12.28.15: Goodbye 2015, Hello 2016!

Did you get everything you wanted this holiday season? We got everything we wanted and more from Christmas Day’s NBA games.

QUIPS FOR THIS WEEK

NFL

Big news coming out of the weekend is that the Carolina Panthers are undefeated no more. After losing to the Atlanta Falcons 20-13, they now pound on at 14-1.

It may be the last week of 2015, but the NFL was ready for action this past weekend. The Washington Redskins clinched the NFC East with a win over the Philadelphia Eagles 38-24, the New England Patriots lost to the New York Jets  20-26 in OT, the Arizona Cardinals defeated the Green Bay Packers 38-8 and the St. Louis Rams defeated the Seattle Seahawks 23-17.

Monday Night Football features the Denver Broncos  vs. the Cincinnati Bengals at 8:30pm on ESPN.

College Football

Bowl season is here y’all. While the big games may not get going until later this week, there were two fun games to note from this weekend. Virginia Tech beat Tulsa 55-52 to send Frank Beamer out on a winning note and Duke beat Indiana in the Pinstripe bowl to win their first bowl game 44-41 since 1961.

This week, enjoy all of the bowl games heading your way, including the College Football Playoff Semifinals on Thursday (the Capital One Orange Bowl at 4pm EST and the Goodyear Cotton Bowl Classic at 8pm EST) and the New Year’s Six.

  • The College Football Playoff Semifinal at the Capital One Orange Bowl features #4 Oklahoma v. #1 Clemson
  • The College Football Playoff Semifinal at the Goodyear Cotton Bowl Classic features #2 Alabama v. #3 Michigan State
  • The Peach Bowl features #18 Houston v. #9 Florida State at 12pm EST on December 31st on ESPN
  • The Fiesta Bowl features #8 Notre Dame v. #7 Ohio State at 1pm EST on January 1st on ESPN
  • The Rose Bowl features #6 Stanford v. #4 Iowa at 5pm EST on January 1st on ESPN
  • The Sugar Bowl features #16 Oklahoma State v. #12 Ole Miss at 8:30pm EST on January 1st on ESPN

NBA

Let’s talk NBA. Starting with the Christmas line-up, the holiday games did not disappoint. The marquee match-up: Cleveland Cavaliers at the Golden State Warriors was quite the spectacle ending with the Dubs getting a hard fought 89-83 victory over the Cavs at the Oracle. Could this be a a Finals preview rematch? We wouldn’t mind!

In injury news: Eric Bledsoe of the Phoenix Suns will need surgery for a torn meniscus while Kobe Bryant  of the LA Lakers is expected to play through a sore knee on Monday.

If you’re not already, keep an eye on the NBA season in the New Year, as things heat up before All-Star and leading up to the playoffs.

College Basketball

Christmas break is almost over and soon conference play will be heating up. So enjoy the last quiet week of 2015 — 2016 hoops will be one to watch!

Soccer

Saturday’s Boxing Day matches in the Premier League did not disappoint. Stoke City scored an impressive 2-0 win against Manchester United as Louis van Gaal started the match with Man U’s captain Wayne Rooney on the bench. Diego Costa scored two goals for Chelsea, who tied Watford 2-2, and Liverpool scored a 1-0 win (and their first win in four matches) over Leicester CitySunderland lost 1-4 to Manchester City after City scored three goals in the first 11 minutes of the first half, Norwich City lost 0-3 to Tottenham Hotspur, and although Arsenal had won against title rivals Man City on Monday, they lost out on their chance to take over the top of the table on Saturday after losing 0-4 to Southampton. Your top 5 right now are: Leicester City, Arsenal, Manchester City, Tottenham Hotspur, and Crystal Palace.

Check out these important games today/tomorrow, too:

  • Manchester United v. Chelsea – Monday, December 28th at 12:30pm EST
  • Leicester City v. Manchester City – Tuesday, December 29th at 2:45pm EST

NHL

The Dallas Stars are sitting at the top of the standings after their 2-3 loss on Saturday to the St. Louis Blues and their 3-0 win against the Blues on Sunday. The Washington Capitals won 3-1 against the Montreal Canadiens, the LA Kings beat the Arizona Coyotes 4-3 to slide into 4th in the standings, and the New York Rangers finish up your top 5 this week after their Tuesday 3-2 win over the Anaheim Ducks. The Caps, Canadiens, Kings and Rangers all play again tonight!

Don’t forget to check out the Bridgestone NHL Winter Classic 2016 on NBC on Saturday, January 1 at 1pm EST where the Montreal Canadiens will take on the Boston Bruins.

JUST FOR FUN

Spoiler alert!
Just kidding… but check out Ricky Jean Francois of the Washington Redskins’ Star Wars cleats

STORIES FOR INSIGHTS, COOL FACTOR + DEBATE

What did you think of 2015?
Women in sports were more impressive than ever
Serena Williams, the U.S. Women’s Soccer Team, Katie Ledecky, and others showed great talent. But, did you know that (in an alarming comparison) women list power in the boardroom this year?

Gun Violence
The NBA steps forward in an unprecedented move to end gun violence
This holiday season, the NBA’s top talent appeared in PSAs that do not advocate for legislative change, but instead push for stronger and safer communities

12.21.15: Super Cam

After this weekend we’re thinking about MVPs, and we’re thinking about Cam Newton. The Carolina Panthers are still undefeated with only two games left in the season, and quarterback Cam is a big part of that. Check out this weekend’s action here: 

QUIPS FOR THIS WEEK

NFL

Sunday Night Football ended with the Arizona Cardinals defeating the Philadelphia Eagles 40-17 on the road.

Headed into Sunday, the Texas Texans and Indianapolis Colts were both 6-7, but the Texans won the AFC South match up 16-10. The Atlanta Falcons beat the Jacksonville Jaguars 23-17 to end their six-game losing streak. The Carolina Panthers beat the New York Giants 38-35 to remain undefeated this season with only two games remaining. The New England Patriots scored a 33-16 win over the Tennessee Titans, the Buffalo Bills lost 25-35 to the Washington Redskins, the Oakland Raiders lost 20-30 to the Green Bay Packers, and the Pittsburgh Steelers clinched a 34-27 win over the Denver Broncos.

On Saturday, Randy Bullock of the New York Jets kicked a 40 yard field goal with 36 seconds left to lead the Jets over the Dallas Cowboys 19-16.

Monday Night Football features the Detroit Lions and the New Orleans Saints at 8:30pm EST on ESPN.

College Football

Bowl games have begun! This weekend, Utah won the Royal Purple Las Vegas Bowl 35-28 against BYU, Appalachian State beat Ohio 31-29 to clinch the Raycom Media Camellia Bowl, Arkansas State fell 28-47 to Louisiana Tech in the R+L Carriers New Orleans Bowl, Arizona won 45-37 over New Mexico in the Gildan New Mexico Bowl, and Georgia State lost the Autonation Cure Bowl 16-27 to San Jose State.

Check out the rest of the schedule here.

NBA

On Friday, the Golden State Warriors continued their almost perfect (26-1) record with a 121-112 win against the Milwaukee Bucks. Remember when, last week, the Bucks handed the Warriors their first loss all season? Well, the Warriors came back late in the game to redeem themselves this time! The San Antonio Spurs scored a 115-107 win against the Los Angeles Clippers to remain undefeated at home. The other Los Angeles team, the Lakers, lost on Saturday to the Oklahoma City Thunder, 78-118.

Welcome back, Kyrie! On Sunday, Kyrie Irving rejoined the Cleveland Cavaliers for the first time since June and with a full, healthy squad, the Cavs scored a 108-86 win against the Philadelphia 76ers.

College Basketball

This weekend, Michigan State scored another win, this time over Northeastern, to hold onto their number one spot and undefeated record this season. #4 Kentucky had a surprising loss to Ohio State, 67-74 in the CBS Sports Classic, Northern Iowa upset the #5 Iowa State Cyclones, 81-79, and #7 Duke was upset in overtime by Utah 75-77 at Madison Square Garden.

Soccer

Seven months after Jose Mourinho led Chelsea to win the Premier League title, the two parted by mutual consent on Thursday. Chelsea has confirmed that Guus Hiddink as their new manager through the end of the season. On Saturday, Chelsea scored a 3-1 win against Sunderland, Premier League newbies Leicester City beat Everton 3-2 to remain at the top of the table, Manchester United lost 1-2 to Norwich City, Tottenham Hotspur won 2-0 against Southampton, Stoke City lost 1-2 to to Crystal Palace, and we watched a 1-1 draw in the Newcastle United/Aston Villa match. On Sunday, Liverpool lost 0-2 to Watford.

Keep an eye out for Monday’s Arsenal/Manchester City match – the two teams are 2nd and 3rd place, respectively, and this is a massive game for both clubs. Saturday’s Boxing Day matches are important, as well:

  • Manchester United v. Stoke City at 7:45am EST
  • Chelsea v. Watford at 10am EST
  • Liverpool v. Leicester City at 10am EST
  • Southampton v. Arsenal 2:45 EST

European champion Barcelona won the 2015 FIFA Club World Cup 3-0 over the South American champion, River Plate, with a goal from Messi and two from Suarez yesterday morning.

NHL

On Saturday, Jamie Benn and Jason Spezza helped the number one Dallas Stars to sail past the Montreal Canadiens with a 6-2 win. The St. Louis Blues scored a 3-2 win against the Calgary Flames to shut down the Flames’ seven-game winning streak and remain at the top of the league standings. Vladimir Tarasenko of the Blues scored his 21st goal, and this was his second time in three games with three points. The Blues’ Colton Parayko also passed to himself to score a goal – check it out here. And, on Sunday, the Washington Capitals played the New York Rangers and won 7-3.

The Montreal Canadiens will play the Boston Bruins on Saturday, January 1 at 1pm EST in the Bridgestone NHL Winter Classic 2016.

JUST FOR FUN

Spoke too soon
The kid who cried when the New York Knicks signed Kristaps Porzingis is now a fan

STORIES FOR INSIGHTS, COOL FACTOR + DEBATE

One to watch
Cam Newton: making football fun to watch
He has an almost undefeated season under his belt with Carolina – will they make it to 16-0?

Hero
Rest in peace, Zaevion William Dobson
The high school football player was killed while shielding others from gunfire

Holly Holm
Becoming a celebrity
After defeating Ronda Rousey, everything has changed but her

12.14.15: ‘Tis the Season

Is it the holidays yet? We’re almost there. In the meantime, let’s enjoy this video teaching us about the sports science of floating as we count down the days!

QUIPS FOR THIS WEEK

NFL

Sunday night football featured the return of the Gronk as the New England Patriots steamrolled the Houston Texans with a 27-6 win.

So about the rest of Week 14… the Philadelphia Eagles beat the Buffalo Bills 23-20, the Washington Redskins defeated the Chicago Bears 24-21, andthe Seattle Seahawks looked strong against the Baltimore Ravens with a 35-6 win while the Denver Broncos struggled in a loss to the Oakland Raiders 12-15. Oh, and the Carolina Panthers  remain undefeated after a dominating win over the Atlanta Falcons 38-0 and the Green Bay Packers collected a good victory over the Dallas Cowboys 28-7.

Monday Night Football features the New York Giants v. the Miami Dolphins at 8:30pm on ESPN.

College Football

Derrick Henry of Alabama was named an AP All-American and is also this year’s winner of the elusive Heisman Trophy.

Also get excited because it’s almost time for the bowl games! Once again, the entire schedule can be found here.

NBA

The streak may be over as the Golden State Warriors lost their 25th game (and 7th game on the road) to the Milwaukee Bucks 95-108 but the Dubs still look mighty impressive at 24-1. The Warriors will be back in action against the Phoenix Suns on Wednesday night.

The Washington Wizards will be without Bradley Beal for at least 2 weeks as he recovers from a stress reaction in his fibula.

In other injury news, the Cleveland Cavaliers are hoping/expecting that Kyrie Irving  will return to action soon.

College Basketball

What do you need to know about college basketball this past weekend?

Exams are mostly over so college hoops should be picking up with some games around the holidays before conference play picks up. Next Saturday in particular should be pretty fun as #8 Duke takes on #25 Utah, #10 Virginia plays #9 Villanova and #3 UNC goes up against UCLA.

Soccer

On Saturday in the Premier League, Manchester City scored a 2-1 win against Swansea City, and AFC Bournemouth won 2-1 against Manchester United. On Sunday, the Liverpool/West Bromwich Albion match ended with a 2-2 draw, and Arsenal beat Aston Villa 2-0 to climb to the top of the table.

The UEFA Euro 2016 Group Stage draw is complete, and you can check it out here.

NHL

Patrick Kane of the Chicago Blackhawks just keeps scoring. After the Blackhawks’ Sunday night win against the Vancouver Canucks, he extended his points streak to 26 games (surpassing Sidney Crosby’s 25-game streak in 2010-11 for the longest in the league).

In other (almost) record-setting news, the Florida Panthers’ Jaromir Jagr’s next goal will propel him to 4th place on the NHL goals list, over Marcel Dionne.

 

JUST FOR FUN

He’s baaack
Iman Shumpert announced his return to the Cavs’ lineup with this Batman cartoon

STORIES FOR INSIGHTS, COOL FACTOR + DEBATE

Are you ready to rumble?
NBA Predictions
What to expect out of the league’s best teams this season

Reflection
Abby Wambach on retirement
The intersection between Abby the soccer player and the rest of who she is

Open for business
New Yorkers can still access DraftKings and FanDuel
They’re operating under an emergency temporary stay in the state, which will probably last through the end of the year

12.7.15: Bowl Season

Good morning, team SQ! Check out this impressive 87 yard touchdown run from quarterback Marcus Mariota who helped his Tennessee Titans squad defeat the Jacksonville Jaguars 42-39 on Sunday afternoon.

QUIPS FOR THIS WEEK

NFL

Last night in Sunday Night Football, the Pittsburgh Steelers scored a 45-10 win against the Indianapolis Colts. A few of the Sunday afternoon games were also noteworthy. The New York Giants damaged their playoff hopes after losing to the  New York Jets in OT 23-20, the Seattle Seahawks continued their uphill climb with a win over the  Minnesota Vikings 38-7, the San Francisco 49ers upset the Chicago Bears 26-20 in OT and the New England Patriots lost 28-35 to the Philadelphia Eagles. Oh and in all things NFC South, the Carolina Panthers beat the New Orleans Saints 41-38 to reach 12-0, and Cam Newton had a career-high five touchdown passes.

Monday Night Football features NFC East rivals — the Dallas Cowboys v. the Washington Redskins at 8:30pm on NBC.

The NFL also announced this week that this year’s Super Bowl half-time performer will be Coldplay, who just released a new album last week.

College Football

This weekend was all about the conference championships in college football. #1 Clemson beat #10 North Carolina in a controversial-esque ending to win the ACC 45-37, #2 Alabama took down #18 Florida 29-15 in the SEC Championship game, #5 Michigan State fought back to defeat #4 Iowa 16-13 to win the Big 10, and #7 Stanford pretty much crushed  USC 41-22 to win the Pac-12.

So what does this mean? It means that bowl season is now set, including the New Years Six and National Championship tournament. Upcoming games of note include:

  • College Football Playoff Semifinal at the Orange Bowl features #4 Oklahoma v. #1 Clemson — December 31st at 4pm on ESPN
  • College Football Playoff Semifinal at the Cotton Bowl Classic features #3 Michigan State v. #2 Alabama — December 31st at 8pm on ESPN
  • Fiesta Bowl features Notre Dame v. Ohio State — January 1st at 1pm on ESPN
  • Rose Bowl Game features Stanford v. Iowa — January 1st at 5pm on ESPN
  • College Football Playoff National Championship — January 11th at 8:30pm on ESPN

The entire schedule can be found here.

NBA

The questions on everyone’s (or NBA fans’) minds: How long can the Golden State Warriors stay undefeated, and how many games will they win overall this season? After some close games and some heroics from Stephen Curry and Co., the answer remains TBD at 22-0 after a Sunday night win over the Brooklyn Nets, 114-98, and a long season to go… Regardless, go check out Steph (even in practice). How fun would it be if the Dubs could stay undefeated until Christmas when they face the Cleveland Cavaliers?

Speaking of the Cavs, injury woes continue to dominate this season.  LeBron James recently sat out  in a loss to the Miami Heat on Saturday after playing in a OT loss on Friday to the New Orleans Pelicans. Here’s to hoping to good health in 2016!

In other news, the Indiana Pacers’ Paul George is looking better than ever these days. He netted 48 points in a loss to the Utah Jazz in OT on Saturday. The Indiana Pacers can look forward to a big game to the Golden State Warriors this week.

College Basketball

It’s still early, but that doesn’t mean there aren’t some good games to enjoy. In a rematch to last year’s embarrassment,  UCLA defeated #1 Kentucky 87-77 on Thursday eve, #2 Maryland beat #9 North Carolina 89-81 and #4 Kansas topped a tough Harvard team 75-69 on Saturday.

Also of note, Ben Simmons had 43 points (the most by an LSU player since Shaq scored 43 points against Northern Arizona), as his LSU team beat North Florida 119-108 on Wednesday. Oh, and he’s got a fan in LeBron James.
This week, tune into more games before the season briefly slows down with exams coming up!

Soccer

This Saturday in Premier League soccer, Stoke City took home a 2-0 win against Manchester City. This was Man City’s fourth away game without a win, and with that, City has been overtaken by both Leicester and Arsenal at the top of the table. Arsenal beat Sunderland 1-0, and Swansea City fell 0-3 to Leicester City. Also on Saturday, the Manchester United/West Ham United match ended in a goalless draw, West Bromwich Albion finished with a 1-1 draw against Tottenham Hotspur, and Chelsea (who we thought was turning a corner in this season’s performance) lost 0-1 to AFC Bournemouth. On Sunday, Liverpool showed that they were still a work in progress with a 0-2 loss to Newcastle United.

On Saturday in La Liga, Valencia scored with only a few minutes left in the match to tie Barcelona 1-1. Barca’s league lead over second place Atletico Madrid is now only a two point lead.

Yesterday afternoon, we watched Columbus Crew SC host the Portland Timbers for the 2015 MLS Cup. The Timbers took home their first MLS Cup title after five years in the league with Sunday’s 2-1 win.

NHL

On Friday and Saturday, we witnessed several upsets in the NHL. The league #1, the Dallas Stars, lost 1-2 to the Edmonton Oilers in OT on Friday. On Saturday, Mark Scheifele scored with 19 seconds left in OT to lift the #19 Winnipeg Jets to a 2-1 win over the league #3 Washington Capitals, the #9 Ottawa Senators won 3-2 against the #5 New York Islanders with help from the NHL’s leader in assists this season, Erik Karlsson, and the #28 Carolina Hurricanes broke their 3-game losing streak when they beat the #2 Montreal Canadiens 3-2. Although the Canadiens would go on to lose the game, check out Mike Condon’s awesome (and totally blind) save when Carolina’s Eric Staal tried to put the puck in the net behind his left shoulder. On Sunday, last year’s Stanley Cup winners, the Chicago Blackhawks, played Winnipeg and won, 3-1. The Blackhawks’ right wing Patrick Kane broke the franchise record for consecutive games with a point or more with this victory. The #4 New York Rangers also beat Ottawa on Sunday night, 4-1.

In other hockey news, the Vancouver Canucks’ Brandon Prust will be fined $5,000 by the NHL Department of Player Safety for spearing Boston Bruins’ player Brad Marchand during Saturday’s game. The Canucks and the Bruins have had a heated rivalry since the 2011 Stanley Cup Final.

Other

A South African appeals court overturned an earlier verdict to find Olympic athlete Oscar Pistorius guilty of murdering his girlfriend, Reeva Steenkamp, in February 2013. He will return to court to be re-sentenced.

After signing David Price for a seven year $217 million contract, the Boston Red Sox introduced him to the media at Fenway Park on Friday. Baseball is coming y’all.

Get well, Megan Rapinoe. The US Soccer star suffered a torn ACL on Friday during a training session with the national team in Hawaii, leading to questions of whether she can recover in time for the 2016 Olympic Games in Rio.

 

JUST FOR FUN

2015 Sportsman of the Year
Would you choose American Pharoah or Carli Lloyd?

STORIES FOR INSIGHTS, COOL FACTOR + DEBATE

Those who can’t play, teach
But can players coach, too?
Barry Bonds was hired as a hitting coach for the Miami Marlins

American Boy
Why don’t we have any domestic soccer greats?
We’re finally trying to develop local talent, but it’s going to take time

On Tour
Major League Baseball is headed to Cuba
This is their first visit since the Orioles played a 1999 exhibition game against the Cubans