1.19.15: One step closer to the Super Bowl

This was quite the weekend of NFL football. How does it feel to make the Super Bowl? Just ask Russell Wilson…

QUIPS FOR THIS WEEK

NFL

The reigning champions the Seattle Seahawks are going back to the Super Bowl. After a rocky start, the Seahawks stormed back in dramatic fashion (with the help of an onside kick) and defeated the the Green Bay Packers in overtime during the NFC Championship Game in Seattle. Talk about epic.

The New England Patriots dominated the Indianapolis Colts 45-7 despite the heavy rain in Foxboro to win the the AFC Championship and the right to meet the Seattle Seahawks in the Super Bowl. Oh yeah, and Tom Brady (who will start his 6th Super Bowl) set a NFL postseason passing record. Just another day in the life.

There are plenty of story lines on deck for Super Bowl XLIX as the Seahawks attempt to be the first repeat Super Bowl Champions since the Patriots in 2004… but first thing’s first: the game kicks off at 6:30pm on Sunday, February 1st in Glendale, Arizona. Get ready for a Pats-Seahawks showdown!

In non-Super Bowl news, Gary Kubiak will be the next coach of the Denver Broncos, and earlier in the week John Fox signed on to be the new head coach of the Chicago Bears.

College Football

As you already know, Ohio State beat Oregon to win the first ever college football playoff national championship game last week. Now it’s time to talk next season.

Oregon quarterback and Heisman trophy winner Marcus Mariota announced that he will go pro and enter the NFL Draft. Ohio State’s Cardale Jones decided that after only 3 starts, he will remain at Ohio State and return to the team next season.

The NCAA has reinstated the late Penn State Coach Joe Paterno’s 112 wins that were taken away after the Jerry Sandusky scandal. This means that Paterno is now the winningest coach in college football.

NBA

And just like that the Cleveland Cavaliers are starting to show a little something. After an up and down start to the season, the Cavs picked up 2 key wins on a West Coast road trip and more importantly got their MVP back in top form. That’s right, LeBron James looks healthy and played great which will be important if the Cavs want to make some noise in the playoffs. Time will tell if they can continue to improve.

The LA Clippers made NBA history when they traded for Austin Rivers. Austin will now be playing for his father, Coach Doc Riversmaking them the first father-son combo in the league.

Welcome to Atlanta where the Hawks playas play, and they dominate all the teams in the East each and every day. No really, the Hawks are legit and appear to be the best team in the Eastern Conference. More than that, they have the number 2 record in the entire league at 33-8 behind the Golden State Warriors who are sitting at 32-6.

College Basketball

It took a week of growing pains but #4 Duke appears to be finding their way. After losing back-to-back games to N.C. State and Miami, Duke dominated #6 Louisville on the road in a game where they showed some new stuff, namely on defense. Duke plays Pittsburgh tonight and if they win, they will have the chance to give Coach K his 1000th win at MSG when Duke takes on St. John’s next Sunday in New York.

In other weekend hoops news, #1 Kentucky and #2 UVA remain undefeated after big wins against Alabama and Boston College, respectively. #11 Iowa State defeated #9 Kansas in a tough Big 12 match-up and #10 Arizona got a nice win over #8 Utah while #3 Gonzaga cruised past Loyola Marymount.

This week tune in for #1 Kentucky at South Carolina next Saturday at 12pm and #2 UVA at Virginia Tech next Sunday at 1pm.

Other

In honor of Martin Luther King Jr. Day, ESPN put together a roundtable of union leaders from the NBA, NFL and MLB to come together and discuss race, unions, equality and diversity.

In all things tennis, the Australian Open kicks off this week. See predictions here.

The St. Louis Cardinals will honor Oscar Taveras, who tragically died in a car accident during the baseball off-season, with a patch on their jersey for the 2015 season.

It was a big weekend for the Power 5 conferences as the Division I Board of Directors passed a full cost of attendance measure 79-1 that will help support college athletics scholarships with more financial resources.

Finally, the NHL revealed their bright uniforms for the upcoming All-Star Game.

JUST FOR FUN

Best we’ve ever had
…or seen. take a look at the coolest celebratory cakes the sports world has ever seen

STORIES FOR INSIGHTS, COOL FACTOR + DEBATE

Brady v. Manning
The deciding moment
Who wins “best quarterback of his generation?” Looks like we’re leaning towards Brady now!

The Winningest
Settlement to reinstate Penn State Football wins
They had 112 wins removed from their history as a result of their Jerry Sandusky scandal, but now the NCAA is looking at reinstating those wins and giving Joe Paterno back his title as college football’s winningest coach

Title Race
Barclays’ Premier League
Arsenal traveled north to the Etihad and defeated strong favorites Manchester City. City is one of the many clubs paying the price that is the African Cup of Nations, as one of their most impactful players, Yaya Toure, is away on international duty (Ivory Coast)

Drama
Raging ups and downs
Kobe versus LBJ — what’s happening to both of their teams?

We are family
What it means to be a part of the University of Miami Hurricanes family
Coach Jim Larranaga dedicated the Miami/Duke game last week to Jim Palma, a player from the ’40s who passed away shortly after the game

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