort when he landed Monday at the Opa-locka Executive Airport.

Police escorts from the airport are not uncommon, but they must follow procedure because they involve city vehicles, Assistant City Manager David Chiverton said. Administrators had not authorized any escort for Bieber in this case.

Despite all his legal troubles, the charges against Bieber likely won’t put him at risk of being deported or denied entry into the U.S. According to U.S. immigration law, authorities generally do not revoke an individual’s visa unless the person has been convicted of a violent crime or has been sentenced to more than one year imprisonment.

___

Kay reported from Miami. Associated Press writers Suzette Laboy and Laura Wides-Munoz in Miami, Tony Winton in Miami Beach, Fla., and Anthony McCartney in Los Angeles contributed to this report.

Copyright 2014 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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Southern Baptist Leaders To Host Nashville Sex Summit

By: Kelli Findlay

Nashville, Tennessee (AP/Theloop) – Southern Baptist Convention leaders are hosting a summit in Nashville that will focus on sex. The topics will range from pornography, teen sex, homosexuality and how pastors can talk to their congregations about human sexuality. Russell Moore, Ethics and Religious Liberty Commission president for the Southern Baptist Convention, said the summit’s theme is a timely one. “So many of the questions that pastors grapple with today deal with situations that would not even have been possible a generation ago,” Moore said in a press statement.

Convention being held April 2014

Convention about sex and pornography being held April 2014

“As technology advances and the culture changes, the questions that we have to grapple with are often increasingly complex.”

Panel topics include discussions on the gospel and homosexuality and the gospel and ministry in a sex-saturated world. The sessions will also focus on how the “gospel shapes a person’s sexual identity, redeems sexual desire and sets free people held captive by sin.”

The summit will be held from April 21-23. The event’s main sessions will be streamed live on the Web for people who cannot attend.

Copyright 2014 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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Big Mike Mic Describes A City Without Tears

By Tia Kalmon

CHATTANOOGA, Tenn. (UTC/The Loop) – Gangs and crime are a problem for Chattanooga, but one local rapper is trying to stop the violence through his organization, City Without Tears.

This organization was founded by Michael Kelly a year and a half ago. It now consists of a documentary, music video, a six-song EP album and a poem.

This is the postcard for City Without Tears.

This is the postcard for City Without Tears.

“I want to bring awareness, awareness of the numbness for the violence and injustice that’s been going on in the community and how people need to self-reflect,” Kelly said. “Actually the song in the project came from me actually self-reflecting and seeing what I can do, because I knew a lot of things had been going on and I didn’t want to be one of those people that was saying ‘that’s what you should do,’ or just being someone who talked. Since I’m an artist, music is so powerful, words just came out and that was the birth of City Without Tears.”

He wants this to be on the biggest scale possible, raising $20,000 to give back to the community to stop the violence. Kelly wants to take City Without Tears into the community to meet people, to make an impression on them, and to change the statistics to stop the crime.

“What drives me is the shape of the community and my own insecurities and ways that I want to be better because I’m not where I want to be as an individual,” Kelly said.

Kelly began City Without Tears when he saw loved ones in his life disappear because of violence in the city. It hit close to home for Kelly and now he has found inspiration in the mist of danger.

“Life is about your own journey and what you find in yourself and what you were put on this earth to do, to find your purpose,” Kelly said. “That’s a journey through ups and downs. It’s hard sometimes but I feel like that’s what inspires me so my music is real personal.”

Kelly goes by Big Mike Mic when he performs. Big Mike Mic performed at the Barking Legs Theater Friday, February 28th. He began his performance by making a juice out of only organic products, because he wanted to give the audience “an organic performance.”

Big Mike Mic performing at the Barking Legs Theater March 1.

Big Mike Mic performing at the Barking Legs Theater March 1.

“Everything is like an infection, if you don’t do something it’s going to get bigger and bigger,” Brian Kelly, Manager for Big Mike Mic, said. “And why be reactive when we can be more proactive.”

If you would like to donate to City Without Tears you can visit Kickstarter.com and search “City Without Tears.” For more information you can e-mail Brian Kelley at bdotkelly@gmail.com or call, 423-903-4293.

Check out the video of the interview with Big Mike Mic uploaded to the Mocs News YouTube page!

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Vanderbilt hosts SEC game rematch

Vanderbilt team ready for the game

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (AP/The Loop) — John Calipari isn’t sure if any of his Wildcats even know Vanderbilt beat Kentucky for theSoutheastern Conference tournament title the last time the teams met.

Commodores coach Kevin Stallings says it’s best everyone moves on.

Vanderbilt handed Kentucky its last loss March 11 before the Wildcats went on to win the program’s eighth national title.

That tournament championship meant a lot to Vanderbilt — it was the school’s first in 61 years. That’s why some fans will be getting replicas of the title ring Thursday night when the Commodores open their SEC schedule against the visiting Wildcats.

But the coaches, the school names on the front of the jerseys and a couple players are about all that remain the same from that game.

 

Copyright 2013 The Associated Press.

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