INDIANA BOYS BASKETBALL

ANDREAN62BOWMAN ACADEMY42 
HAMMOND CENTRAL82ST. FRANCIS DESALES (ILL.)24 
JIMTOWN64SOUTH BEND CLAY50 
JOHN GLENN69NEW PRAIRIE36 
MARQUETTE CATHOLIC59SOUTH BEND CAREER44 
PENN73SOUTH BEND ST. JOSEPH56 
SOUTH BEND WASHINGTON51BREMEN31 
TRINITY GREENLAWN51BENTON HOMESCHOOL23 
GREENE COUNTY INVITATIONAL
BLOOMFIELD57SHOALS24CON
HENDRICKS COUNTY TOURNAMENT
AVON51DANVILLE48SF
BROWNSBURG63PLAINFIELD43SF
HENRY COUNTY TOURNAMENT
BLUE RIVER57TRI32R1
SHENANDOAH55KNIGHTSTOWN28R1
RANDOLPH COUNTY TOURNAMENT
MONROE CENTRAL63RANDOLPH SOUTHERN33SF
UNION CITY69UNION (MODOC)25SF

INDIANA BOYS BASKETBALL FRIDAY NIGHT

ANGOLA (2-4) AT PRAIRIE HEIGHTS (5-5)

ARGOS (7-1) AT BETHANY CHRISTIAN (5-4)

AUSTIN (2-5) AT NORTH HARRISON (5-2)

BARR-REEVE (7-4) AT EVANSVILLE MATER DEI (2-5)

BENTON CENTRAL (7-4) AT TWIN LAKES (6-5)

BLOOMFIELD (9-1) AT EVANSVILLE CHRISTIAN (7-3)

BLOOMINGTON SOUTH (7-4) AT BLOOMINGTON NORTH (7-3)

BOONVILLE (4-6) AT PRINCETON (3-8)

BORDEN (7-3) AT NEW WASHINGTON (2-8)

BREBEUF JESUIT (8-1) AT ZIONSVILLE (8-1)

BROWNSTOWN CENTRAL (8-1) AT JENNINGS COUNTY (7-2)

CARROLL (FORT WAYNE) (0-7) AT FORT WAYNE DWENGER (3-5)

CASTLE (4-4) AT EVANSVILLE MEMORIAL (5-4)

CENTER GROVE (5-3) AT CARMEL (8-2)

CHRISTIAN ACADEMY (6-5) AT CHRISTIAN ACADEMY (KY.)

CHURUBUSCO (0-7) AT FREMONT (6-2)

CLINTON CENTRAL (4-3) AT EASTERN (GREENTOWN) (5-5)

CORYDON CENTRAL (6-5) AT FLOYD CENTRAL (6-2)

COVINGTON (6-4) AT RIVERTON PARKE (4-6)

CRAWFORD COUNTY (1-8) AT SPRINGS VALLEY (6-3)

CROWN POINT (7-3) AT MICHIGAN CITY (5-3)

DALEVILLE (5-2) AT COWAN (0-7)

DECATUR CENTRAL (4-4) AT MARTINSVILLE (7-4)

DELPHI (1-7) AT CARROLL (FLORA) (8-0)

DELTA (4-6) AT NEW PALESTINE (6-3)

DUGGER UNION (6-3) AT MEDORA (1-5)

EASTSIDE (10-0) AT FAIRFIELD (5-3)

EDGEWOOD (4-7) AT BROWN COUNTY (2-5)

EVANSVILLE CENTRAL (5-3) AT EVANSVILLE BOSSE (5-3)

EVANSVILLE NORTH (4-6) AT EVANSVILLE HARRISON (3-6)

EVANSVILLE REITZ (5-2) AT BEDFORD NORTH LAWRENCE (4-4)

FAITH CHRISTIAN (3-3) AT BETHESDA CHRISTIAN (5-0)

FOREST PARK (2-5) AT MOUNT VERNON (POSEY) (2-6)

FORT WAYNE CONCORDIA (4-4) AT FORT WAYNE LUERS (1-7)

FORT WAYNE NORTH (6-7) AT FORT WAYNE WAYNE (1-6)

FORT WAYNE NORTHROP (6-5) AT FORT WAYNE SNIDER (6-2)

FRANKLIN CENTRAL (3-5) AT SOUTHPORT (3-5)

FRANKLIN COUNTY (7-2) AT UNION COUNTY (4-4)

FRONTIER (1-7) AT PIONEER (1-7)

GARRETT (3-8) AT CENTRAL NOBLE (10-0)

GOSHEN (8-1) AT CONCORD (4-5)

GREENSBURG (8-2) AT CONNERSVILLE (9-3)

GREENWOOD (6-4) AT WHITELAND (6-5)

GREENWOOD CHRISTIAN (5-6) AT SPEEDWAY (2-5)

GUERIN CATHOLIC (6-5) AT INDIANAPOLIS CHATARD (10-0)

HAMILTON SOUTHEASTERN (3-5) AT LAWRENCE CENTRAL (5-5)

HAMMOND NOLL (2-6) AT HANOVER CENTRAL (4-5)

HAUSER (6-5) AT NORTH DECATUR (4-5)

HERITAGE HILLS (5-4) AT GIBSON SOUTHERN (4-4)

HOMESTEAD (8-4) AT FORT WAYNE SOUTH (4-3)

HORIZON CHRISTIAN AT INDIANA DEAF (4-4)

INDIANAPOLIS ATTUCKS (4-6) AT INDIANAPOLIS HOMESCHOOL

INDIANAPOLIS LUTHERAN (6-1) AT TRINITY LUTHERAN (4-5)

INDIANAPOLIS RITTER (2-6) AT MONROVIA (4-5)

INDIANAPOLIS RIVERSIDE (2-2) AT CROSSPOINTE CHRISTIAN

INDIANAPOLIS RONCALLI (4-4) AT INDIANAPOLIS CATHEDRAL (8-3)

INDIANAPOLIS SCECINA (4-4) AT CHRISTEL HOUSE MANUAL (4-4)

INDIANAPOLIS TECH (10-2) AT HARRISON (WEST LAFAYETTE) (6-2)

INDIANAPOLIS TINDLEY (5-3) AT VICTORY COLLEGE PREP (1-10)

INDIANAPOLIS WASHINGTON (7-2) AT LEBANON (8-4)

LAFAYETTE CENTRAL CATHOLIC (5-4) AT MCCUTCHEON (3-7)

LAKE CENTRAL (4-4) AT LAPORTE (5-4)

LAKELAND CHRISTIAN (6-5) AT ELKHART CHRISTIAN (4-1)

LAKEWOOD PARK (1-6) AT CLINTON CHRISTIAN

LANESVILLE (2-9) AT SOUTH CENTRAL (ELIZABETH) (2-7)

LAWRENCE NORTH (6-2) AT WARREN CENTRAL (5-4)

LOGANSPORT (2-8) AT KOKOMO (7-4)

LOOGOOTEE (10-3) AT VINCENNES RIVET (2-2)

MADISON (4-6) AT SCOTTSBURG (7-3)

MADISON-GRANT (5-4) AT BLACKFORD (1-5)

MISHAWAKA MARIAN (8-2) AT SOUTH BEND ADAMS (4-5)

MORGAN TWP. (6-2) AT BOONE GROVE (6-2)

MOUNT VERNON (FORTVILLE) (6-2) AT GREENFIELD-CENTRAL (4-5)

MUNCIE CENTRAL (2-3) AT LAFAYETTE JEFF (9-2)

MUNSTER (7-2) AT KANKAKEE VALLEY (7-2)

NEW CASTLE (7-2) AT RICHMOND (5-6)

NORTH CENTRAL (INDIANAPOLIS) (6-2) AT BEN DAVIS (6-2)

NORTH JUDSON (7-1) AT KOUTS (6-2)

NORTH MIAMI (3-5) AT MANCHESTER (4-4)

NORTH NEWTON (2-4) AT WEST CENTRAL (1-8)

NORTH VERMILLION (4-7) AT ATTICA (0-5)

NORTHEAST DUBOIS (3-6) AT SOUTH KNOX (5-4)

NORTHVIEW (6-3) AT GREENCASTLE (3-7)

NORTHWESTERN (3-4) AT HAMILTON HEIGHTS (3-5)

NORTHWOOD (11-1) AT WAWASEE (4-6)

OAK HILL (6-2) AT PERU (9-0)

ORLEANS (8-2) AT SALEM (3-6)

OWEN VALLEY (3-5) AT CLOVERDALE (4-7)

PAOLI (5-2) AT MITCHELL (5-6)

PARKE HERITAGE (6-4) AT SOUTH VERMILLION (5-7)

PIKE (6-1) AT FISHERS (12-1)

PLYMOUTH (3-7) AT MISHAWAKA (4-2)

PROVIDENCE (7-3) AT CLARKSVILLE (3-5)

RIVER FOREST (3-5) AT SOUTH NEWTON (3-6)

ROSSVILLE (5-5) AT TAYLOR (4-4)

RUSHVILLE (2-7) AT EAST CENTRAL (6-2)

SEYMOUR (5-3) AT CHARLESTOWN (3-6)

SHAWE MEMORIAL (5-4) AT OLDENBURG ACADEMY (2-6)

SHERIDAN (2-8) AT TRI-CENTRAL (5-4)

SILVER CREEK (6-5) AT EASTERN (PEKIN) (9-1)

SOUTH CENTRAL (UNION MILLS) (1-8) AT HEBRON (5-4)

SOUTH PUTNAM (2-8) AT SULLIVAN (9-1)

SOUTH SPENCER (7-2) AT EVANSVILLE DAY (2-8)

SOUTHRIDGE (5-5) AT TECUMSEH (4-4)

SOUTHWOOD (5-4) AT WABASH (4-5)

TERRE HAUTE NORTH (12-0) AT COLUMBUS NORTH (7-5)

TERRE HAUTE SOUTH (3-9) AT PERRY MERIDIAN (4-7)

TIPPECANOE VALLEY (4-4) AT NORTHFIELD (3-6)

TRI-COUNTY (1-7) AT CLINTON PRAIRIE (10-1)

TRITON (6-1) AT JOHN GLENN (9-0)

VALPARAISO (9-2) AT PORTAGE (9-1)

VINCENNES LINCOLN (0-8) AT JASPER (8-1)

WAPAHANI (7-2) AT EASTERN HANCOCK (7-1)

WARSAW (6-3) AT NORTHRIDGE (3-6)

WASHINGTON (5-5) AT NORTH KNOX (8-3)

WASHINGTON CATHOLIC (0-6) AT CLAY CITY (3-6)

WASHINGTON TWP. (2-4) AT LACROSSE (3-4)

WEST LAFAYETTE (2-6) AT WESTERN (8-2)

WEST NOBLE (4-4) AT LAKELAND (2-7)

WEST VIGO (8-4) AT NORTH PUTNAM (6-2)

WEST WASHINGTON (2-7) AT PERRY CENTRAL (4-5)

WESTFIELD (7-2) AT YORKTOWN (4-4)

WESTVILLE (4-5) AT HOBART (5-4)

WHITKO (2-6) AT ROCHESTER (4-4)

WOOD MEMORIAL (0-7) AT CANNELTON (1-8)

GREENE COUNTY INVITATIONAL

LINTON-STOCKTON (11-1) VS. PIKE CENTRAL (2-6)

NORTH CENTRAL (FARMERSBURG) (6-2) VS. SHAKAMAK (4-6)

MADISON COUNTY TOURNAMENT

FRANKTON (3-6) AT ANDERSON PREP ACADEMY (0-8)

PENDLETON HEIGHTS (2-9) VS. ELWOOD (1-8)

LIBERTY CHRISTIAN (7-4) AT ALEXANDRIA (5-6)

ANDERSON (7-2) VS. LAPEL (6-5)

SHELBY COUNTY TOURNAMENT

SOUTHWESTERN (SHELBYVILLE) (3-6) VS. WALDRON (5-4)

MORRISTOWN (1-8) VS. TRITON CENTRAL (5-6)

SUGAR CREEK TOURNAMENT

WESTERN BOONE (2-6) VS. SOUTHMONT (7-0)

NORTH MONTGOMERY (1-8) AT CRAWFORDSVILLE (6-2)

WAYNE COUNTY TOURNAMENT

CENTERVILLE (0-10) AT HAGERSTOWN (3-7)

INDIANA GIRLS BASKETBALL

ADAMS CENTRAL52FORT WAYNE CANTERBURY17 
BENTON CENTRAL50MCCUTCHEON442OT
BETHESDA CHRISTIAN50TAYLOR49 
BOONE GROVE68RIVER FOREST31 
BREBEUF JESUIT33COVENANT CHRISTIAN29OT
CLINTON PRAIRIE62SEEGER602OT
COLUMBUS EAST70SEYMOUR38 
COVENANT CHRISTIAN (DEMOTTE)52MORGAN TWP.43 
COVINGTON49ATTICA31 
EMINENCE56INDIANAPOLIS SCECINA32 
FOUNTAIN CENTRAL41INDIANA DEAF35 
GREENWOOD CHRISTIAN55HAUSER47 
HAMILTON HEIGHTS46LEWIS CASS10 
HAMILTON SOUTHEASTERN52WARREN CENTRAL43 
HUTSONVILLE/PALESTINE (ILL.)49DUGGER UNION29 
INDIANAPOLIS CATHEDRAL51LAWRENCE CENTRAL44 
INDIANAPOLIS LUTHERAN59CENTRAL CHRISTIAN27 
JENNINGS COUNTY51COLUMBUS NORTH46 
KANKAKEE VALLEY54NORTH JUDSON46 
KOUTS40WHEELER33 
LAFAYETTE CENTRAL CATHOLIC59TWIN LAKES47 
LAKELAND CHRISTIAN26ELKHART CHRISTIAN16 
LAKEWOOD PARK67CLINTON CHRISTIAN36 
LINTON-STOCKTON41VINCENNES RIVET33 
MOUNT VERNON (FORTVILLE)59MISSISSINEWA28 
NORTH DAVIESS35ORLEANS30OT
NORTH DECATUR51SOUTH DECATUR40 
NORTH KNOX47SHAKAMAK28 
NORTH MIAMI57ARGOS55 
NORTH MONTGOMERY42SOUTHMONT34 
NORTH VERMILLION46RIVERTON PARKE23 
NORTHFIELD51TIPPECANOE VALLEY39 
PIKE55LAWRENCE NORTH44 
PIONEER63FRONTIER35 
SOUTH CENTRAL (UNION MILLS)56HEBRON10 
WESTVIEW52SOUTH BEND CAREER8 
WOODLAN47FORT WAYNE BLACKHAWK39 
MADISON COUNTY TOURNAMENT
PENDLETON HEIGHTS42FRANKTON40SF
ANDERSON PREP ACADEMY57ELWOOD51CON
ANDERSON71LIBERTY CHRISTIAN33CON
SHELBY COUNTY TOURNAMENT
WALDRON49SOUTHWESTERN (SHELBYVILLE)33R1
TRITON CENTRAL50MORRISTOWN30R1
WAYNE COUNTY TOURNAMENT
HAGERSTOWN51CENTERVILLE15R1

MEN’S COLLEGE BASKETBALL

#5 UCLA 96 LONG BEACH STATE 78

#7 USC 77 CALIFORNIA 63

INDIANA 67 #13 OHIO STATE 51

#23 WISCONSIN 87 IOWA 78

ILLINOIS 76 MARYLAND 64

WOMEN’S COLLEGE BASKETBALL

#1 SOUTH CAROLINA 66 #13 LSU 60

#3 LOUISVILLE 81 PITTSBURGH 39

#5 NORTH CAROLINA STATE 72 #19 NORTH CAROLINA 45

#7 TENNESSEE 73 #25 TEXAS A&M 45

#10 MARYLAND 106 PENN STATE 78

#21 KENTUCKY 84 #15 GEORGIA 76

#18 BYU 76 SAN FRANCISCO 64

NORTHWESTERN 77 #22 IOWA 69

OHIO STATE 90 ILLINOIS 69

MINNESOTA 62 RUTGERS 49

OAKLAND 63 PURDUE FORT WAYNE 60

IUPUI 51 GREEN BAY 49

NBA SCOREBOARD

NEW YORK 108 BOSTON 105

NEW ORLEANS 101 GOLDEN STATE 96

MEMPHIS 118 DETROIT 88

PHOENIX 106 LA CLIPPERS 89

NHL SCOREBOARD

MINNESOTA 3 BOSTON 2

SAN JOSE 3 BUFFALO 2

TAMPA BAY 4 CALGARY 1

NEW JERSEY 3 COLUMBUS 1

PITTSBURGH 6 PHILADELPHIA 2

DALLAS 6 FLORIDA 5

COLORADO 7 WINNIPEG 1

ARIZONA 6 CHICAGO 4

VEGAS 5 NY RANGERS 1

NASHVILLE 4 LOS ANGELES 2

TOP INDIANA SPORTS NEWS/RELEASES

HOOSIERS FINISH STRONG TO BEAT THE BUCKEYES

BLOOMINGTON, Ind. – Crunch time arrived and Trey Galloway attacked.

Would you expect anything less?

The sophomore guard, fresh off a six-week absence to recover from a broken wrist, drove for a score.

A few seconds later, he crashed the Ohio State passing lanes for a steal and a layup.

And as the final seconds ticked off of Thursday night’s 67-51 victory over the No. 12/No. 13 Buckeyes, he drove for what seemed like a layup, only to toss up a soft pass for a final Trayce Jackson-Davis dunk.

A collision left Galloway sprawled under the basket, but he quickly got up for a smile and a mini celebration with Jackson-Davis.

Victory, you see, was oh, so sweet, especially coming off Sunday’s Penn State disappointment.

“This was the best game we’ve played all season in terms of how we defended and how the ball moved,” coach Mike Woodson said. “We did a lot of nice things.”

Let’s start with Galloway, a coach’s son who drives the lane as if it’s his birthright. He attacked even when caution seemed the wiser choice. He played to his nature and it paid off with eight points on 3-for-5 shooting, four assists, three rebounds and zero turnovers in 19 furious off-the-bench minutes.

Not bad for a guy who had missed 10 straight games and who hadn’t played since a mid-November game against St. John’s.

“Before he got hurt,” Woodson said, “he was in the rotation. We knew he was a piece that was missing, but it’s next man up. We waited for him to get back. He responded. He was in tune with what we were doing. He made a lot of great plays.”

Galloway did it when it mattered most.

As the clocked ticked toward what appeared would be another nail-biter finish, out came starter Parker Stewart.

Galloway stayed.

The surgically repaired left wrist might as well have been a myth.

“A few weeks ago, I was asked about him,” Jackson-Davis said, “and I said he would come back better. He worked hard. He was running on the treadmill. All the preparation showed tonight. He adds that spark.”

A recovery that was supposed to take eight weeks was cut to six.

“It was preparation,” Galloway said. “During my time off, I was trying to stay ready to support my teammates. I have their backs. They have mine.

“Our strength coach (Clif Marshall) really pushed me this last month. I knew my time would come. I had to stay ready.”

In front of a raucous Simon Skjodt Assembly Hall crowd, IU needed vindication. It needed crunch-time toughness. Painful road losses had eroded some of the luster from a 10-3 start.

What did the Hoosiers (2-2 in the Big Ten) do?

They got nasty.

See the way Jackson-Davis bounced the ball off of a fallen Joey Brunk’s head to give the Hoosiers possession.

Yes, that’s the same Brunk who was a teammate for a couple of years before transferring to Ohio State.

“He’s my brother,” Jackson-Davis said. “He’s also a great player. But on the court, there are no friends. He thinks the same way.

“I’ll apologize to him for what I did. Basketball things happen. We needed a W and we got it.”

Jackson-Davis had an edge after a five-rebound effort at Penn State left Woodson pushing all the buttons. Jackson-Davis responded as a competitor should — 27 points, 12 rebounds, powering through contact for enough dunks to fill a video library for a month.

Woodson publicly criticized him after the Penn State loss, and kept up the heat in practice. He demands Jackson-Davis play to his All-America status in every game.

“I expect him to play like that. He can produce numbers like that. I was harsh on him more than anybody He had five rebounds against Penn State. That can’t happen. He has to rebound.

“We know he can score. He defended the rim. That’s who he has to be.

“When you’re one of the best players in the country, you have to accept challenges. All players want to be coached. You have to push the right buttons. When I have to go at it, I go at him and he responds.”

Added Jackson-Davis: “Coach can call me out all he wants. I rebounded harder. I played harder all across the board. I got the message. It was loud and clear. We have a great relationship.”

IU turned one of Big Ten’s best offenses into mush. The Buckeyes (9-3 overall, 3-1 in the conference) shot 31 percent from the field and scored just 21 second-half points.

Ohio State had ripped its way to top-15 status behind a formidable three-point shooting attack.  It came in with six games of at least 10 three-point baskets, including 16 in a weekend overtime victory at Nebraska.

It didn’t come close to that against an IU team that leads the Big Ten in scoring defense (57.8 points allowed in four conference games, 60.9 points overall) and that ranks second nationally in field goal defense (holding teams to 35.1 percent).

“Their defense was as good as we thought it would be,” Ohio State coach Chris Holtmann said. “Having Trayce on the back line really presents a lot of problems.”

The Hoosiers needed five seconds to make their get-it-inside emphasis pay off. Jackson-Davis was fouled and made one of two free throws.

Ohio State freshman Malaki Branham, fresh off a 35-point effort at Nebraska, scored six early points. Brunk, the former Hoosier, had four. The Buckeyes surged ahead 15-7.

Woodson called a timeout. In came Galloway, who quickly grabbed a rebound. In came center Michael Durr, who scored inside.

Strong ball movement and passing had Jackson-Davis finding Jordan Geronimo for a three-pointer. Jackson-Davis added a dunk. IU led 18-16.

The teams spent the next eight minutes exchanging leads and plays.

As the halftime clock approached zero, Ohio State backed off guard Xavier Johnson and dared him to shoot a three. He dared and made it, although upon review, it was ruled a two.

Still, the Hoosiers led 33-30 with Jackson-Davis setting a 16-point, five-rebound pace.

Consecutive three-pointers gave Ohio State a 36-35 lead. A Jackson-Davis basket and a Stewart three-point pushed IU ahead 40-36. It led by five a couple of times before the Buckeyes closed within a point.

Galloway made a pair of three throws. Stewart got off the floor to find a streaking Jackson-Davis for a layup and a 51-45 Hoosier advantage with eight minutes left.

Then forward Race Thompson scored. Jackson-Davis scored. Thompson scored again, then again. IU led 61-48 with three minutes left. Ohio State and its five-game winning streak were finished.

Woodson would have his first coaching victory over a ranked team.

“You’ve got to beat good teams and you’ve got to win at home,” he said.

INDIANA FOOTBALL ADDS TRASNFER QB

Connor Bazelak, a 6-3, 212-pound Missouri transfer, announced on his Twitter account Thursday he has committed to Indiana.

He threw for 2,540 yards and 16 touchdowns and completed 65.2% of his passes, leading the Tigers to a 6-6 record this season.

As a redshirt freshman and was named SEC Co-Freshman of the Year by the league’s coaches, throwing for 2,366 yards and seven touchdowns against six interceptions and completing 67.3% of his passes.

Bazelak has three years of eligibility remaining.

NO. 15 WRESTLING SET TO OPEN BIG TEN DUALS

WEST LAFAYETTE, Ind. – The 15th-ranked Purdue wrestling team opens its 2022 Big Ten dual schedule this weekend, traveling to No. 9 Nebraska on Friday and following up with top-ranked Iowa on Sunday. The Boilermakers stand at 6-1 in dual competition on the season, while Nebraska is 3-0 and Iowa stands at 6-0.

Friday’s dual at Nebraska will stream live on B1G+ at 7 p.m. CT, while Sunday’s matchup at Carver-Hawkeye Arena will air live on the Big Ten Network at 2 p.m. CT, with Shane Sparks and Jim Gibbons on the call.

PURDUE LINEUP & RANKINGS

After a short dip to No. 16 before the holidays, the Boilermakers are back at No. 15 in the NWCA Coaches Poll. A trio of Boilermakers remain ranked in the top-10 at their weight classes, led by senior Devin Schroder at 125 pounds.

LAST TIME OUT

Purdue sent a partial squad to the Matmen Open, finishing ninth with 49.0 points and four placewinners. Seniors Parker Filius and Michael Woulfe and sophomore Gerrit Nijenhuis all placed fifth at their respective weights, while sophomore Kendall Coleman took sixth at 157 pounds, advancing to the semifinals before medically forfeiting out of the tournament. Woulfe earned a pair of falls on his way to the placing rounds, earning wins over a pair of ranked opponents, while Nijenhuis had a technical fall and a major decision and Filius added a major decision. Sophomore Cooper Noehre was win shy of the podium, reaching the round of 12 at 157 pounds.

PURDUE NOTES

• Head coach Tony Ersland is in his eighth season at Purdue and is 63-51 in dual competition with the Boilermakers.

• Ersland wrestled for the University of Iowa from 1992-97, qualifying for the NCAA Tournament at 177, and competing on the highest scoring team at the NCAA Championships in history (170).

• Ersland has connections to both of this weekend’s opponents as he was an assistant coach at Nebraska for eight seasons.

• Purdue’s season-opening win at Drexel marks eight straight seasons that the Boilermakers have won their first dual of the year under Ersland.

• Purdue opened dual competition 6-0 for the first time since 2008-09.

• Devin Schroder and Max Lyon capitalized on the NCAA’s COVID extension waiver, returning for an extra year of eligibility in 2021-22.

• Schroder ranks second in program history in back points, surpassing the 500-point mark at CKLV, and is 15th all-time at Purdue with a .733 win percentage (88-32).

• 47 of Schroder’s 88 career wins have come via bonus points (.534), including 26 technical falls, while 37 of his career victories are shutouts (.420).

• Matt Ramos won the 2018 Cadet Freestyle World Championship for the U.S., capturing the 51 kg title in Zagreb, Croatia.

• Ramos’s two wins to open the season were his first official folkstyle matches since his senior year of high school at Lockport HS (Illinois) in 2019, winning by technical fall and fall in the two bouts.

• Kendall Coleman surpassed the 60-career match at CKLV, and earned a spot on Purdue’s career win- percentage record list, coming in at No. 10 (.769, 50-15).

• Thomas Penola is off to a 13-2 start on the season, leading the team in wins, matches, takedowns (52) and total points (151).

• Nearly half of Penola’s scoring this season has come in the third-period, where he’s outscoring opponents 73-26.

• Michael Woulfe is wrestling his first collegiate season since 2016 after serving in the United States Navy for the last five years and has picked up right where he left off, adding a team-high six falls to his career total (30) after posting 17 falls in his final year at Navy.

• Sophomore Hayden Lohrey made his first career varsity dual start vs. Iowa State at 165 pounds, earning a 5-3 win over Austin Kraisser.

OPPONENTS PROBABLES

#9 Nebraska

125: #23 Liam Cronin (Sr.) – 3-3

or Jeremiah Reno (Fr.) – 3-5

133: Alex Thomsen (So.) – 2-3

141: #9 Chad Red Jr. (Sr.) – 6-2

or Tucker Sjomeling (Jr.) – 2-2

149: #8 Ridge Lovett (So.) – 10-3

157: #6 Peyton Robb (So.) – 7-3

165: Bubba Wilson (R-Fr.) – 7-6

174: #3 Michael Labriola (Jr.) – 10-0

184: #10 Taylor Venz (Sr.) – 10-2

197: #4 Eric Schultz (Sr.) – 6-1

285: #11 Christian Lance (Sr.) – 10-1

#1 Iowa

125: Jesse Ybarra (Fr.) – 5-1

133: #3 Austin DeSanto (Sr.) – 10-0

141: #2 Jaydin Eierman (Sr.) – 9-0

149: #12 Max Murin (Sr.) – 2-1

157: #12 Kaleb Young (Sr.) – 6-4

165: #1 Alex Marinelli (Sr.) – 10-0

174: Brennan Swafford (Sr.) – 12-6

184: #18 Abe Assad (So.) – 5-2

197: #5 Jacob Warner (Sr.) – 6-1

285: #6 Tony Cassioppi (Jr.) – 5-1

Rankings listed InterMat

ANOTHER TOP 25 BIG EAST FOE VISITS HINKLE AS @BUTLERMBB AND XAVIER TIP FRIDAY NIGHT

Butler (8-5, 1-1 BIG EAST) vs. #22/24 Xavier (11-2, 1-1 BIG EAST)

Friday, Jan. 7;  8:30PM

Hinkle Fieldhouse; Indianapolis, Ind.

TV:  FS1 – @NoahEagle15 & Casey Jacobsen (@cjacobsen23)

Radio:  1430AM – @MarkMinner & Nick Gardner (@n_gardner)

Varsity Network Radio App, XM382, SiriusXM App 972

Full Notes (PDF)

The Bulldogs host their second consecutive Top 25 team this week at Hinkle Fieldhouse as Xavier visits Friday night.

This is Butler’s final home contest before embarking on a three-game, six-day road trip next week. Friday’s match-up is Xavier’s first game since Dec. 21 as COVID issues with the Musketeers’ opponents have caused games to be canceled.

THE SERIES: Butler and Xavier met three times a season ago. Xavier took both regular season meetings before the Bulldogs won a first round match-up between the two teams at the BIG EAST Tournament. Butler overcame a 19-point deficit in the 70-69 overtime win. Chuck Harris led the Bulldogs with 21 points, all of which came after halftime.

The series dates back to 1937; the two programs have spent time together in the Midwestern Collegiate Conference, a single season in the Atlantic 10, and now have been BIG EAST foes since the 2013-14 season. Xavier leads the series, 43-24, but Butler holds a 17-15 advantage at Hinkle Fieldhouse.

Xavier Leads, 43-24

Streak: Butler, W1

At Hinkle Fieldhouse: Butler Leads, 17-15

LaVall Jordan (at BU) vs. Xavier: 3-5

First Meeting: Xavier, 28-26; 1/16/37 (at XU)

Last Meeting: Butler, 70-69 (OT); 3/6/21 (NYC)

• Butler is allowing only 60.8 points per game so far this season, a mark that is 29th nationally.

• Bryce Golden scored 19 points vs. Seton Hall Tuesday, just one point shy of his career-high.

• Aaron Thompson enters Friday’s game with 498 career assists, second on Butler’s all-time list.

• The BIG EAST has rescheduled previously canceled games for Butler at UConn Jan. 18 and at St. John’s Feb. 18.

• Butler has 18 combined steals over its last two games; the 11 steals Dec. 29 against DePaul were the most since Feb. 13, 2021 at Georgetown (12).

• Butler forced DePaul into 21 turnovers Dec. 29, the most by a Butler opponent this season.

• Simas Lukosius is the BIG EAST Freshman of the Week after scoring a career-high 15 points in the Dec. 29 win over DePaul.

• Thompson had a career-high seven steals vs. DePaul, one shy of the Butler single-game mark.

• Jayden Taylor has scored in double figures eight times during his freshman campaign; Butler is 6-2 in those games.

• Taylor is third among freshmen in the BIG EAST in scoring.

• Bryce Golden’s 61.7 field goal percentage is third in the BIG EAST.

• Thompson is fifth in the BIG EAST at 4.6 assists per game.

• Bryce Nze had a season-best 12 points vs. Seton Hall Tuesday night; he has been limited to six games this season due to injury.

• Butler owned a 43-30 rebounding advantage in the win at Oklahoma Dec. 7.

• Chuck Harris scored a season-high 26 points in the Dec. 7 win at Oklahoma.

• Butler made 12 three-pointers Nov. 13 vs. Troy, the most by the team since hitting 12 against Nebraska in the 2019 NIT.

• Butler’s 2021-22 roster includes six players who are entering their fifth or sixth season of college basketball.

• Butler’s roster returns 97.2 percent of its scoring and 96.2 percent of its minutes played from last season.

GIVE AND TAKE: Aaron Thompson had seven assists and seven steals in Butler’s win over DePaul Dec. 29. The seven steals set a career-high for the guard, who is 12th on Butler’s career list with 137. The seven steals were one shy of Butler’s single-game record (held by Brett Etherington in a 1990 game against Wisconsin). Thompson now has 498 career assists, one more than current Indiana Pacers assistant coach Ronald Nored for second on Butler’s career list (LaVall Jordan’s college teammate Thomas Jackson holds the mark at 540).

WEEKLY HONOR: Simas Lukosius was selected as the BIG EAST Freshman of the Week as announced Monday, Jan. 3. This is the first weekly honor of Lukosius’s career. Lukosius led the Bulldogs to a 63-59 win over DePaul Dec. 29 in the team’s only action of the week. The 6-6 guard scored a team-best (and career-high) 15 points. He hit two free throws with four seconds remaining to ice the game after scoring 13 points in the first half. He added four rebounds.

Both Jayden Taylor and Simas Lukosius got the start in the regular season opener against IUPUI Nov. 9. Freshmen starting in their first Butler game is a rarity. Multiple freshmen starting their first collegiate game at Butler was last done in 2008 (Gordon Hayward, Shelvin Mack, Ron Nored). The only other freshman to start his first Butler game between 2008 and 2021 was Myles Tate in 2020.

QUITE THE BATTLE: As part of the annual BIG EAST-Big 12 Battle, the Bulldogs picked up a 66-62 overtime road win Dec. 7 at Oklahoma. Chuck Harris led the Bulldogs with 26 points. Butler trailed by 10 points at the half and by 13 early in the second half before clawing all the way back. After Oklahoma forced overtime with a three-pointer with two seconds remaining in regulation, the Sooners took a 62-58 lead in overtime before Butler scored the game’s final eight points.

TOUGH SLATE: In addition to a true round-robin format that has Butler playing all 10 BIG EAST foes both on the road and at home, the Bulldogs challenged themselves significantly with this season’s non-conference schedule.

Butler’s non-conference opponents include three of the top 12 teams in this week’s AP poll (No. 3 Purdue — Crossroads Classic, No. 10 Michigan State — Gavitt Games, and No. 12 Houston — Maui Invitational in Las Vegas). Oklahoma, Butler’s BIG EAST-Big 12 Battle opponent, is just outside of this week’s AP poll in the 27th position. Texas A&M, another Maui Invitational opponent, is 12-2.

HOME SWEET HINKLE: Butler is 54-16 at Hinkle Fieldhouse in LaVall Jordan’s five seasons as head coach of the Bulldogs.

ON THE WAY: Connor Turnbull, a 6-10 forward/center from Missouri, has signed a national letter of intent to join the Bulldogs beginning with the 2022-23 season.

Turnbull, from Saint Paul, Mo., stars for Fort Zumwalt North High School, where he earned Missouri Basketball Coaches Association All-State honors for Class 6. As a junior, Turnbull averaged 14.9 points, 7.3 rebounds and 5.0 blocks per game, leading the team to a 27-4 record and the Class 6 state semifinals. He shot 34 percent from three-point range. Turnbull helped Brad Beal Elite to a runner-up finish at the 2021 Peach Jam as part of the Nike EYBL circuit.

BULLDOGS ANNOUNCED AS PART OF 2022 BATTLE 4 ATLANTIS FIELD: The Bulldogs will participate in the Bad Boy Mowers Battle 4 Atlantis for the third time as the 2022 bracket has been announced. Celebrating its 11th year of elite collegiate tournament play, the 2022 field will include Butler, BYU, Dayton, Kansas, North Carolina State, USC, Tennessee, and Wisconsin. Butler was previously part of the Battle 4 Atlantis field in both 2014 and 2018. The Bulldogs went 2-1 in each event.

HAPPY RETURNS: Butler returns 10 of its top 11 scorers from last season. In all, Butler’s roster returns 97.2 percent of its scoring and 96.2 percent of minutes played from the 2020-21 season. Butler returns five double-digit scorers from a season ago and adds Ty Groce, a graduate transfer from Eastern Michigan. Groce led the Eagles in scoring last season, the sixth player on the Butler roster to average double figures in 2020-21. Butler has six players who will play their fifth season of college basketball during the upcoming campaign — Aaron Thompson, Bryce Nze, Jair Bolden, Christian David, Bo Hodges, and Ty Groce. Of that group, Nze, Bolden and Groce are in their sixth year of college after previously redshirting and now taking advantage of the additional season of eligibility due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

SALIMA ROCKWELL NAMED NOTRE DAME VOLLEYBALL COACH

SOUTH BEND, Ind. – Salima Rockwell (Davidson), a four-time national champion coach and three-time All-American, has been named the seventh head coach in Notre Dame volleyball history, University vice president and James E. Rohr Director of Athletics Jack Swarbrick announced today.

“We’re excited to have Salima join the Notre Dame family,” said University vice president and James E. Rohr Director of Athletics Jack Swarbrick. “Salima has succeeded at every level – as a student-athlete, professional athlete, collegiate coach and broadcaster – and we are excited to see what her team accomplishes. Her drive to be great and appreciation for the unique attributes of Notre Dame set Salima apart during our search. We can’t wait to have her and her family join us on campus”

“I am thrilled for this opportunity to lead the Irish and I’d like to thank (University President) Fr. Jenkins, Jack (Swarbrick) and (Senior Deputy Athletics Director) Missy (Conboy) for all of their work during this process,” said Rockwell. “From the first phone call to the last moments on campus this week, it is clear that Notre Dame is committed to their volleyball program, and to the investment of their student-athletes as a whole. I am beyond excited to join such a forward-thinking University with great people whose vision aligns perfectly with my own.”

“Notre Dame Volleyball is a program that is right on the edge of greatness, and it is my mission to provide the student-athletes with the high-level and well-rounded opportunities they would expect when they chose Notre Dame,” Rockwell continued. “Our student-athletes will graduate with an incredible college experience, an education from one of the top schools in the World and will achieve a high-level of improvement and success on the court. Notre Dame Volleyball has only scratched the surface of what it can be and I cannot wait to get started with the team to build our legacy.”

Rockwell spent nine years coaching at her alma mater, Penn State University, holding titles of associate head coach, assistant coach and director of operations over two different stints in Happy Valley (2006-2009 and 2015-17). Rockwell’s primary duties included working with the setters and the offense, recruiting and match preparation.

As a student-athlete, Rockwell was a three-time All-American setter for the Nittany Lions from 1991-94. She was named to the NCAA Championship All-Tournament team in 1993, when she helped lead Penn State to a NCAA Championship runner-up finish, and then again in 1994, after Penn State made a second consecutive appearance in the semifinals of the NCAA Championship.

Rockwell also earned All-Big Ten accolades four times, including three First Team selections. She helped the Nittany Lions capture Big Ten championships in 1992 and 1993.

Rockwell’s name is peppered throughout the legendary Penn State record books – ranking sixth all-time on the program’s career assists list (5,455) and eighth on the career digs chart (1,278). She is an inductee into the Pennsylvania Volleyball Coaches Hall of Fame.

Rockwell was also a member of the U.S. National Team from 1995-99. She captained the team in 1997 and 1998, serving as the starting setter and earning the Coaches Award, MVP and the Team Award in each of those seasons.

Between her two coaching tours at Penn State, Rockwell spent five seasons (2009-2013) at the University of Texas. While in Austin, she helped lead the Longhorns to the 2012 National Championship title, its first in almost 25 years.

Before returning to Penn State for the first time, Rockwell spent the 2005 season as an assistant coach at Oregon State under legendary head coach Terry Liskevych.

A native of Pittsburgh, Rockwell began her coaching career as an assistant at the University of Pittsburgh from 2001-03, where she worked primarily with the Panthers setters and was also the lead recruiter.

Rockwell graduated from Penn State University in 1994 with a Bachelor of the Arts in Speech Communications. She is married to Jeff Rockwell and the couple has two sons, Logan and Rylan. For the past three years, Rockwell has served as a color commentator for ESPN, Fox Sports, Big Ten Network and CBS Sports.

FRIDAY NIGHT HORIZON LEAGUE MEN’S HOOPS FEATURES ‘DONS AT PENGUINS

FORT WAYNE, Ind. – Purdue Fort Wayne men’s basketball will play at Youngstown State on Friday (Jan. 7) in the middle of three game in five-day stretch.

Game Day Information
Who: 
Purdue Fort Wayne (5-7, 1-3 Horizon) at Youngstown State (9-5, 3-1 Horizon)
When: Friday, January 7 | 7:00 p.m. ET
Where: Youngstown, Ohio | Beeghly Center
Listen: 1380 The Fan
Live Stats: Link
Watch: ESPN+
Game Notes: Purdue Fort Wayne (PDF) | Youngstown State

KNOW YOUR FOE:

// Leading scorer: Michael Akuchie (14.0 ppg)

// Head coach: Jerrod Calhoun (5th season)

// Youngstown State owns league wins over Milwaukee, Green Bay and Robert Morris. They fell 87-72 on the road at Oakland.

// Michael Akuchie recorded 19 points in the Penguins’ win at Robert Morris on Wednesday. He finished 8-of-8 from the free throw line.

// Youngstown State leads the all-time series 4-2. This includes a pair of wins in Ohio last season by the scores of 84-70 and 72-70.

‘DONS AND ENDS:

// The Mastodons are the only team in the Horizon League to use the same starting five for every game.

// The ‘Dons have held a lead for at least five minutes in every game this season except for the loss at SIUE.

// The ‘Dons have shot 31-of-76 (40.8 percent) from three over the last three games.

FROM THE LINE:

// The ‘Dons are sixth in the nation and first in the Horizon League in free throw shooting (79.5 percent).

// Over the last seven games the Mastodons are 108-of-123 (87.8 percent) from the free throw line.

    at Florida Gulf Coast (17-of-21)

    vs. Wright State (16-of-16)

    vs. Northern Kentucky (14-of-16)

    at SIUE (19-of-20)

    vs. SEMO (15-of-19)

    at Cleveland State (14-of-16)

    at Cleveland State (13-of-15)

// The Mastodons shot 16-of-16 from the free throw line on Dec. 2 against Wright State. It stands as the most free throws the Mastodons have made in a Division I contest while connecting on 100 percent of their attempts.

TURN, TURN, TURN:

// The Mastodons have two single-digit turnover games this season. The ‘Dons turned it over only nine times in an overtime loss to Western Michigan and only eight times at home against Wright State.

// The Mastodons are forcing 15.42 turnovers per game, 70th best in the nation and second in the league

FYI ABOUT PIP:

// Jalon Pipkins recorded a career-high 24 points and 10 field goals in the victory over SEMO.

// Jalon Pipkins has four games of 19 or more points this season.

// Jalon Pipkins owns 662 career points with NCAA Division I stops at CSUN and Loyola-Chicago prior to his two seasons in Fort Wayne.

BILLUPS BUCKETS:

// Deonte Billups is shooting a team-best 43.9 percent (29-of-66) from three on the season. He is second in the Horizon League in total made 3-pointers.

// Billups has improved his 3-point shooting each season. As a freshman he shot 32.4 and last season he shot 38.5 percent.

// Looking like the leader for Horizon League Sixth Man of the Year, Deonte Billups leads the league in scoring among players without a start this season thanks to his 10.1 points per game.

// He is averaging 12.1 points per game over the last seven contests.

‘DONS WENT TO JARRED:

// Jarred Godfrey has started every game since the start of his sophomore year.

// Jarred Godfrey owns 1,316 career points, 9th most in program history. Up next is eighth place Kason Harrell (1,349 points, 2015-19).

// Jarred Godfrey is fourth in the league in steals per game (1.83) and fourth in assists per game (4.2).

// Jarred Godfrey is averaging 17.2 points per game, fifth-best in the league, but it also would be his best average for a season. He averaged 15.6 as a sophomore and 16.2 last season.

// Jarred Godfrey scored 35 points against Western Michigan (Nov. 27) on 13-of-18 shooting. His 13 field goals tied a career high

// Jarred Godfrey has scored in double-digits in every game this season.

THE K IS SILENT, HIS GAME IS NOT:

// Ra Kpedi is having the best season of his career, averaging 9.8 points and 6.5 rebounds per game.

// Ra Kpedi is 33th in the nation in offensive rebounds per game (3.08).

// Ra Kpedi picked up his first career double-double with 15 points and 12 rebounds at Florida Gulf Coast.


MEET DAMIAN CHONG QUI:

// Damian Chong Qui joined the Mastodons this season. He helped Mount St. Mary’s to an NCAA Tournament berth last season. He averaged 15.1 points per game for The Mount last year on his way to All-NEC First Team honors.

// Damian Chong Qui is the second Mastodon to join the ‘Dons after playing at Mt. Saint Mary’s. Bobby Planutis spent his freshman season of 2017-18 at The Mount.

// Damian Chong Qui scored a season-high 18 points at Cleveland State (Dec. 30). They all came in the second half after he has two quick fouls in the first half.

// Damian Chong Qui scored 14 points against Florida Gulf Coast (Nov. 28) and went over 1,000 career points. He scored 950 points at Mount St. Mary’s before transferring to Purdue Fort Wayne this season.

MEN’S BASKETBALL TO HOST SIU ON SATURDAY

Southern Illinois (8-5, 1-0 MVC)
at Valparaiso (8-7, 1-2 MVC)

Game No. 16 – Saturday, Jan. 8, 6 p.m. CT
Athletics-Recreation Center (5,000) – Valparaiso, Ind.

Next Up in Valpo Basketball: The Valparaiso University men’s basketball team will return home on Saturday night to welcome a Southern Illinois squad that will swing into action for the first time since Dec. 28 after having its last two games postponed. The Beacons will attempt to sustain their recent home success as they’ve won three straight home contests and five of their last six. Please note that all spectators, media members and event staff personnel are required to wear a mask at all home Valpo athletic events until further notice.

Last Time Out: UNI got 20 points from Noah Carter and 17 from Trae Berhow on its way to a 92-65 victory over Valpo on Wednesday night at the McLeod Center in Cedar Falls, Iowa. The Beacons were led by 17 points from Kevion Taylor, while Kobe King (14) and Ben Krikke (10) also finished in double figures. Valpo improved a 35 percent shooting clip in the opening half to 50 percent over the final 20 minutes, but the Panthers shot nearly 60 percent for the game and outscored the guests 48-14 in the paint.

Following the Beacons: Streaming – ESPN+ – Todd Ickow (play-by-play) and Jamie Stangel (analyst)

Valpo Radio – 95.1 FM, WVUR, ValpoAthletics.com, TuneIn Radio App – Zach Collins (play-by-play)

Twitter updates – @ValpoBasketball

Links for video, audio and live stats will be available at ValpoAthletics.com.

Head Coach Matt Lottich: Matt Lottich (91-85) is in his ninth season overall at Valparaiso University and sixth as the head coach of the men’s basketball program in 2021-2022. The 2020-2021 season saw Valpo improve its Arch Madness seeding for the fourth straight year as the program continued to make positive strides in each season as a Missouri Valley Conference member. The team earned a first-round bye in the State Farm MVC Tournament for the first time since joining the prestigious league. Valpo upset previously-undefeated Drake, the nation’s No. 25 team, 74-57 on Feb. 7, 2021 at the ARC, the fourth win over an AP Top 25 team in program history and second under Lottich. The Bulldogs were one of three undefeated teams in the nation prior to that setback, joining Gonzaga and Baylor. Just two years removed from finishing in last place and being knocked out in the first round of the Missouri Valley Conference Tournament as a first-year Valley member, Lottich’s team did more than hold its own in 2019-2020, ascending into a tie for sixth in the league standings before finishing as the conference tournament runner-up. Valpo became the first team in the history of Arch Madness to reach the title game after playing in the opening round. Lottich, hired as the 22nd head coach of the Valpo men’s basketball program in April 2016, graduated from Stanford University in 2004 and New Trier High School (Illinois) in 2000.

Series Notes: Valpo holds a 7-5 advantage over Southern Illinois in a series that dates back to 1928. The two teams split a pair of down-to-the-wire affairs last season in Carbondale with the Beacons picking up a 66-65 victory on Feb. 21 before SIU returned the favor with a 67-64 triumph the following day. Valpo is 5-3 against the Salukis since joining The Valley and the two teams have split the season series in three of the four campaigns. Valpo is a perfect 3-0 at home against Southern Illinois during the MVC Era. Prior to Valpo joining The Valley, the two teams hadn’t met since 1980. SIU’s most recent visit to the ARC was Feb. 12, 2020, when Valpo prevailed 55-38, setting a program record for fewest points allowed to a Division-I team since the advent of the shot clock in 1985-86.

Milestone Watch: Kevion Taylor enters the Jan. 8 game vs. Southern Illinois four points away from 1,800 for his collegiate career (split between D-I and D-II). He will become just the 30th active player at all levels of NCAA college basketball to reach the 1,800-point threshold. Taylor will become just the 16th active player in the NCAA (all three divisions) with 1,800 points and 600 rebounds.  

Taylor Tossing in Treys

  • Kevion Taylor has made multiple 3-pointers in 11 out of 15 games this season. He’s hit at least one triple in all 15 contests. The 15 straight is the longest stretch of games with a made 3 for a Valpo player since Javon Freeman-Liberty’s 19 in 2019-20.
  • Taylor is the first Valpo player since at least the start of the 1989-90 season (nearly all the way back to the addition of the 3-point line) to make a 3 in each of his first 15 games of a season. He surpassed the program’s previous longest season-opening streak of 14 by Larry Barker in 1994-95. Three other Valpo players made a 3 in each of the first 13 games of a season – Bryce Drew (1995-96), Casey Schmidt (1992-93) and Mike Jones (1989-90).
  • Taylor is currently on a streak of six straight games with multiple made 3s after opening the season with a stretch of five in a row with multiple triples. The last time Valpo had a player make multiple 3s in six straight was Ryan Fazekas in the 2019-20 season. Javon Freeman-Liberty also made two or more treys in nine consecutive games earlier in that season.
  • Taylor has scored 15 points or more five times this year and three of them have come in the team’s last four games.
  • Overall, he has made a 3 in 78 consecutive contests dating all the way back to Dec. 15, 2018 while playing for Winona State in a game at Concordia St. Paul. The highest of the NCAA records (Division I, Division II or Division III) for consecutive games with a made 3 is 93 and belongs to Daniel Park of D-II Rollins from Jan. 26, 1994 to Feb. 28, 1997. However, Taylor’s streak would not be recognized in the NCAA record book should it reach that point since it is split between Division I and Division II.
  • If Taylor’s streak came in all D-I games, it would rank third in Division-I history. The D-I record is held by Mack Smith, who Valpo played against on Dec. 5 at Western Michigan. Smith set the record while at Eastern Illinois. Second is Corey Bradford of Illinois (88).

Balanced Scoring

  • Valpo has featured incredible balance among its scorers this season with six players averaging in double figures through 15 games – Kobe King, Ben Krikke, Sheldon Edwards, Kevion Taylor, Trevor Anderson and Thomas Kithier.
  • The last time Valpo finished a season with five or more players averaging in double figures was the 2007-2008 campaign – Shawn Huff, Jarryd Loyd, Urule Igbavboa, Brandon McPherson and Samuel Haanpaa.
  • Valpo hasn’t had six players finish a season averaging in double figures since at least 1988-89.

Turnover Streak Snapped

  • Valpo uncharacteristically committed 18 turnovers on Jan. 5 at UNI, the team’s second-highest total of the season behind 19 on Nov. 17 at Stanford.
  • The game in Cedar Falls snapped an impressive streak of eight straight games in which Valpo won the turnover battle. That was the team’s longest such stretch over the last 28 seasons, outlasting a seven-game streak during the 2015-16 campaign.
  • The Beacons have given it away 10 times or fewer in nine out of 15 games this season.
  • Despite the aberration from the norm in the game against the Panthers, the Beacons lead the league in fewest turnovers per game at 11.1 (39th nationally). They also lead The Valley in steals with 112 and steals per game at 7.5.
  • Valpo is 7-3 when winning the turnover battle and 1-4 when losing it this season.

Avoiding Whistles: Valpo has been called for just 13.0 fouls per game this season, the fifth fewest nationally. A pair of Valpo opponents from earlier in the season also rank among the national leaders in that area – Charlotte (t-1st, 12.8) and UNI (fourth, 12.9). Only two Valpo players have fouled out of a game this season (Kithier and Krikke once each).

Success at the Stripe

  • Valpo went 17-of-21 (81 percent) at the foul line on Jan. 5 at UNI, the team’s second straight game and third this season with 16 or more made free throws. The 17 total makes were the team’s second most this year behind 18 on Nov. 22 vs. Jacksonville State.
  • Trevor Anderson is one of two players in the MVC shooting 90 percent or better at the foul stripe this season (Isiaih Mosley of Missouri State is the other). Only one player in the history of the program has finished a season at 90 percent or better at the foul line with a minimum of 75 attempts – Casey Schmidt (92.6 percent) in 1993-94.
  • Valpo enjoyed a perfect 16-of-16 performance at the free-throw line in the Jan. 2 overtime win over Illinois State. That marked the second time in a four-game stretch that the Beacons had gone unblemished at the foul stripe after a 14-of-14 showing on Dec. 11 vs. Charlotte.
  • The Charlotte game was Valpo’s first perfect day at the stripe since February 2018 vs. Evansville (5-for-5) and first with at least 10 attempts since Nov. 17, 2016 at Oregon (14-of-14).
  • Valpo became just the sixth team in the nation with a perfect free-throw shooting game with 15 or more attempts. The Beacons joined Villanova, Montana, Detroit Mercy, Purdue Fort Wayne and Charleston Southern on the list of teams that had achieved this feat.
  • Valpo had two perfect games at the free-throw line with more than seven attempts before any other team in the MVC had turned the trick once.

Beacon Bounce Back?

  • Valpo will try to bounce back from a 92-65 setback at UNI on Wednesday in Saturday’s game vs. SIU. Despite the loss to the Panthers, Valpo is 5-2 in the last seven games. The defeat snapped a three-game winning streak.
  • The Beacons played without starter Thomas Kithier on Wednesday due to COVID-19 health and safety protocols. The team is 1-4 this season in games when only one of Kithier or Krikke plays. When both big men are available, Valpo has a 7-3 mark.
  • Trey Woodyard was also out against UNI due to COVID-19 health and safety protocols.
  • When Kithier returns, he figures to give Valpo a rebounding boost, as he has six or more rebounds in each of his last six games and leads the team at 6.5 per contest.
  • The 92 points allowed on Jan. 5 at UNI represented a Valpo rarity as it marked the first time the Beacons surrendered more than 90 points in a game during the Matt Lottich Era. It was the most points Valpo has given up in a contest since March 7, 2016, a 99-92 overtime loss to Green Bay in the Horizon League Tournament in Detroit.

Other Notes Wrapping Up Jan. 5: UNI 92, Valpo 65

  • Kobe King hauled in a career-high nine rebounds to pace the team on the boards. That topped his previous personal best of seven vs. Eastern Michigan on Dec. 20 of this season. He also scored 14 points, the fifth time in his six Valpo games that he’s scored a dozen or more.
  • Kevion Taylor (17) led the team in scoring for the third time this season while turning in his eighth double-figure scoring output of the year and the 89th of his collegiate career.
  • Sheldon Edwards swiped three steals, his second straight game with three and his third time this season reaching that number.
  • Edwards made multiple 3s for the third straight game and the 10th time in 15 outings this season. He has made at least one 3 in 14 of 15 games and had a streak of 11 straight to open the season.
  • Ben Krikke scored 10 points for his eighth double-figure scoring day of the season and the 37th of his career.
  • Krikke had a season-high four assists, tying a career high with his fourth career four-helper performance.
  • Preston Ruedinger nailed a 3-pointer for his first collegiate basket.
  • Valpo held MVC Preseason Player of the Year AJ Green to just nine points on 3-of-7 shooting.

Scouting the Salukis

  • Only MVC game to date was a 54-52 victory at Evansville on Dec. 1.
  • Haven’t played since beating Grambling State 75-64 on Dec. 28. Each of the program’s last two games were postponed due to COVID-19 health and safety protocols.
  • Hold a 6-2 record over their last eight and have won three of their last four games with the lone loss coming to one of the nation’s best mid-major teams on the road (San Francisco).
  • Hold a 6-0 home record but just a 2-5 mark in games played outside of Carbondale (road and neutral site).
  • Picked to finish fifth in the MVC preseason poll with Marcus Domask on the MVC Preseason Second Team and Lance Jones on the third team.
  • Domask leads the team in scoring at 15.2 points per game and rebounding at 4.8 per contest. Lance Jones (14.7 ppg) and Ben Coupet Jr. (12.0 ppg) are also averaging in double figures.

MASTODONS’ SHARP FIRST-HALF SHOOTING COMES UP SHORT AGAINST OAKLAND

FORT WAYNE, Ind. – The Purdue Fort Wayne women’s basketball team shot 75 percent in the first half, but Oakland ended up taking a 63-60 victory over the Mastodons in the Gates Sports Center on Thursday (Jan. 6).

The 75 percent from the floor in the first 20 minutes is the best shooting percentage in a half in the Mastodon women’s basketball 21-year history. The previous record was a 72.7 percent effort against Eastern Illinois in 2017.

Purdue Fort Wayne jumped out to a 10-2 lead in the opening five minutes, then took a 10-point lead through the first quarter. The Mastodons went on a 10-0 run that featured five points from Audra Emmerson, three from Starks and two from Aubrey Stupp. The Mastodon lead ballooned to as many as 16 on two occasions, both were reached after Jazzlyn Linbo made layups. Linbo finished the game perfect from the floor on five shots; she scored a season-high 10 points. She also pulled down seven rebounds. Purdue Fort Wayne took a 12-point lead into the locker room.

Oakland did not shy away from the Mastodons’ offensive showcase, as the Golden Grizzlies started to chip away at the lead. OU scored the last three points of the half to cut the lead to five. Oakland took its first lead of the game with 5:19 with an old-fashioned 3-point play. Oakland regained the lead for good with 1:28 left on a 3-pointer from Alona Blackwell, who finished with a game-high 17 points. The Mastodons got a defensive stop on the last Golden Grizzly possession, but could not get the 3-pointer to send it to overtime to fall.

Shayla Sellers and Sylare Starks both recorded 11 points for the ‘Dons. Sellers paired her 11 with five rebounds and five assists.

The Mastodons return to the Gates Sports Center on Saturday (Jan. 8) when the Detroit Mercy Titans come to town. The Titans are 0-13 and have not played a game since December 21.

SYCAMORES RETURN HOME TO FACE REDBIRDS

TERRE HAUTE, Ind. – Indiana State begins a three-game Missouri Valley Conference homestand Friday evening when it welcomes Illinois State to the Hulman Center for a 6 p.m. tip. The game will be carried on ESPN+ and 105.5 The Legend.

Game Day Sponsor

Hamilton Center will be the game day sponsor for Friday’s contest. Hamilton Center, Inc. is a not-for-profit regional behavioral health system serving central and west central Indiana. Through a broad array of behavioral health services for adults, children, adolescents, and families, Hamilton Center’s mission is to provide quality behavioral healthcare, wellness and human development services to the community.

Last Time Out

Natalia Lalic scored a career-high 20 points, including 16 in the second half, to lead Indiana State past Drake, 78-70, inside the Knapp Center in the Missouri Valley Conference opener for both teams.

Del’Janae Williams (17), Marie Hunter (15) and Anna McKendree (10) all scored in double-figures for the Sycamores, who trailed by as many as 13 in the contest. Tonysha Curry led the Sycamores with four rebounds, while six different Indiana State players had multiple steals in the contest.

Drake led by nine in the fourth quarter before a 19-3 Sycamore run gave Indiana State a lead that it would never relinquish. Lalic hit four 3-pointers during the run, which included a 9-0 Sycamore surge in a 54-second span. Indiana State shot 61.5 percent from the field in the second half to win its third straight game and improve to 6-6 on the season.

A Closer Look at Illinois State

Illinois State enters the weekend at 5-7 overall and 1-0 in the Missouri Valley Conference. The Redbirds won their conference opener over Bradley despite missing their top two scorers in Juliunn Redmond and DeAnna Wilson.

Mary Crompton led the Redbirds with 15 points against Bradley and was one of five Illinois State players in double-figures against the Braves. Kate Bullman, Jasmine McGinnis-Taylor and Kayel Newland each finished with 12, while Maya Wong had 11. McGinnis-Taylor had a team-high eight rebounds, while Wong led all players with four assists.

Redmond leads the team in scoring at 14.9 points per game, while Wilson averages 13.5 points and a team-high 7.9 rebounds per game. Wong (9.9) and Crompton (9.4) each average more than nine points per contest, while Wong also leads the team with 37 assists.

Series History Against Illinois State

Illinois State has a 55-45 advantage in the all-time series and has won each of the last five between the schools. Indiana State is 23-19 in Terre Haute against Illinois State.

Illinois State outscored the Sycamores 37-14 in the second half in the last meeting between the schools, a 62-32 Redbird win in Terre Haute. Mary Crompton led the Redbirds with 13 points, while Juliunn Redmond added 11. Adrian Folks was the lone Sycamore in double-figures with 10 points, while Hattie Westerfeld had nine points and a game-high nine rebounds.

Call it a Comeback

Indiana State overcame a 13-point deficit in its win over Drake, marking the largest deficit the Sycamores have overcome this season. ISU used a 19-3 run midway through the fourth quarter to take the lead for good and outscored Drake by 17 (29-12) over the final 7:35 of the contest.

The win was head coach Chad Killinger’s first Missouri Valley Conference victory and snapped both a 10-game losing streak to Drake and a six-game road MVC losing streak.

Thievery

Indiana State’s defense continues to remain among the nation’s best as the Sycamores enter Friday’s contest sitting in the top 20 in three team defensive categories. The Sycamores are 13th in turnovers forced (23.17), 18th in steals per game (12.4) and 19th in total steals (149). Indiana State leads the Missouri Valley in all three statistical categories.

Indiana State made its mark early in the season with a 21-steal contest against Stephens (Mo.) to open the year. ISU has recorded at least 10 steals in nine of the 11 contests this season, including 13 in back-to-back games against Georgia Southern and Chicago State and 15 against Purdue Fort Wayne. The Sycamores opened conference play with 17 steals against Drake. Overall, it’s been a team effort by Indiana State with eight players posting double-digit steals on the year. ISU has three of the top five steals leaders in the Missouri Valley Conference in Del’Janae Williams (2nd, 30/2.5 per game), Caitlin Anderson (4th, 24/2.0) and Marie Hunter (5th, 23/1.9).

In addition to getting their hands on the ball, ISU has been constantly harassing the opposition and has posted six games with at least 20 forced turnovers on defense. The Sycamores forced a season-high 36 turnovers against Stephens (Mo.) and carried on with 26 forced turnovers against Saint Louis, 21 against Georgia Southern, 21 against Chicago State and 24 in back-to-back games against Western Michigan and (RV/RV Nebraska). In their last non-conference game of the season, the Sycamores forced 26 turnovers against Purdue Fort Wayne. ISU opened Missouri Valley Conference play by forcing 30 Drake turnovers.

Defense to Offense

Indiana State has forced at least 15 turnovers in each of the first 11 games this season. Included in that number is seven games with 20 or more turnovers forced. The Sycamores have often converted those turnovers into points on the other end, as ISU has at least 20 points off turnovers in five of the last six games.

The Sycamore defense gave Drake fits throughout, as Indiana State forced 30 Bulldog turnovers. The 30 turnovers were the most by a Missouri Valley school this season and marked the second time this year that the Sycamores have forced 30 turnovers in a game. ISU converted those turnovers into 32 points on the offensive end, scoring at least six points off turnovers in all four quarters.

No Fly Zone

Indiana State’s win over Georgia Southern marked the second time in the 2021-22 season that Indiana State held an opponent scoreless from behind the arc. The Sycamores limited the Eagles to a 0-for-14 performance behind the three-point line to shut down Georgia Southern in the 71-67 win.

ISU previously limited Stephens (Mo.) to a 0-for-12 mark behind the arc to open the year and have held opponents under .300 from the three-point line on six separate occasions this year. ISU has limited opponents to just a .284 three-point percentage on the year, a mark that ranks fourth in the Missouri Valley Conference.

Indiana State limited UIC to a 1-for-14 mark (.077) from behind the arc in its last game, a 76-50 Sycamore win. ISU limited opponents to a .096 clip from deep in its first four wins this season.

Banner Year

The 2021-22 season has already seen multiple Indiana State players set career highs in the scoring column. Overall, five different returning Sycamores have set new career bests in scoring this season, with a pair of newcomers also posting double-digit efforts this season.

Del’Janae Williams had a career-high 26 in Indiana State’s road win over Georgia Southern in one of her two 20-point games this season, while Adrian Folks had a career-best 24 in a double-double at Saint Louis. Mya Glanton set career-high marks of 22 points and 16 rebounds in ISU’s last home game against Western Michigan.

Marie Hunter (19 vs. Jacksonville State) and Natalia Lalic (13 at Georgia Southern, 20 at Drake) have also set their career highs in scoring this season. In addition, Tonysha Curry (15 vs. UIC), Anna McKendree (13 vs. Stephens (Mo.), 14 at Purdue Fort Wayne, 10 at Drake) and Arianna Smith (11 at Western Kentucky) have hit double-figures in scoring during their first seasons in the Blue and White.

TOP NATIONAL SPORTS NEWS/RELEASES

COLLEGE FOOTBALL NATIONAL CHAMPIONSHIP GAME NOTES

GEORGIA NOTES:

CFP History For The Bulldogs This is the second time Georgia has made the CFP and the Bulldogs have advanced to the National Championship Game both times. Georgia will again face Alabama in the National Championship Game. The Bulldogs advanced this year as the No. 3 seed after topping No. 2 Michigan 34-11 in the Capital One Orange Bowl in Miami, Fla. In 2017, third-seeded Georgia beat second-seeded Oklahoma 54-48 in 2OT in the CFP Semifinal Rose Bowl Game and then fell to 4th-seeded Alabama in overtime at the National Championship Game 26-23. Georgia-Alabama Series History Alabama leads the all-time series with Georgia 42-25-4. Georgia won the first meeting, coming in 1895, with a 30-6 triumph in Columbus. The Crimson Tide have won the past seven meetings, including this year’s SEC Championship Game in Atlanta. The last time Georgia faced a top-ranked Alabama squad was the 2018 SEC Championship Game when the No. 4 Bulldogs fell 35-28 in Atlanta. Salute To The Seniors The 2021 Bulldog seniors will be playing their 15th game of this season in the CFP National Championship. They enter the matchup with a 44-8 record, which ties for the most wins for a Georgia class. Forty-four victories has been done now four times, including 2005 (44-9), 2019 (44-12) and 2020 (44-9). This current group of Bulldogs has won three SEC Eastern Division crowns, and won the 2020 Allstate Sugar Bowl, the 2021 Chick-fil-A Peach Bowl and the 2021 CFP Semifinal Capital One Orange Bowl. Georgia’s most decorated senior class came in 1983 as it went 43-4-1, winning the 1980 national championship and three SEC titles (1980-82). Aiming For 14 This season marked the first time since 1980 that the Bulldogs went 12-0 during the regular season. Georgia became only the fourth team in school history to finish a regular season undefeated and untied with double-digit victories (1946, 1980, 1982). Prior to this season, Vince Dooley’s 1980 consensus national champions was the last Georgia squad to go 12-0 after defeating Notre Dame in the Sugar Bowl. The school record for wins in a season is 13, and that’s been done three times (2002 under Mark Richt, 2017 & 2021 under Kirby Smart). Mark Richt’s 2002 squad went 13-1, including wins in the SEC Championship Game and Sugar Bowl, and finished ranked No. 3. Smart’s 2017 team beat Auburn for the league title, Oklahoma in the Rose Bowl Game/CFP Semifinal, and then lost in overtime to Alabama in the CFP National Championship to finish 13-2. The Bulldogs had a final ranking of No. 2. Dominating Defense & Offense Delivering Points Georgia leads the nation in Scoring Defense giving up just 9.6 points per game. The Bulldogs are averaging 39.0 points per game, which is ranked ninth nationally. The defense has allowed an FBS low 12 touchdowns while the unit has scored three TDs. The defense did not allow a touchdown until the third game of the season. Georgia opponents have scored only 135 points in 2021. Texas A&M’s opponents have the next fewest points in the FBS at 191.

Bulldogs Reap Rewards from Historic Season On Dec. 9, senior tackle Jordan Davis won the Outland Trophy, which goes annually to the nation’s top interior lineman, and the Bednarik Award, which goes each year to the country’s top defensive player. Also this year, junior Nakobe Dean won the Butkus Award, which is given to college football’s top linebacker each season. Both Davis and Dean were two of the three SEC players named unanimous All-Americans. Alabama’s Will Anderson was the third. Junior safety Lewis Cine and freshman tight end Brock Bowers were also included as First Team All-Americans this season. Bulldogs Extend Nation’s Longest Active Bowl Streak The Bulldogs rank second nationally with 58 bowl appearances. Georgia’s latest bowl win over No. 2 Michigan in the CFP Semifinal Capital One Orange Bowl was its 25th consecutive appearance, which is the nation’s longest active bowl streak. In school history, Georgia owns a 34-21-3 record in bowl games.

Looking For More Explosive Plays * The Bulldogs are averaging 39.0 points/game and outscoring their opponents 546-135. The Bulldog defense and special teams have combined to score five TDs this year, two safeties and blocked five more potential points (one FG, two PATs). * Georgia has had nine touchdown passes that have covered at least 38 yards: JT Daniels, 38 yds. vs. USC, WR AD Mitchell; 43 yds. vs USC, WR Jermaine Burton; Stetson Bennett, 73 yds. vs. UAB, Burton; 61 yds. vs UAB, WR Arian Smith; 89 yds. vs. UAB, TE Brock Bowers; 60 yds. vs. #18 AU, WR Ladd McConkey; 77 yds. @ GT, Bowers; 57 yds. vs. #2 UM, Burton; 39 yds. vs. #2 UM, James Cook..

Bennett 13-3 As A Starter at Georgia * Senior Stetson Bennett, a native of Blackshear, Ga., who was a Burlsworth Trophy finalist, began his career with the Bulldogs as a walk-on in 2017 when he was redshirted. Bennett transferred to Jones College (Miss.) where he started in 2018 and then returned to the Bulldogs on scholarship in 2019. He saw action that season in five games including throwing passes in four of them. In 2020, he started five games. * In his Bulldog career, Bennett is 13-3 as a starter and has completed 61.9 percent of his passes (274-for-443, 4077 yards, 37 TDs, 14 INTs). Also, he has 70 rushing attempts for 314 yards and four scores. * In 2021, Bennett has played in 13 games (10-1 as a starter) and is 168-for261 (64.4%) for 2,638 yards with 27 TDs and seven INTs. He has 48 carries for 283 yards. * He ranks fourth nationally in Passing Efficiency (176.8). The single-season school record in that category belongs to Aaron Murray at 174.8 in 2012. * JT Daniels started the season behind center but was sidelined versus UAB due to a lat injury. Bennett stepped in and started that game. Daniels returned against South Carolina and then left the Vanderbilt game after the first quarter with an aggravation of his injury. Bennett played most of the Vanderbilt game and then has served as the starter since the Oct. 2 win over No. 8 Arkansas. * Bennett helped Georgia complete a historic 8-0 SEC regular season and its first undefeated regular season since 1982. * Bennett was named the Offensive MVP of the Orange Bowl/CFP Semifinal win over No. 2 Michigan. He completed 20 of his 30 attempts for 313 yards and three touchdowns against the highly-touted Wolverine defense, including Heisman Trophy runner-up Aiden Hutchinson. * Bennett posted career highs in completions (29), yards (340) and attempts (48) and threw for three touchdowns against No. 4 Alabama in the SEC Championship Game. * Bennett opened up the CFP Semifinal Orange Bowl going 9-for-9 for 92 yards and a touchdown, completing passes to five separate receivers. On a related note, in the games against Georgia Tech and Alabama, his first nine completions went to nine different receivers.

LAST MEETING:

ATLANTA – Top-ranked Georgia suffered its first loss of the season, falling 41-24 to the Alabama Crimson Tide at the 2021 SEC Championship Game before 78,030 spectators at Mercedes-Benz Stadium and a CBS national television audience. Following a pair of defensive stops, Georgia drove to the Alabama 11- yard line with strong runs before settling for a 38-yard field goal from Jack Podlesny. On their next possession, the Bulldogs steadily moved down the field before a 37-yard strike from Stetson Bennett to George Pickens, setting up a 5-yard touchdown throw to Darnell Washington for a 10-0 lead early in the second quarter. Alabama then woke up on offense, beginning with a 67-yard touchdown from Bryce Young to Jameson Williams less than a minute after the Georgia score. The Crimson Tide followed it up with a 13-yard touchdown catch by John Metchie and a 33-yard Will Reichard field goal. On a penalty-filled drive, the Bulldogs tied the score at 17 with a 32-yard catch-and-run by Ladd McConkey. However, Young scored from 11 yards out just before halftime to retake the lead. The Crimson Tide again struck from the air to start the second half as Young found Williams for a 55-yard touchdown, marking five consecutive Alabama possessions with a score. Georgia reached the Alabama 19 midway through the third quarter, but Bennett was intercepted by DeMarcco Hellams. Georgia again reached the 19-yard line late in the third quarter, but turned the ball over on downs, followed by a 42-yard pick six by Jordan Battle to make the score 38-17 with 12 minutes remaining. In the fourth quarter, Brock Bowers completed a record-setting performance with an 18-yard touchdown, eventually setting new records for catches and yards receiving by a tight end in the SEC title game. With less than two minutes remaining, Reichard closed the scoring with a 41-yard field goal as Alabama sealed the championship victory.

ALABAMA NOTES:

Overall: 72nd meeting (Alabama leads, 42-25-4) In Championship Games (SEC/CFP): Alabama leads, 4-0 Current Streak: Alabama, Won 7 Last Meeting: Dec. 4, 2021 (W, 41-24) Series Notes: Alabama and Georgia will meet for the 72nd time in series history and the second time this season when the two teams square off on Monday night in the 2022 College Football Playoff National Championship Game. The Crimson Tide holds a 42-25-4 series advantage and is currently riding a seven-game winning streak against the Bulldogs, a stretch that includes three SEC Championship wins and one CFP victory. Alabama head coach Nick Saban is 9-2 all-time against Georgia, including a 7-1 mark at UA. Kirby Smart is 0-4 in his career against Alabama.

THE ALABAMA-GEORGIA SERIES: Alabama and Georgia will meet for the 72nd time in series history, the second time this season and a second time in the College Football Playoff National Championship Game when the two teams square off on Monday night. The Crimson Tide holds a 42-25-4 all-time advantage and is riding a seven-game winning streak over the Bulldogs. That seven-game streak includes one College Football Playoff National Championship victory and three SEC Championship wins, including this season’s Dec. 4 contest that finished in favor of the Crimson Tide, 41-24. Alabama head coach Nick Saban is 9-2 all-time against Georgia, including a 7-1 mark at UA. Former Alabama assistant Kirby Smart is 0-4 against the Crimson Tide.

SABAN VS. GEORGIA: Alabama head coach Nick Saban owns a career 9-2 record against Georgia, including a 7-1 mark during his time in Tuscaloosa. His first meeting with the Bulldogs came while he was at LSU, a 17-10 victory for the Tigers in Baton Rouge. While at Alabama, he fell in his initial matchup with the Bulldogs in 2007 at Bryant-Denny Stadium, before claiming a 41-30 win in Athens the very next year. Saban’s Crimson Tide earned a 26-23 overtime win against the Bulldogs in the 2018 College Football Playoff National Championship Game to capture UA’s 17th national title. That win was followed by a 35-28, come-from-behind victory over UGA in the 2018 SEC Championship Game to give Alabama it’s 27th SEC crown. The two teams then met for a top-three matchup in Tuscaloosa on Oct. 17, 2020, with the second ranked Tide coming out on top in convincing fashion, 41-24. The most recent meeting came on Dec. 4 of this season in the SEC title game with the Tide matching it’s 2021 score for a 41-24 victory in Atlanta.

2021 PERMANENT CAPTAINS: The Crimson Tide roster selected the 2021 permanent team captains at Alabama’s annual postseason banquet on Dec. 5. The group of four includes linebacker Will Anderson Jr., defensive lineman Phidarian Mathis, offensive lineman Evan Neal and quarterback Bryce Young. COTTON BOWL CHAMPIONS: No. 1/1/1 Alabama defeated No. 4/4/4 Cincinnati, 27-6, in the 2021 College Football Playoff Semifinal at the Goodyear Cotton Bowl Classic. The win advanced the Crimson Tide to the CFP National Championship for the sixth time in the last seven seasons and moved UA’s CFP Semifinal record to 6-1 overall. It was also Alabama’s 41st bowl victory, the most by any program in college football history, ALABAMA WINS 29th SEC CHAMPIONSHIP: With its 41-24 win over then-No. 1/1/1 Georgia in the 2021 Southeastern Conference Championship Game on Dec. 4, Alabama captured its 29th SEC title. The Crimson Tide has now won seven of the last 10 league crowns (2012, 2014, 2015, 2016, 2018, 2020, 2021) and is unbeaten in its last eight SEC Championship Game appearances (2009, 2012, 2014, 2015, 2016, 2018, 2020, 2021). SEC WESTERN DIVISION TITLE: Alabama’s 42-35 win against then-No. 25/21/22 Arkansas on Nov. 20 clinched the program’s 16th SEC Western Division title (14th outright). The Crimson Tide represented the Western Division against SEC Eastern Division champion Georgia in the 2021 SEC Championship Game on Dec. 4 at the Mercedes-Benz Stadium, defeating the Bulldogs, 41-24. The appearance in Atlanta marked Alabama’s 14th in the SEC Championship Game with the Crimson Tide holding a record of 10-4 across that stretch, including an 8-1 record in the SEC Championship Game under head coach Nick Saban. MAKING IT TO 13: Alabama’s 27-6 victory over No. 4/4/4 Cincinnati in the 2021 College Football Playoff Semifinal at the Goodyear Cotton Bowl Clasisc on Dec. 31 was UA’s 13th win on the season. With the win over the Bearcats, the Crimson Tide reached the 13-win milestone for the ninth time in school history. The nine seasons of at least 13 wins are the most by any school in Football Bowl Subdivision records. Alabama finished 14-0 in 2009; 13-1 in 2012 and 2017; 14-1 in 2015, 2016 and 2018; and wrapped up the 2020 campaign at 13-0 to match the 1992 squad. The Crimson Tide enters the 2022 College Football Playoff National Championship with a 13-1 overall mark. THE 12-WIN CLUB: With its 41-24 win over then-No. 1/1/1 Georgia in the 2021 Southeastern Conference Championship Game on Dec. 4, Alabama reached the 12-win mark for the 11th time in the last 14 seasons under head coach Nick Saban. The Crimson Tide also reached the 12-win plateau in 2008 (12), 2009 (14), 2011 (12), 2012 (13), 2014 (12), 2015 (14), 2016 (14), 2017 (13), 2018 (14), 2020 (13) and 2021. Across those 11 seasons with 12-or-more wins, Alabama has won eight Southeastern Conference titles and six national championships, including three College Football Playoff national titles in 2015, 2017 and 2020. TIDE REACHES 11 WINS FOR THE 25TH TIME: With the win at Auburn on Nov. 27 to close out the 2021 regular season, Alabama secured its 11th victory of the year, marking the 25th time in program history that the Tide has achieved the feat. Under head coach Nick Saban, Alabama has had 13 11-win seasons (2008-09, 2011- 21). It is the 11th straight season with at least 11 wins, which is the longest streak of its kind in SEC history. The SEC has had three streaks of three seasons with at least 11 victories, including Alabama from 1973-75, LSU from 2005-07 and South Carolina from 2011-13.

SEC RECORD FOR 10-WIN SEASONS: Alabama extended its record for most consecutive 10-win seasons in SEC history to 14 when it defeated then-No. 25/21/22 Arkansas on Nov. 20 in Tuscaloosa. It ties Florida State and head coach Bobby Bowden for the longest such record in college football history. In the Tide’s previous 10-plus win seasons, UA finished with a 12-2 record in 2008 and 2014; 14-0 in 2009; 10-3 in 2010; 12-1 in 2011; 13-1 in 2012 and 2017; 11-2 in 2013 and 2019; 14-1 in 2015, 2016 and 2018; and a perfect 13-0 in 2020. EASTERN STREAK: Alabama’s 41-24 win over then-No. 1/1/1 Georgia in the 2021 SEC Championship Game on Dec. 4 was the Crimson Tide’s 34th consecutive victory over an SEC Eastern Division opponent, dating back to a 35-21 loss at then-No. 19 South Carolina on Oct. 9, 2010. The 34 wins include a 7-0 record in SEC Championship Games. During the current run, the Tide is 12-0 vs. Tennessee; 6-0 vs. Florida (3-0 in SEC CG) and vs. Georgia (3-0 in SEC CG, 1-0 in CFP NCG); 4-0 vs. Missouri (1-0 in SEC CG); 3-0 vs. Kentucky; 2-0 vs. Vanderbilt; and 1-0 vs. South Carolina. Overall under Nick Saban, the Crimson Tide is 44-3 (.936) against the SEC East, including a 8-1 (.889) record in the SEC Championship Game. SABAN VS. FORMER ASSISTANTS: Alabama head coach Nick Saban is 25-1 all-time against his former staffers during his tenure at the Capstone. The Crimson Tide head coach’s most wins against a former assistant is four, which have come against Kirby Smart (4-0) and Jimbo Fisher (4-1).

NEUTRAL SITES: Alabama is 97-50-4 (.656) all-time in 151 neutral site contests. The list includes all AlabamaAuburn games not played on campus, including Legion Field from 1948-88. Under head coach Nick Saban, the Crimson Tide is 29-6 (.829) in neutral site games. Alabama is 3-0 in neutral site games this season, most recently taking down No. 4/4/4 Cincinnati, 27-6, in Arlington, Texas, for the 2021 College Football Playoff Semifinal at the Goodyear Cotton Bowl Classic. Prior to the win over the Bearcats, the Tide defeated then-No. 1/1/1 Georgia, 41-24, on Dec. 4 after previously beating then-No-14/16 Miami, 44-13, on Sept. 4, both at the Mercedes-Benz Stadium. Alabama’s last loss at a neutral site came at the hands of Clemson in the 2019 College Football Playoff National Championship Game in Santa Clara, Calif. DOME SWEET DOME: The Crimson Tide is 33-7-1 (.817) all-time in domed stadiums, including a 24-2 (.923) mark since 2009, and is 25-4 (.862) during Nick Saban’s tenure. Alabama is 2-0 inside a dome this season, most recently claiming a 27-6 win over No. 4/4/4 Cincinnati inside AT&T Stadium in Arlington, Texas, for the 2021 College Football Playoff Semifinal at the Goodyear Cotton Bowl Classic on Dec. 31. Prior to the win over UC, the Crimson Tide took down then-No. 1/1/1 Georgia in the 2021 SEC Championship Game on Dec. 4 inside the Mercedes-Benz Stadium in Atlanta, Ga. The Crimson Tide’s win over then-No. 14/16 Miami in the 2021 Chick-fil-A Kickoff Game on Sept. 4 at the Mercedes-Benz Stadium is not included because the roof was open. BEATING THE BEST: The Crimson Tide is 72-17 (.809) against the Associated Press Top 25 since the start of 2008. Alabama is 6-0 against AP Top 25 teams this season, including a 44-13 win against then-No. 14 Miami on Sept. 4; a 31-29 triumph at then-No. 11 Florida on Sept. 18; a 42-21 win over then-No. 12 Ole Miss on Oct. 2; a 42-35 win against then-No. 21 Arkansas on Nov. 20; and a 41-24 victory over then-No. 1 Georgia at the 2021 SEC Championship Game. The Tide’s most recent win over an AP Top 25 opponent came on Dec. 31 against No. 4 Cincinnati in the 2021 College Football Playoff Semifinal at the Goodyear Cotton Bowl Classic with UA claiming a 27-6 victory over the Bearcats. SABAN vs. AP TOP 25: The Crimson Tide’s 27-6 win over then-No. 4 Cincinnati on Dec. 31 was Nick Saban’s 96th career win, and 73rd at Alabama, against the Associated Press Top 25. Saban moved past Joe Paterno (86) for the most career wins against the AP Top 25 when he defeated then-No. 22 Auburn on Nov. 28, 2020. The late Florida State legend Bobby Bowden ranks third all-time (82), while Alabama’s Paul “Bear” Bryant is fourth (66). Former Duke, Florida and South Carolina coach Steve Spurrier is fifth (64). Saban’s winning percentage against AP ranked teams (96-42, .696) tops Bryant (.592), Bowden (.557), Spurrier (.529) and Paterno (.512).

DOMINATING THE AP TOP 25: Alabama’s season-opening win over then-No. 14 Miami in the 2021 Chickfil-A Kickoff Game was head coach Nick Saban’s 22nd career win by 25-plus points against a ranked opponent. Saban is the all-time leader for the most wins by 25-plus points in the Associated Press Poll era (since 1936), passing Bobby Bowden’s previous record of 20. Saban is also the NCAA record holder with 24 career wins of 20- plus points against AP top-15 opponents, including Alabama’s 27-6 win against No. 4 Cincinnati in the College Football Playoff Semifinal at the Goodyear Cotton Bowl Classic on Dec. 31. An astounding 21 of Saban’s 24 career 20-plus point wins against AP top-15 opponents have come at the Capstone. AGAINST THE TOP 10: Alabama owns an 84-77-1 all-time record against teams ranked in the top-10 of the Associated Press Poll. Since the start of the 2008 season, the Crimson Tide has posted a 35-11 (.761) overall record against top-10 teams, including a 20-5 (.800) mark versus the top 10 since the inception of the College Football Playoff. In Saban’s six national championship seasons at Alabama, his teams have gone 18-2 (.900) against top-10 opponents. SABAN LEADS IN WINS VS. TOP-FIVE TEAMS: Alabama’s 27-6 win over No. 4 Cincinnati in the 2021 College Football Playoff Semifinal at the Goodyear Cotton Bowl Classic on Dec. 31 was Nick Saban’s 29th career victory against a team ranked in the top five of the Associated Press Top 25 Poll, the most in college football history. Saban’s 29-14 career record in top-five contests gives him a .674 winning percentage, which is also college football’s best. Following Saban on the all-time victory list are Bobby Bowden (18/.378 winning percentage), Barry Switzer (15/.516), Woody Hayes (15/.516), Steve Spurrier (15/.429) and Lou Holtz (15/.419). Saban’s record includes nine wins in the College Football Playoff: No. 3 Michigan State (38-0) and No. 1 Clemson (45-40) in 2015; No. 4 Washington (24-7) in 2016; No. 1 Clemson (24-6) and No. 3 Georgia (26-23) in 2017; No. 4 Oklahoma (45-34) in 2018; No. 4 Notre Dame (31-14) and No. 3 Ohio State (52-24) in 2020; and No. 4 Cincinnati (27-6) in 2021. Alabama also went 3-0 in BCS National Championship Games (vs. Texas, 37-21, 2009; vs. LSU, 21-0, 2011; vs. Notre Dame, 42-14, 2012).

BUCS MAKE IT OFFICIAL: TERMINATE ANTONIO BROWN’S CONTRACT

TAMPA, Fla. (AP) The Tampa Bay Buccaneers have officially severed ties with Antonio Brown, terminating the contract of the mercurial receiver who claimed he was fired in the middle of a game for not playing through an ankle injury.

The Bucs announced the move Thursday, one day after Brown broke his silence on a bizarre exit from last Sunday’s victory over the New York Jets.

Brown removed his jersey, shoulder pads, undershirt and gloves, then left the field after a sideline exchange with coach Bruce Arians, who said afterward that the player was no longer part of the team.

Brown, who has a long history of troubled behavior on and off the field, including being accused by two women of sexual assault – one claimed he raped her – said he left the field abruptly after he was cut for refusing to re-enter the game because of his ankle.

The receiver, who began his career with the Pittsburgh Steelers, tossed some of his gear into the stands, did some jumping jacks and waved to fans at MetLife Stadium in East Rutherford, N.J., as he headed to the locker room.

“While Antonio did receive treatment on his ankle and was listed on the injury report the week leading up to last Sunday’s game, he was cleared to play by our medical team prior to the start of the game and at no point during the game did he indicate to our medical personnel that he could not play,” the Bucs said in a statement.

“We have attempted, multiple times throughout this week, to schedule an evaluation by an outside orthopedic specialist, yet Antonio has not complied,” the statement added. “Maintaining the health and wellness of our players is of the utmost importance to our organization.”

While not specifying which ankle was hurt, Brown – through a statement released by his attorney on Wednesday – said an MRI performed the day after the game showed broken bone fragments, a ligament tear and cartilage loss “which are beyond painful. You can see the bone bulging from the outside.”

Arians said Monday that Brown did not claim he was injured when he refused to continue playing against the Jets. The coach has declined to discuss specifics of the sideline conversation and insisted he had “no clue” why Brown reacted the way he did.

Despite saying after the game that Brown was no longer a part of the defending Super Bowl champions, the 33-year-old receiver had remained on the roster. Wednesday’s injury report noted Brown’s absence from practice was “not injury related – personal.”

Brown’s statement, released through attorney Sean Burstyn, alleged a coverup. It also said the receiver has scheduled surgery to fix the injury.

“I didn’t quit. I was cut. I didn’t walk away from my brothers. I was thrown out,” Brown said.

“Being fired on the sideline for having a painful injury was bad enough. Then came their `spin.’ Coach denied on national television that he knew about my ankle. That’s 100% inaccurate,” the receiver added. “Not only did he know I missed several games with the injury, he and I exchanged texts days before the game where he clearly acknowledged my injury.”

Brown hurt his ankle during a victory at Philadelphia in mid-October and didn’t play again until Dec. 26 against Carolina, a two-month stretch that included a NFL-imposed, three-game suspension for misrepresenting his COVID-19 vaccination status.

Brown joined the Bucs midway through last season after serving an eight-game ban for multiple violations of the league’s personal conduct policy. At the time, Arians said there would be zero tolerance for the type of incidents that had derailed Brown’s career in the past.

The receiver helped Tampa Bay win its first Super Bowl title in nearly two decades last February and returned this season on a one-year, $3.1 million contract that could have been worth up to twice that with incentives.

Brown appeared in seven games this season, finishing with 42 receptions for 545 yards and four touchdowns. His streak of 144 consecutive games with at least one reception is the longest in the league among active players.

BEARS PLACE QUARTERBACK FIELDS ON RESERVE/COVID-19 LIST

(AP) — The Chicago Bears placed quarterback Justin Fields on the reserve/COVID-19 list on Thursday, likely sidelining him for the finale and ending his rookie season.

The Bears expected Fields to start at Minnesota on Sunday after missing the previous two games because of an ankle injury. That plan is now in doubt.

It’s been an up-and-down season for Fields, who has shown promising flashes and room to improve while dealing with injuries.

Fields has completed 58.9% of his passes for 1,870 yards. He has more interceptions (10) than touchdowns (seven) to go with a 73.2 passer rating.

Chicago is 2-8 in the games he has started, dropping seven straight with him in the lineup since wins over Detroit and Las Vegas in Weeks 4 and 5.

The Bears planned to have the former Ohio State star back up veteran Andy Dalton after trading up nine spots with the New York Giants to draft him with the No. 11 overall pick. That changed after Dalton was injured in Week 2 against Cincinnati.

Fields put together several promising performances in a row before cracking his ribs against Baltimore in Week 11. He missed the next two games, then returned in the loss to Green Bay on Dec. 12 before hurting his ankle in a loss to Minnesota at Soldier Field in Week 15.

The Bears (6-10) won the past two games, beating the Seattle Seahawks and New York Giants with Nick Foles and Dalton starting, after losing eight of nine. Offensive coordinator Bill Lazor would not say who would start in Fields’ place.

A day after rookie Micah Parsons went on the COVID-19 list, the Dallas Cowboys placed offensive tackle Tyron Smith and cornerback Anthony Brown on the list going into Saturday’s game in Philadelphia against the Eagles.

Cincinnati placed defensive tackle Larry Ogunjobi on the COVID-19 list. He has a career-high seven sacks in his first season with the Bengals after spending his first four in Cleveland. Earlier in the week, the Bengals placed running back Joe Mixon, defensive tackle B.J. Hill, safety Vonn Bell, defensive end Trey Hendrickson, center Trey Hopkins and left guard Quinton Spain on the COVID-19 list.

The Indianapolis Colts placed veteran safety Andrew Sendejo on the COVID-19 list, leaving them without a key defender as they try to clinch a playoff spot at Jacksonville. Sendejo has started 10 of the 12 games he has played. He has missed the past two after entering the concussion protocol.

NFL GAME CAPSULES

KANSAS CITY CHIEFS (11-5) AT DENVER BRONCOS (7-9)

SATURDAY, JAN. 8, 2022 // 4:30 PM ET // EMPOWER FIELD AT MILE HIGH // REFEREE: BRAD ROGERS

LEADER: Chiefs lead all-time series, 68-54

STREAKS: Chiefs have won past 12

LAST GAME: 12/5/21: Broncos 9 at Chiefs 22

LAST GAME AT SITE: 10/25/20: Chiefs 43, Broncos 16

CHIEFS clinched AFC West for 6th consecutive season. • QB PATRICK MAHOMES completed 26 of 35 atts. (74.3 pct.) for 259 yards & 2 TDs vs 0 INTs for 113.9 rating last week. Has 2+ TD passes & 100+ rating in 4 straight games, tied for longest active streak in NFL. Has 95+ rating in 5 of his past 6 starts vs. Den. Has 110.3 rating in 7 road starts this season. Is 1 of 4 in NFL with 4,500+ pass yards (4,569) & 35+ TD passes (35) & is 1st QB ever with 35+ TD passes in 3 of 1st 5 seasons. • RB DARREL WILLIAMS had 107 scrimmage yards (career-high 88 rush, 19 rec.) & tied career high with 2 rush TDs last week. Aims for 3rd in row with 85+ scrimmage yards. Had 80 scrimmage yards (60 rec., 20 rush) in Week 13 meeting. Has 100+ scrimmage yards in 2 of past 3 on road. RB CLYDE EDWARDS-HELAIRE has rush TD in 2 of his past 3. Had 82 scrimmage yards (54 rush, 28 rec.) in Week 13 meeting. Had rush TD in last road meeting. • TE TRAVIS KELCE aims for 3rd in row with TD catch. Has 115+ rec. yards in 2 of past 3 on road. Ranks 2nd among TEs with 88 catches & 1,091 rec. yards. WR TYREEK HILL led team with 6 catches last week. Aims for 3rd in row at Den. with rec. TD. Ranks 3rd in NFL with career-high 110 catches. • DT CHRIS JONES had 2 sacks last week, his 3rd game this season with 2+ sacks. Aims for 3rd in row vs. Den. with PD. Leads team with 9 sacks & aims for 2nd-career 10-sack season. DE FRANK CLARK aims for 3rd in row with sack. CB CHARVARIUS WARD had 8 tackles & PD last week. Has PD in 5 of past 6.

QB DREW LOCK completed 18 of 25 atts. (season-high 72 pct.) for season-high 245 yards & TD vs. 0 INTs for season-high 116.3 rating last week. Aims for his 4th start in row with 0 INTs. Has 100+ rating in 2 of his past 3 starts. Passed for 254 yards in last home meeting. QB TEDDY BRIDGEWATER has 250+ pass yards in each of his past 2 starts vs. KC. Has 0 INTs in 7 of his 8 home starts this season. • RB MELVIN GORDON had 72 scrimmage yards (43 rush, 29 rec.) last week. Has 60+ scrimmage yards in 4 of his past 5. Rushed for 131 yards in his last game vs. KC (12/6/20). Has rush TD in 2 of his past 3 vs. KC. Is only player with 9+ TDs in each of past 6 seasons. Is 1 of 2 RBs (EZEKIEL ELLIOTT) with 900+ scrimmage yards in each of past 6 seasons. Rookie RB JAVONTE WILLIAMS had career-high 178 scrimmage yards (102 rush, 76 rec.) in Week 13 meeting. Has rush TD in 2 of past 3 at home. Ranks 3rd among rookies with 1,155 scrimmage yards (857 rush, 298 rec.). • WR COURTLAND SUTTON had 60 rec. yards last week. Has 75+ rec. yards in 3 of his past 4 vs. KC. TE NOAH FANT led team with 6 catches for 92 yards & had 4th rec. TD of season in Week 17. Has 50+ rec. yards in 3 of his past 4 at home. • S JUSTIN SIMMONS had TFL last week & has TFL in 2 of past 3. Has PD in 4 of his past 5 at home. Is 1 of 3 in NFL (QUANDRE DIGGS & J.C. JACKSON) with 5+ INTs in each of past 2 seasons. Rookie CB PAT SURTAIN II had 6 tackles & 2 PD in Week 17. Leads team & ties for lead among rookies with 14 PD.

DALLAS COWBOYS (11-5) AT PHILADELPHIA EAGLES (9-7)

SATURDAY, JAN. 8, 2022 // 8:15 PM ET // LINCOLN FINANCIAL FIELD // REFEREE: RONALD TORBERT

LEADER: Cowboys lead all-time series, 68-53

STREAKS: Cowboys have won past 2

LAST GAME: 9/27/21: Eagles 21 at Cowboys 41

LAST GAME AT SITE: 11/1/20: Eagles 23, Cowboys 9

DALLAS clinched NFC East for 1st time since 2018. • QB DAK PRESCOTT had 3 TDs vs. 0 INTs for 105.8 rating last week. Has career-high 32 TD passes in 2021 & 2nd-career season with 4,000+ pass yards. Is 1 of 4 QBs with 7+ games (7) with 3+ TD passes this season. Has 100+ rating in 4 of his past 5 vs. Phi. • RB EZEKIEL ELLIOTT has 1,199 scrimmage yards (915 rush, 284 rec.) & 12 TDs (10 rush, 2 rec.) in 2021 & can become 2nd player ever (HOFer LADAINIAN TOMLINSON) with 1,250+ scrimmage yards & 8+ TDs in each of 1st 6 career seasons. Had 2 rush TDs in Week 3 meeting. Has 1,227 scrimmage yards (136.3 per game) in 9 career games vs. Phi. • WR AMARI COOPER tied career-high with 8th rec. TD of season last week. Is only player with 5+ rec. TDs in each of past 7 seasons. WR CEEDEE LAMB has career-highs in catches (77) & rec. yards (1,057) this season. TE DALTON SCHULTZ has career highs in catches (75), rec. yards (787) & rec. TDS (6) in 2021. • CB TREVON DIGGS leads NFL with 11 INTs & ranks 2nd with 21 PD. Has 8 PD & 4 INTs in 3 career games vs. Phi. incl. INT-TD in last meeting. Aims for his 4th in row vs. Phi. with INT. LB MICAH PARSONS leads all rookies with 13 sacks & needs 2 sacks to surpass JEVON KEARSE (14.5 sacks in 1999) for most by rookie since 1982. Leads NFL with 20 TFL, 1st rookie with 20+ TFL since 2012 (LAVONTE DAVID). S JAYRON KEARSE needs 2 tackles for 1st-career 100-tackle season.

QB JALEN HURTS had 258 yards (214 pass, 44 rush) & 90.9 rating last week. Aims for his 3rd in row at home with 100+ rating. Aims for his 3rd in row vs. Dal. with 325+ pass yards. Leads all QBs in rush yards (784) & rush TDs (10) in 2021. • RB MILES SANDERS had 156 scrimmage yards (79 rush, 77 rec.) & rush TD in his only career home game vs. Dal. (12/22/19). Needs 88 scrimmage yards for 3rd-straight 1,000-yard season. RB BOSTON SCOTT had 86 scrimmage yards (47 rush, 39 rec.) & 2 rush TDs last week. Has career-high 7 rush TDs in 2021 & aims for his 3rd in row with rush TD. RB JORDAN HOWARD aims for his 5th in row at home with 50+ scrimmage yards. • TE DALLAS GOEDERT led team with 6 catches & 71 rec. yards last week. Has career-high 830 rec. yards in 2021 & needs 3 catches for new career high (58 in 2019). WR DEVONTA SMITH ranks 4th among rookies in rec. yards (875). Is 1 of 3 rookies (JA’MARR CHASE & JAYLEN WADDLE) with 60+ catches (61) & 5+ rec. TDs (5). • LB T.J. EDWARDS led team with 13 tackles last week. Has career high 124 tackles in 2021. Had sack in Week 3 meeting & in last home meeting. LB ALEX SINGLETON has career-high 130 tackles in 2021. Aims for his 3rd in row vs. Dal. & his 6th in row overall with 8+ tackles. DT FLETCHER COX had 2 TFL & sack in last home meeting. Had FR-TD in Week 3 meeting. CB DARIUS SLAY leads NFL with 119 PD since 2013. DE JOSH SWEAT has career-high 7.5 sacks in 2021 & aims for his 3rd in row with sack.

PITTSBURGH STEELERS (8-7-1) AT BALTIMORE RAVENS (8-8)

SUNDAY, JAN. 9, 2022 // 1:00 PM ET // M&T BANK STADIUM // REFEREE: SHAWN HOCHULI

LEADER: Steelers lead all-time series, 28-23

STREAKS: Steelers have won past 3

LAST GAME: 12/5/21: Ravens 19 at Steelers 20

LAST GAME AT SITE: 11/1/20: Steelers 28, Ravens 24

QB BEN ROETHLISBERGER passed for 236 yards & 2 TDs vs. 0 INts for 111.8 rating in Week 13 meeting. Has 2 TD passes & 100+ rating in 2 of past 3 vs. Bal. Has 11 TDs vs. 5 INTs in 7 road starts in 2021. Needs 4 pass yards for 11th-career season with 3,500+ pass yards, tied with HOFer DAN MARINO for 8th-most all-time. • RB NAJEE HARRIS had career-high 206 scrimmage yards (188 rush, 18 rec.) & rush TD last week, 1st 200-yard game by rookie RB this season. Aims for 3rd in row with 100+ scrimmage yards. Had 107 scrimmage yards (71 rush, 36 rec.) in Week 13 meeting. Has 612 scrimmage yards (122.4 per game) & 2 rush TDs in 5 games vs. division. Leads rookies with 1,612 scrimmage yards, most-ever by Pit. rookie. Ranks 2nd among rookies with 10 TDs. • WR DIONTAE JOHNSON led team with catches last week. Aims for his 12th in row with 5+ catches. Had 8 catches for 105 yards & season-high 2 TDs in Week 13 meeting. Has 90+ rec. yards in 4 of his past 5 vs. division. Is 4th Pit. player ever with 100+ catches in single season. WR CHASE CLAYPOOL aims for his 3rd in row vs. Bal. with 50+ rec. yards. Rookie TE PAT FREIERMUTH aims for 5th in row on road with TD catch. • LB T.J. WATT had career-high 4 sacks & 2 PD last week, his 3rd game with 3+ sacks this season, most in NFL. Had 3.5 sacks & FF in Week 13 meeting & aims for his 4th in row vs. Bal. with sack. Needs sack to tie HOFer MICHAEL STRAHAN (22.5 in 2001) for most sacks in single season since 1982. LB ALEX HIGHSMITH had career-high 2 sacks last week. Aims for 3rd in row with sack.

QB LAMAR JACKSON passed for 253 yards & rushed for 55 yards in Week 13 meeting. Aims for his 4th in row vs. Pit. with 50+ rush yards. Has 50+ rush yards in each of his 6 home games this season. Is 1 of 3 in AFC (NICK CHUBB & DERRICK HENRY) with 750+ rush yards in each of past 3 seasons. QB TYLER HUNTLEY has 70+ comp. pct. in 2 of 3 starts this season. Has 50+ rush yards in each of his past 2 starts. • RB DEVONTA FREEMAN rushed for 76 yards last week, his 2nd game this season with 75+ rush yards. Had season-high 97 scrimmage yards (52 rush, 45 rec.) & rush TD in Week 13 meeting. Has rush TD in 2 of his past 3 vs. division. Needs 11 scrimmage yards for 5th-career season with 750+ scrimmage yards. • TE MARK ANDREWS aims for 5th in row with 6+ catches & 85+ rec. yards. Has 115+ rec. yards & TD catch in 3 of past 4. Had 50 rec. yards in Week 13 meeting. Leads TEs with career highs in catches (99) & rec. yards (1,276). WR MARQUISE BROWN has 5+ catches in 8 of past 9. Has rec. TD in 2 of past 3 vs. Pit. Rookie WR RASHOD BATEMAN had 7 catches for 58 yards last week. • S CHUCK CLARK had 3 PD & career-high 2 INTs, incl. 17-yard INT-TD (1st-career TD) last week. Had PD in last meeting. Has TFL in 2 of his past 3 vs. Pit. Has 5 PD in his past 2 at home. CB TAVON YOUNG had career-high 9 tackles last week. LB TYUS BOWSER had sack & 2nd FF of season in Week 17. Has PD in 2 of his past 3 vs. Pit. Aims for 4th in row at home with 0.5+ sacks.

CINCINNATI BENGALS (10-6) AT CLEVELAND BROWNS (7-9)

SUNDAY, JAN. 9, 2022 // 1:00 PM ET // FIRSTENERGY STADIUM // REFEREE: BILL VINOVICH

LEADER: Bengals lead all-time series, 51-45

STREAKS: Browns have won past 3

LAST GAME: 11/7/21: Browns 41 at Bengals 16

LAST GAME AT SITE: 9/17/20: Browns 35, Bengals 30

BENGALS clinched AFC North for 1st time since 2015. • QB JOE BURROW completed 30 of 39 atts. (76.9 pct.) for 446 yards & 4 TDs vs. 0 INTs for career-high 148 rating last week. Became 2nd QB ever (JAMEIS WINSTON) with 450+ pass yards & 4+ TD passes in consecutive games. Aims for 5th in row with 0 INTs & 100+ rating. Has 315+ pass yards & 3 TD passes in 2 of 3 career games vs. Cle. Has 109.5 rating in his past 6 on road. Has franchise-records in pass yards (4,611) & TD passes (34). • RB JOE MIXON aims for 3rd in row with 85+ scrimmage yards. Had 110 scrimmage yards (64 rush, 46 rec.) & 2 rush TDs in Week 9 meeting. Has 100+ scrimmage yards & rush TD in 3 of his past 4 vs. Cle. Aims for 5th in row vs. division with rush TD. Is 1 of 2 RBs (JONATHAN TAYLOR) with 1,500+ scrimmage yards (1,519) & 15+ TDs (16) this season. • WR JA’MARR CHASE had 11 catches for 266 yards & 3 TDs last week, most rec. yards ever by rookie in single game. Is 1st rookie & 5th player in SB era with 200+ rec. yards in 2+ games in single season. Aims for 3rd in row with 125+ rec. yards. Has rookie-record 1,429 rec. yards. WR TEE HIGGINS has 60+ rec. yards in 5 of past 6. WR TYLER BOYD aims for his 4th in row with TD catch. Has 70+ rec. yards & rec. TD in 2 of past 3 vs. Cle. • DE TREY HENDRICKSON has 0.5+ sacks in 11 of past 12. Had sack in Week 9 meeting & has sack in each of 5 games vs. division this season. LB LOGAN WILSON had 8 tackles last week. Has 5+ tackles in 12 of 13 games in 2021. Had FF in Week 9 meeting.

QB CASE KEENUM passed for 199 yards & TD vs. 0 INTs for 90.3 rating in only start of season (Week 7 vs. Den.). Has 3 TDs vs. 0 INTs for 122.1 rating in 2 career starts vs. Cin. • RB NICK CHUBB aims for 5th in row with 50+ scrimmage yards. Has 90+ scrimmage yards & rush TD in 2 of past 3. Had 163 scrimmage yards (137 rush, 26 rec.) & 2 rush TDs in Week 9 meeting. Aims for 3rd in row vs. Cin. with 125+ scrimmage yards & 2+ rush TDs. Has 698 scrimmage yards (116.3 per game) & 6 TDs (5 rush, 1 rec.) in 6 career games vs. Cin. Ranks 3rd in NFL with 1,201 rush yards & is only player with 950+ rush yards in each of past 4 seasons. RB KAREEM HUNT aims for his 3rd in row vs. Cin. with 100+ scrimmage yards & TD. • WR JARVIS LANDRY has 5+ catches in 3 of his past 4 at home. Needs 4 catches & 5 rec. yards for 8th straight season with 50+ catches & 500+ rec. yards. WR DONOVAN PEOPLES-JONES led team with 76 rec. yards last week. Aims for his 3rd in row vs. Cin. with 50+ rec. yards & TD catch. TE HARRISON BRYANT aims for 4th in row with TD catch. TE DAVID NJOKU had 4th rec. of season last week. Aims for his 3rd in row vs. Cin with TD catch. • DE MYLES GARRETT had 1.5 sacks in Week 9 meeting & has 6.5 sacks in 6 career games vs. Cin. Has sack in 4 of 5 games vs. division this season. Has franchise-record 15 sacks. DE JADEVEON CLOWNEY had 2 sacks & FF last week. Aims for 3rd in row with sack. Has PD in 2 of past 3. CB A.J. GREEN had 2 PD & 1st-career INT in Week 17. Had FR & PD in Week 9 meeting.

GREEN BAY PACKERS (13-3) AT DETROIT LIONS (2-13-1)

SUNDAY, JAN. 9, 2022 // 1:00 PM ET // FORD FIELD // REFEREE: SCOTT NOVAK

LEADER: Packers lead all-time series, 103-72-7

STREAKS: Packers have won past 5

LAST GAME: 9/20/21: Packers 35 at Lions 17

LAST GAME AT SITE: 12/13/20: Packers 31, Lions 24

GREEN BAY clinched No. 1 seed in NFC playoffs. • QB AARON RODGERS has 2+ TD passes & 0 INTs in 6 straight games, tied-2nd longest such streak all-time. Can become 6th player with 10 4,000+ pass yard seasons. Has 6 seasons with 35+ TD passes, tied-most in NFL history. Had 4 TDs vs. 0 INTs & 145.6 rating in Week 2 meeting. Has 54 TDs (50 pass, 4 rush) vs. 8 INTs & 108.1 rating in 23 career starts vs. Det. • RB AARON JONES has 1,190 scrimmage yards (799 rush, 391 rec.) & 10 TDs (6 rec., 4 rush) in 2021 & is only player with 1,100+ scrimmage yards & 10+ scrimmage TDs in each of past 3 seasons. Tied his career-high with 4 TDs (3 rec., 1 rush) in Week 2 meeting. RB AJ DILLON had 3rd-career game with 2 rush TDs last week. Has 1st-career season with 1,000+ scrimmage yards (1,049) & career-high 7 TDs (5 rush, 2 rec.) in 2021. • WR DAVANTE ADAMS ranks 2nd in catches (career-high 117), 3rd in rec. yards (career-high 1,498) & 5th in rec. TDs (11) in 2021. Became 4th player ever with 110+ catches in 3 different seasons. Is 1 of 7 all-time with 600+ receptions (663), 8,000+ rec. yards (8,066) & 70+ rec. TDs (73) in 1st 8 seasons. Has 100+ rec. yards in 5 of his past 6. Aims for his 5th in row with rec. TD. • LB PRESTON SMITH aims for his 3rd in row with sack. Needs 1 sack for 2nd-career 10-sack season. LB RASHAN GARY has career-high 9.5 sacks in 2021 & aims for his 3rd in row with sack & 2 TFL. LB DE’VONDRE CAMPBELL has career-high 145 tackles in 2021. Had 13 tackles & INT in Week 2 meeting.

QB JARED GOFF has 3,007 pass yards, 5th-straight 3,000-yard season. Has 11 TDs vs. 3 INTs for 97.5 rating in 7 home starts in 2021. Aims for his 4th in row at home with 2+ TD passes & 5th in row at home with 90+ rating. Had 2 TDs vs. INT for 97.7 rating in Week 2 meeting. QB TIM BOYLE set career-highs in pass yards (262) & TD passes (2) last week. • RB D’ANDRE SWIFT has 1st-career 1,000-yard season (587 rush, 436 rec.) & career-high 58 receptions in 2021. Had rush TD in last home meeting. RB JAMAAL WILLIAMS had 3rd rush TD of season last week. Is 1 of 6 RBs with 600+ scrimmage yards in each of past 5 seasons. Had 2,946 scrimmage yards & 18 TDs in 60 games with GB (2017-20). • WR AMON-RA ST. BROWN became the 5th rookie WR since 1970 with 100+ rec. yards (career-high 111), rec. TD & rush TD in single game last week. Is 1st rookie ever with 8+ catches in 5 straight games. Can become 3rd rookie WR since 1970 (ODELL BECKHAM JR. & HOFer RANDY MOSS) with 90+ rec. yards & TD catch in 4 straight games. • S TRACY WALKER led team with 12 tackles last week & has 8 games with 10+ tackles since 2019, 4th-most among DBs. Is 1 of 2 NFC DBs (BUDDA BAKER) with 270+ tackles (273) & 10+ TFL (14) since 2019. LB AUSTIN BRYANT aims for his 3rd in row with sack. LB JALEN REEVES-MAYBIN has 5+ tackles in 5 of his past 6 & aims for his 3rd in row with 8+ tackles. LB CHARLES HARRIS has career-highs in sacks (7.5) & TFL (10) in 2021.

TENNESSEE TITANS (11-5) AT HOUSTON TEXANS (4-12)

SUNDAY, JAN. 9, 2022 // 1:00 PM ET // NRG STADIUM // REFEREE: LAND CLARK

LEADER: Titans lead all-time series, 21-18

STREAKS: Titans have won 3 of past 4

LAST GAME: 11/21/21: Texans 22 at Titans 13

LAST GAME AT SITE: 1/3/21: Titans 41, Texans 38

TITANS clinched AFC South for 2nd-consecutive season. • QB RYAN TANNEHILL aims for 4th in row with 70+ comp. pct. & 3rd in row with 0 INTs & 105+ rating. Has 100+ rating in 3 of his past 4 starts vs. Hou. Ranks 2nd among QBs with 7 rush TDs & is only QB with 7+ rush TDs in each of past 2 seasons. Needs 53 pass yards to join HOFer WARREN MOON (1989-91) as only players in franchise history with 3,500+ pass yards in consecutive seasons. • RB D’ONTA FOREMAN rushed for career-high 132 yards & TD last week. Aims for 3rd in row with rush TD. Has 125+ scrimmage yards in 2 of past 3. Aims for 3rd in row on road with 100+ rush yards. RB DONTRELL HILLIARD had 78 scrimmage yards (45 rush, 33 rec.) & rush TD in Week 17. Had 82 scrimmage yards (47 rec., 35 rush) in Week 11 meeting. • WR A.J. BROWN had 10 catches for 151 yards & TD in last road meeting. Has rec. TD in 4 of 5 career games vs. Hou. TE ANTHONY FIRKSER had 1st TD catch of season last week. Had 5 catches in Week 11 meeting & has 5 catches in 2 of his past 3 vs. Hou. TE GEOFF SWAIM had rec. TD in Week 17. • DT DENICO AUTRY has sack in 4 straight games, longest streak of career. Had PD in last meeting. Has TFL in 3 of his past 4 vs. Hou. LB HAROLD LANDRY had career-high 12th sack of season in Week 17. Had 2 TFL in Week 11 meeting. Had sack in last road meeting. LB DAVID LONG aims for 3rd in row with INT & 5th in row with PD. Had 8 tackles in last road meeting.

QB DAVIS MILLS completed 21 of 32 atts. (65.6 pct.) for 163 yards last week. Has 90+ rating in 3 of his past 4 starts. Has 9 TDs vs. INT for 106.2 rating in 6 home starts this season. Aims for his 4th home start in row with 0 INTs. Ranks 2nd among rookies with 66.5 comp. pct, 13 TD passes & 85.2 rating. Can become 1st Hou. rookie QB with 65+ comp. pct. (min. 100 atts.). • RB REX BURKHEAD had 79 scrimmage yards (47 rush, season high 32 rec.) last week. Aims for 3rd in row with 75+ scrimmage yards. Has 50+ scrimmage yards in 3 of his past 4 at home. RB DAVID JOHNSON has rush TD in 2 of 3 career games vs. Ten. Has 50+ scrimmage yards in 2 of his past 3 at home. • WR BRANDIN COOKS led team with 7 catches for 66 yards & TD last week. Aims for 4th in row with 7+ catches & 65+ rec. yards & 3rd in row with rec. TD. Has 100+ rec. yards in 2 of past 3. Has 65+ rec. yards & TD catch in 3 of 4 career games vs. Ten. Is 1 of 2 WRs (MIKE EVANS) with 1,000+ rec. yards in 6 of past 7 seasons. WR CHRIS CONLEY has 4 catches in 3 of past 4 vs. Ten. Rookie TE BREVIN JORDAN has rec. TD in 3 of 5 home games. • CB DESMOND KING had 7 tackles, 2 PD & 3rd INT of season last week. Aims for 3rd in row with 7+ tackles & PD. Tied career high with 2 INTs in Week 11 meeting. Has PD in 2 of 3 career games vs. Ten. LB CHRISTIAN KIRKSEY led team with 9 tackles & had PD last week. Has 7+ tackles in 3 of past 4. Had sack & INT in his last game vs. Ten. (12/27/20 w/ GB). Aims for his 6th in row vs. Ten. with TFL. DE JORDAN JENKINS had sack in Week 17.

INDIANAPOLIS COLTS (9-7) AT JACKSONVILLE JAGUARS (2-14)

SUNDAY, JAN. 9, 2022 // 1:00 PM ET // TIAA BANK STADIUM // REFEREE: CLAY MARTIN

LEADER: Colts lead all-time series, 26-15

STREAKS: Colts have won past 2

LAST GAME: 11/14/21: Jaguars 17 at Colts 23

LAST GAME AT SITE: 9/13/20: Jaguars 27, Colts 20

QB CARSON WENTZ is 1 of 2 QBs (AARON RODGERS) with 25+ TD passes (26) & 6 or fewer INTs (6) this season. Aims for 3rd in row with 0 INTs. Has 0 INTs in 4 of 5 starts vs. division this season. Has 11 TDs (10 pass, 1 rush) vs. 0 INTs for 103.4 rating in 7 road starts this season. Has 105+ rating in 5 of his past 6 road starts. • RB JONATHAN TAYLOR rushed for 108 yards & TD last week. Aims for 5th in row with 100+ rush yards. Has rush TD in 12 of past 13. Has 380 scrimmage yards (190 per game) & 3 rush TDs in his past 2 vs. Jax. Leads NFL with 2,076 scrimmage yards (1,734 rush, 342 rec.) & 20 TDs (18 rush, 2 rec.). Is 1st player in franchise history & youngest player ever (22) with 2,000+ scrimmage yards & 20+ TDs in single season. RB NYHEIM HINES ha 50+ scrimmage yards in 4 of his past 5 vs. Jax. • WR MICHAEL PITTMAN aims for 3rd in row with 6+ catches. Had 5 catches for 71 yards in Week 10 meeting. Has 75+ rec. yards in 4 of past 5 on road. Leads team with 1,018 rec. yards, his 1stcareer 1,000-yard season. WR T.Y. HILTON aims for 3rd in row with TD catch. Aims for 5th in row at Jax. with 50+ rec. yards. • LB DARIUS LEONARD had INT & FF last week, his 3rd game this season with INT & FF, joining HOFer CHARLES WOODSON (2009) as only players since 1999 with INT & FF in 3 games in single season. Aims for 3rd in row with INT & FF. DT DEFOREST BUCKNER had season-high 8 tackles & TFL in Week 17. Has TFL in 2 of past 3. Has 2.5 sacks in his past 2 vs. Jax.

QB TREVOR LAWRENCE has 0 INTs in 2 of his past 3 starts. Passed for 162 yards with 0 INTs in Week 10 meeting. Aims for his 3rd in row vs. division & at home with 200+ pass yards. Leads rookies with 336 completions & ranks 2nd with 3,418 pass yards, most-ever pass yards by Jax. rookie QB. • RB DARE OGUNBOWALE had 68 scrimmage yards (36 rush, 32 rec.) & 1st-career TD catch last week. Aims for 3rd in row with 65+ scrimmage yards. RB RYQUELL ARMSTEAD had career high 85 scrimmage yards (52 rec., 33 rush) & TD catch in his last game vs. Ind. (12/29/19). • WR MARVIN JONES has 45+ rec. yards in 3 of past 4. Leads team with 744 rec. yards & aims for 6th season overall & 3rd-consecutive season with 750+ rec. yards. WR LAQUON TREADWELL had 6 catches for career-high 87 yards last week. Aims for 7th in row with 50+ rec. yards. Has career-high 410 rec. yards in 2021. WR LAVISKA SHENAULT has TD catch in 2 of 3 career games vs. Ind. Has 5+ catches in 2 of past 3 at home. Needs 43 rec. yards for 2nd-straight 600+ rec. yard. season. • DE/LB JOSH ALLEN had 6 tackles & TFL last week. Leads team with 10 TFL this season, his 2nd season with 10+ TFL (11 in 2019). LB DAMIEN WILSON had career-high 2 PD last week. Aims for 3rd in row with PD. LB MYLES JACK aims for 7th in row with 6+ tackles. Had 11 tackles & TFL in last home meeting. CB CHRIS CLAYBROOKS led team with 9 tackles & had 2 PD in Week 17. CB TYSON CAMPBELL ranks 3rd among rookie DBs with 65 tackles.

CHICAGO BEARS (6-10) AT MINNESOTA VIKINGS (7-9)

SUNDAY, JAN. 9, 2022 // 1:00 PM ET // U.S. BANK STADIUM // REFEREE: BRAD ALLEN

LEADER: Vikings lead all-time series, 62-56-2

STREAKS: Vikings have won 2 of past 3

LAST GAME: 12/20/21: Vikings 17 at Bears 9

LAST GAME AT SITE: 12/20/20: Bears 33, Vikings 27

QB ANDY DALTON had TD vs. INT last week. Completed 22 of 32 atts. (68.8 pct). for 3 TDs vs. INT & 104 rating in his last start at Min. (11/22/20 w/ Dal.). Rookie QB JUSTIN FIELDS passed for 285 yards & TD vs. 0 INTs for 96.6 rating in Week 15 meeting. • RB DAVID MONTGOMERY had 81 scrimmage yards (64 rush, 17 rec.) & 2 rush TDs last week. Has 37 games with 50+ scrimmage yards since 2019, tied-2nd most in NFL. Is 1 of 3 NFC RBs (EZEKIEL ELLIOTT & AARON JONES) with 1,000+ scrimmage yards & 7+ scrimmage TDs in each of past 3 seasons. Has 275 scrimmage yards (137.5 per game) & 3 rush TDs in 2 career games at Min. Aims for his 3rd in row at Min. with 100+ rush yards & rush TD. • WR DARNELL MOONEY led team with 7 receptions for 69 yards & rec. TD last week. Has career-high 69 receptions in 2021 & needs 71 rec. yards for 1st-career 1,000-yard season. Has 5+ catches in 6 of his past 7 & aims for his 4th in row with 5+ catches. Had rec. TD in last road meeting. • LB ROBERT QUINN ranks 2nd in NFL with franchise-record 18 sacks in 2021 & is 1 of 2 active players (J.J. WATT) with 2 18+ sack seasons. Had 2 sacks & FF in Week 15 meeting. Aims for his 9th in row with sack. LB ROQUAN SMITH led team with 9 tackles & had 2 TFL last week. Ranks 4th in NFL with career-high 157 tackles & is only player with 130+ tackles & 10+ TFL in each of past 2 seasons. LB TREVIS GIPSON had 1st-career 2 sack game & 1st-career game with 2 FFs last week.

QB KIRK COUSINS has 3rd-career season with 30+ TD passes (2018, 2020) & needs 29 pass yards for th-career 4,000-yard season. Is 1 of 5 QBs all-time with 25+ TD passes in 7-straight seasons. Aims for his 4th in row vs. Chi. with 2+ TD passes. QB SEAN MANNION passed for 189 yards & TD vs. 0 INTs & 84.1 rating last week. • RB DALVIN COOK is only player with 1,300+ scrimmage yards in each of past 3 seasons. Has 159 scrimmage yards (132 rush, 27 rec.) & rush TD in last home meeting. Aims for his 4th in row vs. Chi. with 90+ scrimmage yards. Aims for his 3rd in row at home with 100+ scrimmage yards & rush TD. • WR JUSTIN JEFFERSON became 4th player under age 23 with 100+ receptions (103) in single season. Has 2,909 career rec. yards, most by player in 1st 2 seasons ever & most by player under age 23 all-time. Had TD catch in Week 15 meeting & 104 rec. yards in last home meeting. WR K.J. OSBORN has rec TD in 4 of his past 5 & aims for his 3rd in row with TD catch. • LB ERIC KENDRICKS has career-highs in tackles (143) & sacks (5), his 6th-straight 100-tackle season. LB ANTHONY BARR had FR in last meeting. Aims for his 7th in row with 5+ tackles. S HARRISON SMITH has career-high 108 tackles in 2021. Is only active player with 25+ INTs (29) & 15+ sacks (16.5). DE D.J. WONNUM had career-high 3 sacks & FF in Week 15 meeting. DT SHELDON RICHARDSON has 4 TFL in his past 4. Had FF & FR in Week 15 meeting.

WASHINGTON FOOTBALL TEAM (6-10) AT NEW YORK GIANTS (4-12)

SUNDAY, JAN. 9, 2022 // 1:00 PM ET // METLIFE STADIUM // REFEREE: ADRIAN HILL

LEADER: Giants lead all-time series, 104-69-4

STREAKS: Giants have won 5 of past 6

LAST GAME: 9/16/21: Giants 29 at Washington 30

LAST GAME AT SITE: 10/18/20: Giants 20, Washington 19

QB TAYLOR HEINICKE passed for 247 yards last week. Set career-highs in completions (34) & pass yards (336) & had 2 TDs vs. INT for 99.5 rating in Week 2 meeting. Has 2+ TD passes & 100+ rating in 2 of his past 3 road starts. • RB ANTONIO GIBSON has career-high 1,180 scrimmage yards (891 rush, 289 rec.) in 2021. Is 1 of 3 NFC RBs (AARON JONES & ALVIN KAMARA) with 1,000+ scrimmage yards & 9+ scrimmage TDs in each of past 2 seasons. Aims for his 4th in row vs. NYG with 50+ scrimmage yards. Rookie RB JARET PATTERSON had career-high 5 receptions for career-high 98 scrimmage yards (57 rush, 41 rec.) & 2nd-career rush TD last week. • WR TERRY MCLAURIN led team with 7 catches & 61 rec. yards in Week 17. Needs 40 rec. yards for 2nd-straight 1,000-yard season. Had 11 receptions for 107 yards & rec. TD in Week 2 meeting. Aims for his 3rd in row vs. NYG with 100+ rec. yards & TD catch & aims for his 5th in row vs. NYG with 7+ receptions. WR CAM SIMS had season-high 4 catches last week. Had rec. TD in last road meeting. • LB COLE HOLCOMB led team with 11 tackles & had PD last week. Has career-high 131 tackles & aims for his 4th in row on road with 10+ tackles. DT JONATHAN ALLEN has 5+ tackles in 3 of his past 4. Has career-high 8.5 sacks in 2021. Had 3 TFL & 2 sacks in Week 2 meeting. S KAMREN CURL had season-high 10 tackles last week & has career-high 95 tackles in 2021. Aims for his 4th in row with 8+ tackles.

QB MIKE GLENNON has 790 pass yards & 5 TDs (4 pass, 1 rush) in 6 games this season. • RB SAQUON BARKLEY had season-high atts. (21) & rush yards (102) in Week 17, his 12th-career game with 100+ rush yards. Has 656 scrimmage yards (164 per game) & 3 TDs (2 rush, 1 rec.) in 4 career games vs. Was. Has 50+ scrimmage yards in 18 of his 19 career home games. RB DEVONTAE BOOKER rushed for 46 yards last week. Has 60+ scrimmage yards in 4 of his past 5 at home. Has 835 scrimmage yards & needs 43 for new career-high (877 in 2016). • TE EVAN ENGRAM had 5 catches for 48 yards & rec. TD in his last game vs. Was. (11/8/20). Is 1 of 3 TEs (TRAVIS KELCE & GEORGE KITTLE) with 40+ receptions in each of past 5 seasons. WR DARIUS SLAYTON had 54 rec. yards & TD catch in Week 2 meeting. Had rec. TD in last home meeting. • LB LORENZO CARTER aims for his 4th in row with sack. LB AZEEZ OJULARI ranks 3rd among rookies with 8 sacks & 4th with 8 TFL. Had sack in Week 2 meeting. CB JAMES BRADBERY had career-high 4th INT of season last week. Had INT in Week 2 meeting. Aims for his 5th in row with PD. Since 2016, is 1 of 2 (DARIUS SLAY) with 80+ PD (82) & is only player with 10+ PD in each of past 6 seasons. LB TAE CROWDER had 2nd-career INT last week. Has career-high 118 tackles in 2021. DB LOGAN RYAN aims for his 3rd in row with PD. Is only DB with 8+ PD in each of past 7 seasons.

SEATTLE SEAHAWKS (6-10) AT ARIZONA CARDINALS (11-5)

SUNDAY, JAN. 9, 2022 // 4:25 PM ET // STATE FARM STADIUM // REFEREE: SHAWN SMITH

LEADER: All-time series tied, 22-22-1

STREAKS: Cardinals have won 3 of past 4

LAST GAME: 11/21/21: Cardinals 23 at Seahawks 13

LAST GAME AT SITE: 10/25/20: Cardinals 37, Seahawks 34

QB RUSSELL WILSON has 112 wins, incl. postseason, tied with HOFer PEYTON MANNING for most wins by QB, incl. postseason, in his 1st 10 seasons all-time. Had 17th-career game with 4+ TD passes in Week 17, tied with HOFers Manning & DAN MARINO for most by QB in his 1st 10-seasons ever. Needs 125 pass yards to join Manning as only QBs ever with 3,000+ pass yards & 20+ TD passes in each of 1st 10 seasons. • RB RASHAAD PENNY had career-high 185 scrimmage yards (career-high 170 rush, 15 rec.) & 2nd-career game with 2 rush TDs last week. Since Week 14, leads NFL with 502 scrimmage yards & ranks tied-1st in rush TDs (5). Aims for his 3rd in row with 135+ rush yards & rush TD. • WR DK METCALF had career-high 3 rec. TDs last week, his 6thcareer game with 2+ rec. TDs. Since 2019, ranks 5th in NFL with 29 rec. TDs. Aims for his 3rd in row with rec. TD. WR TYLER LOCKETT had 6th rec. TD of season last week. Is 1 of 3 WRs (STEFON DIGGS & DJ MOORE) with 1,000+ rec. yards in each of past 3 seasons. Had career-high 15 catches for career-best 200 yards & 3 rec. TDs in last road meeting. • LB JORDYN BROOKS ranks 3rd in NFL with career-high 164 tackles & had 10 games with 10+ tackles, tied-2nd most in NFL in 2021. Had career-high 15 tackles in last meeting. LB CARLOS DUNLAP aims for his 4th in row with TFL. CB D.J. REED had 1stcareer game with 2 INTs in Week 17 & has career-high 10 PD in 2021.

QB KYLER MURRAY has 3,547 pass yards & became 4th QB ever with 3,500+ pass yards & 20+ TD passes in each of 1st 3 seasons. Is 1 of 3 QBs (JOSH ALLEN & CAM NEWTON) with 20+ rush TDs (20) in 1st 3 seasons since 1970. Had 427 yards (360 pass, 67 rush) & 4 TDs (3 pass, 1 rush) vs. INT for 104.5 rating in last home meeting. Aims for his 3rd in row vs. Sea. with 2+ TD passes & 100+ rating. • RB JAMES CONNER aims for his 3rd in row vs. Sea. with rush TD. Has career-high 16 TDs (career-high 14 rush, 2 rec.) & 2ndcareer season with 1,000+ scrimmage yards (1,034) in 2021. RB CHASE EDMONDS had 145 scrimmage yards (87 rec., 58 rush) in last home meeting. Needs 97 scrimmage yards for 1st-career 1,000-yard season. • TE ZACH ERTZ led team with 7 catches last week. Has 5+ catches in 5 of his past 6. Had 8 catches for 88 yards & 2 TDs in Week 11 meeting. WR CHRISTIAN KIRK led team with 79 rec. yards last week. Has career-highs in receptions (75) & rec. yards (939) in 2021. WR A.J. GREEN has 8th-career season with 50+ catches (50) & 800+ rec. yards (825). • LB CHANDLER JONES had 2 TFL & FF last week. Since 2012, leads NFL with 106.5 sacks & 32 FFs. Has 15.5 sacks in 10 career games vs. Sea. & aims for his 3rd in row vs. Sea. with 2+ sacks. S BUDDA BAKER aims for his 3rd in row with sack. Needs 5 tackles for 4th-straight 100-tackle season. LB ISAIAH SIMMONS had 5thcareer FF last week. Had sack in Week 11 meeting.

NEW ORLEANS SAINTS (8-8) AT ATLANTA FALCONS (7-9)

SUNDAY, JAN. 9, 2022 // 4:25 PM ET // MERCEDES-BENZ STADIUM // REFEREE: CRAIG WROLSTAD

LEADER: Falcons lead all-time series, 53-51

STREAKS: Saints have won 3 of past 4

LAST GAME: 11/7/21: Falcons 27 at Saints 25

LAST GAME AT SITE: 12/6/20: Saints 21, Falcons 16

• QB TAYSOM HILL passed for 222 yards & TD vs. 0 INTs for 97.6 rating & had 45 rush yards last week. Is 6-2 in 8 career QB starts. Aims for his 9th QB start in row with 30+ rush yards. Passed for 232 yards & 2 TDs vs. 0 INTs for 107 rating & had 83 rush yards in his only career QB start at Atl. (12/6/20). • RB ALVIN KAMARA had 5 catches & 100 scrimmage yards (68 rec., 32 rush) with 20th-career rec. TD last week. Has 35 games with 100+ scrimmage yards since 2017, 2nd-most in NFL & is 1 of 2 (EZEKIEL ELLIOTT) with 1,100+ scrimmage yards in each of past 5 seasons. Is 1 of 2 (ROGER CRAIG) with 4,000+ rush yards (4,092) & 3,000+ rec. yards (3,247) in his 1st 5 seasons all-time. Aims for his 4th in row vs. Atl. with rush TD. • WR MARQUEZ CALLAWAY led team with 6 receptions & 97 rec. yards last week. Had rec. TD in Week 9 meeting. Has career highs in catches (46), rec. yards (698) & rec. TDs (6) in 2021. • DE CAMERON JORDAN had season-high 3.5 sacks in Week 17 & can become 1st player since 2002 (SIMEON RICE) with 2+ sacks in 4 straight games. Is only player with 7+ sacks in each of past 10 seasons. Ranks 3rd among active players with 106 sacks. Has 14 sacks in his past 8 vs. Atl. LB DEMARIO DAVIS has 8 TFL in his past 6 vs. Atl. Has 100 tackles in 2021, his 7thcareer 100-tackle season. Is 1 of 4 with 10+ TFL in each of past 5 seasons. CB MARSHON LATTIMORE is 1 of 3 with 10+ PD in each of past 5 seasons. Has career-highs in tackles (66) & PD (19) in 2021. • QB MATT RYAN ranks 8th all-time in pass yards (59,519) & surpassed HOFer PEYTON MANNING (59,487) for most pass yards by QB in his 1st 14 seasons all-time. Ranks tied-9th all time (ELI MANNING) with 366 career TD passes. Needs 248 pass yards for 11th-career 4,000-yard season, 5th-most all-time. Passed for 343 yards & had 3 TDs (2 pass, 1 rush) vs. 0 INTs for 135.8 rating in Week 9 meeting. • RB CORDARRELLE PATTERSON has career-high 1,154 scrimmage yards & is 1 of 2 (AUSTIN EKELER) with 600+ rush yards (607) & 500+ rec. yards (547) in 2021. Is 1 of 3 (Ekeler & DEEBO SAMUEL) with 5+ rush TDs (6) & 5+ rec. TDs (5) in 2021. Had 6 catches & 136 scrimmage yards (126 rec., 10 rush) in Week 9 meeting. RB MIKE DAVIS had 3rd rush TD of season last week. • TE KYLE PITTS has 1,018 rec yards & joined HOFer MIKE DITKA (1,076 in 1961) as only rookie TEs with 1,000+ rec. yards. Has 66 receptions & became 3rd rookie TE (KEITH JACKSON & JEREMY SHOCKEY) with 65+ receptions. WR RUSSELL GAGE has 50+ rec. yards in 5 of his past 6. Had 7 catches in Week 9 meeting. • LB FOYESADE OLUOKUN aims for his 3rd in row with INT. Leads NFL with career-high 179 tackles, most by player in single season since 2000. LB DEION JONES has 131 tackles, his 5thcareer 100-tackle season. Aims for his 3rd in row vs. NO with 10+ tackles. CB A.J. TERRELL had 1st-career sack & 4th-career INT last week. Had 3 PD in last meeting. Has FF in 2 of his 3 career games vs. NO. Has career-high 15 PD in 2021.

NEW YORK JETS (4-12) AT BUFFALO BILLS (10-6)

SUNDAY, JAN. 9, 2022 // 4:25 PM ET // HIGHMARK STADIUM // REFEREE: JOHN HUSSEY

LEADER: Bills lead all-time series, 65-56

STREAKS: Bills have won past 3

LAST GAME: 11/14/21: Bills 45 at Jets 17

LAST GAME AT SITE: 9/13/20: Bills 27, Jets 17

QB ZACH WILSON (rookie) passed for 234 yards & TD vs. 0 INTs last week. Aims for his 5th start in row with 0 INTs. Has rush TD in 2 of past 3. Leads rookie QBs with 4 rush TDs, 2nd-most ever by NYJ rookie QB. • RB MICHAEL CARTER (rookie) led team with 54 rush yards last week. Aims for 3rd in row with 50+ rush yards. Has 60+ scrimmage yards in 7 of his past 8. Had 82 scrimmage yards (43 rec., 39 rush) & rush TD in Week 10 meeting. Is only rookie with 600+ rush yards (620) & 300+ rec. yards (325). Needs 55 scrimmage yards to become 4th NYJ rookie RB ever with 1,000+ scrimmage yards & 1st since CLARK GAINES (1,124 in 1976). RB TY JOHNSON had 82 scrimmage yards (47 rec., 35 rush) & rush TD in Week 17. Has 50+ scrimmage yards in 2 of past 3. RB TEVIN COLEMAN aims for his 5th in row with 50+ rush yards. • WR JAMISON CROWDER had 7 catches for 115 yards & TD in last road meeting. Aims for his 3rd in row at Buf. with rec. TD. Leads team with 50 catches, his 3rd straight season with 50+ catches. WR BRAXTON BERRIOS had season-high 8 catches for 65 yards & had 2 TDs (1 rec., 1 rush) last week. • LB C.J. MOSLEY led team with 13 tackles last week. Aims for 6th in row with 10+ tackles. Ranks 5th in NFL with career-high 155 tackles. Rookie S MICHAEL CARTER II had 8 tackles & 1st-career sack in Week 17. Aims for 3rd in row with 5+ tackles. Had FR & PD in Week 10 meeting. Rookie CB BRANDIN ECHOLS had INT last week & has INT in 2 of past 3. Has 4 PD in his past 3.

QB JOSH ALLEN rushed for 81 yards & 2 TDs last week, his 5thcareer game with 2+ rush TDs, tied for most by QB in 1st 4 seasons in SB era. Ranks 3rd among QBs with 6 rush TDs & became 2nd QB ever (CAM NEWTON) with 5+ rush TDs in each of 1st 4 seasons. Has 3 TD passes & 90+ rating in 2 of past 3. Passed for season-high 366 yards in Week 10 meeting. Aims for 4th in row vs. NYJ with 300+ pass yards & 90+ rating. • RB DEVIN SINGLETARY rushed for career-high 110 yards & 2 TDs last week. Aims for 5th in row with 75+ scrimmage yards & 4th in row with rush TD. Had rush TD in Week 10 meeting. Has career-high 986 scrimmage yards (782 rush, 204 rush) & can become 1st Buf. RB with 1,000+ scrimmage yards since 2017. RB ZACK MOSS rushed for TD in Week 10 meeting. • WR STEFON DIGGS aims for 3rd in row with 5+ catches & 50+ rec. yards. Has rec. TD in 2 of past 3. Had 8 catches for season high 162 yards & TD in Week 10 meeting. Has 6+ catches in each of 4 career games vs. NYJ. Has rec. TD in 4 of 5 games vs. division this season. Needs 6 catches for 3rd-career 100-catch season. WR GABRIEL DAVIS has TD catch in 3 of past 4. Had 105 rec. yards in Week 10 meeting. TE DAWSON KNOX has career high 9 rec. TDs, tied-most among TEs & most-ever by Buf. TE. • CB TARON JOHNSON had sack last week & has sack in 2 of past 3. Had INT in Week 10 meeting & aims for his 6th in row vs. NYJ with PD. Rookie DE GREG ROUSSEAU had 4th sack of season & 1st-career FF in Week 17. Has PD in 2 of past 3.

SAN FRANCISCO 49ERS (9-7) AT LOS ANGELES RAMS (12-4)

SUNDAY, JAN. 9, 2022 // 4:25 PM ET // SOFI STADIUM // REFEREE: JEROME BOGER

LEADER: 49ers lead all-time series, 73-67-3

STREAKS: 49ers have won past 5

LAST GAME: 11/15/21: Rams 10 at 49ers 31

LAST GAME AT SITE: 11/29/20: 49ers 23, Rams 20

QB JIMMY GAROPPOLO completed 15 of 19 atts. (78.9 pct.) for 2 TDs vs. 0 INTs & 141.7 rating in Week 10 meeting. Aims for his 3rd in row vs. LAR with 2+ TD passes & 120+ rating. Is 1 of 3 QBs (JOE BURROW & AARON RODGERS) with 100+ rating (104.8) since Week 8. Rookie QB TREY LANCE had 280 yards (249 pass, 31 rush) & 2 TDs vs. INT for 116 rating in Week 17. • RB ELIJAH MITCHELL had 130 scrimmage yards (119 rush, 11 rec.) & 1st-career TD catch last week & became 4th rookie since 1990 (EZEKIEL ELLIOTT, HOFer EDGERRIN JAMES & ADRIAN PETERSON) with 100+ rush yards in 5 of his 1st 10 career games. Aims for his 4th in row with TD. • WR DEEBO SAMUEL has career-high 1,630 scrimmage yards (1,310 rec., 320 rush) & career-best 13 TDs (7 rush, 6 rec.) in 2021 & is only player in NFL history with 1,300+ rec. yards & 300+ rush yards in single season. Aims for his 3rd in row vs. LAR with 125+ scrimmage yards. TE GEORGE KITTLE has rec. TD in 5 of his past 6 vs. LAR. Aims for his 7th in row vs. LAR with 5+ catches & 8th in row vs. LAR with 50+ rec. yards. Has 4,479 rec. yards & can surpass HOFer KELLEN WINSLOW SR. (4,513) for 2nd-most rec. yards by TE in 1st 5 seasons. • DL NICK BOSA ranks tied-3rd in sacks (15) & TFL (19) in 2021. Had sack in Week 10 meeting. LB FRED WARNER had career-high 15 tackles & 6th-career FF last week. Has career-high 129 tackles in 2021, his 4th-straight 100-tackle season. DL ARDEN KEY had career-high 6th sack last week.

QB MATTHEW STAFFORD passed for 309 yards & 2 TDs vs. 2 INTs for 96 rating last week. Is 1 of 3 QBs (TOM BRADY & JUSTIN HERBERT) with 7+ games (7) with 300+ pass yards in 2021. Ranks 2nd in NFL in pass yards (4,648) & TD passes (38) & 3rd in passer rating (103.5). Can join DREW BREES as only QBs with 5,000+ pass yards & 40+ TD passes in 2 different seasons. Has 2+ TD passes in 6 of 7 home starts. • RB SONY MICHEL had 99 scrimmage yards (74 rush, 25 rec.) & 4th rush TD of season last week. Aims for his 3rd in row at home with 100+ scrimmage yards. Since Week 13, ranks 3rd in NFL with 557 scrimmage yards. • WR COOPER KUPP leads NFL in catches (138), rec. yards (1,829) & rec. TDs (15). Can set season records for catches (MICHAEL THOMAS – 149 in 2019) & rec. yards (HOFer CALVIN JOHNSON – 1,964 in 2012). Can become 4th player since 1970 to lead league in catches, rec. yards & rec. TDs in single season. Has 5+ catches in 20 straight games, tied-3rd longest streak ever. WR ODELL BECKHAM JR. has 5 rec. TDs in his past 6. • DL AARON DONALD has 98 career sacks, tied 4th-most by player in 1st 8 seasons since 1982. Aims for his 4th in row at home overall & 5th in row at home vs. SF with sack. LB VON MILLER had 2 sacks last week & is 1 of 5 players with 20+ games (20) with 2+ sacks since 2011. Leads active players with 113.5 sacks. CB JALEN RAMSEY had 2 TFL & 2 PD in last meeting. Aims for his 5th in row with PD.

NEW ENGLAND PATRIOTS (10-6) AT MIAMI DOLPHINS (8-8)

SUNDAY, JAN. 9, 2022 // 4:25 PM ET // HARD ROCK STADIUM // REFEREE: ALEX KEMP

LEADER: Dolphins lead all-time series, 57-52

STREAKS: Dolphins have won past 2

LAST GAME: 9/12/21: Dolphins 17 at Patriots 16

LAST GAME AT SITE: 12/20/20: Dolphins 22, Patriots 12

QB MAC JONES (rookie) completed 22 of 30 atts. (73.3 pct.) for 227 yards & 3 TDs vs. 0 INTs for 128.1 rating last week, his 9th game with 70+ comp. pct., tied with DAK PRESCOTT (2016) for most-ever by rookie QB. Has 2+ TD passes in 2 of past 3. Passed for 281 yards & TD vs. 0 INTs for 102.6 rating in Week 1 meeting. Has 0 INTs in 4 of 5 starts vs. division. Leads rookies in comp. pct. (67.6), pass yards (3,540) & TD passes (21). • RB DAMIEN HARRIS aims for 5th in row with rush TD & 3rd in row with 2+ rush TDs. Has 100+ rush yards in 2 of past 3. Had 117 scrimmage yards (100 rush, 17 rec.) in Week 1 meeting. Aims for his 4th in row vs. division with 100+ rush yards. Has 9 rush TDs in his past 5 at home. Ranks tied-2nd in NFL with career high 14 rush TDs. Rookie RB RHAMONDRE STEVENSON rushed for career-high 107 yards & had 2 rush TDs last week. Has 75+ rush yards in 2 of past 3. • WR JAKOBI MEYERS led team with 8 catches for 73 yards last week. Aims for 4th in row with 6+ catches & 3rd in row with 50+ rec. yards. Had 7 catches for 111 yards in last road meeting. WR KENDRICK BOURNE led team with 76 rec. yards last week. WR KRISTIAN WILKERSON had 1st 2 rec. TDs of career in Week 17. • DB J.C. JACKSON had 25th-career INT last week, becoming 4th player in SB era with 25+ INTs in 1st 4 seasons. Aims for 9th in row with PD. Has INT in 2 of his past 3 vs. Mia. Leads NFL with career-high 22 PD this season. DB KYLE DUGGER had career high 4th INT of season in Week 17. • QB TUA TAGOVAILOA passed for 202 yards in Week 1 meeting. Has 100+ rating in 4 of his past 5 home starts. Has 10 TDs (9 pass, 1 rush) vs. 4 INTs for 101.8 rating in 6 home games this season. Has 9 games with 70+ comp. pct. (min. 20 atts.), tied most-ever by QB in 1st 20 career starts. • RB DUKE JOHNSON had 65 scrimmage yards (49 rush, 16 rec.) last week. Has 65+ scrimmage yards in 2 of his past 3. Ranks 6th among active RBs with 310 catches & 2,865 rec. yards. RB MYLES GASKIN had 76 scrimmage yards (49 rush, 27 rec.) in Week 1 meeting. Aims for his 3rd in row vs. NE with 65+ scrimmage yards. Aims for his 4th in row vs. division with 50+ scrimmage yards. Needs 64 scrimmage yards for 2ndconsecutive season with 900+ scrimmage yards. • WR JAYLEN WADDLE (rookie) has 9+ catches & 90+ rec. yards in 3 of past 4. Had TD catch in Week 1 meeting. Leads rookies with 99 catches & needs 3 catches to surpass ANQUAN BOLDIN (101 in 2003) for most-ever by rookie. WR DEVANTE PARKER had 81 rec. yards in Week 1 meeting. Has 80+ rec. yards in 2 of his past 3 vs. NE. TE MIKE GESICKI led team with 51 rec. yards last week. Aims for his 3rd in row vs. division with 5+ catches. • CB XAVIEN HOWARD had PD last week. Had 5 tackles, FF & FR in Week 1 meeting. Aims for his 3rd in row vs. NE with FF. Has PD in 3 of past 4 vs. division. Has INT in 2 of past 3 at home. LB JEROME BAKER aims for 4th in row with sack. Had 12 tackles in Week 1 meeting. Has TFL & FF in 2 of his past 3 vs. NE.

CAROLINA PANTHERS (5-11) AT TAMPA BAY BUCCANEERS (12-4)

SUNDAY, JAN. 9, 2022 // 4:25 PM ET // RAYMOND JAMES STADIUM // REFEREE: TONY CORRENTE

LEADER: Panthers lead all-time series, 24-18

STREAKS: Buccaneers have won past 3

LAST GAME: 12/26/21: Buccaneers 32 at Panthers 6

LAST GAME AT SITE: 9/20/20: Buccaneers 31, Panthers 17

QB SAM DARNOLD completed 17 of 26 atts. (65.4 pct.) for 132 yards last week. Has 60+ comp. pct. in 4 of his 5 road starts this season. QB CAM NEWTON rushed for 42 yards in Week 16 meeting. Has rush TD in 3 of his 4 road games this season. • RB CHUBA HUBBARD (rookie) had 68 scrimmage yards (55 rush, 13 rec.) & rush TD in Week 17. Is 1 of 4 rookie RBs (NAJEE HARRIS, ELIJAH MITCHELL & RHAMONDRE STEVENSON) with 500+ rush yards (564) & 5+ rush TDs (5) in 2021. • WR DJ MOORE is 1 of 3 WRs (STEFON DIGGS & TYLER LOCKETT) with 1,000+ rec. yards in each of past 3 seasons. Had 5 catches for 55 yards in Week 16 meeting. Had 8 receptions for 120 yards in last road meeting. Needs 2 catches for new career high (87 in 2019). WR ROBBY ANDERSON had 5 catches for 58 yards in Week 16 meeting. Needs 4 catches for 5th-straight 50-catch season & 31 rec. yards for 6th-straight 500+ rec. yard season. • LB HAASON REDDICK is 1 of 2 LBs (T.J. WATT) with 11+ sacks in each of past 2 seasons. Has 3 sacks in his past 4 on road. DE BRIAN BURNS has sack in 2 of his past 3 on road. Aims for his 3rd in row at TB with TFL. LB SHAQ THOMPSON aims for his 3rd in row vs. TB with 7+ tackles & TFL. Needs 2 tackles for 3rdstraight 100-tackle season. S JEREMY CHINN had 2nd-career sack last week. Is only DB with 100+ tackles in each of past 2 seasons. LB FRANKIE LUVU had career-high 3 TFL last week & aims for his 3rd in row with TFL.

TAMPA BAY clinched NFC South for 1st time since 2007. • QB TOM BRADY passed for 410 yards & 3 TDs last week & has 13 games with 400+ pass yards, tied-3rd most all-time. Leads NFL with 4,990 pass yards & 40 TD passes. Became 2nd QB ever (AARON RODGERS) with 3 seasons with 40+ TD passes & 2nd QB all-time (DREW BREES, 2011-12) with 40+ TD passes in 2 straight seasons. Can join Brees as only QBs with 2+ seasons with 5,000+ pass yards. • RB RONALD JONES has 70+ scrimmage yards in 2 of his past 3. • WR MIKE EVANS became 5th WR ever with 12+ rec. TDs in 4 of his 1st 8 seasons. Needs 44 rec. yards for 8th-straight 1,000- yard season. Aims for his 3rd in row vs. Car. with rec. TD. TE ROB GRONKOWSKI had 31st career game with 100+ rec. yards last week, tied with HOFer TONY GONZALEZ for most by TE all-time. WR CYRIL GRAYSON had career-high 6 catches for 81 yards & 2nd-career rec. TD last week. Aims for his 3rd in row with 80+ rec. yards. • LB DEVIN WHITE is 1 of 2 (ROQUAN SMITH) with 120+ tackles & 7+ TFL in each of past 2 seasons. Aims for his 3rd in row at home vs. Car. with 9+ tackles & TFL. S JORDAN WHITEHEAD had 3 PD & INT in last meeting. Had INT in last home meeting. Is 1 of 4 DBs with 65+ tackles & 4+ TFL in each of past 4 seasons. S ANTOINE WINFIELD aims for his 4th in row with 8+ tackles. Had 11 tackles, sack & FF in last home meeting. LB ANTHONY NELSON had 1st-career FR last week. Aims for his 3rd in row with sack.

LOS ANGELES CHARGERS (9-7) AT LAS VEGAS RAIDERS (9-7)

SUNDAY, JAN. 9, 2022 // 8:20 PM ET // ALLEGIANT STADIUM // REFEREE: CLETE BLAKEMAN

LEADER: Raiders lead all-time series, 65-56-2

STREAKS: Chargers have won past 2

LAST GAME: 10/4/21: Raiders 14 at Chargers 28

LAST GAME AT SITE: 12/17/20: Chargers 30, Raiders 27 (OT)

QB JUSTIN HERBERT completed 22 of 31 atts. (71 pct.) for 237 yards & 2 TDs vs. 0 INTs for 114.6 rating last week. Aims for 3rd in row with 70+ comp. pct. & 90+ rating. Has 8 TDs (7 pass, 1 rush) vs. 0 INTs for 110.8 rating in 3 career starts vs. LV. Aims for his 7th in row vs. division with 2+ TD passes. Aims for his 5th in row on road with 300+ pass yards. Has most pass yards (8,967) & 2nd-most TD passes (66) ever by QB in 1st 2 seasons. • RB AUSTIN EKELER had 112 scrimmage yards (58 rush, 54 rec.) & rush TD last week. Aims for 8th in row with TD & 7th in row with 80+ scrimmage yards. Had season-high 145 scrimmage yards (117 rush, 28 rec.) & 2 TDs (1 rush, 1 rec.) in Week 4 meeting. Is only player in NFL with 10+ rush TDs (11) & 5+ rec. TDs (7) this season. Ranks 2nd in NFL with 18 TDs. RB JUSTIN JACKSON has 95+ scrimmage yards in 2 of past 3. • WR KEENAN ALLEN had TD catch last week & has rec. TD in 3 of past 4. Had 7 catches in Week 4 meeting. Has 5+ catches in 10 of his past 11 vs. Raiders. Aims for 3rd in row vs. division with rec. TD. Is only player in NFL with 100+ catches in each of past 3 seasons. WR MIKE WILLIAMS had rec. TD in Week 17. Has 60+ rec. yards in 3 of past 4. Has 2nd-career 1,000-yard season. • DE JOEY BOSA had 6 tackles & TFL last week. Has sack & FF in 2 of past 3. Had sack & FF in Week 4 meeting. Has sack in 2 of his past 3 vs. Raiders. Has sack in 2 of 3 career games on SNF. DT JERRY TILLERY aims for 3rd in row with sack. Had sack in Week 4 meeting & has sack in 2 of his past 3 vs. LV.

QB DEREK CARR completed 24 of 31 atts. (77.4 pct.) for 255 yards last week. Aims for 3rd in row with 75+ comp. pct. Has 0 INTs in 5 of his past 6 starts vs. LAC. Aims for his 6th in row at home with 70+ comp. pct. & 90+ rating. Ranks 4th in NFL with 4,618 pass yards & can become 1st Raiders QB ever with 5,000+ pass yards in single season. • RB JOSH JACOBS had 80 scrimmage yards (63 rush, 17 rec.) & rush TD last week. Aims for 4th in row with 80+ scrimmage yards. Had 114 scrimmage yards (76 rush, 38 rec.) & rush TD in last home meeting. Has rush TD in 3 of 4 career games vs. LAC. Is 1 of 3 (NICK CHUBB & DERRICK HENRY) with 1,000+ scrimmage yards & 7+ rush TDs in each of past 3 seasons. • TE DARREN WALLER had TD catch in Week 4 meeting & aims for his 4th in row vs. LAC with rec. TD. Is 1 of 4 TEs with 50+ catches & 600+ rec. yards in each of past 3 seasons. WR ZAY JONES had 8 catches for career-high 120 yards last week. Aims for 5th in row with 5+ catches & 4th in row with 50+ rec. yards. WR HUNTER RENFROW had 7 catches for 76 yards & TD in Week 17. Aims for 3rd in row with rec. TD. Had TD catch in Week 4 meeting. Has 1,025 rec. yards, 1st-career 1,000-yard season. • LB DENZEL PERRYMAN had 7 tackles & FF last week. Had 12 tackles & TFL in Week 4 meeting. Leads team with career-high 145 tackles. Rookie LB DIVINE DEABLO led team with 9 tackles & had TFL & PD last week. DE YANNICK NGAKOUE had 10th sack of season in Week 17, his 2nd-career 10-sack season.

FORMER METS ACTING GM ZACK SCOTT ACQUITTED OF DUI CHARGES

NEW YORK (AP) Former New York Mets acting general manager Zack Scott was acquitted Thursday of drunken-driving charges stemming from his arrest last August after he attended a fundraiser at team owner Steve Cohen’s house, his attorney announced.

“Today, after hearing and seeing all the evidence against our client, a judge in the White Plains City Court acquitted Zack Scott of all criminal charges against him,” lawyer Bruce Bendish said in a statement. “We are grateful for the judge’s diligent attention and consideration of the evidence, and believe he arrived at the only conclusion possible.”

Scott was arrested in the early morning hours of Aug. 31 after police found him asleep at the wheel of his sport-utility vehicle at a traffic light and determined he was intoxicated, White Plains police said. They said Scott refused a breathalyzer test.

The arrest came hours after Scott attended a fundraiser for the team’s Amazin’ Mets Foundation at Cohen’s house in Connecticut. Scott was placed on leave by the Mets and later fired.

Scott said said he was thankful for the verdict, adding, “Nonetheless, I regret choices I made on August 31, resulting in circumstances that led to my arrest.”

He said the “humbling experience” of his arrest would make him “a better husband, father, son, friend, and leader.”

An email seeking comment on Scott’s acquittal was sent to a Mets spokesperson.

Scott’s arrest was part of a turmoil-filled 2021 for the Mets, who led the National League East at the All-Star break but finished the season third in the division with a disappointing 77-85 record.

The Mets hired Scott in late 2020 as assistant general manager under general manager Jared Porter, a colleague from the Boston Red Sox. Scott was promoted to acting GM after Porter was fired over sexually explicit text messages he had sent to a female reporter in 2016 while working for the Chicago Cubs.

DJOKOVIC IN LIMBO AS HE FIGHTS DEPORTATION FROM AUSTRALIA

(AP) — Locked in a dispute over his COVID-19 vaccination status, Novak Djokovic was confined to an immigration detention hotel in Australia on Thursday as the No. 1 men’s tennis player in the world awaited a court ruling on whether he can compete in the Australian Open later this month.

Djokovic, a vocal skeptic of vaccines, had traveled to Australia after Victoria state authorities granted him a medical exemption to the country’s strict vaccination requirements. But when he arrived late Wednesday, the Australian Border Force rejected his exemption as invalid and barred him from entering the country.

A court hearing on his bid to stave off deportation was set for Monday, while the 34-year-old Serb and defending Australian Open champion was forced to wait it out in Melbourne at a secure hotel used by immigration officials to house asylum seekers and refugees.

The tournament begins on Jan. 17. Djokovic is hoping to overtake rivals Rafael Nadal and Roger Federer in the record books and win his 21st Grand Slam singles title, the most by any player in men’s tennis.

Djokovic’s securing of an exemption so that he could play triggered an uproar and allegations of special treatment in Australia, where people spent months in lockdown and endured harsh travel restrictions at the height of the pandemic.

After his long-haul flight, the tennis star spent the night trying to convince authorities he had the necessary documentation, to no avail.

“The rule is very clear,” Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison said. “You need to have a medical exemption. He didn’t have a valid medical exemption. We make the call at the border, and that’s where it’s enforced.”

Health Minister Greg Hunt said the athlete’s visa was canceled after border officials reviewed Djokovic’s medical exemption and looked at “the integrity and the evidence behind it.”

The grounds on which he was granted an exemption were not immediately disclosed.

While Djokovic has steadfastly refused to say whether he has gotten any shots against the coronavirus, he has spoken out against vaccines, and it is widely presumed he would not have sought an exemption if he had been vaccinated.

A federal judge will take up the case next week. A lawyer for the government agreed the nine-time Australian Open champion should not be deported before then.

“I feel terrible since yesterday that they are keeping him as a prisoner. It’s not fair. It’s not human. I hope that he will win,” Djokovic’s mother, Dijana, said after speaking with him briefly by telephone from Belgrade.

She added: “Terrible, terrible accommodation. It’s just some small immigration hotel, if it’s hotel at all.”

Serbian President Aleksandar Vucic said that he had spoken to Djokovic and that his government asked that the athlete be allowed to move to a house he has rented and “not to be in that infamous hotel.”

He added that Djokovic has been treated differently from other players.

“I’m afraid that this overkill will continue,” Vucic said. “When you can’t beat someone, then you do such things.”

Australia’s prime minister said the onus is on the traveler to have the proper documentation on arrival. Morrison rejected any suggestion that Djokovic was being singled out but acknowledged that other players may be in Australia on the same type of medical exemption.

“One of the things the Border Force does is they act on intelligence to direct their attention to potential arrivals,” he said. “When you get people making public statements about what they say they have, and they’re going to do, they draw significant attention to themselves.”

Anyone who does that, he said, “whether they’re a celebrity, a politician, a tennis player … they can expect to be asked questions more than others before you come.”

The medical-exemption applications from players, their teams and tournament officials were vetted by two independent panels of experts.

Acceptable reasons for an exemption include major health conditions and serious reactions to a previous dose of the COVID-19 vaccine. A COVID-19 infection within the previous six months has also been widely reported to be grounds for an exemption, but that appears to be a matter of dispute between federal and state authorities.

The tennis star tested positive for the coronavirus in June 2020 after he played in a series of exhibition matches that he organized without social distancing amid the pandemic.

Critics questioned what grounds Djokovic could have for the exemption, while supporters argued he has a right to privacy and freedom of choice.

Many Australians who have struggled to obtain COVID-19 tests or have been forced into isolation saw a double standard.

Tension has grown amid another surge of COVID-19 in the country. Victoria state recorded six deaths and nearly 22,000 new cases on Thursday, the biggest one-day jump in the caseload since the pandemic began.

Australian Open tournament director Craig Tiley on Wednesday defended the “completely legitimate application and process” and insisted there was no special treatment for Djokovic.

Twenty-six people connected with the tournament applied for a medical exemption and, Tiley said, only a “handful” were granted. None of those have been publicly identified.

TV FRIDAY

COLLEGE BASKETBALLTIME ETTV
MARQUETTE AT GEORGETOWN6:30PMFS1
KENT STATE AT OHIO6:30PMCBSSN
MILWAUKEE AT DETROIT MERCY7:00PMESPN2
XAVIER AT BUTLER8:30PMFS1
COLORADO STATE AT BOISE STATE10:30PMFS1
GOLFTIME ETTV
PGA: TOURNAMENT OF CHAMPIONS6:00PMGOLF
NBATIME ETTV
SAN ANTONIO AT PHILADELPHIA7:00PMBALLY SPORTS
NBCS-PHI
MILWAUKEE AT BROOKLYN7:30PMESPN
YES
BALLY SPORTS
UTAH AT TORONTO7:30PMATTSN-RM
SPORTSNET
DALLAS AT HOUSTON8:00PMBALLY SPORTS
ATTSN-SW
MINNESOTA AT OKLAHOMA CITY8:00PMBALLY SPORTS
WASHINGTON AT CHICAGO8:00PMNBCS-WSH
NBCS-CHI
SACRAMENTO AT DENVER9:00PMNBCS-CA
ALT
ATLANTA AT LA LAKERS10:00PMESPN
BALLY SPORTS
SPORTSNET
CLEVELAND AT PORTLAND10:00PMBALLY SPORTS
ROOT SPORTS
NHLTIME ETTV
CALGARY AT CAROLINA7:00PMSPORTSNET
BALLY SPORTS
WASHINGTON AT ST. LOUIS8:00PMNHLN
BALLY SPORTS

TODAY IN BASEBALL HISTORY

1920       BABE RUTH, REACTING TO HARSH COMMENTS MADE ABOUT HIM AFTER HIS TRADE TO THE YANKEES, TELLS THE BOSTON EVENING STANDARD, “FRAZEE IS NOT GOOD ENOUGH TO OWN ANY BALL CLUB, ESPECIALLY ONE IN BOSTON.” RECENTLY, THE RED SOX OWNER CALLED HIS FORMER PLAYER “ONE OF THE MOST SELFISH AND INCONSIDERATE MEN EVER TO PUT ON A BASEBALL UNIFORM.”

1924       THE INDIANS TRADE CATCHER STEVE O’NEILL, SECOND BASEMAN BILL WAMBSGANSS, AND PITCHER DANNY BOONE TO THE RED SOX FOR FIRST BASEMAN GEORGE BURNS, SECOND BASEMAN CHICK FEWSTER, AND CATCHER AL WALTERS. IN 1926, BURNS, WHO ALSO PLAYED FOR THE TRIBE 1920 AND 1921, WILL LEAD THE AMERICAN LEAGUE IN HITS AND WINS THE CIRCUIT’S MVP AWARD WHILE PLAYING FOR THE MUCH-IMPROVED TEAM.

1933       KENESAW MOUNTAIN LANDIS, IN A MOVE SEEN AS A PRECURSOR TO THE REDUCTION OF ALL SALARIES DURING THE DEPRESSION YEARS, VOLUNTARILY CUTS HIS PAY BY FORTY PERCENT. IN 1920, THE MILLVILLE (OH) NATIVE ACCEPTED THE OFFER TO BECOME THE GAME’S FIRST COMMISSIONER FOR SEVEN YEARS AT AN ANNUAL SALARY OF $42,500, ON CONDITION HE COULD REMAIN A FEDERAL JUDGE.

1945       DURING AN ARGUMENT OVER A DISPUTED CALL, ROBERTO ORTIZ VICIOUSLY PUNCHES BERNARDINO RODRIGUEZ, KNOCKING THE HOME PLATE UMPIRE UNCONSCIOUS. THE ALMENDARES’ FIRST BASEMAN, WHO APOLOGIZES IN LOCAL NEWSPAPERS, WILL BE SUSPENDED FROM THE CUBAN LEAGUE FOR THE REST OF THE SEASON DUE TO HIS VIOLENT BEHAVIOR THAT SENT THE ARBITRATOR TO THE HOSPITAL.

1971       IN FRANKFORT (KY), BOBBY TOLAN RUPTURES HIS ACHILLES TENDON WHILE PLAYING BASKETBALL WITH A TEAM PUT TOGETHER BY HIS REDS TEAMMATES, WHO PERFORM IN THE TRI-STATE AREA AT CHARITY EVENTS. THE CINCINNATI OUTFIELDER WILL MISS THE ENTIRE SEASON BUT RETURNS TO THE REDS IN 1972, WINNING THE COMEBACK PLAYER OF THE YEAR AND HUTCH AWARDS, HITTING .283, AND KNOCKING IN 82 RUNS FOR THE NATIONAL LEAGUE CHAMPS.

1985       THE BBWAA ELECTS ST. LOUIS OUTFIELDER LOU BROCK AND HOYT WILHELM, WHO PLAYED WITH NINE DIFFERENT TEAMS, TO THE HALL OF FAME. THE CARDINALS SPEEDSTER BROKE TY COBB’S RECORD FOR STOLEN BASES IN 1977 WITH 893 CAREER STEALS, AND THE VETERAN KNUCKLEBALLER, BEST REMEMBERED FOR HIS SEASONS WITH THE ORIOLES AND THE WHITE SOX, APPEARED IN MORE GAMES THAN ANY OTHER PITCHER IN MAJOR LEAGUE HISTORY.

1991       AFTER SERVING FIVE MONTHS FOR TAX EVASION, AUTHORITIES RELEASE PETE ROSE FROM THE US PENITENTIARY IN MARION (IL). THE FORMER REDS LEGEND PAYS $366,041 IN BACK TAXES AND INTEREST, A $50,000 FINE, AND IS REQUIRED TO PERFORM 1,000 HOURS OF COMMUNITY SERVICE, WHICH HE WILL FULFILL WORKING WITH KIDS IN THE INNER-CITY SCHOOLS IN CINCINNATI.

1992       THE BASEBALL WRITERS ELECT ROLLIE FINGERS, THE FIRST CLOSER IN MAJOR LEAGUE HISTORY TO RECORD 300 CAREER SAVES, AND TOM SEAVER INTO THE HALL OF FAME. ‘TOM TERRIFIC,’ THE AUTHOR OF 311 VICTORIES, RECEIVES THE HIGHEST PERCENTAGE (98.84%) IN THE VOTING HISTORY OF THE BBWAA, BEING NAMED BY 425 OUT OF 430 WRITERS WITH THREE OF THE FIVE BALLOTS NOT CHOOSING SEAVER LEFT BLANK IN PROTEST OF PETE ROSE’S INELIGIBILITY.

2005       JOHN HENRY, THE RED SOX OWNER, CALLS RESERVE FIRST BASEMAN DOUG MIENTKIEWICZ TO DISCUSS THE OWNERSHIP OF THE BALL THROWN TO GET THE LAST OUT OF THE WORLD SERIES, NOW IN POSSESSION OF THE INFIELDER. CLUB PRESIDENT LARRY LUCCHINO HAS MADE IT CLEAR HE WANTS THE TEAM TO OWN THAT HISTORIC BALL, WHICH CURRENTLY RESIDES IN THE PLAYER’S SAFE DEPOSIT BOX ALONG WITH AN OLYMPIC RING.

2005       BASEBALL COMMISSIONER BUD SELIG ANNOUNCES MAJOR LEAGUE BASEBALL AND THE PLAYERS ASSOCIATION WILL DONATE $1 MILLION TO HELP THE VICTIMS OF LAST MONTH’S INDIAN OCEAN TSUNAMI. ACCORDING TO THE UNITED NATIONS, 229,866 PEOPLE WERE LOST, INCLUDING 186,983 KNOWN DEAD AND ANOTHER 42,883 MISSING.

2006       THE FIRST BLACK GENERAL MANAGER TO WIN A WORLD SERIES CHAMPIONSHIP, BOB WATSON RECEIVES THE JACKIE ROBINSON LIFETIME ACHIEVEMENT AWARD FROM THE NEGRO LEAGUES BASEBALL MUSEUM. THE FORMER ASTRO AND YANKEE GM, THE SECOND AFRICAN AMERICAN, FOLLOWING THE BRAVES’ BILL LUCAS, TO SERVE IN THE POSITION, IS HONORED DURING THE ORGANIZATION’S LEGACY AWARDS CEREMONIES IN KANSAS CITY.

2007       RANDY JOHNSON AGREES TO A $26 MILLION, TWO-YEAR DIAMONDBACK DEAL, LEAVING ONLY A PHYSICAL AND MLB APPROVAL TO FINALIZE HIS TRADE FROM THE YANKEES BACK TO THE DESERT. IN EXCHANGE FOR THE ‘BIG UNIT,’ THE BRONX BOMBERS RECEIVE RELIEVER LUIS VIZCAINO, MINOR LEAGUE RIGHT-HANDED PROSPECTS ROSS OHLENDORF AND STEVEN JACKSON, ALONG WITH ALBERTO GONZALEZ (INF).

2008       METS RELIEVER DUANER SANCHEZ SIGNS AN $850,000, ONE-YEAR DEAL TO STAY WITH THE TEAM. THE 27 YEAR-OLD RIGHT-HANDER, WHO HAS NOT PITCHED AFTER BEING INJURED IN A 2006 ATLANTA CAB ACCIDENT, WAS USED PRIMARILY AS THE EIGHTH-INNING SETUP MAN FOR CLOSER BILLY WAGNER BEFORE SEPARATING HIS THROWING SHOULDER IN THE MOTOR VEHICLE MISHAP.

2009       JASON GIAMBI AGREES TO A ONE-YEAR $5.25 MILLION DEAL TO RETURN TO THE A’S, THE FRANCHISE WHERE HIS MAJOR LEAGUE CAREER STARTED. THE 37-YEAR-OLD FREE-AGENT FIRST BASEMAN/DH, CELEBRATING A BIRTHDAY TOMORROW, JOINS THE GROWING LIST OF AGING SUPERSTARS – FRANK THOMAS, MIKE PIAZZA, AND MIKE SWEENEY – WHO PLAYED THE SAME ROLE WITH OAKLAND IN RECENT YEARS.

2009       KEVIN MCCLATCHY ENDS HIS 13-YEAR RELATIONSHIP WITH THE TEAM WHEN HE SELLS HIS REMAINING SHARES IN THE PIRATES. AFTER LOCAL OWNERSHIP FAILED TO MATERIALIZE IN 1996, THE FORMER MANAGING GENERAL PARTNER ENSURED THE STRUGGLING CLUB WOULD STAY IN PITTSBURGH BY FINDING SHAREHOLDERS AND SECURING THE CASH NEEDED TO BUY THE FRANCHISE.

2009       THE REDS RETAIN THE SERVICES OF JERRY HAIRSTON, JR., SIGNING THEIR LEADOFF HITTER TO A $2 MILLION, ONE-YEAR DEAL. THE 32-YEAR-OLD VERSATILE VETERAN PLAYED SIX POSITIONS LAST SEASON AND HIT .326 WHILE APPEARING IN 80 GAMES FOR CINCINNATI.

2009       RIGHT-HANDER KOJI UEHARA AGREES IN PRINCIPLE TO A TWO-YEAR DEAL TO JOIN THE ORIOLES ROTATION. THE 33 YEAR-OLD WORLD BASEBALL CLASSIC STANDOUT, FORMERLY WITH THE TOKYO YOMIURI GIANTS, HAS WON THE SAWAMURA AWARD TWICE AS THE TOP PITCHER IN JAPAN.

2010       THE ROYALS SIGN 19-YEAR-OLD SOUTHPAW NOEL ARGUELLES TO A $7 MILLION, FIVE-YEAR CONTRACT. THE 6-FOOT-4 CUBAN FIREBALLER, WHO DEFECTED FROM HIS COUNTRY AT THE 2008 WORLD JUNIOR CHAMPIONSHIPS IN EDMONTON, WON THE GOLD MEDAL GAME AT THE PAN AMERICAN JUNIOR CHAMPIONSHIPS TWO SEASONS AGO.

2010       THE MARINERS AND RED SOX FINALIZED THEIR TRADE, BRINGING CASEY KOTCHMAN TO SEATTLE IN EXCHANGE FOR OUTFIELDER BILL HALL, A PLAYER TO BE NAMED, AND CASH. THE M’S ACQUISITION OF THE 26 YEAR-OLD SLICK-FIELDING FIRST BASEMAN SIGNALS THE DEPARTURE OF FREE-AGENT SLUGGER RUSSELL BRANYAN, WHO SUFFERED FROM A DISC ISSUE IN HIS BACK LATE LAST SEASON.

2011       IN AN EIGHT-PLAYER TRADE, THE CUBS SEND OUTFIELDER SAM FULD AND MINOR LEAGUERS CHRISTOPHER ARCHER, HAK-JU LEE, BRANDON GUYER, AND ROBINSON CHIRINOS TO THE RAYS TO ACQUIRE STARTER MATT GARZA. IN ADDITION TO RECEIVING THE 27 YEAR-OLD RIGHT-HANDER, WHO COMPILED A 15-10 RECORD LAST SEASON THAT INCLUDED A NO-HITTER, CHICAGO OBTAINS OUTFIELDER FERNANDO PEREZ AND MINOR LEAGUE SOUTHPAW PROSPECT ZACHARY ROSSCUP.

NFL STANDINGS

AMERICAN FOOTBALL CONFERENCE
EAST DIVISION
 WLTPCTGBPFPAHOMEROADVS. CONFVS. DIVSTREAK
X-BUFFALO BILLS1060.6250.04562795-3-05-3-06-5-04-1-03 W
X-NEW ENGLAND PATRIOTS1060.6250.04382704-5-06-1-08-3-03-2-01 W
MIAMI DOLPHINS880.5002.03083495-3-03-5-05-6-03-2-01 L
NEW YORK JETS4120.2506.03004773-6-01-6-04-7-00-5-01 L
 
WEST DIVISION
 WLTPCTGBPFPAHOMEROADVS. CONFVS. DIVSTREAK
XY-KANSAS CITY CHIEFS1150.6880.04523407-2-04-3-06-5-04-1-01 L
LOS ANGELES CHARGERS970.5632.04424245-4-04-3-06-5-03-2-01 W
LAS VEGAS RAIDERS970.5632.03394074-4-05-3-07-4-02-3-03 W
DENVER BRONCOS790.4384.03112944-4-03-5-03-8-01-4-03 L
 
NORTH DIVISION
 WLTPCTGBPFPAHOMEROADVS. CONFVS. DIVSTREAK
XY-CINCINNATI BENGALS1060.6250.04443555-4-05-2-08-3-04-1-03 W
PITTSBURGH STEELERS871.5311.53273856-2-12-5-06-5-03-2-01 W
BALTIMORE RAVENS880.5002.03743765-3-03-5-05-6-01-4-05 L
CLEVELAND BROWNS790.4383.03283555-3-02-6-04-7-02-3-03 L
 
SOUTH DIVISION
 WLTPCTGBPFPAHOMEROADVS. CONFVS. DIVSTREAK
XY-TENNESSEE TITANS1150.6880.03913297-2-04-3-07-4-04-1-02 W
INDIANAPOLIS COLTS970.5632.04403394-5-05-2-07-4-03-2-01 L
HOUSTON TEXANS4120.2507.02554242-6-02-6-04-7-03-2-01 L
JACKSONVILLE JAGUARS2140.1259.02274462-6-00-8-02-9-00-5-08 L
 
NATIONAL FOOTBALL CONFERENCE
EAST DIVISION
 WLTPCTGBPFPAHOMEROADVS. CONFVS. DIVSTREAK
XY-DALLAS COWBOYS1150.6880.04793325-3-06-2-09-2-05-0-01 L
X-PHILADELPHIA EAGLES970.5632.04183343-4-06-3-07-4-03-2-04 W
WASHINGTON FOOTBALL TEAM6100.3755.03134273-5-03-5-05-6-01-4-04 L
NEW YORK GIANTS4120.2507.02513943-4-01-8-03-8-01-4-05 L
 
WEST DIVISION
 WLTPCTGBPFPAHOMEROADVS. CONFVS. DIVSTREAK
X-LOS ANGELES RAMS1240.7500.04363455-2-07-2-08-3-03-2-05 W
X-ARIZONA CARDINALS1150.6881.04193283-4-08-1-07-4-04-1-01 W
SAN FRANCISCO 49ERS970.5633.04003414-4-05-3-06-5-01-4-01 W
SEATTLE SEAHAWKS6100.3756.03573363-5-03-5-03-8-02-3-01 W
 
NORTH DIVISION
 WLTPCTGBPFPAHOMEROADVS. CONFVS. DIVSTREAK
XYZ-GREEN BAY PACKERS1330.8130.04203348-0-05-3-09-2-04-1-05 W
MINNESOTA VIKINGS790.4386.03944094-3-03-6-05-6-03-2-02 L
CHICAGO BEARS6100.3757.02943763-5-03-5-04-7-02-3-02 W
DETROIT LIONS2131.15610.52884372-5-00-8-12-9-01-4-02 L
 
SOUTH DIVISION
 WLTPCTGBPFPAHOMEROADVS. CONFVS. DIVSTREAK
XY-TAMPA BAY BUCCANEERS1240.7500.04703366-1-06-3-07-4-03-2-02 W
NEW ORLEANS SAINTS880.5004.03343153-5-05-3-06-5-03-2-01 W
ATLANTA FALCONS790.4385.02934292-5-05-4-04-7-02-3-01 L
CAROLINA PANTHERS5110.3137.02873632-6-03-5-03-8-02-3-06 L
 

X – CLINCHED PLAYOFF SPOT,  Y – CLINCHED DIVISION,  Z – CLINCHED HOME FIELD ADVANTAGE

NBA STANDINGS

EASTERN CONFERENCE
ATLANTIC DIVISION
 WLPCTGBHOMEROADDIVCONFLAST 10STREAK
BROOKLYN2412.66710-914-36-118-76-41 W
PHILADELPHIA2116.5683.57-814-83-614-106-45 W
TORONTO1817.5145.510-108-75-512-117-34 W
NEW YORK1920.4876.59-1110-94-513-166-42 W
BOSTON1821.4627.511-87-134-512-114-62 L
 
CENTRAL DIVISON
 WLPCTGBHOMEROADDIVCONFLAST 10STREAK
CHICAGO2510.71413-412-64-216-78-28 W
MILWAUKEE2515.6252.513-712-86-217-116-42 L
CLEVELAND2117.5535.511-910-84-114-95-51 L
INDIANA1425.35913.011-103-152-78-202-86 L
DETROIT730.18919.04-133-172-65-183-72 L
 
SOUTHEAST DIVISION
 WLPCTGBHOMEROADDIVCONFLAST 10STREAK
MIAMI2415.61512-412-116-116-77-31 W
CHARLOTTE2019.5134.010-510-145-312-95-51 W
WASHINGTON1919.5004.510-79-124-513-124-61 L
ATLANTA1720.4596.08-99-114-310-124-61 W
ORLANDO732.17917.02-145-181-84-242-87 L
 
WESTERN CONFERENCE
NORTHWEST DIVISION
 WLPCTGBHOMEROADDIVCONFLAST 10STREAK
UTAH2810.73714-714-39-018-48-22 W
DENVER1818.5009.08-710-112-511-115-52 L
MINNESOTA1820.47410.011-107-103-413-135-52 W
PORTLAND1423.37813.512-102-131-47-183-71 L
OKLAHOMA CITY1324.35114.58-115-131-310-175-52 L
 
PACIFIC DIVISION
 WLPCTGBHOMEROADDIVCONFLAST 10STREAK
PHOENIX308.78917-413-45-420-77-33 W
GOLDEN STATE299.7631.017-312-67-116-66-42 L
LA LAKERS2019.51310.513-107-92-512-134-63 W
LA CLIPPERS1920.48711.512-117-93-512-163-72 L
SACRAMENTO1624.40015.010-136-114-611-174-62 L
 
SOUTHWEST DIVISION
 WLPCTGBHOMEROADDIVCONFLAST 10STREAK
MEMPHIS2614.65014-812-64-219-97-37 W
DALLAS2018.5265.010-810-107-217-106-44 W
SAN ANTONIO1522.4059.57-108-121-48-155-51 W
NEW ORLEANS1425.35911.58-116-142-49-166-41 W
HOUSTON1128.28214.57-104-181-34-152-81 W
 

X – CLINCHED PLAYOFF SPOT,  Y – CLINCHED DIVISION,  Z – CLINCHED CONFERENCE

NHL STANDINGS

EASTERN CONFERENCE
 GPWLOTLPTSROWGFGAHOMEROADL10
TAMPA BAY LIGHTNING362385512112010412-3-311-5-26-3-1
WASHINGTON CAPITALS34206848181198910-3-510-3-36-2-2
FLORIDA PANTHERS342275492113310318-3-04-4-55-3-2
NEW YORK RANGERS35229448201029010-3-212-6-25-4-1
CAROLINA HURRICANES31237147231066610-3-013-4-18-2-0
TORONTO MAPLE LEAFS32228246221087814-4-18-4-17-2-1
PITTSBURGH PENGUINS33208545191108610-5-210-3-310-0-0
BOSTON BRUINS3017112361687799-6-18-5-15-3-2
DETROIT RED WINGS341615335159611412-5-24-10-14-6-0
10 NEW JERSEY DEVILS351416533131021229-7-35-9-24-6-0
11 PHILADELPHIA FLYERS34131563213881166-7-27-8-45-3-2
12 COLUMBUS BLUE JACKETS3215161311210211510-5-15-11-03-6-1
13 NEW YORK ISLANDERS2810126261064804-5-36-7-35-2-3
14 BUFFALO SABRES3410186268911196-10-24-8-42-5-3
15 OTTAWA SENATORS299182208791075-9-04-9-25-4-1
16 MONTREAL CANADIENS347234186731235-10-12-13-31-7-2
 
WESTERN CONFERENCE
 GPWLOTLPTSROWGFGAHOMEROADL10
VEGAS GOLDEN KNIGHTS3723131472013411112-8-111-5-07-2-1
NASHVILLE PREDATORS352211246211089310-5-012-6-28-1-1
ST. LOUIS BLUES341910543171199612-3-27-7-37-2-1
ANAHEIM DUCKS361811743161119911-4-47-7-35-3-2
COLORADO AVALANCHE30208242191309712-2-18-6-18-1-1
CALGARY FLAMES3217964015101774-3-413-6-24-5-1
MINNESOTA WILD3220102421711910010-3-110-7-15-4-1
EDMONTON OILERS3418142381611311110-6-08-8-22-6-2
WINNIPEG JETS33161253715999910-6-16-6-45-4-1
10 LOS ANGELES KINGS34161353714939310-8-26-5-36-3-1
11 SAN JOSE SHARKS35181613717991109-7-19-9-05-5-0
12 VANCOUVER CANUCKS3416153351389958-7-18-8-28-1-1
13 DALLAS STARS30161223414889012-3-14-9-15-5-0
14 CHICAGO BLACKHAWKS3411185278811186-7-35-11-22-5-3
15 SEATTLE KRAKEN33101942410921226-11-24-8-22-6-2
16 ARIZONA COYOTES327223177701243-11-14-11-22-7-1
 

EIGHT TEAMS IN EACH CONFERENCE QUALIFY FOR THE DIVISIONAL PLAYOFF FORMAT.  THE TOP THREE TEAMS FROM EACH DIVISION MAKE UP THE FIRST SIX SPOTS.   THE TWO REMAINING TEAMS WITH THE HIGHEST POINTS, REGARDLESS OF DIVISION, QUALIFY FOR THE FINAL TWO WILD CARD SPOTS.  

X – CLINCHED PLAYOFF SPOT, Y – CLINCHED DIVISION, Z – CLINCHED CONFERENCE