11.30.15: It’s beginning to look a lot like December

After Sunday’s exciting games, we are amped up about soccer! 10 out of the 11 players on this year’s MLS Best XI are newbies, and we watched 6 of them play in yesterday’s Eastern and Western Conference Finals. Check them all out in preparation for next Sunday’s 2015 MLS Cup:

 

QUIPS FOR THIS WEEK

NFL

In Sunday Night Football, the New England Patriots were defeated by the Denver Broncos 24-30 in OT after C.J. Anderson scored on a 48-yard run. The Pats lost their record as one of the only undefeated teams in the league, and also may have lost their tight end Rob Gronkowski to a knee injury.

Sunday football also featured a few other notable games. The Washington Redskins beat the New York Giants 20-14 to regain a 5-6 tie atop of the NFC East, the Seattle Seahawks defeated the Pittsburgh Steelers 39-30, and the Arizona Cardinals got the win over the San Francisco 49ers, 19-13. Additionally, Thanksgiving football saw the Carolina Panthers take out the Dallas Cowboys  33-14 to remain undefeated this season, and also saw the potential end to Tony Romo’s season due to a hairline fracture injury.

Monday Night Football features the Baltimore Ravens v. the Cleveland Browns at 8:30pm EST on ESPN.

College Football

College football had a pretty interesting, rivalry-themed weekend starting with #4 Iowa beating Nebraska 28-20 and #19 TCU beating #7 Baylor 28-21 on Friday. Then on Saturday, #1 Clemson defeated South Carolina 37-32, #2 Alabama took down Auburn 29-13, #3 Oklahoma dominated #11 Oklahoma State 58-23, #6 Notre Dame lost to #9 Stanford 36-38, and #14 Florida State got the win over #12 Florida 27-2.

As we move closer and closer to the playoffs, the new rankings reflect  what will likely be the post-season match-ups. Currently, Clemson leads the pack at #1 followed by Alabama, Oklahoma, Iowa, and Michigan State. Close behind the top five are Ohio State, Stanford, North Carolina, Notre Dame and Florida State.

Conference championship games to watch this week include:

  • #12 Florida v. #2 Alabama – Saturday at 4:00pm EST on CBS
  • #9 Stanford v. USC – Saturday at 7:45pm EST on ESPN
  • #5 Michigan State v. #4 Iowa – Saturday at 8:00pm on FOX
  • #14 North Carolina v. #1 Clemson – Saturday at 8:00pm on ABC

NBA

There’s a few main things to talk about in pro hoops:

Soccer

On Saturday, Leicester City moved to the second spot in the Premier League table with a 1-1 draw against Manchester United, after Manchester City picked up a 3-1 win (and the 1st place spot in the table) against Southampton. On Sunday, Chelsea and Tottenham Hotspur finished with a 0-0 drawArsenal finished with a 1-1 draw against Norwich City, and Liverpool scored a 1-0 win against Swansea City. Under Jurgen Klopp, Liverpool has climbed the table and is now sitting in the 6th position, behind Tottenham (still in #5) and Arsenal (#4).

Also on Sunday, we watched the second leg of the MLS Conference Championships: FC Dallas v. Portland Timbers ended in a 2-2 draw and New York Red Bulls v. Columbus Crew SC ended 1-0. Based on series aggregates, Columbus and Portland captured the Eastern and Western Conference titles, respectively, and will progress to the 2015 MLS Cup on Sunday, December 6th in Columbus. Be sure to watch — next Sunday on ESPN at 4pm!

NHL

The NHL is heating up! On Saturday, the Montreal Canadiens lost 2-3 in OT to the New Jersey Devils, but they remain at the top of the league standings in first place. Currently residing in second, the Dallas Stars gained a 4-3 win against the Minnesota Wild. Third in the standings, the Washington Capitals won 4-2 against the Toronto Maple Leafs. The 4th place New York Rangers may have lost 0-3 to the Philadelphia Flyers, but Rangers’ goalie Henrik Lundqvist has been playing “the best hockey of his career” and is an early favorite to win the Hart Trophy at the 2016 NHL Awards. And, in 5th right now, the St. Louis Blues scored a 3-1 win against the Columbus Blue Jackets on Saturday. For more NHL info, check out the league standings here.

Other

Current men’s college basketball top ten rankings are as follows: Kentucky, Maryland, Michigan State, Iowa State, Kansas, Duke, Oklahoma, Villanova, North Carolina, and Gonzaga.

This weekend, the world’s #2 player, Andy Murray, helped Britain to win tennis’ most prestigious team competition, the Davis Cup.

JUST FOR FUN

Sweet Kicks
LeBron honored an 18-year old fan who passed away from cancer by writing “R.I.P. Ebony” on his sneakers

STORIES FOR INSIGHTS, COOL FACTOR + DEBATE

Too many losers
There aren’t enough six-win college football teams to fill all 40 bowls
Does this mean that there are too many bowl games?

Revolving door
Are you having a hard time following who’s in and who’s out?
This year’s NCAA football hiring and firing

Domination
It’s no fun if the same guy always wins
Mercedes has won all but three Formula One races so far in 2015 (and the same thing happened last year, too)

11.23.15: Happy Thanksgiving Week!

Happy Thanksgiving week! Let’s kick off a short week by welcoming Tony Romo back to the Cowboys.

QUIPS FOR THIS WEEK

NFL

In Sunday Night Football, the Cincinnati Bengals lost 31-34 to the Arizona Cardinals.

In other football news, the Indianapolis Colts beat the Atlanta Falcons 24-21, Tony Romo returned to the Dallas Cowboys who in turn defeated the Miami Dolphins 24-14, the Carolina Panthers looked dominant in a win  over the Washington Redskins 44-16 (which put them at 10-0 this season), and the Baltimore Ravens may have gotten the victory over the St. Louis Rams 16-13, but they’ve lost Joe Flacco for the rest of the season with a torn ACL.

Monday Night Football features the New England Patriots (who are now 9-0) v. the Buffalo Bills at 8:30pm EST on ESPN. And, Thursday Thanksgiving football includes three intriguing match-ups: Philadelphia Eagles v. Detroit Lions at 12:30pm on FOX, Dallas Cowboys v. Carolina Panthers at 4:30pm on CBS, and the Chicago Bears v. the Green Bay Packers at 8:30pm on NBC.

College Football

In college football-land, we had quite the weekend. #1 Clemson beat Wake Forest 33-13 and #2 Alabama defeated Charleston Southern 56-6 but #3 Ohio State was upset by #9 Michigan State 17-13. In other upset news, #10 Baylor got the win over #6 Oklahoma State 45-35 and UCLA took down #13 Utah 17-9.

So in terms of the rankings, this weekend adjusted things quite a bit. Clemson and Alabama stayed at their top spots respectively, but Iowa jumped up to the #3 spot followed by Notre Dame and Oklahoma.

Games to watch this week include:

  • #3 Iowa v. Nebraska – Saturday at 3:30pm EST on ABC
  • #8 Ohio State v.  #12 Michigan – Saturday at 12:00pm EST on ABC

College Basketball

Well hello, college hoops, welcome back to the quips! It’s still early but it was a fun week for some of the top ranked teams as #5 Duke bounced back from a loss to #2 Kentucky to defeat VCU 79-71 and Georgetown 86-84 to win the 2K classic on Sunday. Speaking of Kentucky, they looked pretty good in their big win against Duke this past week 74-63 and again against Wright State 78-63.

What about some of the other teams? #1 UNC suffered an early season upset, 71-67 to Northern Iowa while #3 Maryland continues to look tough after two solid wins this past week against Georgetown 75-71 and Rider 65-58.

What’s on deck this week? Lots of holiday hoops including the Battle For Atlantis,  Basketball Hall of Fame Classic, the Cancun Challenge and a number of other games.

NBA

Moving onto the professionals — let’s dive into the NBA. The Golden State Warriors went into Sunday night at an amazing 14-0 and after their 118-105 win against the Denver Nuggets made that record 15-0.

The number 1 team in the East to watch, the Cleveland Cavaliers, defeated the Atlanta Hawks 109-97 on Sunday afternoon after some interesting substitution issues resulting in a technical foul for Cleveland.

What’s it like to be in the top 50 of the NBA’s all-time scoring list? Ask DWade, who moved up the list after his Miami Heat defeated the Philadelphia 76ers on Saturday.

Soccer

On Saturday, Barcelona stunned Real Madrid 4-0 with the help of Neymar and Luis Suarez. Lionel Messi hadn’t quite recovered from his knee injury and although he returned to the roster, he remained on the bench for the Clasico match.

Leicester City moved to the top of the Premier League table after Jamie Vardy led the way to a 3-0 win against Newcastle United. Additionally on Saturday, Liverpool beat Manchester City 4-1 on Saturday. However, Arsenal was unable to take advantage of the City loss to ascend to the top of the table, due to a 1-2 loss to West Bromwich AlbionManchester United also scored a 2-1 victory against Watford, and Chelsea won 1-0 against Norwich City. In Sunday’s matchup, Tottenham defeated West Ham United 4-1 to clinch a #5 position on the table heading into the grueling holiday fixtures.

On Sunday, we watched the first leg of the MLS Eastern and Western Conference Finals. Justin Meram put Columbus Crew on the scoreboard with a goal only 10 seconds into the game. Columbus never relinquished that lead, and won 2-0 against the New York Red Bulls. Later in the day, the Portland Timbers won 3-1 against FC Dallas. The second leg of the Eastern and Western Conference Finals is next Sunday, November 29th (times are still pending).

Other

As the NHL season progresses, the Dallas Stars, New York Rangers and Montreal Canadiens head the top of the league standings.

In golf news, Rory McIlroy won both the DP World Tour Championship and the Race to Dubai on Sunday.

 

JUST FOR FUN

The Knicks are back
But, they can’t find a nickname for their newest sensation – Kristaps Porzingis

STORIES FOR INSIGHTS, COOL FACTOR + DEBATE

Brothers
Westbook and Durant
Learning more about the close brotherhood of KD and Russ in this exclusive interview

Heisman
We know it’s early… but, who do you have your eyes on?
As we watch college football roll on, we’re seeing some stars emerge

Can anyone beat the Warriors?
They’re a small lineup of stars, but they’re innovating and adjusting to stay on top
Stephen Curry, Klay Thompson, Andre Iguodala, Harrison Barnes, and Draymond Green play best when the team is in a tight spot

11.16.15: Steph gonna Steph

Good Morning! Let’s start our day with the greatness that is Steph Curry — he passed his father Dell on the all-time 3-point total list over the weekend at 1,248… Congrats Steph!

QUIPS FOR THIS WEEK

NFL

On Sunday night in the NFC West, the Arizona Cardinals won 39-32 against the Seattle Seahawks in Seattle.

Let’s talk about what happened in Week 10. On Thursday, the Buffalo Bills trumped the New York Jets 22-17 with Rex Ryan’s return to the Meadowlands. The Detroit Lions stopped their 24-game road losing streak with a win against the Green Bay Packers on Sunday afternoon, 18-16. The Tampa Bay Bucs beat the Dallas Cowboys, 10-6, and the Carolina Panthers maintained a perfect record by winning their game against the Tennessee Titans, 27-10. The Washington Redskins crushed the New Orleans Saints, 47-14, the Miami Dolphins rallied from a 13 point deficit against the Philadelphia Eagles to win 20-19, and the New York Giants lost 26-27 to the New England Patriots, who improved to 9-0 with that win. The Kansas City Chiefs won 29-13 against the Denver Broncos after Peyton Manning passed Brett Favre for the record for the most career passing yards (and was then benched in the third quarter).

Monday Night Football features the Cincinnati Bengals v. the Houston Texans at 8:30pm EST on ESPN.

College Football

We’re getting closer and closer to the end of college football season which means the games matter now more than ever. And on this past weekend, #1 Clemson beat Syracuse 37-27, #2 Alabama took down #17 Mississippi State 31-6, #3 Ohio State defeated Illinois 28-3, #4 Notre Dame topped Wake Forest 28-7, and #5 Iowa got the win over Minnesota 40-35. On the upset front, #13 Oklahoma beat #6 Baylor 44-34, Oregon shocked #7 Stanford 38-36 and #9 LSU lost to Arkansas 31-14 (all rankings from game times).

In all things rankings, Clemson stood strong at #1 followed by Ohio State, Alabama, Oklahoma State and Notre Dame to close out the top 5.

Games to watch this week include:

  • #2 Ohio State v. #9 Michigan State – Saturday at 3:30pm EST on ABC
  • #4 Oklahoma State v. #1o Baylor – Saturday at 7:30pm EST on FOX

NBA

The Cleveland Cavaliers are still the talk of the Eastern Conference. At 8-2, LeBron James and the Cavs are looking strong despite losing to the Milwaukee Bucks 108-105 in 2OT.

As for your injury updates — the Chicago Bulls worry that Derrick Rose will suffer from blurred vision for a few more months as he plays and recovers from orbital bone surgery.

Oh, and just like last week the Golden State Warriors are still undefeated at 11-0.

Other

Last night, the New York Rangers scored their ninth straight victory with a 4-3 win over the Toronto Maple Leafs.

Former world boxing champion, Holly Holm, scored the sport’s biggest upset on Sunday in Melbourne when she knocked out Ronda Rousey in the second round. With this, she claimed the  bantamweight championship fight. This was the first UFC event held in Melbourne, and it broke the promotion’s previous attendance record.

Tune for some quality early season college hoops this week as Duke faces Kentucky and Michigan State takes on Kansas on Tuesday night in Chicago. Perhaps a preview for the Final Four?

 

JUST FOR FUN

And then there’s Jabari
During Saturday’s game against the Cavs, the Milwaukee Bucks’ forward was dunking hard

STORIES FOR INSIGHTS, COOL FACTOR + DEBATE

Just Keep Swimming
Michael Phelps is getting ready for Rio
He may have encountered some troubles, but he’s a new man and is excited to perform

Successor
5 candidates cleared to run for president
Keep your eyes peeled for controversy as FIFA looks to replace Sepp Blatter

11.9.15: Lots of Soccer

There was a lot of great soccer this weekend, but this Neymar goal against Villarreal certainly takes the cake. We’ll be watching this goal of the year candidate on replay! Check it out:

QUIPS FOR THIS WEEK

NFL

On Sunday night, NFC East rivals the Philadelphia Eagles and the Dallas Cowboys went head to head in Texas, and the Eagles left with the OT win, 33-27.

This weekend of football was quite fun. The Carolina Panthers remain undefeated after beating the Green Bay Packers 37-29, as did the New England Patriots after getting the win 27-10 over the Washington Redskins, and the Cincinnati Bengals over the Cleveland Browns 31-10. In other news starring the Manning brothers, the Denver Broncos suffered their first loss to the Indianapolis Colts 27-24 and the New York Giants beat the Tampa Bay Bucs 32-18.

Monday Night Football features the Chicago Bears v. the San Diego Chargers at 8:30pm EST on ESPN.

College Football

Let’s talk about Week 10. #1 Clemson beat #19 Florida State 23-13 in an ACC match-up, #3 Alabama upset #9 LSU 30-16 (they were ranked #2 at the time), #2 Ohio State defeated Minnesota and #6 Notre Dame got the victory over Pittsburgh 42-30. Oh and in a surprise win, Nebraska topped previously #7 Michigan State 39-38 while #5 Oklahoma State (then #14) pulled off an upset against #13 TCU (then #8), 49-29.

The new top 5 rankings  was shaken up a little with Clemson, Ohio State, Alabama, Baylor and Oklahoma State closing out the top.

Games to watch this week include:

  • #3 Alabama vs. #20 Mississippi State – Saturday at 3:30pm EST on CBS
  • #12 Oklahoma vs. #4 Baylor – Saturday at 8:00pm EST on ABC

NBA

This weekend, the LA Lakers featured a classic showdown against the New York Knicks, and lost 95-99 in the Garden. Kobe Bryant is back from injury but we’re already debating whether or not this season will be his last.

In other news, the Brooklyn Nets are relieved to learn that starting center Brook Lopez didn’t suffer a serious injury in his foot and will likely be back on the court this week.

Oh, and the Golden State Warriors remain undefeated  after beating the  Sacramento Kings 103-94 in a game that featured Steph Curry versus his little brother Seth Curry.

Soccer

Group stage matchday 4 for the UEFA Champions League was Tuesday/Wednesday of this past week. On Tuesday, Atlético Madrid and Astana finished with a goalless tieManchester City won 3-1 against Sevilla, Paris lost 0-1 to Real Madrid, and Manchester United won 1-0 against CSKA Moskva. On Wednesday, Arsenal lost hope of qualifying for the Champions League knockout stages after losing 1-5 to Bayern Munich. Chelsea beat Dynamo Kiev 2-1 (a step in the right direction for Chelsea!), and Barcelona took home a 3-0 win over BATE. Check out the other scores here. Matchday 5 will be Tuesday, November 24th and Wednesday, November 25th.
On Saturday in the Premier League, Man U won 2-0 against West Bromwich Albion and Leicester City won 2-1 against Watford. On Sunday, Aston Villa (with new manager Remi Garde) broke their seven-game losing streak after tying Man City 0-0, Arsenal finished with a 1-1 draw against Tottenham Hotspur, and Crystal Palace handed Jurgen Klopp his first Liverpool loss, 2-1.
There were some exciting games in La Liga this Sunday. Athletic Bilbao scored a 2-1 win over Espanyol with the help of 21-year-old Iñaki Williams, who scored a goal of the year candidate. Luis Suarez and Neymar were in fine form (as you can tell by our intro!) and Barcelona beat Villarreal to top the league. In the afternoon, Real Madrid lost to Sevilla 2-3.
The second round of the MLS Eastern and Western Conference Semifinals was this Sunday. The New York Red Bulls beat D.C. United 1-0, Columbus Crew won 3-1 against the Montreal ImpactFC Dallas won 2-1 against the Seattle Sounders, and the Vancouver Whitecaps lost 0-2 to the Portland Timbers. The winners (NYRB, Columbus, FCD and Portland) will move on to the first leg of the Conference Championships on Sunday, November 22nd – get ready!

Other

The World Gymnastics Championship wrapped up on Sunday. Japan, the U.S., Great Britain, and Cuba went home with impressive wins, and we’ll be keeping our eyes on them during the 2016 Rio Olympics!

 

JUST FOR FUN

I just can’t take it anymore
LeBron tears the sleeves off his jersey (because… should basketball jerseys really have sleeves? No.)

STORIES FOR INSIGHTS, COOL FACTOR + DEBATE

Junior League
Rangers’ Marty St. Louis is still on the ice
He retired after 16 seasons in the NHL, but now, he’s teaching kids to play hockey and be great teammates

On Strike
Mizzou football players are boycotting university president Tim Wolfe
They won’t take part in football activities until Wolfe, who has come under fire for his management of racial controversies at the school, is removed

11.2.15: Comeback kids

Welcome to November, Team SQ! There’s much to discuss after a wonderful weekend of sports but first, let’s congratulate the Kansas City Royals on their comeback last night, and their World Series win!

QUIPS FOR THIS WEEK

MLB

The World Series ended on Sunday night when the Kansas City Royals rallied with two runs in the 9th inning and five more in the 12th to beat the New York Mets in Game 5, 7-2. This is Kansas City’s first title in 30 years. Congrats, KC!

NFL

On Sunday night, the Denver Broncos powered their way past the Green Bay Packers 29-10 to remain undefeated this season.

Let’s talk more football. Sunday featured a shootout between the New York Giants and the New Orleans Saints, who won at home 52-49 in New Orleans, an Oakland Raiders victory over the New York Jets 34-20, and a very close victory for the Seattle Seahawks over the Dallas Cowboys at 13-12. Also of note, far too many star players were injured during Week 8.

Monday Night Football features the Carolina Panthers and the Indianapolis Colts at 8:30pm EST on ESPN.

College Football

There was plenty of drama during Week 9 starting with the wild ending of the DukeMiami game. Long story short, Miami won, but the refs are suspended after missing calls at key moments in the game. In other Week 9 news, #3 Clemson looked strong in a win  over NC State 56-40, and #9 Stanford got a narrow win over Washington Stateas did #8 Notre Dame with a victory over #23 Temple 24-20.

In coaching news, Virgina Tech’s Frank Beamer announced his resignation from the team at the end of the season.

The top 5 rankings remain the same with Ohio State, Baylor, Clemson, LSU and TCU staying in the same order.

Games to watch this week include:

  • Duke vs. North Carolina – Saturday at 12:00pm EST on ESPN2
  • #17 FSU vs. #3 Clemson – Saturday at 3:30pm EST on ABC
  • #5 TCU vs. Oklahoma State – Saturday at 3:30pm EST on FOX
  • #4 LSU vs. #7 Alabama – Saturday at 8:00pm EST on CBS

NBA

Stephen Curry and the Golden State Warriors are ready for this new season. Curry had 53 points against the New Orleans Pelicans on Saturday night, including a 28-point 3rd quarter in which he outscored the entire Pelicans team to remain undefeated. Looks like the champs are back.

In other early NBA news, the Houston Rockets are 0-3 after losing to the Miami Heat on Sunday afternoon. Good news: it’s way early in the season. Bad news: the rest of the West could care less.

Finally, in New York Knicks-land, Carmelo Anthony dropped 37 points against the Washington Wizards on Saturday night in a win in the District.

Soccer

MLS playoffs began this week, and DC United, the Seattle Sounders, Montreal Impact, and Portland Timbers all advanced to the knockout rounds. DC United met the New York Red Bulls, the Portland Timbers met the Vancouver Whitecaps, Montreal Impact met Columbus Crew, and the Seattle Sounders met FC Dallas. They’ll play each other again in the second leg next Sunday, November 8th.

In Premier League soccer this Saturday, Arsenal beat Swansea City 3-0, Manchester United tied 0-0 against Crystal PalaceManchester City beat Norwich City 2-1 to reclaim the top spot in the league, and Liverpool beat Chelsea 3-1. This is Chelsea’s sixth loss in eleven Premier League matches, which comes as a shock after last year’s championship. On Sunday, Sunderland lost 2-6 to Everton and Southampton beat newly promoted side AFC Bournemouth 2-0.

In La Liga, both Real Madrid and Barcelona took home wins against Las Palmas and Getafe, respectively.

Other

For the third time, the New Zealand All Blacks took home the Rugby World Cup championship. This year they beat out fierce rivals, Australia, for the win.

The always impressive runners in the NYC Marathon never cease to amaze. This years winners include: Stanley Biwott of Kenya for the men in 2 hours, 10 minutes and 34 seconds, and Mary Keitany of Kenya for the women in 2 hours, 24 minutes and 25 seconds.

Finally, college basketball is starting to heat up with preseason games — get excited!

JUST FOR FUN

Boom
5-year-old Rob Gronkowski’s piñata game was fierce

STORIES FOR INSIGHTS, COOL FACTOR + DEBATE

Goodbye, Grantland
ESPN is suspending the site
Sources speculate that the shut down began several months ago when Bill Simmons left — we’ll miss you!

This year in the NBA
What are we expecting?
The last recommendation on this list — “don’t draw conclusions after one game.” We’re expecting the unexpected

In memoriam
How the Minnesota Timberwolves are remembering Flip Saunders
They’ll wear shirts that say “We” (referencing their “We over Me” mantra) and “Flip” to warm up for the first month of the season