A March Madness preview. Last night #1 ranked Kansas defeated #2 ranked Oklahoma (109-106) in triple overtime. This thrilling game got everyone excited for March Madness. When you’re throwing together your bracket in a couple months, don’t forget the strength of Kansas’s two point guards Frank Mason III and Devonte Graham. But the real story of the game was Oklahoma’s breakout star Buddy Hield, who scored 46 points last night. This nail biter finally came to a close when Kansas made its free throws in the final minutes of the game and stole the ball off of Oklahoma’s final inbound pass.
My new years resolution is to get a whole new coaching staff! Yesterday marked NFL Black Monday. The day when teams that have had disappointing regular seasons fire their old, tired head coaches to try to find shiny new ones. Some teams, like the Tennessee Titans and Philadelphia Eagles, couldn’t even wait for the end of the season. The most notable loss was New York Giants Head Coach Tom Coughlin who resigned after 12 years with the Giants and two Super Bowl victories. He resigned from the position “in the best interest of the organization” after 3 losing seasons, but in his resignation he did not rule out coaching for other teams should the right position come along. Other notable head coach vacancies include the Miami Dolphins, San Francisco 49ers, and Cleveland Browns.
Who are they looking at to fill these positions? There’s a long laundry list of names, but the key prospects are:
- Adam Gase, the current Chicago Bears Offensive Coordinator, who has helped Bears QB Jay Cutler have the best season of his career;
- Sean Payton, the current Head Coach of the New Orleans Saints, who still has some residual time left on his contract;
- Mike Shanahan, who has been out of the game for the past 2 years but most recently coached the Washington Football Team from 2010-2013; and
- Chip Kelly, who was fired from the Philadelphia Eagles last week for his terrible personnel decisions. Most recently he has been trying to get into meetings with the San Francisco 49ers.
The season-long hangover. Earlier this week, Cleveland Browns QB Johnny Manziel self-reported concussion symptoms after practice. As part of the concussion protocol, he was supposed to check in with the team’s doctors on Sunday morning, but he went MIA. Where was Johnny? In bed recovering? Err, try Vegas. This is just one more straw on the camel’s back, after being pulled over by the police for a fight with his girlfriend in October and a 10-week stint in rehab during the off season. Now it appears the Browns are finally fed up. Unfortunately, the Browns really have no one to blame but themselves, because Manziel’s partying antics have been well documented since his college days. So much so, that Manziel was the Heisman award winner at Texas A&M, but he was only drafted 22nd in the NFL draft. This was largely due to his immature behavior and because folks thought “he was an arrogant little prick.” Now, there are reports circulating that Johnny said he would prefer to play for the Dallas Cowboys anyway. Good luck with that.
Spotlight on the NFL Playoffs
The NFL Playoffs will begin this Saturday with the Wild Card Round. Each day this week we’ll spotlight a different one of the games, so you know what to look out for when you’re watching this weekend.
Today’s feature is the AFC matchup between the #5 Kansas City Chiefs @ the #4 Houston Texans, airing this Saturday at 4:35pm.
On a roll. The Chiefs have won their past 10 games and are entering the playoffs with some momentum. They last played the Texans in September of this year and beat them 27-20, right before falling off into a 5-game losing streak. Now their offense has settled in and they are looking like a much stronger team. The Chief’s star player is WR Jeremy Maclin, but also keep your eye out for their defense and rookie CB Marcus Peters who has made 8 interceptions this year.
Who are you again? Another QB? The Texans have had 5 different quarterbacks this season. Yes, that is unusual. It looks like the starter for the playoffs is Brian Hoyer, who has been in and out this season due to a number of concussions. Even though the Chiefs are favored to win this game, the Texans do have some reasons to celebrate. Last week, superstar DE J.J. Watt looked like his normal tackling, sacking self, after getting the cast removed from the hand he broke earlier this season. Another thing to smile about? Houston has never lost a home playoff game. During the game, keep an eye out for star wide receiver DeAndre Hopkins.
The big cats. Kentucky has a renowned basketball program known for attracting some of the best talent in the country. This year is no different; they have star point guard Tyler Ulis who is touted as one of the best in college basketball. Today they will face off against LSU, who has been underperforming all year, despite their star freshman forward Ben Simmons. You haven’t heard of Simmons yet? You will. He has already been hyped to be one of those rare basketball talents that only comes around once or twice a decade.