Tigers > Wildcats. Last night the LSU Tigers defeated the Kentucky Wildcats (85-67), in an unexpected victory. LSU has had a lackluster this season. Normally, you would hear a big yawn from that news because LSU is not known for basketball. But this year was supposed to be different because they recruited once in a decade player Ben Simmons. People were left speculating why LSU was still so underwhelming with this future #1 NBA draft pick. They pointed to a whole host of reasons, including poor coaching, lack of discipline on defense, and Simmons trying too hard to get other players in the game. Now, with this win against #9-ranked Kentucky and another earlier this week against Vanderbilt, LSU is looking much more impressive and cohesive. Hopefully, they can continue improving to get a spot in March Madness.
Can you tell me a little more about this basketball phenom Ben Simmons? Certainly! Simmons is an Australian native, who was the son of an Australian former professional basketball player Dave Simmons. He was first noticed by American scouts when he came over to a California basketball camp in 2012. Despite getting interest from all the top basketball programs (including Kentucky), Simmons committed to the Tigers early in his junior year of high school. Why did he commit to a team that is really just OK at basketball? Simmons’s godfather David Patrick is an assistant coach. Simmons is most often compared to LeBron James for his size (Simmons is 6'10") and his all around ability.
All you need is math. After an abysmal 3-win season, the Cleveland Browns are looking to make some big changes to how they do things. First they fired their Head Coach and General Manager. Now, they have hired former-NY Mets Baseball Executive Paul DePodesta to become their Chief Strategy Officer. DePodesta was the inspiration for the Jonah Hill economics nerd in “Moneyball”, highly valuing statistics in making personnel decisions. The Browns are hoping that he can use some of that math mumbo-jumbo to help turn things around.
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 #6 Pittsburgh Steelers @ the #3 Cincinnati Bengals, airing on Saturday at 8:15pm ET.
These two teams are division rivals and are playing for the third time this year, so far they have each won one contest.
The never-been-better Bengals. The last time the Bengals played the Steelers, they lost (33-20) and Bengals QB Andy Dalton suffered a thumb injury, which took him out of the next several games. This time around, they are hoping for a better result. And why shouldn’t they? The Bengals are having a banner year—they have won 12 games this season, tying their best record from 1988. Backup QB AJ McCarron will likely start during the playoffs. He’s been steadily improving over the past few games since taking over for Dalton. In fact, he hasn’t thrown an interception in his past 3 starts. You may remember McCarron because of his hot girlfriend (now wife and future mother of his child)—ESPN announcer Brent Musburger certainly does. Be sure to watch out for star WR A.J. Green and the team’s strong defense, which beat the Bengals record for fewest points allowed in one season.
The scary Steelers. The Pittsburgh Steelers are still the team that no one wants to play because of their explosive passing game. This is thanks to QB “Big Ben” Roethlisberger, who has a phenomenal season averaging 328.2 passing yards per game, the third-best in a single season in NFL history. More bad news for the Bengals: the Steelers have won 13 of their past 15 meetings on the road in Cincinnati. But there are a few glimmers of hope for the Bengals. First, the Steelers are still are without their star RB Le’Veon Bell who tore his ACL early this season. Second, RB DeAngelo Williams, who has been filling in for Bell injured his ankle in last week’s game against the Cleveland Browns. He still may play, but they are taking it day-by-day.
Nothing to see here, just slick Billy. Yesterday, we told you that Cleveland Browns QB Johnny Manziel was spotted in Las Vegas over the weekend instead of at his concussion-protocol-mandated doctor’s appointment. Well, the story gets even better. Apparently, Manziel tried to pass himself off as “Billy Manziel” in Vegas and was spotted wearing a blond wig, fake mustache, and glasses. Alas, an internet meme was born.
Hungry for victory. You know probable future MVP, Golden State Warriors point guard Steph Curry for his incredible ability to score from anywhere on the floor. You may also know him for his adorable daughter and media-darling Riley. Well, now you know Steph for his impressive child-acting abilities. Yesterday, a video spread across the web of Steph Curry starring in a 1990s Burger King commercial with his dad and former NBA small forward Dell Curry. Sure, Steph loves winning, but he also loves burgers.