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Donte DiVincenzo’s 31 points leads Villanova to second national title in three seasons – CollegeBasketballTalk

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SAN ANTONIO — Donte 3-Vincenzo.

He’s Villanova’s sixth-man, and he’s also the Final Four’s Most Outstanding Player, as he went for 31 points, breaking Luke Hancock’s record for the most points scored by a bench player in a title game as Villanova won their second national title in three seasons, dispatching Michigan, 79-60, on Monday night in San Antonio. It’s the most points that anyone has scored in a national title game since 1989, when Seton Hall’s John Morton did it in overtime in a losing effort.

But that is not the most impressive part of Villanova’s win.

This is: The Wildcats essentially did it without Jalen Brunson, the National Player of the Year.

Brunson struggled on Monday night. He finished with just nine points, two assists and two boards while shooting 4-for-13 from the floor. He also picked up his fourth foul with 10:51 left in the second half. Villanova held a 53-40 lead then. By the time he returned to the floor, with 3:21 left on the clock, the lead was 20 points and the game was over.

How many teams in the college basketball history can legitimately say they are good enough to win a national title game without that kind of contribution from the best player in the sport.

It’s why this Villanova team is the best program in college basketball. They may not be a blueblood by trade, but it’s impossible to argue with the success that they’ve had. They are now 166-21 in the last five seasons, a stretch that has included four Big East regular season titles, three Big East tournament titles, an 88-15 record against Big East competition and, after tonight, a pair of national titles to boot.

For a program that, just three seasons ago, was known for bowing out of the NCAA tournament earlier than their seed says that they should, Villanova certainly has changed the narrative.

And it starts with the toughness of the players on this roster.

The Wolverines actually led this game 21-14 midway through the first half and looked like they had a chance to take control.

The turning point came midway through the first half, when Villanova made a tactical adjustment on the defensive end of the floor. Having spent the first half of the first half — and, frankly, the majority of the season — switching all exchanges on the defensive end, Jay Wright quickly realized that John Beilein, offensive mastermind that he is, had spent the 48 hours between beating Loyola-Chicago and tipping off against Villanova figuring out a way to beat that defense.

So he changed up.

Instead of switching, Villanova started playing straight man-to-man.

This change coincided with two moments that seemed to spark the Wildcats. With 9:54 left in the half, a loose ball led to a tie-up between Mo Wagner and Phil Booth, and that led to some afters. Wagner bumped Booth. Booth had something to say about it, and it was clear throughout the rest of the game that, whatever Wagner did, the Villanova players were not happy about it. Wagner and Eric Paschall had to be separated during a free throw box-out a few minutes later, and early in the second half both Wagner and Omari Spellman were whistled for double-technicals.

Two minutes after the initial dust-up, Brunson showed more emotion than he’s shown in his entire career, pounding the ball over and over again and gesticulating at the officials as he was complaining about the defense that was being played on him by the perennially-annoying Zavier Simpson.

Whatever the cause was, the result was not good, not for the Wolverines.

They led 21-14 with 10:59 left in the first half.

They trailed 51-33 with 13:54 left in the game.

Wagner?

He scored 11 of Michigan’s first 21 points. He scored five points in the final 31 minutes.

But the story of this game wasn’t Wagner and it wasn’t Michigan.

It was DiVincenzo.

As he has been wont to do during this tournament, DiVincenzo entered a game where Villanova’s offense was somewhere between stagnant and putrid and turned it around. He scored 18 of Villanova’s first 31 points. He scored 13 of those points in a 23-7 surge at the end of the half that turned Michigan’s 21-14 lead into a 37-28 deficit.

That wasn’t the only time that he carried Villanova. After Brunson went out with his fourth foul, DiVincenzo scored nine points on the next three possessions, pushing the lead back to 18 points and effectively cutting down the nets as he was torching them.

And with that, Villanova were the national champions once again.

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La Palma: Residents in limbo as pressure in the Cumbre Vieja volcano drops – but eruption threat remains | World News

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Thousands of people have been forced to leave their homes to escape rivers of lava cascading from La Palma’s erupting volcano.

But 160 of them will now be allowed to return, after local authorities said their houses were no longer in the path of the molten streams moving down the side of the Cumbre Vieja volcano range.

The rest of the evacuees will have to wait, including Eliza Gonzales.

Eliza Gonzales with her dog, Luna
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Eliza Gonzales has been separated from her dog Luna

I met her at an improvised animal sanctuary on the island. She had come to see her dog Luna. They’ve been separated for days.

Ms Gonzales was told she had to leave Luna behind when she fled her home.

Thankfully the rescue centre called to tell her they had saved Luna. But the reunion is bittersweet. Ms Gonzales is staying in temporary accommodation and no dogs are allowed.

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What’s next for La Palma?

“It’s very bad,” she says.

Luna will be fostered while Ms Gonzales waits to go back home.

“I’m happy there are good people that offered their houses for the dogs to stay in and be calm.”

There are several dogs at the sanctuary, waiting for their owners to come for them. They all bark whenever someone new arrives.

But the centre can only care for abandoned animals. Those who were badly injured during the eruption have to be taken for specialist care.

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Volcano eruptions ‘could last for months’

They rescued a goat whose udders were severely burnt and took it to the vet, hoping it can recover from its wounds.

Scientists say the pressure inside the volcano has decreased, but that doesn’t mean the eruptions are about to stop.

The experts can’t predict when the explosions of lava will end, they think it could last till December.

With each day that passes, people are becoming more desperate.

Volcanic dust is damaging the 'plátano' skin leaving farmers including Mr de Paz Perez fearing they won't be able to sell their produce to supermarkets.
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Volcanic dust is damaging plátano skins, leaving farmers including Mr de Paz Perez fearing they won’t be able to sell their produce

Ernesto de Paz Perez is a banana farmer. The plant is known as “plátano” here, they are slightly smaller than bananas from Latin America.

Mr de Paz Perez, 75, started working on a plátano farm when he was 14.

La Palma depends on the fruit for around half of its economic output.

Banana farmer Ernesto de Paz Perez fears there will be 'many losses' due to the damage caused by the eruption.
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Banana farmer Ernesto de Paz Perez fears there will be ‘many losses’ due to the damage

But the volcanic dust is damaging the fruit’s skin and farmers fear they won’t be able to sell their produce to supermarkets.

The eruption has also cut off the water supply to Mr de Paz Perez’s plants.

If it [the eruption] keeps going for a long time it will cause a lot of damage. If the plátano fields are not watered we will lose them. There will be many losses,” he said.

Elsewhere on the island they’re trying to get back to normal. The airport is open after closing because of an ash cloud, but flights haven’t immediately resumed.

The whole of La Palma just wants to repair and return to how their lives were before the volcano erupted, but when that will be, no one knows.

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Lewis Hamilton hails ‘magical moment’ as he wins 100th Formula One race | UK News

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Lewis Hamilton has spoken of the “magical moment” of winning his 100th Formula One race at Sunday’s Russian Grand Prix.

Hamilton, 36, used his driving and overtaking skills, and his strategic thinking in the rain, to fight back from seventh place on the first lap to a landmark victory.

He is the first driver to reach 100 victories.

It was his fifth win of the season and his first since the British Grand Prix in July.

“It’s taken a long time to get to 100 and at times, I wasn’t sure it would come,” the British driver said.

“It is a magical moment. I could only have dreamed of still being here, to have this opportunity to win these races, and to drive with such phenomenal talents this late on in my career.”

“I am so proud of everything we have done with Mercedes, on and off the track, and this is a special moment for everyone that has been part of it.

“My dad called me last night and he has always been that one to reassure me and to continue to support me. I feel incredibly grateful for the amazing support that I have had.”

The victory takes Hamilton two points clear of Max Verstappen in the title race with seven rounds to go.

It also denied Lando Norris of his first victory following a thrilling finale.

Norris, 21, appeared on course to keep Hamilton at bay, and become the youngest British Formula One winner.

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Vladimir Putin pictured fishing and hiking on Siberian forest holiday | World News

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The Kremlin has released pictures showing Russian President Vladimir Putin on a fishing and hiking holiday in Siberia.

Mr Putin, 68, was joined by defence minister Sergei Shoigu, his regular holiday companion, for the short break earlier this month.

Mr Putin visited the Primorye and the Amur Region of the Russian Far East earlier this month Pic: AP
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Mr Putin visited the Primorye and the Amur Region of the Russian Far East earlier this month. Pic: AP

The Russian premier stopped off for a few days after a working trip to the Primorye and the Amur Region of Russia‘s Far East.

He appeared relaxed while walking through meadows against a dramatic mountain backdrop, casually dressed in a khaki-coloured hat and jacket.

The Kremlin released the images of Mr Putin on Sunday, 26 September Pic: AP
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Mr Putin appeared relaxed while walking through meadows against a dramatic mountain backdrop. Pic: AP
President Putin leans against a tree in a forest on a short break earlier this month Pic: AP
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President Putin leans against a tree in a forest on a short break earlier this month Pic: AP

He took a moment to lean against a tree while staring into the distance in another shot.

And he couldn’t disguise his delight as he smiled proudly while holding aloft a fish he caught in a nearby lake.

Video footage, released alongside the pictures by the Kremlin on Sunday, also showed Mr Putin driving an amphibious vehicle through a river in the region.

Days after the break, the Russian leader was forced to spend a “few days” in isolation after dozens of people in his inner circle caught COVID-19.

Mr Putin was joined on the fishing trip by Russian Defense Minister Sergei Shoigu Pic: AP
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Mr Putin was joined on the fishing trip by defence minister Sergei Shoigu. Pic: AP

The outbreak prompted Mr Putin to cancel his trip to Tajikistan for a security summit.

He has had two shots of Russia’s Sputnik V vaccine and is feeling healthy, the Kremlin said.

The Russian leader is known for his love of the great outdoors and has often been pictured bare-chested in an apparent bid to cultivate his macho image.

Mr Putin on a fishing trip during a mini break in the Siberian Tyva region in August 2017 Pic: AP
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Mr Putin on a fishing trip during a mini break in the Siberian Tyva region in August 2017. Pic: AP

He was most famously pictured shirtless atop a horse on a mountain holiday in southern Siberia’s Tuva region in 2009 where he paraded his bare chest and his fishing prowess.

Mr Putin later stripped down to the waist before plunging into an icy lake as part of evens to mark Orthodox Epiphany in January 2018.

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