INDIANA BOYS BASKETBALL SCORES THURSDAY

Cascade 53 West Morgan (Ala.) 43
East Noble 56 Churubusco 44
Fort Wayne Dwenger 58 Angola 44
Greenfield-Central 73 Tri-Central 43
Indianapolis Ritter 65 Speedway 58
Lawrence North 68 Franklin Central 51
Plainfield 75 Southport 53
Tri-Central 65 Waldron 35
Tri 58 Wes-Del 33
Vincennes Rivet 53 Cannelton 17
Yorktown 74 Anderson 72 OT


Batesville Tournament
Columbus North 56 Batesville 53 R1
Indianapolis Roncalli 66 Pendleton Heights 56 R1
Batesville 69 Pendleton Heights 62 3rd
Indianapolis Roncalli 56 Columbus North 46 1st


Belfry (Ky.) Tournament
Avon 81 Menifee County (Ky.) 48 R1
Bismarck-Henning (Ill.) Tournament
Indiana Math & Science Danville JV (Ill.) 11:00 am
Indiana Math & Science Milford (Ill.) 6:30 pm


Clay City Tournament
North Vermillion 57 Owen Valley 54 Pool A
Clay City 67 North Central (Farmersburg) 44 Pool B
Tri-West 70 North Vermillion 38 Pool A
North Central (Farmersburg) 71 Riverton Parke 68 Pool B
Tri-West 63 Owen Valley 28 Pool A
Clay City 73 Riverton Parke 21 Pool B


Clinton Central Tournament
North Putnam 62 Carroll (Flora) 39 R1
Noblesville HomeSchool 47 Fountain Central 39 R1
Tipton 76 Clinton Prairie 46 R1
Carroll (Flora) 66 Fountain Central 46 Con


Delta Tournament
Fort Wayne South 75 Winchester 51 7th
Columbia City 49 Tippecanoe Valley 35 5th
Muncie Central 56 Fort Wayne Concordia 49 3rd
Delta 52 Northeastern 43 1st


Edinburgh Tournament
South Decatur 79 Victory College Prep 25 7th
Borden 62 Union County 25 5th
Austin 76 Edinburgh 48 3rd
Hauser 62 Jac-Cen-Del 53 1st


Fishers Tournament
Chesterton 57 Lawrence Central 54 R1
South Bend Riley 60 Jeffersonville 58 R1
Portage 69 Evansville Bosse 66 R1
Fishers 94 Bloomington North 48 R1
Lawrence Central 70 Jeffersonville 64 Con
Bloomington North 70 Evansville Bosse 64 Con


Hebron Tournament
Tri-County 75 Portage Christian 28 3rd
Hebron 60 South Bend Career 54 1st


Henryville Invitational
Henryville 66 Brown County 54 R1
Springs Valley 77 Southwestern (Shelbyville) 46 R1
Brown County 75 Southwestern (Shelbyville) 72 3rd
Springs Valley 65 Henryville 60 1st


Highland Tournament
Andrean 68 Whiting 23 7th
Kankakee Valley 68 Calumet 40 5th
Griffith 39 Highland 29 3rd
Lafayette Jeff 51 Morgan Twp. 46 1st


Homestead Tournament
Valparaiso 46 Mishawaka Marian 39 Pool A
Zionsville 53 Carroll (Fort Wayne) 44 Pool B
Hamilton Southeastern 48 Homestead 38 Pool A
Munster 66 South Bend St. Joseph 50 Pool B
South Bend St. Joseph 68 Homestead 62 OT | 7th
Mishawaka Marian 49 Carroll (Fort Wayne) 44 5th
Valparaiso 59 Zionsville 56 3rd
Hamilton Southeastern 57 Munster 56 2OT | 1st


Huntington North Tournament
Huntington North 61 South Bend Adams 59 Pool A
Indianapolis Tech 61 Merrillville 58 Pool B
East Chicago Central 79 South Bend Adams 69 Pool A
Fort Wayne Snider 61 Merrillville 59 Pool B
East Chicago Central 62 Huntington North 56 Pool A
Indianapolis Tech 62 Fort Wayne Snider 61 OT | Pool B


Kouts Tournament
Frontier 64 Kouts 61 R1
North Judson 37 Trinity Greenlawn 21 R1
Kouts 52 Trinity Greenlawn 23 3rd
North Judson 52 Frontier 41 1st


LaPorte Tournament
Northridge 54 Fort Wayne Luers 52 R1
Hanover Central 53 Hammond Morton 50 R1
Fort Wayne Luers 76 Hammond Morton 57 Con
Northridge 54 Hanover Central 38 SF


Lebanon Tournament
Mooresville 42 Indianapolis Metropolitan 36 R1
Evansville North 93 University 72 R1
Gary 21st Century 68 Faith Christian 32 R1
Lebanon 57 Perry Meridian 44 R1
Miami County Invitational
Caston 47 North Miami 26 3rd
Maconaquah 88 Peru 83 1st


Mitchell Tournment
Salem 59 New Washington 36 5th
Shoals 48 White River Valley 34 3rd
Mitchell 47 Franklin County 42 1st


Morristown Classic
Greenfield-Central 73 Tri-Central 43
Waldron 67 Indianapolis Herron 28
Indianapolis Chatard 85 Sheridan 60
Monroe Central 39 Morristown 38
Tri-Central 65 Waldron 35
Greenfield-Central 66 Indianapolis Chatard 49
Sheridan 55 Monroe Central 48
Morristown 69 Indianapolis Herron 19


North Central Classic
Lake Central 61 Pike 45
Park Tudor 68 Evansville Reitz 46
Carmel 60 Evansville Harrison 46
North Central (Indianapolis) 52 Louisville Trinity (Ky.) 50


Rich Twp. (Ill.) Tournament
Hammond Noll 58 Crete-Monee (Ill.) 44


Richmond Tournament
Heritage Christian 55 Seton Catholic 53 R1
Fort Wayne North 52 Indianapolis Shortridge 36 R1
NorthWood 59 North Decatur 47 R1
Indianapolis Tindley 68 Centerville 65 R1
Greensburg 54 Indianapolis Scecina 52 OT | R1
Bloomington South 57 Bellmont 42 R1
Richmond 76 Indianapolis HomeSchool 49 R1
East Central 58 Phalen Academy 48 R1
Seton Catholic 81 Indianapolis Shortridge 71 2OT | Con
Heritage Christian 61 Fort Wayne North 55 QF
North Decatur 63 Centerville 46 Con
Indianapolis Tindley 59 NorthWood 56 QF
Bellmont 51 Indianapolis Scecina 46 OT | Con
Greensburg 59 Bloomington South 50 QF
Indianapolis HomeSchool Phalen Academy 7:30 pm
Richmond 51 East Central 28 QF


River Forest Tournament
River Forest 69 Lake Station 37 R1
Hobart 60 Wheeler 20 R1
Lake Station 46 Wheeler 40 3rd
Hobart 45 River Forest 42 1st


Sevierville (Tenn.) Tournament
South Dearborn 80 Claiborne (Tenn.) 45 Con
Silver Creek Tournament
Silver Creek 50 Clarksville 39 R1
Providence 40 Charlestown 35 R1


Tabernacle Christian Tournament
Legacy Elite 64 Crothersville 45
Crothersville 57 Connersville Christian 56


Union City Tournament
Elwood 55 Southern Wells 50 OT | Pool A
Eastern (Greentown) 58 Bluffton 43 Pool B
Union City 64 Southern Wells 39 Pool A
Eastern (Greentown) 54 Randolph Southern 39 Pool B
Union City 47 Elwood 41 Pool A
Bluffton 56 Randolph Southern 16 Pool B


Wabash Valley Tournament
Northview 58 Robinson (Ill.) 49 Con
Shakamak 62 Cloverdale 43 Con
Bloomfield 45 West Vigo 38 Con
Greencastle 46 Casey-Westfield (Ill.) 42 Con
Sullivan 63 Linton-Stockton 50 Con
Marshall (Ill.) 62 South Vermillion 53 Con
Terre Haute South 62 Parke Heritage 52 SF
Terre Haute North 51 Edgewood 45 SF

INDIANA BOYS BASKETBALL FRIDAY SCHEDULE

ALL TIMES EASTERN
Adams Central at Eastbrook 7:30 pm
Blue River at Wapahani 7:30 pm
Cannelton at Shawe Memorial 7:30 pm
Columbus East at Mount Vernon (Fortville) 6:30 pm
Eastern (Pekin) at Floyd Central 7:30 pm
Evansville Central at Jasper 8:00 pm
Evansville Memorial at Brebeuf Jesuit 4:30 pm
Gibson Southern at Forest Park 8:00 pm
Heritage at Celina (Ohio) 7:30 pm
Indianapolis Riverside at Taylor 7:30 pm
Lawrence North at Marion 7:30 pm
Loogootee at Washington 7:30 pm
Martinsville at Shelbyville 7:30 pm
Medora at Columbus Christian 7:30 pm
Michigan City at Lighthouse CPA 8:00 pm
Mount Vernon (Posey) vs. Mayfield (Ky.) 1:30 pm
Seeger at West Lafayette 5:30 pm
Shenandoah at Liberty Christian 7:30 pm
Westville at Portage Christian 8:00 pm
Wood Memorial at Dugger Union 7:30 pm


Belfry (Ky.) Tournament
Avon vs. TBA TBA R2
Bismarck-Henning (Ill.) Tournament
Indiana Math & Science vs. TBA TBA Place


Clay City Tournament
Owen Valley vs. Riverton Parke 4:00 pm 5th
North Vermillion vs. North Central (Farmersburg) 5:30 pm 3rd
Tri-West at Clay City 7:00 pm 1st


Clinton Central Tournament
North Putnam vs. Noblesville HomeSchool 10:00 am SF
Western vs. Winner Game 4 11:45 am SF
Fountain Central vs. Loser Game 6 1:30 pm 7th
Carroll (Flora) vs. Winner Game 6 3:15 pm 5th
Loser Game 7 vs. Loser Game 8 6:30 pm 3rd
Winner Game 7 vs. Winner Game 8 8:00 pm 1st


Fishers Tournament
Chesterton vs. South Bend Riley 10:30 am SF
Portage at Fishers 12:15 pm SF
Jeffersonville vs. Evansville Bosse 2:00 pm 7th
Lawrence Central vs. Bloomington North 3:45 pm 5th
Loser Game 7 vs. Loser Game 8 5:30 pm 3rd
Winner Game 7 vs. Winner Game 8 7:15 pm 1st


Huntington North Tournament
Merrillville vs. South Bend Adams 12:00 pm 5th
Fort Wayne Snider at Huntington North 2:00 pm 3rd
Indianapolis Tech vs. East Chicago Central 4:00 pm 1st


Lakeland Christian Tournament
Clinton Christian vs. Lakeland Christian 10:00 am Pool A
Demotte Christian vs. Westville 11:30 am Pool B
Illiana Christian vs. Clinton Christian 1:00 pm Pool A
Westville vs. Bethany Christian 2:30 pm Pool B
Lakeland Christian vs. Illiana Christian 4:00 pm Pool A
Bethany Christian vs. Demotte Christian 5:30 pm Pool B


LaPorte Tournament
Hammond Morton vs. Marquette Catholic 1:00 pm 7th
Fort Wayne Luers vs. Lowell 2:30 pm 5th
Hanover Central vs. Logansport 5:00 pm 3rd
Northridge at LaPorte 6:30 pm 1st


Lawrenceburg Tournament
Jennings County vs. Newport (Ky.) 9:00 am Pool B
West Morgan (Ala.) vs. Connersville 9:00 am Pool C
Bethesda Christian at Lawrenceburg 11:00 am Pool A
Beech Grove vs. Pike Central 11:00 am Pool D
Connersville vs. Whiteland 1:00 pm Pool C
New Palestine vs. Jennings County 1:00 pm Pool B
Fort Wayne Blackhawk vs. Beech Grove 3:00 pm Pool D
Guerin Catholic vs. Bethesda Christian 3:00 pm Pool A
Newport (Ky.) vs. New Palestine 5:00 pm Pool B
Whiteland vs. West Morgan (Ala.) 5:00 pm Pool C
Guerin Catholic at Lawrenceburg 7:00 pm Pool A
Pike Central vs. Fort Wayne Blackhawk 7:00 pm Pool D


Lebanon Tournament
Indianapolis Metropolitan vs. University 10:00 am Con
Mooresville vs. Evansville North 10:00 am SF
Faith Christian vs. Perry Meridian 12:00 pm Con
Gary 21st Century at Lebanon 12:00 pm SF
Loser Game 5 vs. Loser Game 7 3:30 pm 7th
Winner Game 5 vs. Winner Game 7 3:30 pm 5th
Loser Game 6 vs. Loser Game 8 5:15 pm 3rd
Winner Game 6 vs. Winner Game 8 7:00 pm 1st


North Central Classic
Lake Central vs. Park Tudor 10:00 am
Louisville Trinity (Ky.) vs. Carmel 11:45 am
Evansville Harrison vs. Pike 1:30 pm
Evansville Reitz at North Central (Indianapolis) 3:15 pm


Northeast Dubois Tournament
Tecumseh at Northeast Dubois 10:30 am R1
Lanesville vs. West Washington 12:15 pm R1
Loser Game 2 vs. Loser Game 1 6:00 pm 3rd
Winner Game 2 vs. Winner Game 1 7:45 pm 1st


Owensboro (Ky.) Classic
Rock Creek Academy vs. Hancock County (Ky.) 7:15 pm
Rock Creek Academy at Owensboro Catholic (Ky.) 7:30 pm


Perry-Spencer Tournament
Benton Central vs. Boonville 11:00 am R1
Heritage Hills at South Spencer 1:00 pm R1
Crawford County vs. Corydon Central 11:00 am R1
Perry Central at Tell City 1:00 pm R1
Loser Game 1 vs. Loser Game 2 6:30 pm Con
Winner Game 1 vs. Winner Game 2 8:30 pm SF
Loser Game 3 vs. Loser Game 4 6:30 pm Con
Winner Game 3 vs. Winner Game 4 8:30 pm SF


Plymouth Tournament
Knox at Plymouth 10:30 am R1
Lewis Cass vs. New Prairie 12:15 pm R1
Loser Game 2 vs. Loser Game 1 6:15 pm 3rd
Winner Game 2 vs. Winner Game 1 8:00 pm 1st


Rich Twp. (Ill.) Tournament
Hammond Noll vs. Hillcrest (Ill.) 4:30 pm 5th


Richmond Tournament
Fort Wayne North vs. NorthWood 8:00 am Con
Bloomington South vs. East Central 8:00 am Con
Heritage Christian vs. Indianapolis Tindley 9:30 am Con
Greensburg at Richmond 9:30 am Con
Indianapolis Shortridge vs. Centerville 11:00 am Con
Indianapolis Scecina vs. Loser Game 15 11:00 am Con
Seton Catholic vs. North Decatur 12:30 pm SF
Bellmont vs. Winner Game 15 12:30 pm SF
Loser Game 17 vs. Loser Game 18 2:00 pm 15th
Winner Game 17 vs. Winner Game 18 2:00 pm 13th
Loser Game 19 vs. Loser Game 20 3:30 pm 11th
Winner Game 19 vs. Winner Game 20 3:30 pm 9th
Loser Game 21 vs. Loser Game 22 5:00 pm 7th
Winner Game 21 vs. Winner Game 22 5:00 pm 5th
Loser Game 23 vs. Loser Game 24 6:30 pm 3rd
Winner Game 23 vs. Winner Game 24 8:00 pm 1st


Sevierville (Tenn.) Tournament
South Dearborn vs. TBA TBA Place


Silver Creek Tournament
Charlestown vs. Clarksville 6:00 pm 3rd
Providence at Silver Creek 7:30 pm 1st


Southridge Tournament
South Ripley at Southridge 10:00 am R1
Orleans vs. South Central (Elizabeth) 11:30 am R1
Loser Game 2 vs. Loser Game 1 6:00 pm 3rd
Winner Game 2 vs. Winner Game 1 7:30 pm 1st


Switzerland County Tournament
Trinity Lutheran at Switzerland County 9:30 am R1
Christel House vs. Hamilton Heights 11:00 am R1
Indian Creek vs. Rising Sun 12:30 pm R1
Hopkins County Central (Ky.) vs. Tri-Township 2:00 pm R1
Loser Game 2 vs. Loser Game 1 3:30 pm Con
Winner Game 2 vs. Winner Game 1 5:00 pm SF
Loser Game 4 vs. Loser Game 3 6:30 pm Con
Winner Game 4 vs. Winner Game 3 8:00 pm SF


Tabernacle Christian Tournament
Crothersville at Tabernacle Christian 12:00 pm


Union City Tournament
Randolph Southern vs. Southern Wells 4:30 pm 5th
Bluffton vs. Elwood 6:00 pm 3rd
Eastern (Greentown) at Union City 7:30 pm 1st


Wabash County Tournament
Southwood vs. Manchester 4:45 pm R1
Wabash at Northfield 8:15 pm R1
Loser Game 1 vs. Loser Game 2 4:45 pm 3rd
Winner Game 1 vs. Winner Game 2 8:15 pm 1st


Wabash Valley Tournament
Bloomfield vs. Greencastle 3:30 pm Con
Sullivan vs. Marshall (Ill.) 5:00 pm 5th
Parke Heritage vs. Edgewood 6:30 pm 3rd
Terre Haute North at Terre Haute South 8:00 pm 1st


Wawasee Tournament
Rochester at Wawasee 10:00 am R1
Fort Wayne Wayne vs. Fort Wayne Dwenger 11:30 am R1
Loser Game 2 vs. Loser Game 1 6:00 pm 3rd
Winner Game 2 vs. Winner Game 1 7:30 pm 1st

INDIANA GIRLS BASKETBALL SCORES THURSDAY

Anderson Prep 65 Centerville 45
Bedford North Lawrence 51 Evansville Central 39
Eastern (Greentown) 41 Marion 22
Floyd Central 44 North Harrison 38
Frankton 69 Connersville 59
Fremont 39 Jimtown 34
Jay County 59 Pendleton Heights 53
New Palestine 52 Franklin County 47
Oldenburg Academy 69 Waldron 45
Perry Central 58 Clarksville 28
Randolph Southern 49 Southern Wells 37
University 56 Guerin Catholic 45
Washington 52 Heritage Hills 41
Woodlan 51 Wayne Trace (Ohio) 46


Alexandria Tournament
Alexandria 49 Tri-Central 38 R1
Sheridan 56 Beech Grove 40 R1
Beech Grove 60 Tri-Central 31 3rd
Alexandria 54 Sheridan 37 1st


Bismarck-Henning (Ill.) Tournament
Cissna Park (Ill.) 58 North Vermillion 42 Pool
Benton Central 67 Oakwood (Ill.) 14 Pool
Salt Fork (Ill.) 54 North Vermillion 35 Pool
Benton Central 68 Cissna Park (Ill.) 31 Pool


Bowman Academy Tournament
River Forest East Chicago Central 1:00 pm
South Bend Riley Gary West 2:30 pm
Lighthouse CPA Bowman Academy 4:00 pm


Brebeuf Jesuit Classic
Brebeuf Jesuit 44 Greenwood 31
Heritage Christian 65 Southport 35
Greenwood Heritage Christian 6:00 pm
Brebeuf Jesuit 50 Southport 30


Cambridge City Classic
Cambridge City Lincoln 49 Phalen Academy 35 R1
Milan Morristown 12:30 pm
Milan Phalen Academy 6:00 pm
Morristown 40 Cambridge City Lincoln 21 1st


Carl Sandburg (Ill.) Tournament
Hinsdale South (Ill.) 52 Hammond Central 44 Con


Carroll County (Ky.) Tournament
Switzerland County 52 Trimble County (Ky.) 36 Con
Shawe Memorial 62 Carroll County (Ky.) 40 SF


Eastern Greene Tournament
Springs Valley 49 Eastern Greene 29 Pool A
Martinsville 36 Bloomfield 31 Pool B
Loogootee 48 Owen Valley 24 Pool C
North Knox 43 Jasper 32 Pool D
Southwestern (Hanover) 43 Martinsville 19 Pool B
Springs Valley 47 Tecumseh 42 Pool A
Jasper 65 Trinity Lutheran 54 Pool D
Brownstown Central 49 Owen Valley 25 Pool C
Tecumseh 67 Eastern Greene 47 Pool A
Southwestern (Hanover) 47 Bloomfield 41 Pool B
North Knox 80 Trinity Lutheran 49 Pool D


Hammond Morton Tournament
Homestead 75 Hammond Noll 11 Pool B
Lawrence Central 50 Magnificat (Ohio) 43 Pool A
Homestead 65 Thornwood (Ill.) 13 Pool B
Lawrence Central 79 Hammond Morton 68 Pool A


Hanover Central Classic
Hanover Central 56 LaPorte 30
Marquette Catholic 68 LaPorte 35
Marquette Catholic 46 Hanover Central 33


Hauser Tournament
South Decatur 60 Greenwood Christian 40 7th
Lawrenceburg 47 Eminence 34 5th
Triton Central 61 Hauser 38 3rd
Providence 73 Seeger 28 1st


Lebanon Tournament
Greenfield-Central 49 Lowell 36 Con
Mooresville 51 Bloomington North 32 SF
Lowell 53 Lafayette Jeff 24 7th
Greenfield-Central 36 Lebanon 31 5th
Bloomington North 47 Perry Meridian 34 3rd
Evansville North 56 Mooresville 47 1st


Miami County Invitational
Maconaquah 47 Peru 29 3rd
Caston 40 North Miami 37 1st


Noblesville Tournament
Noblesville 65 Valparaiso 56 R1
Fort Wayne Snider 65 Norwell 50 R1
Norwell 62 Valparaiso 55 3rd
Noblesville 57 Fort Wayne Snider 51 1st


North Central Classic
Hamilton Southeastern 59 Decatur Central 41
North Central (Indianapolis) 60 Avon 59


Northeast Dubois Tournament
Northeast Dubois 55 West Washington 42 R1
Pike Central 41 North Daviess 30 R1
West Washington 75 North Daviess 41 3rd
Northeast Dubois 47 Pike Central 16 1st


Northeastern Tournament
Salem 52 Tipton 17 7th
Wapahani 39 Winchester 27 5th
Tri 42 East Central 27 3rd
Fort Wayne Wayne 55 Northeastern 54 1st


Orleans Tournament
Orleans 65 New Washington 47 R1
Rock Creek Academy 60 Mount Vernon (Posey) 39 R1
New Washington 59 Mount Vernon (Posey) 42 3rd
Orleans 55 Rock Creek Academy 50 1st


Portage Tournament
Portage 58 South Bend Adams 48 R1
Munster 55 Morgan Twp. 35 R1
Washington Twp. 51 Hobart 39 R1
Kankakee Valley 54 Mishawaka Marian 13 R1


Robinson (Ill.) Tournament
Altamont (Ill.) 73 Terre Haute South 32 Pool B
Sullivan 56 Tri-County (Ill.) 28 Pool A
North Central (Farmersburg) 89 OPH (Ill.) 31 Pool B
Robinson (Ill.) 43 Sullivan 35 Pool A
Altamont (Ill.) 56 North Central (Farmersburg) 53 Pool B
Terre Haute South OPH (Ill.) 8:30 pm


Scottsburg Tournament
Batesville 47 Kokomo 46 OT | Con
Charlestown 43 Eastern (Pekin) 39 Con
Kokomo 41 Eastern (Pekin) 38 7th
Batesville 46 Charlestown 38 5th
Scottsburg 62 Columbus North 54 3rd
Franklin Central 51 Borden 23 1st


Twin Lakes Tournament
Chesterton 49 Mount Vernon (Fortville) 47 Con
McCutcheon 63 Tri-County 42 SF
Crown Point 63 Faith Christian 34 Con
Indianapolis Chatard 81 Twin Lakes 78 OT | SF
Mount Vernon (Fortville) 46 Faith Christian 35 7th
Chesterton 52 Crown Point 47 5th
Twin Lakes 58 Tri-County 43 3rd
McCutcheon 50 Indianapolis Chatard 25 1st

INDIANA HIGH SCHOOL WRESTLING RESULTS

https://indianamat.com/index.php?/dualresults.html/


COLLEGE BOWL GAMES
Thursday
Boston College 23 SMU 14
Rutgers 31 Miami 24
Kansas State 28 NC State 19
Arizona 38 Oklahoma 24

Friday, Dec. 29
Gator Bowl
No. 22 Clemson vs. Kentucky
Jacksonville, Florida
12 p.m. | ESPN

Tony the Tiger Sun Bowl
No. 16 Notre Dame vs. No. 19 Oregon State
El Paso, Texas
2 p.m. | CBS

Liberty Bowl
Memphis vs. Iowa State
Memphis, Tennessee
3:30 p.m. | ESPN

Cotton Bowl
No. 7 Ohio State vs. No. 9 Missouri
Dallas, Texas
8 p.m. | ESPN

Saturday, Dec. 30
Peach Bowl
No. 10 Penn State vs. No. 11 Ole Miss
Atlanta, Georgia
12 p.m. | ESPN

Music City Bowl
Auburn vs. Maryland
Nashville, Tennessee
2 p.m. | ABC

Orange Bowl
No. 5 Florida State vs. No. 6 Georgia
Miami Gardens, Florida
4 p.m. | ESPN

Arizona Bowl
Wyoming vs. Toledo
Tucson, Arizona
4:30 p.m. | CW Network/Barstool

Monday, Jan. 1, 2024
ReliaQuest Bowl
No. 13 LSU vs. Wisconsin
Tampa, Florida
12 p.m. | ESPN2

Citrus Bowl
No. 17 Iowa vs. No. 21 Tennessee
Orlando, Florida
1 p.m. | ABC

Fiesta Bowl
No. 8 Oregon vs. No. 23 Liberty
Glendale, Arizona
1 p.m. | ESPN

College Football Playoff Semifinal at the Rose Bowl
No. 1 Michigan vs. No. 4 Alabama
Pasadena, California
5 p.m. | ESPN

College Football Playoff Semifinal at the Sugar Bowl
No. 2 Washington vs. No. 3 Texas
New Orleans, Louisiana
8:45 p.m. | ESPN

Monday, Jan. 8
College Football Playoff National Championship Game
Houston, Texas
7:30 p.m. | ESPN

NFL WEEK-17 SCHEDULE
THURSDAY DECEMBER 28
Cleveland 37 NY Jets 20

SATURDAY DECEMBER 30
Detroit Lions at Dallas Cowboys, 8:15 p.m., ESPN, ABC, ESPN2, ESPN+, ESPN Deportes

SUNDAY DECEMBER 31
Miami Dolphins at Baltimore Ravens, 1PM, CBS
New England Patriots at Buffalo Bills, 1PM CBS
Atlanta Falcons at Chicago Bears, 1PM CBS
Tennessee Titans at Houston Texans, 1PM FOX
Las Vegas Raiders at Indianapolis Colts, 1 PM CBS
Carolina Panthers at Jacksonville Jaguars, 1PM CBS
Los Angeles Rams at New York Giants, 1PM FOX
Arizona Cardinals at Philadelphia Eagles, 1PM FOX
New Orleans Saints at Tampa Bay Buccaneers, 1PM FOX
San Francisco 49ers at Washington Commanders, 1PM FOX
Pittsburgh Steelers at Seattle Seahawks, 4:05 PM FOX
Los Angeles Chargers at Denver Broncos, 4:25 PM CBS
Cincinnati Bengals at Kansas City Chiefs, 4:25 PM CBS

SUNDAY NIGHT FOOTBALL
Green Bay Packers at Minnesota Vikings, 8:20 PM NBC, Universo (stream with free trial from FUBO)

MEN’S COLLEGE BASKETBALL TOP 25 SCORES

#12 Oklahoma 88 Central Arkansas 72

NBA SCOREBOARD
Boston 128 Detroit 122 OT
New Orleans 112 Utah 105
Indiana 120 Chicago 104
Minnesota 118 Dallas 110
Denver 142 Memphis 105
Miami 114 Golden State 102
San Antonio 118 Portland 105
LA Lakers 133 Charlotte 112

NHL SCOREBOARD
Carolina 5 Montréal 3
Vegas 3 Los Angeles 2
Philadelphia 4 Vancouver 1
Edmonton 5 San Jose 0

NATIONAL SPORTS RELEASES/HEADLINES
NFL NEWS
BROWNS CLINCH PLAYOFF SPOT WITH TNF WIN OVER JETS
CLEVELAND (AP) — Joe Flacco has turned a seemingly cursed season into a charmed one.
Cleveland’s quarterback for
Cleveland’s quarterback for just over a month, Flacco passed for 309 yards and three touchdowns and the Browns clinched an unlikely playoff berth — just their second since 2002 — despite numerous injuries this season with a 37-20 win over the New York Jets on Thursday night.
The Browns (11-5) are assured of a wild-card spot and still have a chance to win the AFC North and maybe the conference’s No. 1 overall seed, something that seemed unfathomable just weeks ago as major injuries piled up.
But things have changed since Flacco arrived.
The 38-year-old quarterback improved to 4-1 as a starter with the Browns, who plucked the Super Bowl 47 MVP off his couch in New Jersey last month to hopefully rescue their season. He’s done that and more.
In the final minutes, Browns fans chanted “Flac-co! Flac-co!” to a quarterback they once reviled with Baltimore and now revere.
“You don’t know how many of these moments you’re going to get,” Flacco said. “I’m going to remember this for the rest of my life.”
Flacco threw two TD passes to Jerome Ford in the first half as the Browns built a 20-point lead over the Jets (6-10), who chose not to re-sign the 15-year veteran after he spent three seasons with them — and after Aaron Rodgers tore his left Achilles tendon in Week 1.
Flacco torched New York for 296 yards in the first half and became the first QB in 34 games to go over 300 yards against the Jets. He’s also the first Cleveland quarterback to pass for more than 300 in four straight.
While Flacco insisted revenge wasn’t on his mind, but Jets receiver Garrett Wilson said the QB was out to prove something.
“He’s wound like that,” Wilson said. “He told me at the end of last season, he wasn’t going to be a backup. He was going to play and he held to that. Joe’s a great guy. The type of teammate you want. He deserves everything.”
The atmosphere was electric from the start inside Cleveland Browns Stadium as fans who have felt mostly heartbreak for decades got a chance to celebrate.
“It was special,” Flacco said. “This is obviously a unique situation for me, so I’ve got a lot of different emotions running through my head.”
The Jets were forced to start Trevor Siemian for the second week in a row with Zach Wilson sidelined by a concussion.
Siemian had some nice moments, but an overthrow late in first quarter was returned 30 yards for a TD by safety Ronnie Hickman to put the Browns up 20-7.
New York allowed a season-high in points and yards (428). Although the Jets gave up just 61 yards in the second half, they dug themselves too big a hole.
Jets linebacker Jermaine Johnson had a pick-6 in the second quarter when he beautifully deflected Flacco’s pass to himself and returned it 37 yards.
Nothing has been easy this season for the Browns, who have continued to win despite being overrun by injuries since the opener. Flacco is their fourth starting quarterback, they’re missing both first-team offensive tackles and 12 players — including QB Deshaun Watson and running back Nick Chubb — are on injured reserve.
So, it was fitting they went into their biggest game this season missing their starting kicker, punter and wide receiver Amari Cooper, who was coming off a franchise record-setting 265-yard performance on Sunday in Houston.
NEW GUYS

The Browns got their first looks at kicker Riley Patterson and punter Matt Haack, both signed earlier this week.
Patterson, filling in for an injured Dustin Hopkins, went 4 of 5 on extra points and made a 33-yard field goal with 2:54 left.
Haack averaged 51.7 yards on three punts.
GARRETT & GARRETT

Browns star defensive end Myles Garrett ended a five-game streak without a sack by taking down Siemian in the first half.
Wilson went over 1,000 yards receiving for the second straight season. He also did it as a rookie in 2022 and is one of 10 active players with two 1,000-yard seasons to start their career.
SCARY MOMENT

Browns wide receiver Elijah Moore suffered a head injury in the second quarter.
After catching a 22-yard pass from Flacco, Moore’s helmet was driven into the turf as he went down. He rolled onto his back and appeared to twitch as teammates quickly called for medical personnel.
Moore, who spent the past two seasons with the Jets, was helped off the field and escorted to Cleveland’s locker room.
INJURIES

Jets: WR Allen Lazard (illness) was among the team’s inactives. … RG Jacob Hanson suffered a concussion and was replaced by Xavier Newman, who was helped off the fourth quarter with an unspecified injury.
Browns: Cooper came in listed questionable, but was expected to play. However, after he tested a heel injury during an on-field workout, the Browns opted to have him sit rather than risk more damage. … CB Mike Ford Jr. (calf) got hurt covering a kick in the first quarter.
UP NEXT

Jets: At New England on Jan. 7.
Browns: At Cincinnati on Jan. 7.

VIKINGS TURN TO JAREN HALL AGAIN IN LATEST SPIN OF QB CAROUSEL
EAGAN, Minn. (AP) — The Minnesota Vikings have switched starting quarterbacks for the fourth time in nine weeks, handing the offense again to rookie Jaren Hall with two must-win games left for making the playoffs.

Coach Kevin O’Connell announced Thursday that Hall will start Sunday against Green Bay, benching Nick Mullens after his six interceptions in two games doomed the Vikings (7-8) to defeat despite passing for 714 yards. Mullens was picked off four times last week against Detroit in a 30-24 loss.

Hall was the first sub summoned for Kirk Cousins, who tore his Achilles tendon on Oct. 29 in the fourth quarter of a 24-10 win at Green Bay. Hall, a fifth-round draft pick from BYU, started the following week at Atlanta with Mullens sidelined by a back injury. Hall suffered a concussion in the first quarter that put Joshua Dobbs into action. Dobbs made four starts before a healthy Mullens took over.

Hall is 8 for 10 for 101 yards passing and one sack plus four rushes for 10 yards this season.

The Vikings need to win their last two games and have either the Rams or the Seahawks lose once to get the last wild-card spot in the NFC.

CHIEFS CLOSE IN ON AFC WEST TITLE; BENGALS TRYING TO STAY IN WILD-CARD RACE AT ARROWHEAD STADIUM
CINCINNATI (8-7) at KANSAS CITY (9-6)

Sunday, 4:25 p.m. EST, CBS

OPENING LINE: Chiefs by 7, according to FanDuel Sportsbook.

AGAINST THE SPREAD: Bengals 6-7-2; Chiefs 7-7-1.
SERIES RECORD: Bengals lead 18-15.

LAST MEETING: Chiefs beat Bengals 23-20 on Jan. 29, 2023, in the AFC championship game in Kansas City.

LAST WEEK: Bengals lost to Steelers 34-11; Chiefs lost to Raiders 20-14.

BENGALS OFFENSE: OVERALL (21), RUSH (32), PASS (11), SCORING (20).
BENGALS DEFENSE: OVERALL (31), RUSH (26), PASS (28), SCORING (31).
CHIEFS OFFENSE: OVERALL (9), RUSH (20), PASS (4), SCORING (T11).
CHIEFS DEFENSE: OVERALL (2), RUSH (18), PASS (3), SCORING (2).
TURNOVER DIFFERENTIAL: Bengals plus-8; Chiefs minus-10.

BENGALS PLAYER TO WATCH: RB Joe Mixon managed just 43 yards on 11 carries and caught two passes for 7 yards in last week’s loss to Pittsburgh. He will try to bounce back against a Kansas City defense that did not allow a pass completion after the first quarter last week but did allow Raiders backup Zamir White to run for 145 yards.

CHIEFS PLAYER TO WATCH: Travis Kelce needs 32 yards receiving to reach the 1,000-yard mark for the eighth consecutive season, extending his franchise record and the NFL record for tight ends. Eight straight also would tie three other players for the fourth-longest streak in NFL history for players at any position.

KEY MATCHUP: Chiefs RB Clyde Edwards-Helaire against the Cincinnati defense. Kansas City’s wide receivers have struggled, and the position is also thin now with Skyy Moore on injured reserve. And with RB Isiah Pacheco in the concussion protocol and RB Jerick McKinnon also on IR, it could be up to Edwards-Helaire to provide offense both on the ground and through the air for Kansas City.

KEY INJURIES: Bengals WR Ja’Marr Chase missed practice this week with a shoulder injury. Chiefs CBs L’Jarius Sneed (calf) and Jaylen Watson (illness), RB Isiah Pacheco (concussion), WR Kadarius Toney (hip) and LT Donovan Smith (neck) also missed practice.

SERIES NOTES: The Bengals and Chiefs have met in the past two AFC championship games with Cincinnati winning 27-24 in overtime in the 2021 season and Kansas City winning 23-20 last season. The Bengals had won three straight in the series before the Chiefs won their most recent game to advance to the Super Bowl. The Bengals have won seven of the past nine games in the series overall going back to the 2007 season.

STATS AND STUFF: The Chiefs can clinch the AFC West for the eighth consecutive year with a win or if the Raiders and Broncos lose or tie. … The Bengals fell out of a wild-card spot with last week’s loss to Pittsburgh. They could move back into one with a win and some help this weekend. … Bengals RB Joe Mixon needs 212 yards rushing to pass James Brooks (6,447) for second in franchise history. … Mixon has 48 TD runs, tied with Rudi Johnson for second in Bengals history. Pete Johnson holds the record with 64. … Bengals WR Tyler Boyd needs 21 catches to pass Carl Pickens (530) for third in franchise history. … Chase has 93 catches, four shy of A.J. Green and T.J. Houshmandzadeh for the fifth-best season in Bengals history. … Chase has 1,156 yards, putting him 299 shy of his own Bengals record set in 2021. … Chase had 266 yards receiving against Kansas City on Jan. 2, 2022. … Bengals DE Trey Hendrickson has 16 sacks this season, the second most in team history. … The Chiefs have lost three of their past four, four of their past six and five of their past eight. They began the season 6-1. … Kansas City became the first team since 2000 to lose without allowing a completion after the first quarter last week against Las Vegas. … The Chiefs allowed defensive touchdowns 7 seconds apart against the Raiders on a pick-6 and fumble return. … Kansas City has scored in 179 consecutive games going back to Week 16 of the 2012 season, tying the longest streak in franchise history. … With a win, Chiefs coach Andy Reid can pass George Seifert (1989-96) for the second-most consecutive 10-win seasons with his ninth in a row. … Chiefs QB Patrick Mahomes needs 329 yards passing to pass Len Dawson (28,507) for the most in franchise history. … Mahomes needs 62 yards passing to reach 4,000 for the sixth straight season as a starter. That would tie Tom Brady and Peyton Manning for the fifth-most consecutive 4,000-yard seasons in NFL history. … Kelce needs one TD catch to pass Jason Witten (74) for fifth most by a tight end in NFL history. Kelce needs three to pass Tony Gonzalez (76) for the most in Chiefs history. … Kelce needs 13 catches to pass Gonzalez (916) for the most in Chiefs history.

FANTASY TIP: This could be a bounce-back spot for Kelce, who was so frustrated last week against Las Vegas that he spiked his helmet on the sideline, and then had Reid refuse to give it back to him. Kelce had just five catches for 44 yards with a drop in the loss, and he has not caught a TD pass in the past five games. But he will be facing a Bengals pass defense this week that allowed Pittsburgh backup Mason Rudolph to throw for 290 yards and two scores last week.

BILLS HOST PATS AS THEY CONTINUE LATE-SEASON PLAYOFF PUSH
NEW ENGLAND (4-11) at BUFFALO (9-6)

Sunday, 1 p.m. EST, CBS

OPENING LINE: Bills by 11 1/2 according to FanDuel Sportsbook.

AGAINST THE SPREAD: Patriots 4-11; Buffalo 6-9.
SERIES RECORD: Patriots lead 78-49-1.

LAST MEETING: Patriots beat Bills 29-25 at New England on Oct. 22.

LAST WEEK: Patriots beat Broncos 26-23; Bills beat Chargers 24-22.

PATRIOTS OFFENSE: OVERALL (28), RUSH (25), PASS (24), SCORING (32).
PATRIOTS DEFENSE: OVERALL (8), RUSH (2), PASS (15), SCORING (16).
BILLS OFFENSE: OVERALL (5), RUSH (10), PASS (5), SCORING (5).
BILLS DEFENSE: OVERALL (10), RUSH (16), PASS (9), SCORING (4).
TURNOVER DIFFERENTIAL: Patriots minus-7; Bills even.

PATRIOTS PLAYER TO WATCH: K Chad Ryland has missed field-goal attempts in four of the past six games. (In the other two, he did not attempt one). After missing a 47-yarder and an extra point early in last week’s game against Denver, the rookie fourth-round draft pick kicked a career-best 56-yarder with 2 seconds left to win the game.

BILLS PLAYER TO WATCH: WR Stefon Diggs has experienced a major drop in targets and production over the past five weeks, with opposing defenses intent on containing Buffalo’s top threat. The Bills, however, have won four of five with Josh Allen finding secondary options, and the emergence of a James Cook-led running attack. Allen is eager to get Diggs more involved.

KEY INJURIES: Patriots ST Matthew Slater (hamstring) was a surprise scratch in last week’s game. TE Hunter Henry (knee) and S Jabrill Peppers (hamstring) also did not play against the Broncos. DB Jalen Mills left the game with a head injury and did not practice on Wednesday. RB Rhamondre Stevenson’s season is done with an ankle injury after being placed on IR. … Bills DE Leonard Floyd’s status bears monitoring after being given a rest day on Wednesday to nurse rib and wrist injuries. DE A.J. Epenesa (rib) and S Micah Hyde (neck) could return after missing two games. Starting MLB Terrel Bernard is expected to play after hurting his ankle last weekend.

SERIES NOTES: The Bills squandered a 25-22 lead in October by allowing Mac Jones to cap an eight-play, 75-yard drive with a 1-yard TD pass to Mike Gesicki with 12 seconds remaining. … The Patriots are 37-10 against Buffalo under coach Bill Belichick, but 2-6 in their past eight meetings including playoffs. … The drop-off in wins coincides with Tom Brady leaving the Patriots following the 2019 season. … The Patriots’ dominance over the Bills included a 15-game winning streak spanning 2003-10. … New England last swept the season series in 2019.

STATS AND STUFF: New England’s 78 wins against Buffalo are its most against any opponent. … The Patriots had limited opposing rushers to a league-best 3.2 yards per carry. They have held opposing teams under 3 yards per carry six times this season. The team record is eight in a season. … WR DeMario Douglas has 44 receptions for 517 yards. He has the most receptions for a rookie receiver under Bill Belichick, surpassing Deion Branch’s 43. With 3 more receiving yards, he would surpass the Aaron Dobson’s 519 in 2013. … P Bryce Barringer has at least one 50-yard punt in all 15 games. He is leading the NFL with 35 punts inside the 20 yard-line. … With three tackles, LB Ja’Whaun Bentley would be the first Patriot with three straight 100-tackle seasons since Jerod Mayo. …Ryland’s 56-yard game-winning field goal against Denver was the fifth longest in Patriots history. Stephen Gostkowski has the top three, including a 62-yarder against Oakland in 2017. … The NFL lists 14 scenarios in which Buffalo can clinch its fifth straight playoff berth, with five based on the Bills beating New England and the remaining nine based on a tie. … Bills coach Sean McDermott is 6-8 against New England since taking over in Buffalo in 2017. His six immediate predecessors plus interim coach Perry Fewell went a combined 4-28. … The Bills are a combined 17-2 in regular-season games played in December and January since 2020. … Allen’s 40 TDs (27 passing, 13 rushing) lead the NFL this season, and his streak of scoring in 23 straight games is the league’s longest active run. … Allen is 36-26 overall and 6-6 this season when committing a turnover. … Allen had his 18th game-winning drive, and second this season, against the Chargers. … With 1,038 yards rushing and 433 receiving, RB Cook and San Francisco’s Christian McCaffrey as the NFL’s only two players topping 1,000 yards rushing and 400 receiving. … Cook is Buffalo’s first player to top 1,000 yards rushing since LeSean McCoy had 1,138 in 2017. … Floyd’s 10 1/2 sacks are a career best, and the offseason free-agent addition became Buffalo’s first player with 10 or more since Lorenzo Alexander had 12 1/2 in 2016.

FANTASY TIP: Take the Bills defense with Patriots QB Bailey Zappe expected to make his seventh career start. Since 2019, the Bills are 20-2 against quarterbacks with 16 or fewer starts, in which they’ve allowed just 12 TDs passing while getting 67 sacks, 31 interceptions and a forced fumble.

MAJOR PLAYOFF IMPLICATIONS FOR PAIR OF 8-7 TEAMS AS SEAHAWKS PLAY HOST TO STEELERS
PITTSBURGH (8-7) at SEATTLE (8-7)

Sunday, 4:05 p.m. EST, FOX

BETTING LINE: Seahawks by 3 1/2, according to FanDuel Sportsbook

AGAINST THE SPREAD: Pittsburgh 8-7; Seattle 8-6-1
SERIES RECORD: Tied 10-10.

LAST MEETING: Steelers beat Seahawks 23-20, Oct. 17, 2021, in Pittsburgh.

LAST WEEK: Steelers beat Bengals 34-11, Seahawks beat Titans 20-17.

STEELERS OFFENSE: OVERALL (26), RUSH (16), PASS (27), SCORING (28)
STEELERS DEFENSE: OVERALL (21), RUSH (20), PASS (21), SCORING (7)
SEAHAWKS OFFENSE: OVERALL (22), RUSH (29), PASS (15), SCORING (19)
SEAHAWKS DEFENSE: OVERALL (26), RUSH (27), PASS (19), SCORING (23)
TURNOVER DIFFERENTIAL: Steelers
TURNOVER DIFFERENTIAL: Steelers plus-10; Seahawks plus-3

STEELERS PLAYER TO WATCH: QB Mason Rudolph. The Steelers are likely giving the longtime backup a second straight start after he threw for 290 yards and two touchdowns in a season-saving (for now) win over Cincinnati. Rudolph hasn’t won consecutive starts since leading the Steelers to three straight wins in 2019.

SEAHAWKS PLAYER TO WATCH: WR Jaxon Smith-Njigba has become a bigger part of Seattle’s offense in recent weeks. After catching his second game-winning touchdown of the season in the win over Philadelphia, the rookie followed up with six receptions in the win over Tennessee. He’s caught 21 passes in the past four games.

KEY MATCHUP: Can Mason Rudolph and the Steelers offense continue the spark it had last week against Seattle’s defense? The Steelers awoke from their offensive slumber with a season-high 34 points sparked by two long touchdowns from Rudolph to George Pickens. Seattle’s been stout the past two weeks against the pass, but remains susceptible to the run. The Seahawks are allowing 153 yards per game rushing over the past 10 games.

KEY INJURIES: Steelers QB Kenny Pickett practiced this week and could be active for the first time since injuring his right ankle against Arizona on Dec. 3 but he will likely sit. LB Elandon Roberts (pectoral) and S Minkah Fitzpatrick (knee) are both out. … Seattle is hopeful rookie CB Devon Witherspoon (hip) will play after missing the past two games. S Jamal Adams (knee) returned to limited practice this week, but LB Jordyn Brooks (ankle) may miss the game after aggravating an injury.

SERIES NOTES: It will be the first meeting since 2021 between the teams but the first game in Seattle since a wild 39-30 Seahawks victory in 2015. Seattle has won two of the past three regular-season meetings. The most famous matchup was Super Bowl 40 in Detroit, won by the Steelers 21-10.

STATS AND STUFF: Seattle coach Pete Carroll and Pittsburgh coach Mike Tomlin rank 13th and 14th respectfully on the league’s all-time wins list — regular and postseason combined. Carroll has 180 wins; Tomlin has 179. … The Steelers need wins in their final two games and a little help to return to the playoffs after missing out last season. It won’t be easy. Pittsburgh has beaten the Seahawks in Seattle just once in eight tries, though the Steelers are 3-1 on New Year’s Eve all time. Pittsburgh is also 21-38 all time in the Pacific time zone during the regular season. … Steelers OLB T.J. Watt leads the NFL with 17 sacks and is making a run at a second AP Defensive Player of the Year award to go with the one he captured in 2021. Watt has at least a half a sack in 12 of Pittsburgh’s 15 games. … The Steelers improved to 15-3 under Tomlin following games they’ve lost by at least 17 points after drilling the Bengals last week one game after getting drilled in Indianapolis. … Pittsburgh WR George Pickens is coming off a career-best 195 yards receiving against Cincinnati and became the first player in franchise history to have multiple touchdown receptions of 66 yards or more. Pickens’ 86-yard catch-and-run for a score is the longest play from scrimmage in the NFL this season. … The Steelers will likely start Mychal Walker and Myles Jack at inside linebacker after injuries have wreaked havoc on the position. Walker joined the Steelers in October and Pittsburgh lured Jack out of retirement the week before Thanksgiving. … The Seahawks can clinch a playoff spot with wins in their final two games or a win on Sunday and the Green Bay-Minnesota game finishing in a tie. … The Seahawks have reached the playoffs in 10 of the previous 13 seasons under Carroll. … Seattle is the third team since 1970 with four game-winning touchdowns in the final two minutes of regulation or overtime in a single season. The 2004 Jaguars and 2012 Seahawks also did it. … The Seahawks are the second team in NFL history to have two different QBs throw a game-winning touchdown pass in the final minute of regulation in back-to-back games, joining the 1999 Dolphins. Drew Lock threw the winning touchdown in Week 15 against Philadelphia and Geno Smith did it last week vs. Tennessee. … WR DK Metcalf needs just 2 yards receiving to reach 1,000 yards for the third time in his career and in back-to-back seasons. … WR Tyler Lockett needs 87 yards receiving to reach 8,000. … The Seahawks have allowed five straight opponents and eight of the past 10 to rush for at least 125 yards. … Edge rusher Boye Mafe needs one sack to become the first Seahawks player to reach double figures in sacks since 2018. Mafe had seven straight games with a sack earlier this season, went through a five-game drought, and had two sacks last week against Tennessee. … The Seahawks had six sacks against Tennessee and have 45 for the season, tied for the most of any NFC team. … LB Bobby Wagner needs 17 tackles over the final two games to set a career high. … P Michael Dickson is averaging a career-high 49.8 yards per kick this season. That ranks sixth in the league.

FANTASY TIP: Pickens had a huge game last week against Cincinnati. Can he do it two weeks in a row, especially in what’s a championship week for most leagues? Seattle’s secondary has been pretty good the past two games at not giving up big plays in the pass game. The longest pass allowed by Seattle in the past two weeks is 18 yards.

NFC-LEADING 49ERS VISIT THE COMMANDERS LOOKING TO BOUNCE BACK
SAN FRANCISCO (11-4) at WASHINGTON (4-11)

Sunday, 1 p.m. EST, Fox

BETTING LINE: 49ers by 12 1/2, according to FanDuel Sportsbook.

AGAINST THE SPREAD: 49ers 8-6-1; Commanders 6-8-1
SERIES RECORD: San Francisco leads 22-12-1.

LAST MEETING: 49ers beat Commanders 37-20 on Dec. 24, 2022, at San Francisco.

LAST WEEK: 49ers lost to Ravens 33-19; Commanders lost to Jets 30-28.

49ERS OFFENSE: OVERALL (2), RUSH (4), PASS (2), SCORING (3)
49ERS DEFENSE: OVERALL (11), RUSH (3), PASS (16), SCORING (3)
COMMANDERS OFFENSE: OVERALL (19), RUSH (T-21), PASS (16), SCORING (23)
COMMANDERS DEFENSE: OVERALL (32), RUSH (23), PASS (31), SCORING (32)
TURNOVER DIFFERENTIAL: 49ers plus-8; Commanders minus-10

49ERS PLAYER TO WATCH: DE Chase Young faces his former team after being dealt to San Francisco before the trade deadline for a third-round pick. Young has 2 1/2 sacks in seven games with the 49ers, along with 23 pressures, according to Pro Football Focus. Young had 14 sacks in 34 career games for Washington after being drafted with the No. 2 overall pick in 2020.

COMMANDERS PLAYER TO WATCH: QB Jacoby Brissett. Coach Ron Rivera made the switch to the 31-year-old journeyman after pulling Sam Howell in each of the past two games. Brissett has been excellent in relief, but a full game against a strong opponent is ratcheting up the difficulty level.

KEY MATCHUP: 49ers TE George Kittle vs. Commanders defense. Whether it was former defensive coordinator Jack Del Rio or coach Ron Rivera calling the plays, Washington has not been able to stop much in the passing game. Receivers could also have a field day, but the Commanders notably lack the defender capable of handling Kittle.

KEY INJURIES: 49ers DT Arik Armstead (foot, knee) is expected to miss a fourth consecutive game … G Aaron Banks (toe), S Ji’Ayir Brown (knee), WR Jauan Jennings (concussion), T Jaylon Moore (concussion) also were unable to practice at the start of the week and could miss the game. … LT Trent Williams (groin), WR Deebo Samuel (neck), DT Javon Hargrave (hamstring), LB Oren Burks (knee), TE Ross Dwelley (ankle) and CB Ambry Thomas (knee, hand) are all dealing with injuries but may play. … Commanders starting LT Charles Leno (calf) and C Tyler Larsen (knee) could each miss a second consecutive game. … CB Benjamin St-Juste was concussed in the Jets game, and RB Chris Rodriguez Jr. hurt his right ankle. … RB Brian Robinson Jr.’s status is again uncertain because of a hamstring injury.

SERIES NOTES: This is the fourth meeting between San Francisco and Washington over the past five seasons. … The 49ers are visiting FedEx Field for the first time since 2019, making it Williams’ return if he plays. … San Francisco coach Kyle Shanahan spent four seasons as Washington’s offensive coordinator from 2010-13, working for his father, Mike, when he was head coach.

STATS AND STUFF: The 49ers can clinch the No. 1 seed in the NFC and a first-round bye with a win and losses this weekend by the Eagles and Lions. … QB Brock Purdy has 4,050 yards passing and needs 229 to break Jeff Garcia’s single-season franchise record of 4,278 from 2000. … Purdy threw a career-high four interceptions Monday night, marking the first time that happened for the Niners since Colin Kaepernick in 2015. … RB Christian McCaffrey is tied for the NFL lead with 21 TDs and is two shy of tying Jerry Rice’s franchise record of 23 set in 1987. … McCaffrey has at least 100 yards from scrimmage in a franchise-record eight games in a row and needs 68 this week for the fifth 2,000-yard season in team history. … P Mitch Wishnowsky has placed 13 of 47 punts (27.7%) inside the 10 for the best rate in the NFL. … Brissett was 18 of 23 for 224 yards and three touchdowns in two relief appearances the past two weeks. … With Robinson and Rodriguez banged up, RB Antonio Gibson could start for Commanders fresh off scoring his first rushing TD of the season. … WR Terry McLaurin needs six catches to become the first player in franchise history with 75-plus receptions each in four consecutive seasons. He’s 115 yards receiving away from a fourth consecutive 1,000-yard season. … DTs Jonathan Allen and Daron Payne have combined for 5 1/2 sacks since Young was traded.

FANTASY TIP: All the Niners offensive players should be considered options, from McCaffrey to Kittle to Brandon Aiyuk and Deebo Samuel. It’s not a question of who will have a productive day but which player will go bonkers.

COLLEGE FOOTBALL
BOWL ROUNDUP: K-STATE TOASTS NC STATE IN POP-TARTS BOWL
Avery Johnson found Jayce Brown for an 11-yard touchdown to cap the clinching drive in the fourth quarter as No. 25 Kansas State defeated No. 18 North Carolina State 28-19 in the Pop-Tarts Bowl on Thursday in Orlando.
The Wildcats took the ball with 10:12 left in the fourth quarter and kept it for 7:24 on the decisive march, which lasted 15 plays and covered 72 yards.
Kansas State (9-4) had only one quarterback on the roster Thursday, limiting the Wildcats’ use of Johnson in the running game. He still finished with 71 yards on seven carries to go with 14-of-31 passing for 178 yards and two touchdowns through the air.
North Carolina State (9-4) was seeking its second 10-win season in program history (2002). Brennan Armstrong was 14 of 28 for 164 yards and one interception. He led the Wolfpack with 121 yards rushing and a touchdown on the ground but ran for only 7 yards in the second half.

No. 14 Arizona overtakes No. 12 Oklahoma to win Alamo Bowl
No. 14 Arizona forced six turnovers and got the go-ahead touchdown on a 57-yard pass to Jacob Cowing, stunning No. 12 Oklahoma with a 38-24 comeback victory in the Alamo Bowl on Thursday in San Antonio.
Wildcats safety Gunner Maldonado intercepted a pass and recovered two fumbles, the second of which he returned 87 yards for a game-changing score late in the third quarter.
That touchdown with two seconds left in the third quarter and subsequent two-point conversion pass from Noah Fifita to Montana Lemonious-Craig cut Oklahoma’s lead to 24-21 — just as it seemed the Sooners were about to add to an 11-point edge.
Fifita passed for 354 yards for Arizona (10-3), which won its seventh consecutive game, its longest streak since the 1998 season. The Wildcats reached 10 wins in a season for the fourth time in school history.
Oklahoma true freshman quarterback Jackson Arnold, making his first start in the wake of Dillon Gabriel’s transfer, passed for 361 yards and two touchdowns. However, he was intercepted three times and lost a late fumble on a sack after the Wildcats took a 31-24 lead with 5:28 left on Cowing’s touchdown.
Arizona then added a 19-yard touchdown run by DJ Williams, ending the game by scoring 25 unanswered points in the final 15:02.
Oklahoma had roared back from a 13-0, first-half deficit and was up 24-13 when momentum changed quickly.
Dalton Johnson popped the ball out of the hands of receiver Jalil Farooq, and Maldonado grabbed it and raced down the left sideline for his 87-yard fumble return.
Martell Irby intercepted Arnold on the next play from scrimmage, setting up Arizona at the Oklahoma 11. The Sooners defense stiffened, though, forcing the Wildcats into a game-tying, 37-yard field goal.
When the Wildcats got the ball back after a punt, they drove 95 yards, capped by Fifita’s scramble and TD pass to Cowing. Cowing caught seven passes for 152 yards and two touchdowns. Teammate Tetairoa McMillan made 10 receptions for 160 yards.
Arnold completed 26 of 45 passes. Oklahoma outgained Arizona 562-383 but was undone by the six turnovers, which led to 28 points.

Fenway Bowl: Boston College 23, No. 24 SMU 14
Thomas Castellanos rushed for two fourth-quarter touchdowns as the Eagles rallied past the Mustangs in Boston.
Castellanos ran for 156 yards on 21 carries and logged 96 of his 102 passing yards in the second half to lead Boston College (7-6), which lost its last three regular-season games.
SMU (11-3), which had a nine-game winning streak snapped, was shut out 13-0 in the second half and gained just three first downs in the fourth quarter.

Pinstripe Bowl: Rutgers 31, Miami 24
Kyle Monangai rushed for 163 yards and a touchdown, Gavin Wimsatt added two short scoring runs and the Scarlet Knights rallied in the second half to top the Hurricanes in New York.
Wimsatt completed 7 of 15 passes for 84 yards for Rutgers (7-6), which beat Miami for the first time in 12 meetings. It marked Rutgers’ first bowl victory since 2014.
Jacurri Brown was 20 of 31 for 181 yards with a touchdown and an interception in his first start for the Hurricanes (7-6). He also ran for two touchdowns.

COLLEGE FOOTBALL POSTSEASON CHANGES HAVE ALL BUT ENDED THE CHANCES OF A SPLIT NATIONAL CHAMPIONSHIP
The question seemed like a valid one moments after unbeaten ACC champion Florida State was left out of the College Football Playoff.

Could the fourth-ranked Seminoles, with a victory against defending national champion and No. 6 Georgia in the Orange Bowl, be voted No. 1 in the final Associated Press Top 25 college football poll?

“As a matter of principle, I’d consider ranking Florida State No. 1 regardless of whether they are in the CFP field,” said ESPN’s Rece Davis, a longtime AP Top 25 voter. “Much like the selection process itself, the exercise is who, in my judgment, is the best team.”

In reality, though, the current state of college football’s postseason all but renders the conversation moot.
Between players transferring or opting out to concentrate on NFL draft preparations and coaching staffs turned upside down by hirings and firings, the better question these days is how much consideration should poll voters give to postseason games outside the CFP at all?

“This is my 14th time as an AP voter, and I definitely think I will be less likely to vote teams considerably up or down after the bowls than I did in the past,” said Scott Rabalais of The Advocate of Baton Rouge (Louisiana).

On Saturday at the Orange Bowl, Florida State will be a shell of the team that won the Atlantic Coast Conference championship. Quarterback Jordan Travis is still recovering from a broken leg, an injury that essentially kept the Seminoles out of the playoff. Many of FSU’s best players, including defensive end Jared Verse, running back Tre Benson and receiver Keon Coleman, have opted out as they look toward the NFL draft.

Earlier this week, No. 2 quarterback Tate Rodemaker chose to transfer and skip the game.

Some of the Seminoles who will play weren’t shy about saying they should be No. 1 if they finish as the only unbeaten Power Five team.

“It’s only right,” linebacker Kalen DeLoach told reporters at the Orange Bowl. “Nothing else needs to be said if we’re the only undefeated team.”

The Seminoles will face a Georgia team in much better shape. Nineteen Bulldogs hit the transfer portal after the season, though most were backup players. It does look as if All-America tight end Brock Bowers and highly regarded tackle Amarius Mims will miss the game after seasons interrupted by injuries.

“If Florida State handles Georgia easily and the three CFP games are duds, then I’d gladly vote the Seminoles No. 1, but it’s not going to happen,” said AP Top 25 voter Robert Cessna of the Bryan-College Station (Texas) Eagle.

No. 1 Michigan (13-0) faces fourth-seeded Alabama (12-1) in the Rose Bowl semifinal and No. 2 Washington (13-0) plays No. 3 Texas (12-1) in Sugar Bowl semifinal on Monday. The final AP Top 25 is released a few hours after the Jan. 8 national championship game.

Rabalais covers No. 13 LSU, which will play Wisconsin in the ReliaQuest Bowl in Tampa on Monday without Heisman Trophy winner Jayden Daniels, who has opted out.

“The lack of a player of Daniels’ caliber has to be taken into consideration were LSU to lose and I was deciding where to put them on my final ballot,” he said.

In some cases, the teams playing in the bowls barely resemble the ones that earned those postseason trips and rankings.

Take the Sun Bowl, with No. 15 Notre Dame (9-3) facing No. 21 Oregon State (8-4) in El Paso, Texas, on Friday.

Neither team will have its starting quarterback after Notre Dame’s Sam Hartman (NFL draft) and Oregon State’s DJ Uiagalelei (transfer) opted out.

The Irish are missing most of their starting offense, including All-America offensive tackle Joe Alt and running back Audric Estime, a second-team All-American. Offensive coordinator Gerad Parker recently took the head coaching job at Troy.

Beavers coach Jonathan Smith leave for Michigan State after the regular-season finale. Now they are down to a third-string quarterback, though one with starting experience in Ben Gulbranson, and have had several key players transfer out. Leading rusher Damien Martinez is serving a suspension.

“The stats count. It counts in the win-loss column. When people look at Notre Dame and Oregon State’s record in the future it’s going to include the results of this game. In that regard, well, I’ll factor it in,” Matt Brown from the The Athletic said on the AP Top 25 College Football Podcast. “On the other hand, if Notre Dame and Oregon State had these rosters for most of the year? The teams that take the field will really not be top-20 teams.”

The Peach Bowl with No. 10 Penn State facing No. 11 Mississippi is shaping up to have fairly good representation from each team, though Nittany Lions All-American offensive lineman Olu Fashanu has said only that he will be with the team, not that he will play. Teammate and standout defensive end Chop Robinson isn’t going to play.

“It’s almost like we’re going back in time to how bowl games are perceived,” Brown said.

For a big chunk of the 20th century, bowl games were few and not taken into account in the final AP poll. Not until 1968 did the AP begin releasing a final poll after bowls were played.

As late as 1973, Alabama and Notre Dame shared the national title because the coaches’ poll didn’t take into account bowl games. The Fighting Irish beat the Crimson Tide in the Sugar Bowl and finished No. 1 in the AP poll, but the coaches had already declared Alabama No. 1.

The last time there was a split national title was 2003, when Southern California was voted No. 1 by AP after being left of the BCS title game, won by LSU over Oklahoma.

The four-team playoff has all but ensured it will never happen again. The Florida State snub provide at least a chance to consider the possibility, but with a 12-team playoff coming next season, shared national championships will — like the wishbone and tear-away jerseys — be part of college football’s past.

MEME NO MORE: TEXAS IS BACK AND PLAYING FOR A NATIONAL CHAMPIONSHIP WITH HUSKIES ON DECK IN CFP SEMI
AUSTIN, Texas (AP) — Texas is back, and not just as a punchline.

Fourteen years after last playing for a national championship, Texas (12-1) is in the College Football Playoff as Big 12 champion and one win away from another title shot. Since the end of that 2009 season when the future looked so bright, there had been five losing seasons and, until this year, zero conference titles.

For nearly a decade, the “Texas is back” catchphrase has been an ongoing source of angst for the Longhorns. It is an easy way for rivals to mock the ‘Horns, including with social media memes poking fun at a program that did so little with so much.

Only these Longhorns are no joke. An explosive offense led by quarterback Quinn Ewers and a defense led by All-American defensive tackle T’Vondre Sweat, have Texas as one of the last four teams standing. Texas (12-1) plays Washington (13-0) on Monday night in the Sugar Bowl in a CFP semifinal. The winner goes on to the Jan. 8 title game against either Alabama or Michigan.
“We didn’t come this far just to come this far,” senior linebacker David Gbenda said. “We want to go all the way … We have one goal, and that’s the championship ring.”

The coach leading them out of the wilderness, Steve Sarkisian, spent his own time wandering through personal struggles before finding his way back to the top.

How long will it last? Hard to tell. Texas leaves the Big 12 for the cauldron of the Southeastern Conference next season along with bitter rival Oklahoma. But for one more week, maybe two, it’s all about the present and being “back” to where Texas believes it belongs every year.

“We have a chance to be legends,” Gbenda said. “So why not go be great?”

Continued excellence was expected for a program that had a run of 10-win seasons from 2001-2009. That run included a national championship in 2005 and ended with a title game loss to Alabama after the 2009 season.

A 5-7 slide in 2010 and a run of mediocrity followed. National championship-winning coach Mack Brown was fired. His replacement Charlie Strong had three consecutive losing seasons.

The “Texas is back!” meme has hung like a yoke on the Bevo steer mascot since 2016. It came from ESPN’s Joe Tessitore and his excited call of the game-winning touchdown in a season-opening overtime thriller against Notre Dame. Texas looked ready to launch before Strong’s final season spiraled into another 5-7 finish.

Two seasons later, Longhorns quarterback Sam Ehlinger pumped it up again with his exuberant “We’re baaaack!” after Texas thumped Georgia in the 2019 Sugar Bowl.

Texas safety Michael Taaffe was at that game. He ate it up at the time.

“He (Ehlinger) always talked about that. It wasn’t to jinx it,” Taffe said. “I thought it was awesome. I thought it was funny.”

So did Texas rivals.

Another five-loss season followed, and coach Tom Herman was fired after the pandemic-interrupted 2020 season. Texas then handed the program to Sarkisian, who had spent that season as offensive coordinator for Alabama’s national championship run.

Sarkisian had earned the dubious nickname “Seven-win-Sark” during five seasons as head coach at Washington, and was then fired midway through his second season at Southern California before going into alcohol rehabilitation treatment.

Sarkisian’s first season at Texas was another 5-7 disappointment. Athletic director Chris Del Conte, school President Jay Hartzell and Board of Regents Chairman Kevin Eltife stuck with Sarkisian.

Year two was an 8-5 finish. Then came the spark that lit national title talk: a 34-24 win at Alabama in September. The Longhorns were the first non-conference opponent to win at Alabama since 2007.

If Texas beats Washington and Alabama (12-1) beats Michigan (13-0) in the Rose Bowl, the Longhorns and Crimson Tide would meet again for the national championship.

Sarkisian appears to have laid the foundation to keep Texas “back” once the program moves to the SEC. Texas signed another top 10 recruiting class and is finding top players in the transfer portal.

Texas also has been one of the most aggressive programs in the new era of name, image and likeness financial deals for college players.

“There became at point at Alabama when, ”Alright, I’m gonna be a head coach again and I want to go somewhere I have a legitimate chance to win championships,” Sarkisian said. “When this opportunity came, to me this was the no-brainer because I know what this place can be … I wasn’t naive to think I just get to be a head coach and ho-hum win eight games and everything’s going to be great.”

Senior linebacker Jaylan Ford remembers the 5-7 showing of 2021 all too well. And he thinks only Sarkisian could have turned Texas around so quickly.

“I personally don’t think we would have done it if Sark didn’t come here and change the culture,” Ford said.

Ford is so ready to shed the “Texas is back” memes, jokes and sneers.

“I’ve been here so long, you get used to blocking out the naysayers,” Ford said. “We’ve proved a lot … If we are lucky enough to hoist that trophy at the end of the season, there’s not much more to say after that.”

MEMPHIS LOOKS FOR RARE 10-WIN SEASON AND REVENGE IN THE LIBERTY BOWL AGAINST IOWA STATE
Liberty Bowl: Iowa State (7-5, Big 12) vs. Memphis (9-3, American Athletic), Dec. 29, 3:30 p.m. Eastern (ESPN).

Line: Iowa State by 9½, according to FanDuel Sportsbook.

Series record: Iowa State leads 1-0.

WHAT’S AT STAKE?
With a victory, Memphis can post just the fifth season in school history with at least 10 wins and the fourth since 2014. The Tigers also can get a little payback after losing this bowl to Iowa State 21-20 in 2017. The Iowa State Cyclones are 1-2 all-time in this bowl. Iowa State is looking to finish winning three of its final four and comes in having upset then-No. 19 Kansas State 42-35 in the regular season finale.

KEY MATCHUP
Iowa State’s opportunistic defense against a Memphis offense that averaged 39.2 points a game this season. The Cyclones ranked fifth in the NCAA picking off 16 passes and tied for 18th nationally with a plus-8 turnover differential.

PLAYERS TO WATCH
Iowa State: QB Rocco Becht is the Big 12 Offensive Freshman of the Year and has school freshman records with 20 touchdown passes and 2,674 yards passing that had been held by Brock Purdy, now in the NFL with San Francisco. Becht also has the freshman mark with 209 completions in 12 career starts.

Memphis: Seth Henigan is the third-youngest starting quarterback at 20 in FBS this season. He comes in needing to throw for 321 yards for a school record, and he already has 17 300-yard passing games and five 400-yard passing games that are the most in program history. He ranks 10th averaging 293.2 yards passing per game and 11th with 3,519 yards passing for the season. He is ninth averaging 313.8 yards in total offense per game.

FACTS & FIGURES
Iowa State is playing its sixth bowl game with coach Matt Campbell, a big improvement for a program that had made 12 bowl appearances in its 124 seasons. … Memphis is one of nine teams in FBS with nine or more straight bowl appearances, a group that includes Alabama, Clemson, Georgia, Ohio State, Oklahoma, Oklahoma State, Wisconsin and Iowa. … Iowa State is 7-2 all-time against American Athletic Conference teams. The Cyclones are 1-5 all-time in games played in Tennessee, including 1-3 in Memphis. … Memphis has won 87 games since 2014, 16th-most nationally in that span and most among AAC schools. … Memphis has scored 20 or more points in 26 straight games for the longest active streak nationally. … Memphis has forced at least one turnover in 24 of the last 30 games with 54 takeaways in that span. … Iowa State has won 20 straight games when leading at halftime and is 41-5 when leading at the half under Campbell.

CLEMSON LOOKING TO END DISAPPOINTING SEASON ON A HIGH NOTE AGAINST KENTUCKY IN THE GATOR BOWL
TaxSlayer Gator Bowl: Kentucky (7-5) vs. Clemson (8-4), Dec. 29, noon Eastern (ESPN).

FanDuel Sportsbook College Line: Clemson by 4 1/2.

Series record: Kentucky leads 8-5.

WHAT’S AT STAKE
Clemson tries to end its worst season since 2010 with a five-game winning streak. The Tigers, one of 11 Power Five teams to go undefeated in November, have won a postseason game (conference championship, bowl or playoff game) in each of the last 12 years — the longest streak in major college football history. Kentucky, meanwhile, dropped five of its last seven after a 5-0 start but ended the regular season with a 38-31 victory against in-state rival Louisville in the annual Governor’s Cup.

KEY MATCHUP
Kentucky running back Ray Davis versus Clemson’s front seven, which will be without two of its top defenders. Davis, who totaled 1,383 yards and 20 touchdowns this season, opted to play in the Gator Bowl after announcing his decision to enter the NFL draft. He now faces a Tigers defense without star linebacker Jeremiah Trotter Jr. (88 tackles) and standout cornerback Nate Wiggins (nine pass breakups).

PLAYERS TO WATCH
Kentucky: QB Devin Leary will play in his first bowl game despite being in his sixth college football season and traveling to two previous Gator Bowls. Leary spent the last five years at North Carolina State, where he missed one bowl game while redshirting and two because of injuries. Another one got canceled.

Clemson: RBs Phil Mafah and Will Shipley are a dynamic duo, accounting for 1,692 total yards and 16 touchdowns this season. Mafah ran for 455 yards during the team’s four-game winning streak, including a career-high 186 against Notre Dame.

FACTS & FIGURES
Kentucky is playing in its eighth consecutive bowl game, a school record, and making its third appearance in the Gator Bowl. The Wildcats split the previous two in Jacksonville. … Davis, who leads the Southeastern Conference in touchdowns (20) and scoring (120), is believed to be the first player to rush for more than 1,000 yards at three Football Bowl Subdivision schools (Temple, Vanderbilt, Kentucky). … Wildcats coach Mark Stoops and Clemson coach Dabo Swinney are two of the seven longest-tenured head coaches in the FBS. Stoops, in his 11th season in Lexington, ranks seventh. Swinney, in his 16th season in Clemson, ranks sixth. … Clemson is playing in its 10th Gator Bowl, which is the most appearances by any school. The Tigers are 4-5 in Jacksonville. … Coach Dabo Swinney’s first bowl as a graduate assistant (1993, Alabama) and his first bowl as a head coach (2009, Clemson) came in the Gator. … Swinney is 2-0 against the Stoops family. He notched victories against former Oklahoma coach Bob Stoops in the 2014 and 2015.

NO. 15 NOTRE DAME, 21ST-RANKED OREGON STATE MISSING PLENTY OF STARTERS GOING INTO SUN BOWL
Sun Bowl: No. 21 Oregon State (8-4, Pac-12) vs. No. 15 Notre Dame (9-3, independent), Dec. 29, 2 p.m. Eastern (CBS)

Line: Notre Dame by 6 1/2, according to FanDuel SportsBook.

Series record: Oregon State leads 2-0.

WHAT’S AT STAKE?
Both teams are missing plenty of starters in the third meeting between Notre Dame and Oregon State. Both of the previous meetings were in bowl games. Both were won by Oregon State. The Beavers are trying to get a victory for interim coach Kefense Hynson before Trent Bray takes over the job following the departure of Johnathan Smith to Michigan State. The Irish have a shot at the 23rd 10-win season in school history and sixth in the past seven seasons.

KEY MATCHUP
Oregon State QB Ben Gulbranson vs. Notre Dame S Xavier Watts. The presence of Watts is a bit of surprise with the national leader in interceptions choosing to play while eligible to enter the NFL draft. Watts has seven picks, while Gulbranson is making his first start since being named the Las Vegas Bowl MVP last season. He had 165 yards passing and two total touchdowns in a 30-3 victory over Florida. Beavers starter D.J. Uiagalelei and backup Aidan Chiles are transferring.

PLAYERS TO WATCH
Notre Dame: QB Steve Angeli is set for his first career start after Sam Hartman opted out of the game. Angeli, a redshirt freshman, played in seven games, completing 19 of 25 passes for 272 yards with four touchdowns and one interception. Nine years ago, Malik Zaire was a redshirt freshman when he made his first career start for the Irish in a bowl game. Zaire was the Music City Bowl MVP in a 31-28 victory over No. 22 LSU, passing for 96 yards and a touchdown and rushing for 96 more with another TD.

Oregon State: RB Deshaun Fenwick. With Damien Martinez sidelined coming off a suspension over an arrest on a charge of driving under the influence, Fenwick gets a shot as the lead back in the last of his 35 games with the Beavers. Fenwick played parts of three seasons at South Carolina before his three-year run with Oregon State. He has 500 yards and five touchdowns this season and 2,024 yards and 18 scores for his career.

FACTS & FIGURES
This is one of three bowls outside the New Year’s Six or the College Football Playoff matching two ranked teams. … Watts isn’t the only defensive standout who decided to play for Notre Dame. LB JD Bertrand had a team-high 75 tackles with 2 1/2 sacks and four pass breakups. … Oregon State S Kitan Oladapo has 237 career tackles going into his 46th and final game. … A win would make the Irish 21-21 all-time in bowl games. … The Beavers are in a third consecutive bowl game for the first time since going to four in a row from 2006-09.

FSU PLAYERS: WE SHOULD BE CHAMPS IF ONLY UNDEFEATED TEAM
Multiple Florida State players – including freshman quarterback Brock Glenn – say the Seminoles should be considered national champions if they finish their 2023 season as college football’s only undefeated Power 5 team.

“The Orange Bowl is an awesome bowl, one of the best in the country, and we have a great opportunity in front of us playing Georgia,” Glenn said Thursday, according to ESPN’s David Hale. “It’s still a big game for us, and we’re taking it serious. We’re focused on the guys we have here to help us win the game.”

Florida State won the ACC and finished the 2023 regular season with a 13-0 record but didn’t earn a berth in the College Football Playoff. The committee left the Seminoles out largely due to Jordan Travis’ absence, as the star quarterback broke his leg in November.

Two one-loss teams – Alabama and Texas – jumped the Seminoles in the final playoff rankings, joining undefeated Michigan and Washington as the nation’s top four teams, according to the committee. FSU became the first undefeated Power 5 conference champion ever to not make the playoffs. The 12-1 Crimson Tide will now play the 13-0 Wolverines, while the 12-1 Longhorns face the 13-0 Huskies on Jan. 1.

Glenn added that the idea of raising a banner has been discussed among Seminoles players.

“It’s only right,” linebacker Kalen DeLoach said. “Nothing else needs to be said if we’re the only undefeated team.”

Georgia entered the 2023 season as the reigning back-to-back champion but was left out of the playoffs after losing to Alabama in the SEC title game. That triumph moved the Crimson Tide into the top four along with the Longhorns, who beat Alabama in September.

Not every Florida State player is fully sold on the idea of claiming a national championship despite being left out of the College Football Playoff.

“That’s tough,” Seminoles defensive lineman Braden Fiske said. “I don’t know. Would it be phony? That’s weird. Would it be cool? Sure. But would it be a little bit cooler to actually be in and feel that confetti drop?”

UCF didn’t make the College Football Playoff during the 2017 season but claimed a national title after beating Auburn in the Peach Bowl to improve to 13-0 that year, notes Hale. Alabama, which suffered one loss that season, won the championship by defeating Georgia in the national title game that year.

It won’t be easy for Florida State to finish the campaign 14-0. The Seminoles head into the Orange Bowl missing several players who opted out of the game, including running back Trey Benson, wide receivers Keon Coleman and Johnny Wilson, and edge rusher Jared Verse. In addition to Travis, running back Lawrance Toafili is also sidelined due to injury.

Glenn served as FSU’s third-string quarterback for most of the season but is on track to start versus Georgia after backup Tate Rodemaker – who replaced an injured Travis – recently entered the transfer portal.

BASKETBALL NEWS
NBA
NBA ROUNDUP: CELTICS RALLY, HAND PISTONS 28TH STRAIGHT LOSS
The Boston Celtics overcame a 21-point deficit and raised their home record to 15-0 by beating the Detroit Pistons 128-122 in overtime Thursday night.
The Pistons also made dubious NBA history, losing for the 28th straight time, the longest in-season losing streak in league history. If they fall on Saturday vs. the visiting Toronto Raptors, they would tie the longest skid of all time, including from one season to the next.
Boston’s Kristaps Porzingis scored a season-high 35 points and added eight rebounds. Jayson Tatum finished the game with 31 points, 10 assists and seven rebounds.
Cade Cunningham led the Pistons with 31 points and nine assists. Detroit received 22 points and 10 rebounds from Jaden Ivey, 15 points and 14 rebounds from Jalen Duren and 17 points, 12 rebounds and six assists from Bojan Bogdanovic.

Nuggets 142, Grizzlies 105
Nikola Jokic had 26 points, 14 rebounds and 10 assists for his 11th triple-double of the season, Jamal Murray finished with 23 points and nine assists and host Denver beat Memphis.
Peyton Watson scored a career-high 20 points while Kentavious Caldwell-Pope and Julian Strawther contributed 12 points each for the Nuggets, who earned their season-high sixth win in a row.
Desmond Bane logged 23 points and Marcus Smart put up 17 points for the Grizzlies, who played without Ja Morant (illness). Memphis had been 4-0 since Morant returned from a 25-game suspension to open the season.

Pelicans 112, Jazz 105
Brandon Ingram scored 26 points to lead three New Orleans players with 20-plus points as the host Pelicans held off Utah.
CJ McCollum added 22 points and Zion Williamson had 21 points, 10 rebounds and eight assists for the Pelicans, who had lost three of their previous four games.
Collin Sexton scored 26 points and Lauri Markkanen had 24 points and 10 rebounds for the Jazz, whose three-game winning streak ended. Utah’s Walker Kessler scored 11 and Jordan Clarkson added 10.

Pacers 120, Bulls 104
Myles Turner scored 24 points and Tyrese Haliburton delivered 21 points and 20 assists to lift visiting Indiana over Chicago.
Buddy Hield added 19 points for the Pacers, while Jalen Smith (15), Bennedict Mathurin (15), and Aaron Nesmith (12) rounded out a balanced attack that helped Indiana pull away down the stretch after squandering a 25-point lead.
Patrick Williams led the Bulls with 22 points, while DeMar DeRozan (21), White (16), Alex Caruso (15) and Ayo Dosunmu (15) followed.

Timberwolves 118, Mavericks 110
Anthony Edwards scored a season-high 44 points to lead Minnesota past Dallas in Minneapolis.
Edwards made six 3-pointers while equaling the third-highest scoring output of his career as the Timberwolves won for the 12th time in 15 games. Dallas played without star Luka Doncic (quadriceps) for the second time in five games. Sidekick Kyrie Irving (heel) missed his 11th game in a row.
Rudy Gobert registered 20 points on 7-of-7 shooting and also had 11 rebounds and three blocked shots for Minnesota, which owns the second-best record in the NBA at 23-7. Tim Hardaway Jr. matched his season high of 32 points and Jaden Hardy added 17 for the Mavericks, who lost for the sixth time in nine games.

REPORT: ALEX RODRIGUEZ, PARTNER CLOSE TO CONTROL OF TIMBERWOLVES, LYNX
Alex Rodriguez and business partner Marc Lore are expected to exercise their option to buy another 40 percent of the Minnesota Timberwolves and Lynx, giving them controlling interest of both franchises, ESPN reported.

They could take action to move forward with the purchase from current majority owner Glen Taylor as soon as Thursday. They have a Sunday deadline.

With the move, Rodriguez and Lore will own 80 percent of the teams, pending approval by the NBA Board of Governors. Per ESPN, Rodriguez and Lore could have majority ownership wrapped up by early 2024.

The retired MLB star and Lore, a New York entrepreneur, began the $1.5 billion purchase in 2021 with their investment in the first 20 percent. They added the second 20 percent in March when they made a $290 million payment.

Taylor, a billionaire Minnesota businessman, paid $88 million for the Timberwolves in 1994 to keep the team from being sold and moved to New Orleans. At the time Rodriguez and Lore made the initial 20 percent purchase, the sale was conditional on the NBA franchise remaining in Minnesota.

MEN’S COLLEGE BASKETBALL
NO. 12 OKLAHOMA REBOUNDS FROM 1ST LOSS OF SEASON WITH WIN OVER CENTRAL ARKANSAS
NORMAN, Okla. (AP) — Javian McCollum scored 23 points and Otega Oweh added 16 as No. 12 Oklahoma bounced back from its first loss of the season with an 88-72 win over Central Arkansas on Thursday night.
Sam Godwin scored 14 points and Jalon Moore had 12 points and nine rebounds for the Sooners (11-1), who were back in action for the first time since losing 81-69 to then-No. 11 North Carolina on Dec. 20.
Oklahoma played its worst game of the season against the Tar Heels after climbing to No. 7 in The Associated Press Top 25 poll, shooting a season-low 40.4% and committing a season-high 18 turnovers.
The Sooners missed five of their first seven shots against Central Arkansas (3-11) and trailed 12-8 after five minutes. But OU found its shooting touch after that and led 50-42 at halftime on the strength of 19 points by McCollum, who made 4 of 5 shots from beyond the arc.
Oklahoma went on a 15-2 run to extend the lead to 71-55 with 11 minutes left. The Bears rallied by scoring the next 11 points and closing within 71-66.
The Sooners tightened their defense and closed out the game on a 16-6 run. Oklahoma shot 52% from the field and made 10 of 22 3-pointers (45%).
Johannes Kirsipuu scored
Johannes Kirsipuu scored 16 points to lead four players in double figures for Central Arkansas, which shot 47% from the field.
Before the game, OU held a moment of silence for former two-sport star Ryan Minor. Players wore shooting shirts with Minor’s name and No. 12 on the back during warmups.
The 49-year-old Minor died of cancer on Dec. 22. He pitched and played first base and helped the Sooners win a national title in baseball in 1994 and was named Big Eight Player of the Year in 1995 on the basketball court.
UP NEXT
Central Arkansas: Plays Missouri on Saturday in Columbia.
Oklahoma: Hosts Monmouth on Sunday.

ILLINOIS STAR SHANNON SUSPENDED FOLLOWING RAPE CHARGE
Illinois suspended basketball player Terrence Shannon Jr. on Thursday after he was charged with rape for an alleged incident that happened when the football team played at Kansas in September.
The school suspended Shannon from “all team activities, effective immediately,” a day after the Douglas (Kansas) County District Attorney issued a warrant for his arrest. Chicago-area attorney Mark Sutter said Shannon is “innocent.”
Prosecutors in Douglas County charged Shannon on Dec. 5 with rape or an alternative count of sexual battery. The complaint says the accuser was born in 2005.
The rape charge carries a sentence of 12 to 54 years in prison, while the battery charge carries a fine of up to $2,500 and up to a year in jail.
Cheryl Cadue, public information officer for the Douglas County District Attorney’s Office, said the office was limited in what it could say about the case because it was pending. She directed questions to the sheriff’s office.
The probable cause affidavit was not immediately released.
The alleged incident happened when Shannon attended the Illini’s football game at Kansas on Sept. 8. He was not part of the school’s traveling party.
Shannon traveled to Lawrence, Kansas, on Thursday and turned himself in to authorities. He was released on a $50,000 bond, and the school said he was returning to Champaign. Sheriff’s office spokesman George Diepenbrock said his booking photo would not be released.
“Since September, when these allegations surfaced, Terrence has cooperated with law enforcement throughout the investigation, declaring his innocence from the beginning,” Sutter said in a statement. “Now, several months later, my office learned that formal charges were filed against him yesterday in Lawrence, KS. In less than 24 hours, my client responded, and he voluntarily surrendered to local authorities for processing and release. Terrence is innocent of these charges, and he intends to take his case to trial.”
Illinois said it has been aware since late September that police in Lawrence were investigating Shannon but had “yet to receive actionable information” until Wednesday.
“The University and DIA (Division of Intercollegiate Athletics) have shown time and again that we have zero tolerance for sexual misconduct,” athletic director Josh Whitman said in a statement. “At the same time, DIA policy affords student-athletes appropriate levels of due process based on the nature and severity of the allegations. We will rely on that policy and our prior experiences to manage this situation appropriately for the University and the involved parties.”
The head of the prosecutor’s office, former University of Kansas law professor Suzanne Valdez, was elected in 2020 after the previous prosecutor charged one of her students with making a false rape report. The charge was eventually dropped amid intense pressure. Valdez said law enforcement in Lawrence failed to protect women.
In his second season at Illinois after three years at Texas Tech, Shannon is second in the Big Ten in scoring at 21.7 points per game. Only Purdue’s Zach Edey is averaging more.
No. 11 Illinois has a home game against Fairleigh Dickinson on Friday. Whitman is scheduled to address the media prior to the game. Coach Brad Underwood’s availability with reporters on Thursday was canceled.

NHL NEWS
NHL ROUNDUP: ANDREI SVECHNIKOV’S HAT TRICK BOOSTS HURRICANES
Carolina’s Andrei Svechnikov notched a hat trick and Jesper Fast scored two goals to support the return of goalie Antti Raanta in the Hurricanes’ 5-3 victory against the Montreal Canadiens on Thursday night in Raleigh, N.C.
Svechnikov broke a tie with 6:09 left with his second goal of the game. His empty-netter came with 18.9 seconds left for his sixth goal of the season.
Sebastian Aho’s four assists and Brent Burns’ three assists were boosts to Carolina’s offense. Raanta made 18 saves in his first NHL game since Dec. 15. In the past two weeks, he cleared waivers and took an AHL assignment before rejoining the Hurricanes, who are 3-1-1 in their past five games.
Mitchell Stephens, Mike Matheson and Josh Anderson scored for the Canadiens, who had gone 3-0-2 in their previous five games. Cayden Primeau made 29 saves.

Oilers 5, Sharks 0
Stuart Skinner made 25 saves for his second shutout of the season as Edmonton rode a four-goal first period to a victory at San Jose.
Evan Bouchard, Zach Hyman and Ryan McLeod all collected one goal and one assist while Ryan Nugent-Hopkins and Leon Draisaitl scored once for the Oilers, who are riding a three-game winning streak. Darnell Nurse collected two assists.
Sharks goalie Magnus Chrona, who made his first NHL start, was victimized for four goals on 12 shots before being pulled after the first period. Kaapo Kahkonen took the net for the final two periods and stopped 17 shots.

Golden Knights 3, Kings 2
Logan Thompson made 32 saves as Vegas snapped a four-game losing streak with a victory over Los Angeles in Las Vegas.
Jack Eichel, Michael Amadio and William Karlsson scored goals for the Golden Knights, who moved into a tie for first place in the Pacific Division with Vancouver. The Golden Knights and the Canucks are in a three-way tie with the New York Rangers for most points in the NHL (49).
Anze Kopitar had a goal and an assist and Trevor Moore also scored for the Kings, who took just their second regulation loss on the road (13-2-1). Cam Talbot stopped 29 shots.

Flyers 4, Canucks 1
Egor Zamula, Sean Walker and Joel Farabee scored in a span of 2:06 in the second period to break open a scoreless game and visiting Philadelphia held on to beat Vancouver.
Garnet Hathaway scored short-handed in the third period and Samuel Ersson made 18 saves for Philadelphia before he left with dehydration. Carter Hart stopped all eight shots he faced for the Flyers, who are 8-1-3 in their past 12 games.
Teddy Blueger scored and Casey DeSmith had 21 saves for the Canucks, who had registered at least a point in each of their previous nine games (7-0-2).

INDIANA TEAM NEWS RELEASES/SPORTS NEWS
COLTS FOOTBALL
COLTS SIGN LB AUSTIN AJIAKE TO PRACTICE SQUAD
Indianapolis – The Indianapolis Colts today signed linebacker Austin Ajiake to the practice squad.
Ajiake, 6-1, 223 pounds, has spent time on the practice squads of the Green Bay Packers and Las Vegas Raiders this season. He participated in training camp with the Denver Broncos after signing with the team as an undrafted free agent on August 3, 2023. Collegiately, Ajiake played in 48 games (20 starts) at UNLV (2018-22) and compiled 232 tackles (117 solo), 12.0 tackles for loss, 4.0 sacks, three passes defensed, two interceptions and one fumble recovery. He earned First Team All-Mountain West honors in 2022 and garnered Honorable Mention All-Mountain West recognition in 2021. His last name is pronounced AH-g-kay.

INDIANA PACERS
GAME REWIND: PACERS 120, BULLS 104
Thursday night’s matchup was a rollercoaster of sorts, but Indiana ultimately came out on top.

Not only did the Blue and Gold narrowly avoid defeat after giving up a 25-point lead to a 19-2 Chicago scoring run late in the third frame, but they did it while holding Chicago to only 104 points, which is the lowest scoring output of any Indiana opponent all season.

Despite Indiana’s highs and lows on both offense and defense, Tyrese Haliburton seemed to overshadow the close call matchup with a historic night of his own.

With his 21 points, a career-high 20 assists, and zero turnovers, Haliburton became just the second player since 1985 to record such a stat line. The All-Star guard shot 7-of-13 from the floor, with six of his seven buckets being scored from beyond the arc.

Myles Turner also added a 20-point night of his own as he led the six Pacers who ended the night in double-figure scoring with 24 points, six rebounds and three blocks.

Buddy Hield followed behind with 19 points and six rebounds, in which 15 of his points resulted from his five completed 3-pointers on 10 attempts. Jalen Smith and Bennedict Mathurin contributed 15 points apiece, while Aaron Nesmith added 12 points and two blocks. In addition, Obi Toppin contributed a career-high 12 rebounds.

Though the Bulls gained the first possession of the game after winning the tipoff, Chicago and Indiana went basket for basket to get the matchup rolling. The Pacers opened the contest with an efficient start by shooting a perfect 6-of-6 from the field, led by Turner’s early seven points on a 3-of-3 shooting clip.

Indiana went cold and missed their next three shot attempts, giving Chicago room to stretch an advantage to six points with an 8-0 scoring run. A 3-pointer from Smith ended the quick scoring drought and brought the Pacers within three points.

Smith would end the first quarter with seven points for Indiana on a perfect 3-of-3 shooting clip.

Two jumpers from Bulls forward DeMar DeRozan and a failed Indiana possession gave Chicago a seven-point lead, which was their largest lead of the game. The Pacers immediately responded with a Haliburton to Smith alley-oop that brought the deficit down to five points with roughly five minutes to play.

Two minutes later, Isaiah Jackson followed up a 3-pointer from Mathurin with a steal at Chicago’s 3-point line that resulted in a fast break dunk. This chain of events put Indiana ahead, 28-26, for the first time in over five minutes.

Though the Bulls managed to tie the game, 31-31, with roughly a minute remaining in the first frame, a pair of 3-pointers from Hield and Haliburton gave the Pacers a six-point lead to finish off the quarter leading, 37-31.

To start the second quarter, Indiana took an eight-point lead at the 10:38 minute mark with a completed jumper from Andrew Nembhard. However, this bucket capped off Indiana’s 24-9 scoring run that was started in the middle of the first frame and was followed up with a Chicago 10-2 scoring run.

The Bulls managed to tie the game, 41-41, at the 7:45 minute mark. However, Indiana remained strong and continued to pull away with the help of a 14-6 scoring run that ended with a deep 3-pointer from Haliburton to put Indiana ahead yet again by eight points with roughly three minutes remaining in the half.

Indiana found a groove with a minute left in the second frame. A dunk from Smith gave Indiana a 12-point lead, its largest lead of the half, with 30.8 seconds remaining on the clock. Though immediately followed up with a 3-pointer from Patrick Williams on the other end of the court, another dunk from Smith put Indiana ahead 11 points to close out the half.

Both dunks from Smith and a layup from Hield at the 1:03 minute mark were assisted by Haliburton. Haliburton ended the half with 11 assists to go along with nine points.

Smith ended the half with 11 points, while Hield finished with 10 points.

Indiana opened the third frame by taking a 19-point lead, scored on 3-of-4 shooting from the floor with two of the buckets being assisted by Haliburton.

While the Blue and Gold sped ahead, the Bulls struggled on the offensive end as they missed all of their first five scoring attempts. Chicago’s only point for the first four minutes of the third frame resulted from a sole free throw by Andre Drummond.

The Pacers could not be slowed down as they outscored the Bulls 21-9 in the first six minutes of the second half and powered ahead to a 25-point lead, 83-58. Turner fueled the Blue and Gold offense as he netted eight points on 3-of-3 shooting from the floor and a 2-of-2 shooting clip from the charity stripe.

However, the momentum of the game would soon shift dramatically as Chicago found themselves steering the Pacers off course with a 19-2 scoring run starting at the 6:31 minute mark and ending at the conclusion of the quarter. While Indiana missed their final ten shots of the frame, this scoring run cut the Pacers lead to just eight points.

Two free throws from DeRozan put Chicago within six points to start the final frame. From this point on, Indiana and Chicago exchanged baskets as the Pacers tried to hold on to their lead that got to as little as two points on one occasion.

At the 8:18 minute mark, the Bulls succeeded in overtaking the Indiana advantage as a 3-pointer from Coby White put Chicago ahead by one point. After trailing by as many as 25 points, the Bulls earned their first lead since the 3:41 minute mark in the first quarter.

While trailing by three points, a block from Turner that resulted in a 3-pointer from Hield assisted by Haliburton allowed the Pacers to tie the game up yet again, 93-93. In roughly five minutes, Indiana took back a 12-point advantage with a 24-7 run of their own.

The Pacers caught fire as they took back the game once again, going 5-of-7 from beyond the arc, with Haliburton and Hield adding two 3-pointers apiece and Nesmith adding one of his own.
Three buckets from Mathurin and two free throws from Turner gave Indiana a 17-point lead with 31.7 seconds remaining in the matchup.

Indiana shot 59.1 percent (13-of-22) from the floor in the final frame and made five of eight 3-point attempts.

For the Bulls,
For the Bulls, the five players who contributed double-figures to the scoring column were led by Williams’ 22 points on 9-of-14 shooting. DeRozan followed behind with 21 points, White added 16 points, and Alex Caruso and Ayo Dosunmu contributed 15 points apiece. Drummond pulled down 16 rebounds.

Inside the Numbers
Six Pacers ended the night in double-figure scoring. Myles Turner led the pack with 24 points on 8-of-12 shooting from the floor and 7-of-7 shooting from the free throw line.

The Pacers held the Bulls to 104 points, which is the lowest scoring output of any Indiana opponent this season.

Indiana shot 50.6 percent (43-of-85) from the field and 45.2 percent (19-of-42) from beyond the arc. Chicago was held to 25.9 percent (7-of-27) shooting from 3-point range.

Obi Toppin pulled down a career-high 12 rebounds.

The Pacers, who rank first in the league averaging 30.5 assists per contest, dished out 30 assists on the night with the help of Haliburton’s 20 assists.

Indiana recorded nine blocked shots.

The Blue and Gold recorded 31 fast break points in comparison to Chicago’s seven fast break points.

Indiana’s bench outscored the Chicago bench, 40-23.

Both teams recorded 47 rebounds.

You Can Quote Me On That
“I just have done a terrible job taking care of the ball lately, so it’s good to see zero turnovers again. And you don’t get 20 assists without guys making shots. So just spreading the ball around, if guys are making shots for me a lot of guys are contributing.” – Haliburton on his assists

“Everything does start with our defense, I think this is probably our best defensive game. We held them to 104 points, a season low. Just overall, we’re growing as a group, and that was a goal from training camp just to grow as the season came along.” – Turner on defense

“Pretty wild game. In [Chicago’s] previous nine wins, eight of them were comeback wins. When they get down, they’re just a tough-minded team and they’re going to keep coming at you. They made a furious run and our guys responded the best way that you could– with poise and aggression. Really good win, obviously a very very good trip.” – Head Coach Rick Carlisle on the win

“I think they’re big because these are two scrappy teams (Chicago and Houston), two teams that are playing well. We’ve made defensive emphasis over the last couple weeks, we know that’s gonna make or break our season honestly. We know offensively we’re putting together one of the best seasons ever and we don’t plan on slowing down on that end.” – Haliburton on Indiana’s two road wins

“I was real proud of the way the guys really stuck together. This is as loud of a building you’re going to get in that kind of situation. Everything’s going wrong, they come back, take a three or four point lead, whatever it was. We just kept playing.” – Carlisle on the team

“We’re young, we’re hungry, we want to win. Everybody showed a part today, executed to the coaches’ game plan, and we came out with a dub.” – Smith on the win

“I just love the moment, I love playing basketball. It’s a lot of fun, and people look at me to be a closer for this team. Guys trust me, guys will give me the ball in the right spots, guys are making shots when I’m passing the ball.” – Haliburton on the late game run

“This morning he had to step out of the shootaround, his back was tight. [The medical staff] worked on him for a couple hours. I was surprised that he played based on how he was presenting this morning. They were able to figure out the problem and get it corrected, and obviously he did well.” – Carlisle on Haliburton’s back

Stat of the Night
All-Star guard Tyrese Haliburton shined in Chicago as he became just the second player in NBA history to record a 20+ point, 20+ assist, and zero turnover stat line. His 21 points was supported by six 3-pointers on 13 attempts. Along with his career-high 20 assists, he also recorded a team-high two steals and three rebounds.

Noteworthy
The Pacers were without starting guard Bruce Brown, who is injured with a right knee bone bruise, for the third straight game. Brown had started in the Pacers’ first 27 games prior to the injury.
Jalen Smith earned his second consecutive start of the season tonight, while Aaron Nesmith earned his third start of the season.
With tonight’s win in Chicago, Indiana will return home 2-0 from their two-game road trip.
Tickets
The Pacers return to Gainbridge Fieldhouse to host Jalen Brunson and the New York Knicks on Saturday, Dec. 30 at 7:00 PM ET.

INDY FUEL HOCKEY
FUEL FACE FLORIDIAN FOE FOR FIRST FIGHT
GAME DAY TIMING:

6:00 P.M.: Doors open

7:00 P.M: Puck drop

HOCKEY TALKS & ALL YOU CAN EAT NIGHT:

You are never alone. The Indy Fuel is hosting ‘Hockey Talks’ Night with Anthem Blue Cross and Blue Shield on Friday, Dec. 29 to help break the stigma of mental illness and promote positive change.

It is also All You Can Eat Night! Enjoy free unlimited hot dogs, popcorn, and chips included with your game ticket! Meet select players in the lobby after the game for autographs!

Be sure to check out our table above section 207 where you can donate to buy a foam puck that will go in our Hockey Talks mural project! All proceeds will be donated to Brightlane Learning and Anthem Blue Cross and Blue Shield will match donations up to $500!

PARKING: Parking at Indiana State Fairgrounds is $10. Fans are encouraged to arrive early to park due to anticipated large crowds at the Fairgrounds. Infield parking is not available at this time.

TICKETS: Tickets for today’s game can be purchased at the Indiana Farmers Coliseum Box Office or online HERE. Kids two and under do not need a ticket as long as they sit on the lap of a ticketed patron.

BAG POLICY: The Indy Fuel now follow the same bag policy as all Indiana State Fairgrounds events. All bags are subject to search upon entering the arena. All bags larger than 14” x 14” x 6” (backpacks, suitcases, duffel bags, etc.) are prohibited. Please plan accordingly to help facilitate a quick and efficient entry process. Please report suspicious bags to an Indiana Farmers Coliseum team member.

PURDUE MEN’S BASKETBALL

1 PURDUE WRAPS UP NON-CONFERENCE PLAY FRIDAY VS. EASTERN KENTUCKY IN MACKEY

GAMEDAY INFORMATION — GAME 13
[1] Purdue (11-1) vs. Eastern Kentucky (4-8)
Friday, December 29, 2023
7 p.m. ET | West Lafayette, Ind.
Mackey Arena | 14,876
TELEVISION: Big Ten Network (Matt Schumacker, Rapheal Davis)
RADIO: Purdue Global Radio Network (Rob Blackman, Bobby Riddell)

THE NOTES TO KNOW

  • The No. 1-ranked Purdue Boilermakers close out their non-conference schedule under the Friday Night Lights of Mackey Arena when Eastern Kentucky visits to wrap up the 2023 calendar year. Purdue is aiming for its third straight unbeaten, non-conference record, entering the contest with a 10-0 record in non-conference play against a schedule that ranks eighth nationally.
  • Purdue was voted No. 1 in the AP Top 25 poll on Christmas Day for the second straight week and for the third time during the 2023-24 season. With its No. 1 ranking this week, Purdue has now been ranked in the top 5 of the AP poll for 24 straight weeks, the longest-active streak in America by 11 weeks (Kansas – 13). It has been ranked in the top 3 in 18 of those 24 weeks.
  • The 24 straight weeks ranked in the top 5 is the fifth-longest streak in Big Ten history, but the second-longest streak in the last 45 years.
  • Through games played Dec. 26, Purdue owns the most quad-1 wins (5), most quad-1 and 2 wins (7) and most quad-1, 2 and 3 wins (9). Colorado State also has nine quad-1, 2 and 3 wins, while Florida Atlantic has eight-such wins. Those two teams have combined for four quad-1 wins and seven quad-3 victories.
  • Purdue has won 34 straight non-conference, regular-season games, the longest streak for any program in the country in almost 10 years and the fifth-longest streak in the last 30 years. Purdue is attempting to become the third team in the last 50 years (Syracuse — 2009-10, 2010-11, 2011-12; Duke — 1991-92, 1992-93, 1993-94) to have three straight unbeaten regular seasons against non-conference opponents.
  • Purdue’s 34-game non-conference, regular-season win streak is the longest in the country by 19 games (Houston – 15).
  • Purdue has scored at least 87 points in six straight games, marking the first time in school history that it has done that. Over the last six games, Purdue is averaging 93.0 points with an offensive efficiency of 130.1 (130.1 points scored per 100 possessions). Purdue has also scored 90 or more points in three straight games for the first time since December 2000. The last time Purdue scored 90 or more points in four straight games was during the 1968-69 season (done twice).
  • Purdue owns a 40-7 record (.851) since the start of last season, tied for the fifth-most wins nationally in that span. Twenty-nine of the 40 wins have come against teams ranked in the KenPom top-100, including 23 against teams ranked in the top-50. The seven losses during that span are the third-fewest in the country (Houston – 4; Florida Atlantic – 6).
  • Since having 17 turnovers against Northwestern, Purdue is averaging just 9.8 turnovers per game while averaging 23.3 assists per game (2.38 assist / turnover ratio). Purdue has 39 turnovers in that span, while forcing 56 turnovers during the four-game stretch.
  • Purdue is shooting 52.8 percent from the field and 41.8 percent from long distance in home games, outscoring foes 92.3 to 60.8 per game.
  • Matt Painter needs one victory for 450 in his career (25 at Southern Illinois; 424 at Purdue). He moved past Lou Henson into fourth place on the Big Ten’s all-time wins list following the win over Jacksonville.
  • Zach Edey has moved into second on the school’s career rebounding chart (972) and is now ninth in points (1,821) and 5th in blocks (177). He needs 179 points, 28 rebounds and 23 blocks to become the third player in NCAA history (Patrick Ewing, David Robinson) to have scored 2,000 career points with 1,000 rebounds and 200 blocks while shooting at least 60.0 percent from the field.
  • Zach Edey is averaging just 20.0 points, 8.5 rebounds and 3.5 assists over his last two games, and hasn’t had a double-double in the last three games. It’s the longest streak without a double-double since Feb. 20 to March 1, 2022 (sophomore year), showcasing his dominance.
  • Purdue is in search for its 26th Big Ten Championship, already owning the most Big Ten titles in league history. Should Purdue win the Big Ten title in 2024, it will mark its fourth title in the last eight seasons and back-to-back titles for the first time since 1994-95-96.

NOTRE DAME MEN’S BASKETBALL
ENDING THE YEAR WITH THE CAVALIERS
SOUTH BEND, Ind. – The Notre Dame men’s basketball team will end the year with the Cavaliers. The Fighting Irish (5-7, 0-1) jump into ACC play with three straight league games at home, starting with (RV/RV) Virginia on Saturday, Dec. 30. That matchup will tip off at Noon ET on ACC Network.

Saturday’s contest inside Purcell Pavilion also marks 574 Day. The Fighting Irish want to pay homage to both its homegrown talent that has come through the program, along with showing gratitude for our local community and its support. With that said, the first 1,000 fans in attendance will receive a special 574 hat.

LET US BEGIN

The Cavaliers enter the contest at 10-2 on the year and 1-0 in ACC play, knocking off Syracuse earlier in the month by the score of 84-62. Virginia was just in the top-25 at No. 22 before a loss to No. 23 Memphis on Dec. 19 knocked them out.

It has been a one-sided rivalry between the Irish and Cavaliers as UVA owns a 17-3 advantage. Yet, the last time these two played in Purcell, the Irish earned their first win against them in South Bend, taking it 69-65 on Jan. 29, 2022. Last season, Notre Dame traveled to Charlottesville, where they almost picked up their first win inside JPJ Arena, as Dane Goodwin’s buzzer-beating three fell short, losing 57-55. Over the last six games between the two, the average margin of victory has been 5.7 points.

Virginia ranks 2nd in the country in scoring defense, allowing just 54.3 ppg. They also rank 2nd in turnovers per game (8.6) and 4th in turnover margin (6.0).

There is a common connector now between the two programs in Notre Dame Associate Head Coach Kyle Getter, who came to South Bend after a successful five-year stint under Tony Bennett at Virginia.

HITTING THE MARK

Point guard Markus Burton has put his name amongst the top freshmen in the country with his stellar play thus far. For those who aren’t acquainted with the local standout from Mishawaka, here are some quick hitters:

His 16.0 ppg leads all ACC freshmen and ranks 5th nationally amongst DI freshmen.
He is the only freshman in the country averaging over 15 points, 3.5 assists and 1.5 steals per game.
If the season ended today, Burton’s 16.0 ppg would rank 3rd all-time in the ND freshman record book. The two in front of him – Adrian Dantley (18.3) and Troy Murphy (19.2).
Burton started his career with five straight games in double figures. He now leads the team with 10 double-digit games.
Burton picked up his 4th game of 20 or more points against Marist on Dec. 22. The following is a list of the most 20-point games by an Irish freshman: Adrian Dantley (13 in ‘73-74), Troy Murphy (10 in ‘98-99) and David Rivers (10 in ‘84-85).
He ranks 12th in the ACC in scoring, 10th in assists (3.6), 10th in steals (1.6) and 15th in FT% (.813).
D-UP!

If you are looking for an early Coach Shrewsberry stamp on the program, look no further than the defensive effort by this young Irish squad. In eight of the last nine games, the Irish have allowed 65 points or fewer in regulation. Most notably, limiting the Hurricanes to a season-low in points – 24 points fewer than their season average of 86 points per game.

Notre Dame’s scoring defense of 66.6 ranks 5th in the ACC.

SECOND HALF SURGE

As previously alluded, Burton has had a knack for surging at the right moments in the second half. Five times this season, Burton has scored double-digit points in the second half alone: Niagara, Oklahoma State, Western Michigan, Marquette and Marist.

Burton is averaging a team-best 8.4 points in the second half.

TRENDING

Burton has produced a stellar five-game stretch, totaling 88 points (17.6 ppg). He has scored double-digit points in all five games, including two of 20+ points. In addition, he has dished out 34 assists over the last eight games (4.3 apg).

J.R. Konieczny has been a bright spot during the non-conference season. The junior has recorded double-digit points in 6 of the last 10 games. If you take out those first two games of the season and look at this 10-game stretch, Konieczny is averaging 11.3 points.

Tae Davis had a big second half vs Marist to lift the Irish to victory. He scored 10 of the team’s final 17 points of the game, as he finished with 12 in the game. Davis made a season-high six made free throws (6-6).

Carey Booth earned his first career start against Marist and recorded 11 points and 6 rebounds. It was his first time back in double figures since game two vs. Western Carolina.

HOME BOOST

Two Irish in particular have thrived at home – Markus Burton and Julian Roper II – both averaging double figures. Burton is averaging 18.0 ppg on 44.2 percent shooting, while Roper II checks in at 10.8 ppg on 48.8 percent shooting.

BALL STATE WOMEN’S BASKETBALL
WBB’S ALLY BECKI NAMED MAC PLAYER OF THE WEEK
CLEVELAND, Ohio – Ball State junior Ally Becki (Brownsburg, Ind./Brownsburg) has earned Mid-American Conference Player of the Week honors.

Becki led the Cardinals with back-to-back wins over two Power-five opponents in ACC foe Pitt and SEC foe Georgia last week at the Sun Coast Challenge in Tampa, Fla. Becki led the Ball State charge averaging 16.5 points per game, 7.0 rebounds, 6.0 assists and 3.0 steals while going perfect from the charity stripe.

Becki with less than .03 seconds on the clock hit the game-winning jumper to help propel the Cardinals past the Bulldogs (52-51). Becki’s game-winner allowed Ball State to bring home the Sun Coast Challenge championship trophy. She was also tabbed the tourney’s most valuable player.

The Ball State women’s basketball team is set to close out its 2023 non-conference portion of its schedule on Saturday at 3 pm ET against Oakland University. The Cardinals then open conference action Wednesday, Jan. 3 at Western Michigan.

WBB RETURNS HOME FOR 2023 NON-CONFERENCE FINALE; HOSTS OAKLAND CITY SATURDAY
Ball State (9-2) at Oakland City (7-5)

December 30, 2023 >>Worthen Arena>Muncie, Ind.>> 3 pm ET

OPENING TIP:

  • Ball State earned back-to-back victories over Power 5 schools Pitt (73-62) and Georgia (52-51) and were crowned the Sun Coast Challenge Tournament champions in Tampa, Fla., on Dec. 21. Junior Ally Becki’s last second shot rattled in to seal the victory over the Bulldog. Becki was also crowned the tournament’s MVP.
  • Ball State head coach Brady Sallee has now defeated six Power 5 conference teams seven times during his tenure with the Cardinals — Minnesota (54-51, 2012-13), Iowa (77-72, 2015-16), Vanderbilt (88-79, 2017-18), Purdue (66-60, 2017-18), Pitt (68-66, 2022-23), Pitt (73-62, 2023-24) and Georgia (52-51, 2023-24).
  • The last time the Cardinals played Oakland City was in an exhibition game on Nov. 3, 2021 in Muncie which resulted in a 122-26 victory for Ball State. The Cardinals last faced the Mighty Oaks in regular season action on Dec. 10, 2017 in Worthen Arena. Ball State won that match-up 126-55.
  • Oakland City comes to Ball State with an overall record of 7-5. The Mighty Oaks are coming off an 89-84 road victory against the University of Pikeville. Oakland City was led in scoring by Emilee Hope and Jalaya Dowell as they each scored 23 points apiece.
  • The Cardinals open their 2024 18-game Mid-American Conference campaign which will include eight games at home and eight on the road over a 10-week span with a break in February for the newly implemented MAC and Sun Belt Conference Challenge on Feb. 10. Ball State starts

conference action at Western Michigan (Jan. 3). The Cardinals home league opener is slated for Jan. 10 versus Buffalo and then BSU will close out MAC play on the road against the Bulls (Mar. 9).

  • The conference tournament runs March 13-16 with the league’s top eight teams advancing to Cleveland for the quarterfinals, semifinals and the title game on Saturday, March 16.

GAME DAY TIDBITS:

  • In her first 11 contests as a Cardinal, Nyla Hampton has stolen the ball 40 times and has dished out 45 assists. Hampton stole the ball eight times against Tennessee Tech (11/6/23) which marks a season best for her. Hampton is fourth in the nation in total steals (40) and ranks fifth in steals per game (3.91).
  • The Cardinals as a team rank in the top 100 in these categorie: 33rd in turnovers forced per game (20.91), 29th in steals per game (11.2), 36th in 3-pointers per game (8.5), 52nd turnover margin (4.18), 37th in 3-point attempts (25.0), 78th in field goal percentage (43.8), 93rd in 3-point percentage (33.8), 46th in winning percentage (81.0), 86th in bench points (23.7), 90th in assists per game (15.1) and 98th in scoring offense (72.3).
  • Madelyn Bischoff ranks 11th in 3-pointers per contest in the country (3.40), 13th in 3-point field goal percentage (48.6) and 26th in 3-pointers (34).

CAREER MILESTONES:

  • Ally Becki needs 114 points for 1,000, 103 assists and 60 rebounds to reach the 500 mark.
  • Nyla Hampton needs 53 points for 1,000.
  • Marie Kiefer has 106 blocks for her career — needs 46 to move into first place.

IN THE MAC:

The Cardinals sit atop of the Mid-American Conference with a 9-2 non-conference mark. Ball State is the only school in league play that has only two losses. As a team, the Cardinals rank first in the MAC in assists per game (15.1), scoring margin (5.5), scoring offense (72.3), turnover margin (4.18) and winning percentage (81.8).

COLLEGE INSIDER:

The Ball State Cardinals were ranked third for the fourth week in a row in the College Insider Women’s Mid-Major Top-25 Poll. Only the Cardinals are ranked in the top five out of any Mid-American Conference program.

  1. Gonzaga
  2. Princeton
  3. Ball State
  4. Ball State
  5. FGCU
  6. Cleveland State

INDIANA STATE MEN’S BASKETBALL
ISU HEADS TO EAST LANSING FOR ’79 CHAMPIONSHIP REMATCH
EAST LANSING, Mich. – Indiana State men’s basketball heads to East Lansing for the long-awaited rematch of the 1979 National Championship game. The matchup tips on FOX Sports 1 at 2 p.m. ET and can also be found on radio on 105.5 The Legend.
Series History
Listed as one of Andy Katz’s top ten games to watch in college basketball this week, Indiana State travels to Michigan State to square off for the first time since the 1979 National Championship, which featured Larry Bird and Magic Johnson. Michigan State won that game 75-64 after ISU entered with a perfect 33-0 record.

About Michigan State
Michigan State is in their 29TH season with Tom Izzo at the helm. MSU competes in the Big Ten Conference. The Spartans are currently at the bottom of the conference in Big Ten play with an 0-2 record. MSU enters Saturday’s game on a three-game win streak, starting with an 88-64 victory at home versus Baylor. At the time, MSU was unranked and Baylor was 6th in the nation. Three Spartans currently average 10.0+ PPG: Tyson Walker (19.8), A.J. Hoggard (10.8), and Jaden Akins (10.4).

Last Time Out – Indiana State
Indiana State men’s basketball ended the home portion of the 2023 calendar year with in a Tuesday night victory over Tennessee State, 90-69. ISU moves to 11-1 with its 10th-straight win this season, the first double-digit winning streak in the Coach Schertz era with the Sycamores.

Julian Larry led the game with 19 points on 3-for-5 from the floor and converted 13 made free throws, while dishing out a game-high six assists and recording three rebounds.

Robbie Avila and Xavier Bledson each recorded a double-double in the game. Avila scored all of his 18 points in the second half (3-for-4 from beyond the arc), grabbed a career-high 14 rebounds, tallied five assists, and swatted two Tiger shots. Bledson came off the bench and earned his first double-double at ISU, he scored 16 points and recorded a season-high 10 rebounds. Bledson knocked down four three-pointers for the first time in his collegiate career.
Jayson Kent scored in double figures for the 11th time this season in ISU’s 12 games on the year. Kent tallied 15 points, including two more massive dunks. Isaiah Swope rounded out the five Sycamores in double figures with 14 points and three triples.

Last Time Out – Michigan State
Michigan State opened up a 36-point lead at half and junior guard Jaden Akins scored a career-high 22 points as the Spartans beat Stony Brook, 99-55, at the Breslin Center on Thursday night in its final game ahead of the Christmas holiday.

Graduate guard Tyson Walker scored 17 points, had two rebounds, two assists and two steals, senior guard A.J. Hoggard had a double-double with 12 points and 10 rebounds, adding three rebounds and two steals and freshman forward Xavier Booker chipped in 11 points, seven rebounds and three blocked shots. Eleven different players scored at least one point for the Spartans, including freshman guard Jeremy Fears Jr., who had one point, five rebounds and 10 assists.

PURDUE FT. WAYNE MEN’S BASKETBALL
‘DONS AND NORSE RESUME LEAGUE PLAY ON FRIDAY
FORT WAYNE, Ind. – A pair of undefeated teams in Horizon League play will play on Friday (Dec. 29) at the Gates Sports Center when the Northern Kentucky Norse arrive in Fort Wayne to play the Mastodons. Kids 18 and under can receive a free general admission ticket to the game at the box office window. Fans will also receive a free Marathon can koozie (while supplies last).

Game Day Information
Who: Purdue Fort Wayne Mastodons (11-2, 2-0 Horizon League) vs. Northern Kentucky Norse (7-6, 2-0 Horizon League)
When: Friday, December 29 | 7:00 p.m. ET
Where: Fort Wayne, Ind. | Gates Sports Center
Live Stats: Link
Television: Marquee Sports Network
Video: ESPN+
Radio: 1380 AM (online stream only)
Tickets: Link
Game Program: Link
Series Record: Norse hold a 30-13 series lead
Game Notes: Purdue Fort Wayne (PDF)

‘DONS & ENDS:
// A victory on Friday over Northern Kentucky would put the ‘Dons at 12-2, tying for the program record for best start over the first 14 games of the season. The 1988-89 and 1992-93 teams both started 12-2 and 13-2.

// The ‘Dons have recorded double-digit steals in six games. They have had more steals than their opponent in 9-of-13 games.

// The ‘Dons have made at least eight 3-pointers in 9-of-13 games and double digit treys in four games.

// Quinton Morton Robertson is 9th in the nation in 3-point field goal percentage at 46.6 percent (34-of-73). Maximus Nelson is shooting 46.9 percent (30-of-64) from three. Nelson doesn’t appear on the national rankings as he is shy of the 2.5 made 3-pointers per game required to make the list.

// The Mastodons average 22.2 points off turnover this season, which is 25.2 percent of all points. Sparking points off turnovers, the ‘Dons are 8th in the nation in turnovers forced per game at 17.77 and 8th in the nation in fastbreak points with 17.62.

// The ‘Dons have had fewer turnovers than their opponent in all but two games this season (at Oakland, Dec. 2 and at Pitt, Dec. 20).

// The ‘Dons are ranked No. 12 in the latest CollegeInsider.com Mid-Major 25 Poll. They have been as high as No. 9 this season.

// The ‘Dons are No. 86 in the latest NET rankings, the ‘Dons reached a program-best No. 53 on Dec. 8, 2023.

// The Mastodons’ 11-2 start is their best start to a season over the first 13 games during the NCAA Division I era of the Mastodons.

// Purdue Fort Wayne’s scoring margin of 16.8 is first in the league. In second place, Youngstown State at 13.6.

// All five starters reached double-digits vs. SEMO (Dec. 9) and vs. Bethune-Cookman (Dec. 16). Five other times this season four starters have reached double-digits.

// Rasheed Bello has reached double-digits in every game this season but one this season. Jalen Jackson and Anthony Roberts each have just two games without 10 points.

// The ‘Dons are averaging 83.8 points per game, 30th in the nation and up from 73.9 last season.

// Purdue Fort Wayne’s 10.0 steals per game this season are up from the 7.3 last year. The Division I era program high for steals per game was the 8.8 mark in 2021-22.

// Rasheed Bello is nearing 1,000 career points. Combined with his scoring at NCAA Division II UW-Parkside, he has 982 career NCAA points.

// Four Mastodons are averaging better than 12.0 points per game: Rasheed Bello (14.7), Anthony Roberts (14.5), Jalen Jackson (14.3) and Quinton Morton-Robertson (12.3).

// The Mastodons’ 5-0 start was their longest undefeated stretch to start a season as a NCAA Division I program. It was their longest stretch to start a season since the 1992-93 team opened 9-0. That team earned a bid in the NCAA Division II Tournament, the only NCAA bid (Division I or II) in program history.

// Thanks to the 5-0 start to the season, the ‘Dons now have now had a winning streak of at-least four games in every season since 2009-10 except for one (2017-18). That is 14-of-15 seasons.

// The ‘Dons have won 20 straight home non-league games, a streak that started on Nov. 16, 2019 vs. Stetson.

// Thanks to wins over Northern Arizona (Nov. 17) and South Dakota (Nov. 18), the ‘Dons won the Arizona Tip-Off. Quinton Morton-Robertson was named the MVP of the event and selected to the All-Tournament Team with Rasheed Bello.

// The ‘Dons have partnered with Team IMPACT to add Bolton Richardson to the squad in 2023-24. Added to the team at a signing ceremony in July, Bolton will be at games, practices and other team activities.

VS. PITT
// The Panthers were held to 2-of-20 from three and a season-low 62 points.

// Rasheed Bello had 11 points, four assists and a block (not with a shoe).

PURDUE FT. WAYNE MEN’S VOLLEYBALL
JON DIEDRICH NAMED OFF THE BLOCK PRESEASON ALL-AMERICAN
FORT WAYNE, Ind. – Purdue Fort Wayne men’s volleyball graduate student Jon Diedrich was picked as a Preseason All-American Second Team selection by Off the Block, the outlet announced on Wednesday evening (Dec. 27).

Diedrich was an AVCA All-America Honorable Mention in 2022. He was named to the First Team All-MIVA in 2022 and 2023. He was named to the 2024 Preseason All-MIVA Team in mid-December.

Last season, Diedrich had a team-best 3.74 kills per set, leading the Mastodons to a fourth-place finish in the MIVA with a 7-7 record. His 3.74 kills per set kills per set ranked 17th in the nation. He was also top-75 with a .268 hitting percentage.

Diedrich returns to Purdue Fort Wayne for his final season of eligibility as the active career leader in the NCAA with 1,115 kills.

The 2024 season opens on January 5 when Thomas More visits the Gates Sports Center.

EVANSVILLE MEN’S BASKETBALL
ACES RESUME PLAY ON FRIDAY AT CINCINNATI
EVANSVILLE, Ind. – Non-conference play comes to an end on Friday evening when the University of Evansville men’s basketball team squares off against the University of Cincinnati. Tip is set for 6 p.m. CT with ESPN+ and the Purple Aces Radio Network having the coverage.
Noting the Start

  • For the first time in five seasons, the Purple Aces have won double digit games, earning win #10 of 2023 with an 82-51 victory over Tennessee Tech on Dec. 20
  • With the win, UE clinched its first 10-win season since earning 11 victories in 2018-19; the 10th win also doubled the win total from the entirety of last season
  • The 31-point win margin was the most for the Aces against a Division I program since Feb. 24, 2018 when UE defeated Southern Illinois by a final of 75-44

Last Time Out

  • In one of its most dominant efforts of the season, Evansville earned an 82-51 win over Tennessee Tech on Dec. 20
  • UE led by as many as 40 in the second half and trailed just once in the early minutes
  • Three UE players reached double figures with Chuck Bailey III leading the way with 18 points; Ben Humrichous recorded 15 while Yacine Toumi had his first double-double of the season with 10 points and 10 boards

Award #4

  • For the second week in a row and the fourth time this year, Chuck Bailey III was named the Missouri Valley Conference Freshman of the Week on Dec. 27
  • He garnered the accolade on Dec. 18, Dec. 4 and Nov. 14
  • Bailey led UE with 18 points in the win over TTU and averaged 15 points in a pair of games last week
  • In the win at Bellarmine, he scored 12 points and had a 4-point play that broke a tie in the final four minutes to give the Aces a lead they would not give up
  • He followed that up with 12 points against UT Martin while adding 6 rebounds
  • Bailey is second on the squad with 10.7 points per contest

Perfection From Outside

  • In the victory over Tennessee Tech, Ben Humrichous was a perfect 5-for-5 from long range on his way to 15 points and was recognized as the MVC Newcomer of the Week for the second time in 2023
  • His season average of 16.3 points continues to lead the Aces
  • He scored 15 against UT Martin and 12 in the road win at Bellarmine and has scored at least 8 points in all 12 contests thus far
  • Humrichous set his season mark with 9 boards in the games at Bellarmine and versus the Skyhawks; he is averaging 6.8 boards over his last five games

The Mark of Efficiency

  • Joshua Hughes has quietly averaged 7.8 points over the last five games while shooting 61.5% from the field and 66.7% from long range
  • He is tied for 6th in the MVC with 1.25 blocks per game
  • Converting 8 of his 12 attempts in the Nov. 25 win over SEMO, he reset his UE scoring mark with 21 points
  • For the season, he is averaging 8.3 points and 4.7 boards
  • Hughes scored 11 points on a perfect 4-for-4 shooting day in the UNI win

Scouting the Opponent

  • Cincinnati comes into Friday’s match-up with an identical 10-2 record
  • On Dec. 19, the Bearcats earned a 65-49 win over Merrimack; the only losses for UC have come against Xavier and Dayton
  • Following the game against the Aces, Cincinnati travels to BYU for its first-ever Big 12 game
  • Three players average double figures for the Bearcats with Viktor Lakhin leading the way with 13.8 PPG; he is second on the squad with 8.5 rebounds
  • Day Day Thomas and Dan Skillings Jr. average 11.5 and 11.3 PPG, respectively
  • Aziz Bandaogo checks in with 9.2 points and a team-high 9.0 boards

SMALL COLLEGE ATHLETICS

INDIANA WESLEYAN ATHLETICS: https://iwuwildcats.com/

EARLHAM ATHLETICS: https://goearlham.com/

WABASH ATHLETICS: https://sports.wabash.edu/

FRANKLIN ATHLETICS: https://franklingrizzlies.com/

ROSE-HULMAN ATHLETICS: https://athletics.rose-hulman.edu/

ANDERSON ATHLETICS: https://athletics.anderson.edu/landing/index

TRINE ATHLETICS: https://trinethunder.com/landing/index

BETHEL ATHLETICS: https://bupilots.com/

DEPAUW ATHLETICS: https://depauwtigers.com/

HANOVER ATHLETICS: https://athletics.hanover.edu/

MANCHESTER ATHLETICS: https://muspartans.com/

HUNTINGTON ATHLETICS: https://www.huathletics.com/

OAKLAND CITY ATHLETICS: https://gomightyoaks.com/index.aspx

ST. FRANCIS ATHLETICS: https://www.saintfranciscougars.com/landing/index

IU KOKOMO ATHLETICS: https://iukcougars.com/

IU EAST ATHLETICS: https://www.iueredwolves.com/

IU SOUTH BEND ATHLETICS: https://iusbtitans.com/

PURDUE NORTHWEST ATHLETICS: https://pnwathletics.com/

INDIANA TECH ATHLETICS: https://indianatechwarriors.com/index.aspx

GRACE COLLEGE ATHLETICS: https://gclancers.com/

ST. MARY OF THE WOODS ATHLETICS: https://smwcathletics.com/

GOSHEN COLLEGE ATHLETICS: https://goleafs.net/

HOLY CROSS ATHLETICS: https://www.hcsaints.com/index.php                                                                                                                                                                            

TAYLOR ATHLETICS: https://www.taylortrojans.com/

VINCENNES ATHLETICS: https://govutrailblazers.com/landing/index

NFL STANDINGS

https://www.foxsports.com/nfl/standings

NBA STANDINGS

https://www.foxsports.com/nba/standings

NHL STANDINGS

https://www.foxsports.com/nhl/standings

NCAA MEN’S BASKETBALL STANDINGS

https://www.cbssports.com/college-basketball/standings/

NCAA WOMEN’S BASKETBALL STANDINGS

https://www.ncaa.com/standings/basketball-women/d1

FOOTBALL HISTORY
December 29, 1894 – Los Angeles, California – The University of Chicago and Stanford rematch of the December 25, 1894 game where the Maroons won 24-4. This time the Cardinals tasted victory for Walter Camp as they defeated Chicago 12-0. Author Jennifer Taylor Hall in her book “Amos Alonzo Stagg: College Football’s Man in Motion” recounts that Stagg and his young bride were on a sort of honeymoon after their wedding a few months earlier but took 17 football players with them and scheduled games on the Western side of the US to help offset the travel costs.

December 29, 1940 – It was the 3rd NFL All Star Game where the format was that the NFL champions would face a roster of the best players from the rest of the League. If you remember back to our December 8 post, the Bears totally dominated the NFL Championship game over the Washington Redskins in a 73-0 route. According to a 2019 Reddit post the game was knotted at 14 a piece going into the halftime locker room. The Bears used great defense and some timely Sid Luckman throws to score twice more in the second half as the Chicago Bears showed again why they were the best as they defeated the NFL All-Stars, 28-14.

December 29, 1957 – Briggs Stadium, Detroit – The 1957 NFL Championship game once again had the Jim Brown led Cleveland Browns facing the Detroit Lions. An article on the Oakland Press website gives the details on the game. The Lions had to overcome a 20-point third quarter deficit the previous week on the road against the San Francisco 49ers and quarterback Y.A. Tittle to make it to this title game. Lions scored 2 touchdowns in each quarter led by running back Steve Junker with two and 109 yards rushing and fellow backfield mate Jim Doran who had 101 yards on the ground with a TD. The Detroit Lions dominated the Cleveland Browns, 59-14 to win the title again.

December 29, 1963 – Wrigley Field, Chicago – The 1963 National Football League Championship took place as the Windy City’s Bears entertained the Football Giants from the Big Apple. At kick off the temperature was hovering around 10 °F according to a story on the American Football Database. Giants QB Y.A. Tittle started the game’s scoring by orchestrating a 41 yard drive completed with a 14 yard strike to Frank Gifford for a touchdown. Bears defender Larry Morris then took center stage as he injured Tittle and then later picked off an errant pass by the veteran QB returning it to the Giant 6 setting up the Bear’s first TD. Y.A. remained in the game but was forced to throw from his back foot which gave way to more crucial mistakes that the Bears took advantage of. The Chicago Bears handed the New York Giants a 14-10 loss to give Chicago the NFL Title.

December 29, 1965 – Per the Bladen Online website the CBS network negotiated a contract where they purchased television rights for 1966 through the 1968 NFL seasons for $18.8 million per year. This was a financial windfall for the League and was instrumental in its success.

December 29, 1968 – Cleveland Municipal Stadium – NFL Championship,: Baltimore Colts blanked the Cleveland Browns, 34-0. With the victory the Colts earned the right to face the AFL’s top team in Super Bowl III. Let’s just say we “promise” to cover this big game in our January 12 Football History Headlines!

December 29, 1968 – The AFL Championship game was played at Shea Stadium in New York. Jets signal caller Joe Namath threw a touchdown pass to lead the Jets in a victory over the tough Oakland Raiders squad 27-23 to advance to play the Colts in Super Bowl III.

December 29, 1974 – Oakland Coliseum – The AFC Championship game had familiar foes as the Pittsburgh Steelers faced the Oakland Raiders per the Pro-Football-Reference site. Powered by Running Back Franco Harris’s two touchdown runs and 111 yards on the ground the Steelers conquered the Oakland Raiders, 24-13 to advance to their first Championship game in Super Bowl IX.

December 29, 1974 – Metropolitan Stadium, Bloomington, Minnesota – The NFC Championship saw the Minnesota Vikings defeat the Los Angeles Rams, 14-10 per the Pro-Football-Reference. The Purple People Eater defense picked off Rams QB James Harris twice to compliment the timely scoring of Fran Tarkenton leading the Viking offense to earn the right to face the upstart Steelers in the Big game.

December 29, 1983 – Memphis, Tennessee – The Liberty Bowl which is also the 2nd College Football Holy War per the Onthisday.com website. In the contest Notre Dame defeated Boston College 19-18 in a thriller. The game’s MVP was BC quarterback Doug Flutie per Sports-Reference.com.

December 29, 2007 – Tom Brady sets a then-NFL record, throwing his 50th TD pass, and the New England Patriots become the first team in NFL history to finish the regular season 16-0

December 29, 2018 – Per the Onthisday.com site the results of the BCS semi final at the 85th Orange Bowl was that #1 Alabama outlasted #4 Oklahoma, 45-34.

Hall of Fame Birthdays for December 29
December 29, 1909 – Boston, Massachusetts – Tufts End William “Johnny” Grinnell was born. The Tufts Jumbos featured Johnny as their end from the 1932 through the 1934 seasons. In Grinnell final season the Jumbos were 8-0 and Johnny was selected to the Associated Press first Little All-America team. The National Football Foundation selected Johnny Grinnell to enter the College Football Hall of Fame in 1997.

December 29, 1911 – The University of Southern California’s Tackle Tay Brown celebrated his date of birth. Tay was a member of both the 1931 and 1932 National Champions teams. The NFF says that he set a Los Angeles Coliseum record of blocking four kicks in one game. Tay Brown entered the College Football Hall of Fame in 1980.

December 29, 1915 -Providence, Rhode Island – The tough fullback from Holy Cross Bill Osmanski was born. The footballfoundation.org website states how the great balance, speed and power of Osmanski is what made him and his Holy Cross teams of the late 1930’s truly special. The team was 23-3-3 and the losses altogether totaled only a 5 point differential. In 1936 he had four runs over over 60 yards and was named to the All-America team in 1938. The NFF voters inducted Bill Osmanski into the College Football Hall of Fame in 1973.

December 29, 1924 – Pana, Illinois – Ohio State’s great lineman Warren Amling was born. The NFF inducted Warren Amling into the College Football Hall of Fame in 1984.

December 29, 1936 – Ray Nitschke the feared middle linebacker of the Green Bay Packers was born. Ray was the third overall pick in the 1958 NFL Draft by the Packers and he played with the team for 15 seasons according to his bio on the Pro Football HOF. Nitschke defended both the run and the pass well as his 25 career interceptions would indicate. Ray was a member of 5 champion Green Bay teams and was the MVP of the 1962 NFL Championship game. The Pro Football Hall of Fame placed Ray Nitschke in a gold jacket in 1978.

NUMBERS IN SPORTS
9 – 12 – 6 – 11 – 8 – 99 – 7 – 12

December 29, 1945 – Montreal right wing Number 9, Maurice Richard scored twice in the Canadiens’ 5-4 loss to the Chicago Black Hawks and in doing so, recorded his 100th NHL career goal. This feat was reached in just 145 games, then fastest in NHL history. It has been since broken by Number , Mike Bossy, 100 goals in 129 games

December 29, 1955 – NHL officials wear new vertically striped black-and-white sweaters for the first time in Montreal Canadiens’ 5-2 win over Toronto Maple Leafs

December 29, 1968 – AFL Championship, Shea Stadium, NYC: New York Jets beat Oakland Raiders 27-23; Jets Number 12, QB Joe Namath 3 TD passes sparks Jets to win

December 29, 1970 – Ballon d’Or: Bayern Munich striker Number 9, Gerd Müller wins award for best European football player ahead of West Ham United defender Number 6, Bobby Moore and Cagliari forward Number 11, Luigi Riva

December 29, 1981 – Ballon d’Or: German 1-2-3 with Bayern Munich forward Number 11, Karl-Heinz Rummenigge taking title of Europe’s best football player for the 2nd straight year; beats teammate Number 8, Paul Breitner and Barcelona midfielder Number 8, Bernd Schuster

December 29, 1984 – Number 99, Wayne Gretzky of Edmonton scored his NHL career 32nd hat trick and adds 3 assists in Edmonton’s 6-3 win over Detroit Red Wings for his 100th point in just 35 games; 2nd fastest in history – recorded 100 points in 34 games in 1983

December 29, 1987 – Ballon d’Or: Milan’s Dutch midfielder Number 10, Ruud Gullit wins best football player in Europe award ahead of Number 10, Paulo Futre (Porto/Atlético Madrid) and Real Madrid striker Number 7, Emilio Butragueño

December 29, 1989 – Wayne Gretzky and Martina Navratilova, named athletes of decade by the Associated Press

December 29, 2007 – New England Patriots Number 12, Quarterback, Tom Brady set a then-NFL record, throwing his 50th TD pass, and the New England Patriots become the first team in NFL history to finish the regular season 16-0

TELEVISION FRIDAY
BASKETBALL
• Women: Stanford at Cal, Pac-12, 3 p.m.
• Bucks at Cavaliers, NBA TV, 5:30 p.m.
• Washington St. at Utah, Pac-12, 6:30 p.m.
• San Diego St. at Gonzaga, ESPN2, 7 p.m.
• Thunder at Nuggets, ALT, 7 p.m.
• Washington at Colorado, ESPNU, 7 p.m.
• Arizona at Cal, Pac-12, 8:30 p.m.
• Grizzlies at Clippers, NBA TV, 8:30 p.m.
• Arizona St. at Stanford, ESPN2, 9 p.m.
FOOTBALL
• Gator Bowl: Clemson vs. Kentucky, ESPN, 10 a.m.
• Sun Bowl: Oregon St. vs. Notre Dame, CBS, noon
• Liberty Bowl: Memphis vs. Iowa St., ESPN, 1:30 p.m.
• Cotton Bowl: Ohio St. vs. Missouri, ESPN, 6 p.m.
HOCKEY
• IIHF Juniors: Norway vs. Slovakia, NHLN, 4 a.m.
• IIHF Juniors: Latvia vs. Finland, NHLN, 6:30 a.m.
• IIHF Juniors: U.S. vs. Czech Republic, NHLN, 9 a.m.
• IIHF Juniors: Canada vs. Sweden, NHLN, 11:30 a.m.

TELEVISION SATURDAY
BASKETBALL
• Hofstra at St. John’s, FS1, 10 a.m.
• Pitt at Syracuse, KUCW, 10 a.m.
• Women: Ohio St. at Michigan, Fox, 10 a.m.
• Women: South Carolina at ECU, ESPN2, 10 a.m.
• Quinnipiac at Florida, ESPNU, 11 a.m.
• Creighton at Marquette, CBS, noon
• Indiana St. at Michigan St., FS1, noon
• Queens at Duke, KUCW, noon
• Virginia Tech at Wake Forest, ESPN2, noon
• Women: Baylor at Texas, Fox, noon
• Women: Utah at Colorado, Pac-12, 1 p.m.
• Chicago St. at DePaul, FS1, 2 p.m.
• UCLA at Oregon, CBS, 2 p.m.
• Wichita St. vs. Kansas, ESPN2, 2 p.m.
• Women: Utah St. at UNLV, CBSSN, 2 p.m.
• Heat at Jazz, KJZZ, 3 p.m.
• Ohio St. vs. West Virginia, Fox, 5 p.m.
• Women: USC at UCLA, Pac-12, 6 p.m.
• USC at Oregon St., Pac-12, 8 p.m.
FOOTBALL
• Peach Bowl: Ole Miss vs. Penn St., ESPN, 10 a.m.
• Music City Bowl: Auburn vs. Maryland, ABC, noon
• Orange Bowl: Georgia vs. Florida St., ESPN, 2 p.m.
• Arizona Bowl: Toledo vs. Wyoming, KUCW, 2:30 p.m.
• Lions at Cowboys, ABC/ESPN, 6:15 p.m.
HOCKEY
• IIHF Juniors: Switzerland vs. Norway, NHLN, 9 a.m.
• IIHF Juniors: Germany vs. Latvia, NHLN, 11:30 a.m.
• Hurricanes at Maple Leafs, NHLN, 5 p.m.
LACROSSE
• NLL: Riptide at Rock, ESPNU, 2 p.m.
• NLL: Warriors at Mammoth, ALT, 7 p.m.
SOCCER
• Luton Town vs. Chelsea, USA, 5:30 a.m.
• Wolves vs. Everton, USA, 8 a.m.