11.28.16: O-H-I-O

Happy Monday, Team SQ. Feeling a little tired from the holiday break? Let’s get energized by reliving Ohio State’s game-winning play from Saturday’s epic double OT win over Michigan.

QUIPS FOR THIS WEEK

NFL

Let’s talk about this weekend’s games in the NFL (assuming you followed Thursday’s games, but if notCowboys, Cowboys, Cowboys!), starting with the New York Football Giants. The G-Men got their 6th straight win of the season after defeating the win-less Cleveland Browns 27-13 and with the strong performance of Odell Beckham Jr.. Outside of the NFC East, Tom Brady (who got his 200th win slash tied the league record) and the New England Patriots took down the New York Jets 22-17, and the Oakland Raiders beat the Carolina Panthers 35-32. Of note, the Oakland Raiders were also the first team since 2014 to get a roughing the passer penalty against QB Cam Newton.

One surprising loss from the weekend was the Seattle Seahawks, who lost to the Tampa Bay Buccaneers 14-5, who held Russell Wilson scoreless (aka no TDs). Oh, and in Sunday night’s game, the Kansas City Chiefs topped the Denver Broncos 30-27 after Tyreek Hill led the way with 3 TDs.

Monday Night Football features the Green Bay Packers at the Philadelphia Eagles at 8:30pm on ESPN.

College Football

College football had a few notable moments this past weekend — As we mentioned in our intro, #2 Ohio State defeated #3 Michigan in Columbus in a thrilling 30-27 2 OT game (the first OT/2OT game in the history of the rivalry) with the help of Curtis Samuel’s 15 yard TD. Outside of that, #1 Alabama held off #13 Auburn in the Iron Bowl 30-12 after a shaky offensive start to the game, and #4 Clemson looked dominant in a 56-7 win over South Carolina.

Coming out of week 13, the top 5 shifted slightly with the new rankings as follows: Alabama, Ohio State, Clemson, Washington and Michigan.

Next Saturday, it’s all about the conference championships including:

  • SEC Championship — #1 Alabama vs. #15 Florida at 4pm on CBS
  • ACC Championship — #4 Clemson vs. VTech at 8pm on ABC
  • Big Ten Championship — #6 Wisconsin vs. #7 Penn State at 8pm on FOX

NBA

Can you believe we are already a month into the NBA season? Over at the Ringer, check out a fun recap into what top players have given us something to talk about so far.

Specifically, in NBA-land, a few fun things to discuss coming out of last weekend and this past weekend — the Cleveland Cavaliers continue to look strong, not only with wins (and dance moves) but with strong performances from both Kyrie Irving and Kevin Love. Of note, Kevin Love had a 34 point quarter in last week’s win against the Portland Trail Blazers. As always, LeBron James has been pretty unstoppable too — In Sunday’s game against the Philadelphia 76ers he had a triple double to help the Cavs build up their 13-2 record.

Speaking of triple doubles, it’s  been all about Russell Westbrook of the Oklahoma City Thunder this season. Westbrook had his 44th triple double of his career (tying LeBron) in Saturday’s 106-88 win over the Detroit Pistons with a 17 point, 15 assist, 13 rebound performance.

College Basketball

Moving on to college hoops – let’s take a look at the week ahead featuring the Big Ten ACC challenge. Notable match-ups include:

  • #24 Michigan State vs. #6 Duke – Tuesday at 9:30pm on ESPN
  • #4 North Carolina vs. #3 Indiana – Wednesday at 9:15pm on ESPN

The first weekend of December also brings some excitement as #1 Kentucky takes on #14 UCLA on Saturday at 12:30pm on CBS.

 

JUST FOR FUN

Senior Day Moment
Lawrence Erekosima’s mom is stationed with the Army in Kuwait — so, to say he was surprised to see her at Alabama’s senior day… that’s an understatement

STORIES FOR INSIGHTS, COOL FACTOR + DEBATE

Revolution
Although Jurgen Klinsmann was let go from the USMNT, his legacy will live on
By overhauling and elevating the team, he drew the public eye towards soccer in the United States

Keep an eye on the Lakers
They started out the season strong, but are starting to falter
First-year coach Luke Walton has built up a young team, and the fans are excited — but, if they don’t make the playoffs this year, are the improvements good enough?

Happy 99th!
The NHL became official on November 26th, 1917
Since their goal was to perpetuate the game of hockey, what’s better than looking at the best moments of the sport through Wayne Gretzky’s eyes?

11.21.16: Thanksgiving Football

Happy Thanksgiving week, Team SQ. Because there will be lots of football to watch this week, we’re starting today off with one of the best plays from the weekend — see: Seattle Seahawks here:

QUIPS FOR THIS WEEK

NFL

Let’s kick things off with this weekend’s NFL highlights  — Coming out of week 11, we saw the Seattle Seahawks defeat the Philadelphia Eagles 26-15 with the help of a trick play (see above) from Doug Baldwin to Russell Wilson for a TD, the New York Giants took down the Chicago Bears 22-16 for their 5th straight win in a game where Eli Manning had 2 TDs, and the Dallas Cowboys got a 27-17 win over the Baltimore Ravens and Ezekiel Elliott set the rookie record for rushing yards a season for the Cowboys.

On Sunday Night Football, the Washington Redskins defeated the Green Bay Packers
42-24 after Kirk Cousins’ big night (3 TD, 375 yards.)

Monday Night Football features the Houston Texans vs. the Oakland Raiders on ESPN at 8:30pm.  Additionally, there will be plenty of football this Thursday on Thanksgiving including:

  • Minnesota Vikings vs. Detroit Lions on CBS at 12:30pm
  • Washington Redskins vs. Dallas Cowboys on Fox at 4:30pm
  • Pittsburgh Steelers vs. Indianapolis Colts on NBC at 8:30pm

College Football

In week 12 of college football, #1 Alabama continued their dominance, this time over Chattanooga 31-3 while #2 Ohio State narrowly defeated Michigan State 17-16. #3 Michigan rolled against Indiana 20-10 while #4 Clemson got an expected easy win over Wake Forest 35-13.

With this weekend’s result, the new AP rankings has 3 teams from the Big Ten — the first time in 56 years — with Ohio State, Michigan and Wisconsin all getting in with Alabama and Clemson.

All of this sets up next weekend for some top ranked action heading into week 13 — of note, #3 Michigan and #2 Ohio State face off next Saturday at noon on ABC.

College Basketball

Things are heating up in College Basketball land as the season starts to really get underway. This past weekend, #1 Duke overcame last week’s tough loss (and ongoing injuries) to #8 Kansas to get two straight wins and the Tip Off tournament championship after defeating Rhode Island 75-65 on Sunday.

This week, tune in for tons of college hoops as the Thanksgiving holiday tournaments kick off this week. We’ll be watching!

NBA

It may still be on the early side of the NBA season, but here are a few stories to check out this week:

Other

On Tuesday, Leg 1 of the MLS Conference Finals begins. At 8pm EST, Montreal Impact will take on Toronto FC, and at 10pm EST, Seattle Sounders FC will play the Colorado Rapids. Then, on Sunday the 27th, Seattle and Colorado will play again for Game 2, and on Wednesday the 30th, Montreal and Toronto will play their Game 2, before the finals on Saturday, December 10th.

JUST FOR FUN

Let it snow
After Michigan beat Indiana in their last home game of the season, they made snow angels to celebrate

STORIES FOR INSIGHTS, COOL FACTOR + DEBATE

Making History
The oldest player to play in a D1 football game
Joe Thomas Sr., the 55-year-old RB, played in South Carolina State’s win over Savannah State on senior day

Come together
When DraftKings and FanDuel merge…
As the daily fantasy sports industry is plagued by financial difficulties, the two companies seek to provide services to a larger and stronger client base by working together

“How do we feel about football right now?”
For many, it’s a beloved escape from reality, and it’s an American institution
But, SI questions whether declining ratings and increasing concerns over player perception and player safety are showing that the sport has already peaked

 

11.14.16: Triple Double

Good Morning. Kicking things off today with highlights from Russell Westbrook’s 8th triple double (including 41 points and 16 assists) of the season in last night’s game:

QUIPS FOR THIS WEEK

NFL

Another week in the NFL and much to discuss.  The Dallas Cowboys topped the Pittsburgh Steelers 35-30 after a great performance from Ezekiel Elliot (114 yards, 2 TDs) and Dak Prescott (319 yards, 2 TDs). Of note, Dak Prescott will likely be the starter next week even with the return of Tony Romo to the line-up.

In other news, the Philadelphia Eagles topped the Atlanta Falcons 24-15 with the help of Ryan Matthews’ 2 TDs and 108 yards, and the Minnesota Vikings had their fourth straight loss of the season, this time against Washington in a 26-20 game.

In Sunday night’s game, the Seattle Seahawks topped the New England Patriots — Seattle’s Doug Baldwin had 3 TDs in the the impressive 31-24 win.

Monday Night Football features the New York Giants versus the Cincinnati Bengals on ESPN at 8:30pm EST.

College Football

As we head closer to the playoffs, college football was all about upsets this past weekend. On Saturday, 3 of the top 5 teams lost to their opponents, creating a bit of a shake-up in the rankings. While #1 Alabama had a convincing win over Mississippi State 51-3, #2 Clemson lost a very close game to Pittsburgh 43-42, #3 Michigan was defeated by Iowa 14-13, and #4 Washington fell to #20 USC 26-13.

On the other hand, #5 Ohio State had a dominating win over Maryland 62-3 in College Park.

What does all of this mean for the rankings? Well, in the new top 5, we see #1 Alabama per last week followed by Ohio State, Louisville, Michigan and Clemson.

Basketball

What a night for Andrew Wiggins. The Minnesota Timberwolves star had a career high 47 points on Sunday in a game against the LA Lakers.

This week, college basketball begins to really heat up with two great games — Kentucky versus Michigan State and Duke versus Kansas  — both at MSG on Tuesday night.

 

JUST FOR FUN

Thirteen
Take a shot by shot look of Steph Curry’s record 13 3-pointers in one game

STORIES FOR INSIGHTS, COOL FACTOR + DEBATE

College Basketball Predictions
Now that the season has started…
We can start to guess who’s going to win it all

Must Win
World Cup watch
Will Team USA qualify for the World Cup?

After Hoops
Kobe Bryant moves on
Micah Peters interviews Kobe Bryant on the next phase of life in The Ringer


11.7.16: The Greatest

Good morning, Team SQ. We begin today with a fun tribute video to one of the greatest 3-point shooters in NBA history, Ray Allen who announced his retirement this week. One thing is for sure, retirement or not — he’s still got game.

QUIPS FOR THIS WEEK

NBA

On Sunday, LeBron James (who was joined by teammate JR Smith) introduced Hillary Clinton at a campaign rally in Cleveland, Ohio. LeBron, who previously endorsed Hillary in an op-ed in Business Insider, encouraged people to vote and spoke on behalf of the candidate two days before the election.

In other LeBron news, the NBA’s top player just joined the list of top 10 highest scorers in league history, after his undefeated Cleveland Cavaliers got a 102-101 victory over the Philadelphia 76ers on Saturday. Can he get to number 1?

Finally, while the Golden State Warriors got the win over the Oklahoma City Thunder last week after Kevin Durant’s big night, the story between him and Russell Westbrook continues. Here’s to hoping to more great match-ups between two of the leagues best players and former teammates this season.

NFL

Lots to discuss coming out of Week 9 in the NFL — starting with the NFC East. After a week off, the New York Giants got a much needed win against the Philadelphia Eagles 28-23 in large part because of birthday boy Odell Beckham Jr.’s (he turned 24!) 2 TDs and Eli Manning’s 4 TDs in total. Also in the NFC East, the Dallas Cowboys got another win, this time against the Cleveland Browns 35-10. Keep in mind they’ve got a rookie QB in Dak Prescott, who’s now won 7 of 8 games as the starting QB — yesterday, he had 3 TDs and threw for 247 yards.

Outside of the NFC East, the Detroit Lions got a surprising victory over the Minnesota Vikings 22-16, handing the Vikings their third loss of the season — thanks to Matthew Stafford’s game winning TD pass to Golden Tate in OT, and the Indianapolis Colts got a strong 31-26 win over the Green Bay Packers in a game where Andrew Luck started with 2 interceptions and finished with a TD and 281 yards by the end of the game.

Oh, and also on Sunday, the Oakland Raiders continued to prove that they’re legit with a big win over the Denver Broncos 30-20 bringing their record to 7-2 and putting them atop the AFC West.

This week’s Monday Night Football features the Buffalo Bills vs. the Seattle Seahawks at 8:30pm EST on ESPN.

College Football

Moving on from the pros, let’s dive into to college football where the playoffs are right around the corner. This past weekend, #1 Alabama got another win but in a very low scoring 10-0 game over #13 LSU, while #2 Clemson got a 54-0 victory over Syracuse and #3 Michigan defeated Maryland 59-3.

The major upset coming out of the weekend was #4 Texas A&M’s 35-28 loss to Mississippi State.

No major changes in the Top Ten as the first 6 teams stayed the same with Alabama, Michigan, Clemson, Washington, Louisville and Ohio State holding strong with their rankings.

JUST FOR FUN

Making history
The Chicago Cubs’ victory celebration was the 7th largest gathering ever

STORIES FOR INSIGHTS, COOL FACTOR + DEBATE

Making up for lost time
The Cubs win
But, what made Game 7 such a game changer?

“Any Given Wednesday”
Bill Simmons’ underperforming show will air its last episode on HBO this week
The show may not have garnered a large audience, but the network is still standing behind Simmons and working to develop new programming initiatives for 2017

Ask him anything
Charles Oakley
His honesty may have put him on the wrong side of the Knicks, but he’s still at home in Cleveland