MISS anything in the past week? Don’t worry here’s the complete SBF wrap-up from the biggest stories in sports from the last 7 days.
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- WE LEARNED…THE FIRST RETURNS IN NBA ALL-STAR VOTING ARE IN
STEPH Curry, LeBron James, Kevin Durant and Kyrie Irving. All of us expected them to contend for the top-vote getter spot in the first All-Star voting returns. None of them could beat out Giannis Antetokounmpo though, who paces the way throughout the league with over 850,000. The aforementioned players and James Harden were the only six players to register over 500,000 votes.
- WE LEARNED…NICK SABAN MIGHT BE GOD
ACTUALLY scratch that, he is God. The National Championship once again featured Alabama squaring off against a lively challenger, this time in the form of their SEC rivals Georgia. Saban’s former assistant Kirby Smart and the Bulldogs had Bama’s number in the first half and it looked bleak for the Crimson Tide. A game-changing quarterback change saw true freshman Tua Tagovailoa lead a furious comeback to force overtime and eventually deliver Saban his 6th championship. The win helped Saban tie Bear Bryant for the most titles by a coach in the Poll Era.
- WE LEARNED…OHIO STATE PULLED OFF UPSET OF THE WEEK
IN my Sunday Picks I wrote that the Buckeyes could upset No. 1 Michigan State. Could, but wouldn’t. Oh how wrong I was. From start to finish Ohio State looked like the best team in the nation and a blitz to close the first half set up the 80-64 win. It was just the Spartans second loss all season as Ohio State moved to 4-0 in conference play.
- WE LEARNED…THAT JUST EIGHT REMAIN
FOR the Panthers, Bills, Rams and Chiefs their seasons’ are done and dusted after a brief playoffs visit. Looking ahead to the divisional round there are just eight teams left, with the top seeds in the AFC and NFC retaking to the field this weekend with a chance to advance to the championship game.
- WE LEARNED… LITHUANIAN LAMELO AND LIANGELO ARE HERE
THE two youngest Ball bros made their pro debut in Lithuania yesterday with their brash, outspoken dad cheering them on from the stands. In a gym packed with around 1,500 fans, LaMelo wowed with several no-look dimes finishing with 10 points and nine assists. LiAngelo managed to score 19 points in the first game of the Big Baller Brand Challenge, a series of five “friendly” games designed to expose Prienai Vytautas’ new signings.
- WE LEARNED…THERE ARE SOME NEW NFL COACH HIRINGS
THE Oakland Raiders confirmed the league’s worst kept secret yesterday when they formally introduced Jon Gruden as their new head coach. Gruden previously coached the Raiders from 1998-2001 going 38-26 in that stretch. Oakland wasn’t the only team with a new hiring as the Chicago Bears appointed former Chiefs offensive coordinator Matt Nagy as their new man in charge.
- WE LEARNED…MARKUS HOWARD CAN SCORE
SCORING 52 points against a Div-1 opponent in college is a pretty impressive feat. That’s exactly what Markus Howard managed to do last Wednesday, setting a Big East and Marquette school record in the process. Howard canned 11 3-pointers in his scoring binge as the Golden Eagles prevailed over Providence in overtime 95-90. It was no flash in the pan performance with Howard following it up with 37 against one of the nation’s best teams in Villanova.