BOYS HIGH SCHOOL BASKETBALL
|MONDAY’ S GAMES|
|Adams Central||71||Southern Wells||61|
|Madison County Tournament|
|Lapel||69||Anderson Prep Academy||38|
GIRLS HIGH SCHOOL BASKETBALL
|MONDAY’ S GAMES|
|Barr-Reeve||55||White River Valley||52||OT|
|Boone Grove||48||Gary 21st Century||18|
|Carroll (Flora)||80||Eastern (Greentown)||40|
|Crown Point||58||Lake Central||35|
|Evansville Mater Dei||58||Evansville North||38|
|Fort Wayne Luers||50||South Adams||41|
|South Central (Union Mills)||48||Triton||30|
|Winamac||51||Covenant Christian (DeMotte)||43|
|Wood Memorial||63||Washington Catholic||23|
|Madison County Tournament|
|Lapel||81||Anderson Prep Academy||10|
INDIANA GIRLS BASKETBALL POLLS
1. North Central (Indianapolis) (14-2)
2. Bedford North Lawrence (12-1)
3. Crown Point (9-1)
4. Penn (12-2)
5. Fishers (13-2)
6. East Central (10-2)
7. Hamilton Southeastern (8-2)
8. Franklin (12-1)
9. Carmel (8-4)
10. Carroll (Fort Wayne) (11-2)
1. Evansville Memorial (11-0)
2. Silver Creek (12-2)
3. Salem (13-1)
4. Norwell (11-2)
5. Garrett (12-1)
6. Washington (10-1)
7. Mishawaka Marian (13-2)
8. Fort Wayne Concordia (7-4)
9. Greensburg (7-2)
10. South Bend Washington (12-4)
1. Linton-Stockton (12-1)
2. Frankton (14-1)
3. Andrean (10-0)
4. Northeastern (10-1)
5. Triton Central (11-2)
6. University (8-1)
7. Lafayette Central Catholic (6-1)
8. South Putnam (9-0)
9. Clinton Prairie (11-1)
9. Carroll (Flora) (11-2)
1. Trinity Lutheran (13-3)
2. Lanesville (12-2)
3. Blue River (12-1)
4. Jac-Cen-Del (11-3)
5. Tecumseh (6-5)
6. Loogootee (6-3)
7. Waldron (11-2)
8. Pioneer (7-3)
9. Morgan Twp. (11-3)
9. Greenwood Christian (9-5)
MEN’S COLLEGE BASKETBALL
#14 West Virginia 87 Oklahoma State 84
Indiana 63 Maryland 55
Montana 56 Northern Colorado 54
Boston University 83 Holy Cross 76
Stanford 81 Oregon State 71
Winthrop 85 Charleston Southern 69
Siena 76 Monmouth 62
USC Upstate 71 Longwood 69
Campbell 70 Gardner Webb 61
Drake 86 Southern Illinois 55
Radford 79 Hampton 66
Coppin State 86 Delaware State 78
South Dakota State 93 Mountain Marty 50
WOMEN’S COLLEGE BASKETBALL
#5 South Carolina 77 Alabama 60
#12 Maryland 84 #19 Indiana 80
#16 Ohio State 82 Penn State 69
#20 DePaul 94 Villanova 82
#21 Gonzaga 79 Pacific 59
Indiana 118 New Orleans 116 OT
Orlando 103 Cleveland 83
Philadelphia 118 Charlotte 101
New York 113 Atlanta 108
Miami 118 Oklahoma City 90
Boston 126 Toronto 114
Dallas 113 Houston 100
Milwaukee 125 Detroit 115
Golden State 137 Sacramento 106
AP MEN’S BASKETBALL POLL
|1||Gonzaga 10-0||1599 (63)||1|
|2||Baylor 9-0||1537 (1)||2|
|14||West Virginia 8-3||706||9|
|18||Texas Tech 8-3||445||13|
|19||Virginia Tech 8-1||411||24|
|23||Michigan State 7-3||133||17|
|23||Saint Louis 7-1||133||NR|
|25||Florida State 5-2||120||18|
AP WOMEN’S BASKETBALL POLL
|1||Stanford 9-0||745 (27)||1|
|3||UConn 6-0||680 (1)||4|
|3||North Carolina State 10-0||680 (2)||3|
|5||South Carolina 6-1||647||5|
|8||Texas A&M 10-0||534||9|
|14||Mississippi State 6-2||365||12|
|16||Ohio State 4-0||256||17|
|18||South Florida 7-1||204||21|
|23||Michigan State 8-0||106||25|
|25||Missouri State 4-2||66||24|
INDIANA TO HOST ENTIRE NCAA MEN’S TOURNEY
The NCAA announced Monday that all 67 men’s basketball tournament games including the Final Four will be played entirely in Indiana in a bid to keep the marquee event from being called off for a second consecutive year because of the coronavirus pandemic.
Games will be played on two courts inside Lucas Oil Stadium as well as at Bankers Life Fieldhouse, Hinkle Fieldhouse, Indiana Farmers Coliseum, Mackey Arena at Purdue and Assembly Hall in Bloomington. Only one game at a time will be played at Lucas Oil Stadium.
Championship weekend is still scheduled for April 3 and April 5 but preliminary round dates have not yet been determined.
Ball State, Butler, Indiana, IUPUI, Purdue and the Horizon League will co-host the tournament and NCAA officials say most games will be played in Indianapolis. The NCAA also will partner with a local health provider to administer COVID-19 testing for players, coaches, school administrators and officials.
CBS Sports and Turner Sports will continue to distribute all 67 games of the tournament across TBS, CBS, TNT and truTV and their digital platforms.
The NCAA had said it intended to play the entire tourney in one locale and that Indianapolis, where the governing body is headquartered, would be the likely place. The Final Four had already been scheduled to take place at Lucas Oil Stadium in April.
Plus, there are dozens of hotels and restaurants within walking distance of multiple basketball venues with additional practice facilities and courts just a short drive away from downtown Indianapolis.
What’s still to be determined is how many fans will be allowed inside the venues. NCAA officials said a limited number of family members of players and coaches could attend games but decisions about expanding attendance or conducting fan events will be announced later.
“The 2021 version of March Madness will be one to remember, if for no other reason than the uniqueness of the event,” NCAA senior vice president of basketball Dan Gavitt said in a statement. “We are making the most of the circumstances the (COVID-19) global pandemic has presented. … This is going to be complicated and difficult; there’s no question about that.”
INDIANA DEFEATS MARYLAND IN BIG 10 PLAY
Trayce Jackson-Davis took over the game midway through the second half, finishing with 22 points and 15 rebounds, leading Indiana to a 63-55 win over Maryland on Monday night.
Race Thompson added 13 points and 11 rebounds for the Hoosiers (7-4, 2-3 Big Ten) and Aljami Durham also scored 13.
Second-leading scorer Armaan Franklin (13.8) only played seven minutes before leaving with an injury.
Aaron Wiggins scored 22 points and grabbed 10 rebounds for Maryland (6-5, 1-4). Hakim Hart scored 10 and Donta Scott had 12 rebounds.
Maryland led 27-21 at the half and a Wiggins 3-pointer less than five minutes into the second half had the Terps up 10, 37-27. Rob Phinisee hit a 3-pointer and Durham scored five points to quickly get Indiana back in the game.
The last lead for Maryland was 43-42 after two Wiggins free throws at 10:20. Jerome Hunter hit a 3 to put the Hoosiers up for good at 10:04 and then J ackson-Davis had a steal and breakaway dunk, starting a string where he scored 12 straight Indiana points for a 57-47 lead with less than two minutes to go.
Jackson-Davis made his last six shots while Maryland went scoreless for for a stretch of 6 minutes, 19 seconds, missing seven shots.
Wiggins hit a 3-pointer to start a 9-0 run that was ended by Jairus Hamilton’s three-point play to give Maryland a 16-6 lead near the midway point of the first half. Thompson quickly answered with a three-point play and he combined with Jackson-Davis on all the Hoosier points in a 12-2 run that tied the game at 18 with 5:53 to go.
Wiggins hit a 3-pointer with a minute to go in the first half that gave Maryland the six-point lead at the break. The Terrapins shot 38.5% with four 3-pointers while the Hoosiers missed all nine shots behind the arc and shot 30%.
Maryland returns home to face No. 5 Iowa and Indiana goes to No. 8 Wisconsin on Thursday night.
PURDUE-NEBRASKA GAME POSTPONED
WEST LAFAYETTE, Ind. – The men’s basketball game between Nebraska and Purdue, scheduled for Tuesday, Jan. 5, is being postponed, as mutually agreed upon by both teams due to health and safety concerns.
The two schools will work with the Big Ten Conference to reschedule the game at a later date.
BALL STATE-WESTERN MICHIGAN GAME POSTPONED
Due to COVID-19 protocols, Tuesday’s men’s basketball game has been postponed to a later date. We will continue to follow the guidance of health officials and cooperate with our partners to ensure a safe competitive environment.
MEN’S BIG 10 PLAYERS OF THE WEEK
Player of the Week
Liam Robbins, Minnesota
C – Jr. – 7-0 – Davenport, Iowa – Assumption (Iowa) – Major: Business and Marketing Education
- Averaged 19.0 points, 10.7 rebounds, 2.0 assists and 1.0 block per game in three contests against then-ranked No. 17/No. 18 Michigan State, then-ranked No. 6/No. 7 Wisconsin and then-ranked No. 25/No. 20 Ohio State.
- In the Gophers’ 77-60 win over then-ranked No. 25/No. 20 Ohio State, led all players with 27 points and a career-high 14 rebounds, while adding five blocked shots, four assists and two steals.
- Began the week with 18 points, nine rebounds, three blocked shots, two assists and one steal in an 81-56 win over then-ranked No. 17/No. 18 Michigan State.
- Earns the first Player of the Week accolade of his career.
- Last Minnesota Player of the Week: Marcus Carr (Dec. 28, 2020)
Freshman of the Week
Hunter Dickinson, Michigan
C – 7-1 – Alexandria, Va. – DeMatha Catholic (Md.) – Major: Undecided
- Averaged 22.5 points and 7.0 rebounds in wins over Maryland and then-ranked No. 19/No. 22 Northwestern to help the Wolverines improve to 9-0 on the season and 4-0 in conference play. Finished Michigan’s 2-0 week shooting 18-for-23 from the field (.782 pct.) and 9-of-12 from the foul line (.750 pct.) for an overall shooting percentage of 78.
- Registered his third double-double of the season in the team’s 84-73 win at Maryland and led Michigan with a career-high 26points and 11 total rebounds. Shot 10-for-11 from the field (.909 pct.) and 6-for-7 from the free throw line (.857 pct.).
- Led the team with 19 points and grabbed three rebounds in the Wolverines’ 85-66 win over then-ranked No. 19/No. 22 Northwestern. Went 8-for-12 (.667 pct.) from the field against the Wildcats and has now shot 55 percent or better from the field in his first nine games with the Wolverines. The nine-game stretch marks the most games to begin a Divison 1 career shooting 55 percent or better from the field in the last 10 seasons (min. 5 FGA per game) (according to @BTNStatsGuys).
- Earns the fourth Freshman of the Week accolade of his career.
- Last Michigan Freshman of the Week: Hunter Dickinson (Dec. 28, 2020)
INDIANA WBB LOSES ON THE ROAD
COLLEGE PARK, Md. – Junior guard Grace Berger set a new career-high 26 points and No. 19 Indiana gave everything the No. 12 Terps could handle but came up short, 84-80, on Monday night at Xfinity Center.
- Maryland (7-1, 4-0 B1G) came out blistering in the first quarter and took a 10-0 lead just two minutes in to play. They would see the first half end with a 23-9 lead over the Hoosiers.
- Berger scored eight of her 10 first half points in the second quarter as IU (5-3, 3-1 B1G) pushed back. Gulbe knocked down a pair of 3-pointers, forcing Maryland to call a timeout with 4:08 remaining.
- IU had the deficit down to single digits on a couple of occasions, but went scoreless in the final 2:20 to go into the breakdown 41-29.
- The Hoosiers would open the third quarter on a 12-2 run, which include three-straight field goals from senior guard Jaelynn Penn and a steal from senior guard Ali Patberg led to transition offense for Berger to cut it to 43-41.
- However, it would be as close as Indiana would come in the second quarter as Maryland responded right back with a 19-6 advantage to close out the third.
- In the fourth, IU would get down by as many as 16 before clawing its way back with five points from redshirt junior guard Nicole Cardaño-Hillary and a bucket from Holmes put Indiana back within six.
- Late in the game, Indiana used buckets from Berger and Holmes to keep its chances alive but free throws in the bonus helped Maryland close it out.
- The Hoosiers had three in double figures on Monday night. Junior guard Grace Berger tallied a new career high 26 points, sophomore forward Mackenzie Holmes had 18 points and senior guard Jaelynn Penn added 10 points.
- Berger’s team-leading 26 points also served as a career high. The Louisville, Ky. native led the team in assists by dishing out seven assists.
- Holmes record her fourth career double-double and second of the season with 18 points and 11 rebounds. Her 11 boards were a team high.
- The Hoosiers had 46 points in the paint compared to Maryland’s 32. They also received the rebound advantage, 38-36.
- Indiana committed just seven turnovers which ties the season low. They were able to score 15 points off Maryland turnovers.
Indiana head coach Teri Moren
“First off, you cannot spot a team like Maryland ten points right out of the shoot like we did tonight, you are then playing catch up. We gave them a ton of confidence and energy. We did not have an answer for (Ashley) Owusu, I thought she was really good tonight. The other frustrating thing was that there were moments where we had a nice offensive run going and then could not come down and get a stop. There was a period of time in the middle of the third quarter where we sort of lost our minds and we were not sharing the ball like had, not taking good shots, taking quick shots which led to runouts and open layups or easy layups for the Maryland. That is what we wanted to stay away from. Really proud of the way we battled back but we say we are not about the moral victory. I liked our fight and loved the way Grace Berger played tonight. I thought she was terrific. I thought when Mackenzie Holmes finally settled in the second half, she was much better. Jaelynn Penn was also much better in the second half then she went down with an ankle injury. Nicole Cardaño-Hilary gave us some good minutes as well but it looks like she is out as she got hit in the eye pretty good and has a swollen eye right now. Time will tell if we will have either one of them on Thursday, I kind of doubt it at this point, but that might be premature. The last thing I will say though, when you get 16 offensive rebounds you have to capitalize. We only scored six second chance points so that was frustrating. I thought we battled back but you cannot dig the hole we did in the first quarter. You are playing up hill all night at that point and I thought that is what it looked like.”
Indiana travels to Penn State on Thursday night. Tipoff from Bryce Jordan Center is set for 6 p.m. ET on Big Ten Network Plus.
OHIO STATE WBB DEFEAT PENN STATE
COLUMBUS, Ohio – Playing for the first time in 24 days, No. 17 Ohio State jumped out to a 21-point first half lead and never looked back in an 82-69 victory over Penn State on Monday evening.
Sophomore Madison Greene led the Buckeyes (5-0, 1-0) with her first career double-double. She scored 24 points and grabbed a career-high 10 rebounds. She also dished-out a team-high five assists.
Fellow sophomore Jacy Sheldon finished with 21 points and three assists while Braxtin Miller was the third Buckeye in double-figures with 10 points.
Playing without two front court players in leading scorer Dorka Juhasz and sophomore Rebeka Mikulasikova, Aaliyah Patty and Tanaya Beacham both stepped up with solid efforts. Patty scored nine points and grabbed seven boards while Beacham scored eight points and also finished with seven rebounds.
Freshman Gabby Hutcherson played a season-high 26 minutes and finished with seven points, six rebounds and a pair of blocks.
The Buckeyes were 9-of-16 shooting (56.3) percent in each of the first two quarters and used a 15-0 run early in the second quarter to shove the lead out to as many as 21 points. Penn State (3-4, 0-3) shot better in the third quarter and cut the deficit to as little as seven points on two occasions in the second half. But the Buckeyes responded with a 6-0 run and a subsequent 8-0 run to restore order and rolled to their first Big Ten win of the season.
Ohio State will hit the road for the first time this year when it takes on Illinois Thursday evening. Tip-off is set for 7 p.m.
WOMEN’S BIG 10 BASKETBALL PLAYERS OF THE WEEK
Player of the Week
Leigha Brown, Michigan
Jr. – G – Auburn, Ind. – DeKalb – Major: General Studies
• Averaged 24.0 points and 4.5 assists per game with a .708 field-goal percentage and .700 three-point percentage in leading Michigan to a pair of Big Ten wins last week
• Scored a season-high 26 points (9-14 FG) in a New Year’s Eve win over visiting Wisconsin
• Registered 22 points (8-10 FG, 4-5 3FG) and tied her career high with six assists on Sunday in the Wolverines’ win at No. 15/16 Northwestern
• Earns the first Big Ten Player of the Week award of her career
• Last Michigan Player of the Week: Naz Hillmon (Nov. 30, 2020)
Big Ten Women’s Basketball Weekly Honor Roll
McKenna Warnock, So., G/F, IOWA: Averaged 18.0 ppg. and 8.0 rpg. with a .722 field-goal percentage and .692 three-point percentage in Iowa’s conference wins over Rutgers and Illinois last week
Ashley Owusu, So., G, MD: Scored a career-high 34 points on 15-of-22 shooting, while adding eight rebounds in Maryland’s win at Penn State on Dec. 31
Sam Haiby, Jr., G, NEB: Tallied 17.5 ppg., 6.5 rpg. and 5.0 apg. in Nebraska’s conference wins over Northwestern and Rutgers last week, including the game-winning layup as time expired on Dec. 31 vs. NU, the Huskers’ first top-15 win since Dec. 9, 2014 vs. No. 9 Duke
Freshman of the Week
Caitlin Clark, Iowa
Fr. – G – West Des Moines, Iowa – Dowling Catholic – Major: Undeclared
• Averaged 24.5 points, 5.0 rebounds and 5.0 assists per game last week while pacing Iowa to Big Ten wins over Rutgers and Illinois
• Registered 28 points, six rebounds and six assists in the Hawkeyes’ Dec. 31 victory over Rutgers, scoring 12 of Iowa’s final 21 points in the six-point win
• Added 21 points in 27 minutes on Sunday at Illinois, helping the Hawkeyes to their highest scoring output of the season (107 points)
• Collects the fifth Freshman of the Week award of her career
• Last Iowa Freshman of the Week: Caitlin Clark (Dec. 28, 2020)
INDIANA WINS IN OT
Malcolm Brogdon capped a 21-point, 11-assist performance by bouncing in a driving, one-handed floater with 1.7 seconds left in overtime, and the Indiana Pacers beat the New Orleans Pelicans 118-116 on Monday night.
“It was pretty simple,” Brogdon said of the winning basket. “Coach (Nate Bjorkgren) trusts me with the ball. He wanted me to get it, get to my spot and make the last shot. I got to my spot and it dropped.”
Victor Oladipo scored 25 points for Indiana, hitting a 29-foot 3-pointer and following that up with a steal from Lonzo Ball to spark a six-point comeback in the final 20 seconds of regulation.
“We have a lot of guys who can step up and hit big shots and it’s huge for this team,” Oladipo said. “Our team did a good job of weathering the storms tonight.”
After Oladipo’s steal, Brogdon got the ball to Myles Turner, who made an open, game-tying 3 from straight away with 8.2 seconds left in regulation.
“I’m very confident in everything I do. Obviously it was a big shot,” Turner said. “I’m always ready for moments like that and I let the game come to me. I say it all the time: `I work too hard on my shot not to trust it.'”
Turner had 17 points and three blocks before he fouled out with a minute left in overtime. Domantas Sabonis had 19 points and 11 rebounds before fouling out with about four minutes left in regulation.
“This team doesn’t quit,” Turner said. “It’s just a winner’s mentality, and that’ll carry you a long way.”
TATUM SCORE 40 IN CELTICS WIN
Jayson Tatum scored 40 points and the Boston Celtics rolled to a 126-114 win over the Toronto Raptors on Monday night.
Playing without three of their top guards, the Celtics shook off a slow start to lead by as many as 26 in the second half. They shot 48.8% overall.
Tatum turned the game around with 21 points in the second quarter. He hit five 3-pointers on the night and converted all 13 free throws, finishing one point short of his career high set against New Orleans last January.
“Disappointed? No,” Tatum shrugged. “I’m going to get there soon enough.”
Rookie guard Payton Pritchard had 23 points and eight assists in 32 minutes for the Celtics (5-3), and Jaylen Brown scored 19. Robert Williams III came off the bench to contribute 11 points and 15 rebounds.
“Tatum was tremendous tonight but we had a lot of good performances, playing on a back-to-back with no excuses,” Boston coach Brad Stevens said. “We had a lot of guys out.”
Playing in front of fans for the first time in 10 months was a refreshing change for Tatum. A maximum-allowed crowd of 3,740 attended the game in 19,000-seat Amalie Arena.
“It felt great,” he said. “I missed playing in front of people. There were a lot of Boston people here. It felt different with people in the stands, but I enjoyed it.”
Fred VanVleet led the Raptors (1-5) with 35 points and eight rebounds.
DONCIC HAS BIG GAME IN MAVS WIN
Luka Doncic had 33 points, 16 rebounds and 11 assists, and Tim Hardaway Jr. added 30 off the bench as the Dallas Mavericks used a big fourth quarter run to pull away in a 113-100 win over the Houston Rockets on Monday night.
Dallas was on top by 3 with about seven minutes remaining before using a 14-3 spurt, with seven points from Hardaway, to extend the lead to 106-92 with about 2 1/2 minutes remaining.
Houston couldn’t get anything going as the Mavericks took over. The Rockets missed five shots and had two turnovers in that span.
Hardaway, who made 8 of 10 3-point attempts, added another 3-pointer down the stretch to put the game out of reach.
Dallas coach Rick Carlisle changed his starting lineup to get more size against the Rockets and moved Willie Cauley-Stein, who is 7 feet tall, in for Hardaway for the first time this season.
Carlisle heaped praise upon Hardaway for the way he played off the bench.
“It was a really strong character performance by Tim,” he said. “He was great at both ends of the floor… Tim Hardaway showed what class and professionalism is in responding to a lineup change.”
Hardaway didn’t feel like the move was that big of a deal.
“You’ve got to be a pro,” he said. “I’m here to help this team out any way I can. I just had to make sure I was ready when I got in the game to make an impact.”
Christian Wood had 23 points to lead the Rockets and James Harden added 21.
“We were way too stagnant, didn’t move the ball enough to put pressure on them and make it hard on them,” coach Stephen Silas said.
GIANNIS HAS 43 AS MILWAUKEE DOWNS DETROIT
Giannis Antetokounmpo scored 43 points and the Milwaukee Bucks defeated the Detroit Pistons 125-115 on Monday night to move above the .500 mark for the first time this season.
The reigning two-time MVP scored 30 points by halftime, shot 17 of 24 from the floor overall and finished with nine rebounds.
Antetokounmpo said he might have gotten a little more room to operate inside because the Bucks (4-3) have shot so well from 3-point range lately. Milwaukee made at least 20 3-pointers in three of its first six games, including 22 in a 126-96 blowout of Chicago on Friday.
“They know that the previous game I’d been finding my teammates for a lot of 3s, finding the shooters,” Antetokounmpo said. “Coming to this game, they probably were like, `Don’t let them pick us apart with our passing.’ That’s why there was a lot of space.”
Antetokounmpo’s presence helped the Bucks outscore the Pistons 62-42 in the paint, including a 40-14 edge in the first half.
“Next game we’ve just got to make it harder for him,” said Detroit guard Derrick Rose, who scored 24 points off the bench to match Jerami Grant for the team lead. “Nobody was taking any charges tonight against him. We didn’t make him think.”
The Bucks (4-3) have won their last eight regular-season meetings with the Pistons, which represents the longest streak for either team in the history of the series.
Detroit (1-6) played without two of its top three scorers in Blake Griffin and Josh Jackson.
The Pistons rested Griffin to protect his surgically repaired left knee after he played 29 minutes a night earlier in a 122-120 loss to Boston. Jackson has a sprained right ankle.
UPDATED SUPER WILD CARD WEEKEND SCHEDULE
The NFL has announced the schedule of sites, dates, and times for Super Wild Card Weekend on January 9-10.
The addition of a third Wild Card team in each conference and the subsequent expansion of the playoffs has resulted in a Super Wild Card Weekend of NFL action. For the first time ever, there will be three games on Saturday, January 9, and three games on Sunday, January 10, to be played at 1:05 p.m., 4:40 p.m., and 8:15 p.m. ET on each day.
SUPER WILD CARD WEEKEND
Saturday, January 9
AFC: 1:05 PM (ET) Indianapolis at Buffalo (CBS, CBS All Access)
NFC: 4:40 PM (ET) Los Angeles Rams at Seattle (FOX, FOX Deportes)
NFC: 8:15 PM (ET) Tampa Bay at Washington (NBC, Universo)
Sunday, January 10
AFC: 1:05 PM (ET) Baltimore at Tennessee (ESPN/ABC, ESPN2, ESPN+, ESPN Deportes, Freeform)
NFC: 4:40 PM (ET) Chicago at New Orleans (CBS, Nickelodeon, Amazon Prime, CBS All Access)
AFC: 8:15 PM (ET) Cleveland at Pittsburgh (NBC, Telemundo, Peacock)
The Divisional Playoffs schedule will be announced once all Wild Card games have been played
The 2020 NFL Playoff field:
|American Football Conference||National Football Conference|
|1.||Kansas City Chiefs (14-2), AFC West champion||1.||Green Bay Packers (13-3), NFC North champion|
|2.||Buffalo Bills (13-3), AFC East champion||2.||New Orleans Saints (12-4) NFC South champion|
|3.||Pittsburgh Steelers (12-4), AFC North champion||3.||Seattle Seahawks (12-4), NFC West champion|
|4.||Tennessee Titans (11-5), AFC South champion||4.||Washington (7-9), NFC East champion|
|5.||Baltimore Ravens (11-5)||5.||Tampa Bay Buccaneers (11-5)|
|6.||Cleveland Browns (11-5)||6.||Los Angeles Rams (10-6)|
|7.||Indianapolis Colts (11-5)||7.||Chicago Bears (8-8)|
BROWNS LOSE VERNON FOR PLAYOFFS
Browns starting defensive end Olivier Vernon ruptured his Achilles tendon during Sunday’s playoff-clinching win over Pittsburgh and is done for the season.
Coach Kevin Stefanski said Monday that Vernon, who has played well in his second year with Cleveland, will have surgery.
“Obviously I’m very disappointed for O.V.,” Stefanski said. “He was playing at a high level. We’re going to miss his leadership.”
Stefanski declined a chance to update the status on top cornerback Denzel Ward, who missed Sunday’s game after testing positive for COVID-19 and could possibly return for the playoff game at Pittsburgh.
Ward was one of six players and three assistant coaches who weren’t available for the Steelers game because of the virus.
Stefanski also said rookie wide receiver Donovan Peoples-Jones suffered a concussion against the Steelers and is in protocol.
Vernon had his ninth sack this season before he went down in the fourth quarter. He was unable to put any weight on his leg while being assisted to the sideline medical tent before being driven in a cart to the locker room.
The Browns (11-5) beat the Steelers (12-4) to end a 17-season playoff drought, the NFL’s longest. The AFC North rivals will play at Heinz Field on Sunday night in the first round. The teams split their two matchups in the regular season.
Vernon is scheduled to be a free agent after this season. The 30-year-old, who came to Cleveland last year in the blockbuster trade with the Giants that brought Odell Beckham Jr. to the Browns, agreed to restructure his contract this past offseason to stay with the team.
When the Browns lost star defensive end Myles Garret for two games with COVID-19, Vernon picked up the slack for Cleveland’s defense. He had three sacks in a Nov. 22 win over Philadelphia, and forced a fumble the following week in a win over Jacksonville.
“He stepped up his game,” Stefanski said. “A bunch of guys have done that this season, and O.V.’s a great example of that. We were counting on him, we needed him and he stepped up. He’s a leader for the football team in how he plays. O.V. doesn’t say much, but when he talks, I think the guys listen – just goes about his business.”
CHARGERS FIRE COACH LYNN
The Los Angeles Chargers have fired coach Anthony Lynn less than two seasons after he led the franchise to the playoffs.
Lynn is the sixth NFL coach fired this season, joining Houston’s Bill O’Brien, Atlanta’s Dan Quinn, Detroit’s Matt Patricia, Adam Gase of the New York Jets and Jacksonville’s Doug Marrone.
Los Angeles won its final four games to finish 7-9, but it wasn’t enough to save Lynn’s job.
“I’m not sure there is another person in this league more respected as a human being than Anthony,” owner Dean Spanos said in a statement. “This is a results-driven business, and simply put, the results of the past two years have fallen short of expectations.”
Hired by the Chargers in January 2017, Lynn was the first Black head coach in franchise history. He went 34-32 with Los Angeles, but just 12-20 over the last two seasons. He had one year remaining on his contract.
Los Angeles started 0-4 during Lynn’s first season in 2017, but finished 9-7 after winning six of the last seven games. That served as a springboard to 2018 as the Chargers went 12-4, which tied for the best record in the AFC. They defeated Baltimore in the wild card round before losing to New England in the divisional playoffs.
Trying to repeat that success has been elusive. They are 7-16 since the start of last season in games decided by eight points or fewer.
The Los Angeles opening could be one of the more intriguing ones of the offseason. The franchise moved into SoFi Stadium this season, but also has a talented nucleus with Justin Herbert, running back Austin Ekeler, wide receivers Keenan Allen and Mike Williams, defensive end Joey Bosa and safety Derwin James.
Herbert is favored for Offensive Rookie of the Year after setting a rookie record with 31 touchdown passes. He said he got a text that Lynn was dismissed.
“I have learned so much from him and enjoyed my time with him,” Herbert said. “There’s a lot of uncertainty. You have to rely on the guys and the locker room and depend on them if we want to get better.”
General manager Tom Telesco has one year remaining on his contract and he will be hiring his third head coach. He is 61-69 during his tenure with only two playoff appearances in eight seasons.
JAGS FIRE MARRONE
Jacksonville Jaguars owner Shad Khan plans to have the team’s next head coach and general manager report directly to him, a structure he expects will keep him in the loop on major personnel decisions.
Khan said Monday he will have “roster control,” but he later clarified that to mean “you don’t want players going in and out or contracts given until you’re aware of that.”
Khan also made it clear finding a franchise quarterback – hello, Trevor Lawrence – is as important as hiring the right people to those key positions.
“What’s evaded the history of the Jags really has been a franchise quarterback,” Khan said. “I think what’s unique is we have the ability now to make a choice and it’s going to define the franchise moving forward.”
Khan fired coach Doug Marrone on Monday, a little more than 12 hours after ending the season with a 15th consecutive loss. It was a move many thought he should have made a year earlier. But Khan gave Marrone another chance to make Jacksonville a playoff contender again.
Marrone came up well short of the owner’s expectations, making Khan’s decision easy and expected. It was the first time Marrone has been fired in three decades of coaching.
Marrone went 24-43 in four seasons in Jacksonville, falling a few plays shy of the franchise’s first Super Bowl in 2017 and then miring near the bottom of the league since. The Jaguars dropped 21 of Marrone’s final 24 games, including 15 by double digits.
Khan kept Marrone in place after firing general manager Dave Caldwell in late November, but ultimately decided on a clean sweep.
Khan hopes to fill both spots “about the same time” and wants them to know who the other one will be to create a better working relationship. He already interviewed former Houston executive Rick Smith, current ESPN analyst Louis Riddick and former New York Giants GM Jerry Reese for the GM position.
Three-time national champion Urban Meyer is considered a leading coaching candidate if he decides to leave Fox Sports and return to the sideline. Meyer won college football titles at Florida (2006, ’08) and Ohio State (2014).
ELWAY GIVES UP GM DUTIES
John Elway is staying with the Denver Broncos, but he’ll surrender the general manager position and final say on roster moves, the club announced Monday.
Elway, who occupied the GM’s chair for 10 years, will hire the incoming personnel head. The Hall of Fame quarterback will serve as president of football operations.
“Working in this role for the last 10 years and going back to my playing days, I’ve always tried to do everything I can to help the Broncos win and get better,” Elway said in a statement. “As part of a transition I’ve thought about for a long time, I have made the decision to step up into an elevated role and hire a general manager to lead our personnel and football staff.”
Elway noted that head coach Vic Fangio will be involved in the search process for a new GM, as will CEO Joe Ellis.
Elway built the Broncos into contenders shortly after taking over as GM in 2011, culminating in a Super Bowl 50 win. However, the franchise has fallen on hard times over the last five years and posted its fourth straight losing record in 2020.
Since Peyton Manning’s retirement, quarterback instability and ineptitude have held back the Broncos. Over the last five years, they’ve started Trevor Siemian, Paxton Lynch, Brock Osweiler, Case Keenum, Joe Flacco, Brandon Allen, Jeff Driskel, Brett Rypien, and Drew Lock at the pivotal position.
Elway played for the Broncos from 1983 to 1998 before returning as general manager and vice president of football operations in January 2011.
SUPER BOWL ODDS
The NFL playoff field is set, and the Kansas City Chiefs (+150) are predictably the Super Bowl favorites, as they have been the entire season. But the rest of the odds board may come as a surprise to some.
We’ve been highlighting the Buffalo Bills (+450) as legitimate title contenders since the summer, and they enter the postseason with the second-shortest odds after blasting the Miami Dolphins by 30 points in Week 17 – their biggest win of the season and third straight by at least 29 points. That victory helped secure the AFC’s No. 2 seed for Buffalo, which will avoid Kansas City until at least the conference championship game.
On the other side, the Green Bay Packers (+500) have the shortest odds in the NFC after clinching the No. 1 seed on Sunday. They’re the top-ranked team, according to PFF, and tied with the Bills for the longest winning streak in the NFL (six). Still, the New Orleans Saints (+700) are the best team by DVOA and priced shortly behind those other clubs, in part thanks to a favorable wild-card matchup with the Chicago Bears.
Here are the updated Super Bowl odds and three potential value plays outside of the four favorites:
Kansas City Chiefs +150
Buffalo Bills +450
Green Bay Packers +500
New Orleans Saints +700
Tampa Bay Buccaneers +1000
Seattle Seahawks +1000
Baltimore Ravens +1300
Tennessee Titans +1800
Los Angeles Rams +2000
Pittsburgh Steelers +2000
Indianapolis Colts +3000
Cleveland Browns +4500
Chicago Bears +7500
Tampa Bay Buccaneers (+1000)
There was a time when the Buccaneers looked like the best team in the NFL, fulfilling the expectations many set for them entering the year. A blowout loss to the Saints flipped that perception quickly, but it’s hard not to feel like Tampa Bay is the most balanced team in the league.
The Buccaneers are the only team ranked in the top two in DVOA, PFF, and net yards per play. They’re also the only one with a top-six ranking on offense and defense by DVOA and PFF, sitting third in points scored and eighth in points allowed.
Tampa Bay gets an opponent with a losing record in the first round, and it would likely face the Packers – a team the Buccaneers beat by 28 points earlier this year – in the divisional round. This price isn’t a bargain, but it’s still worth it for one of the best teams in the NFL.
Baltimore Ravens (+1300)
The Ravens entered the year with some of the shortest Super Bowl odds, and they now own the NFL’s best point differential (+165). Yet they’re somehow priced as a secondary contender ahead of the postseason.
Baltimore has scored at least 34 points in four of its last five games and held its opponents to 17 points or less in each of those four contests. Its five-game win streak coincides with Lamar Jackson’s return from the COVID-19 list, and he’s helped the Ravens’ rush offense average 267.4 rushing yards over that stretch.
A first-round matchup with the Titans is sure to scare any Baltimore bettor, especially those who saw their tickets go up in flames a year ago in a similar spot. Still, the Ravens’ upside is too high to ignore at this price.
Indianapolis Colts (+3000)
I’ve been a fervent supporter of the Bills all season, so perhaps it’s counterintuitive to suggest their first-round matchup as a potential value. But I’m also been high on the Colts, who have the balance and upside to make noise in the AFC.
Indianapolis’ defense has been among the best in the NFL this year and may be one of the few units that can cause problems for the Bills. As can the Colts’ rushing offense, which logged an incredible 273 rushing yards on 7.4 yards per carry on Sunday. The Bills have struggled against the run at times this year, allowing over 200 yards to the Chiefs and Cardinals and 5.0 yards per carry in five of their last 11 games.
We know from recent years that a potent rushing attack is an effective way to beat teams such as the Chiefs and Ravens, who would be the Colts’ biggest threats if they can survive this weekend. If they do, this ticket will skyrocket in value.
FIELDS WILL PLAY IN NATIONAL CHAMPIONSHIP GAME
Ohio State head coach Ryan Day believes star quarterback Justin Fields will be ready for next Monday’s national championship game against Alabama, according to Colin Hass-Hill of Eleven Warriors.
“I definitely expect him to play, but we don’t get into specifics on injuries,” said Day.
Fields took a hard hit in the back from Clemson linebacker James Skalski during Friday’s Sugar Bowl, but he was able to finish the game. Skalski was ejected for the play.
The quarterback was clearly in discomfort for the remainder of the matchup and said he took pain-killing shots.
Despite the hit, Fields put together arguably the best performance of his career, finishing the playoff contest with six passing touchdowns and 427 total yards.
He’s widely expected to declare for the 2021 NFL Draft after the national title game, and Fields could be a top-three selection.
TIDE CONSIDERING GASE AND O’BRIEN AS THE NEXT OC
It appears Nick Saban is eyeing former NFL bosses to complete his 2021 staff.
Alabama is considering former New York Jets head coach Adam Gase and former Houston Texans coach and general manager Bill O’Brien to be the team’s next offensive coordinator, a source told The Athletic’s Bruce Feldman.
The Crimson Tide will be looking for a new OC after Steve Sarkisian became head coach at Texas on Saturday.
Both Gase and O’Brien were fired by their respective NFL clubs after unsuccessful 2020 campaigns.
Gase spent three years with LSU from 2000 to 2002 as a graduate assistant, recruiting assistant, and defensive assistant. O’Brien coached Penn State from 2012 to 2013 before joining the Texans in 2014.
Saban has added multiple former head coaches to his staff as assistants in recent years, including Sarkisian, Charlie Strong, Mike Stoops, Major Applewhite, and Butch Jones.
Alabama fielded one of the most dynamic offenses in college football history under Sarkisian and will play in the national title game against Ohio State next Monday.
MARSHALL FIRES FOOTBALL COACH
Marshall coach Doc Holliday is out after 11 seasons with the Thundering Herd, following the school’s announcement Monday that it would not renew his contract.
Holliday was named Conference USA coach of the year, but the Thundering Herd lost their final three games of the season after starting 7-0 and moving up to No. 15 in the Associated Press poll.
Holliday, 63, went 85-54 at Marshall, including 6-2 in bowl games. His six-year contract was set to expire on June 30.
“I want to thank Doc Holliday for the leadership he has provided this program over the past 11 seasons,” Marshall athletic director Mike Hamrick said in a statement. “In addition to his success on the field, he ran a clean program, graduated his student-athletes and prepared young men for life after football.”
Marshall President Jerome Gilbert said a search committee led by Hamrick is being formed to help identify candidates to replace Holliday. The university said Hamrick won’t comment publicly until the job has been filled.
Holliday, a West Virginia native, said on Twitter that “I’ve always strived to build and leave the program better than I found it.
“I’m proud to leave the program in a great place.”
Marshall’s defense led the nation with 13 points allowed per game and gave up the second-fewest yards at 279 per game. But Marshall was outscored 59-23 in its final three games.
Holliday led Marshall to the 2014 Conference USA championship and two other appearances in the title game, including this season. Under him, Marshall had three straight 10-win seasons from 2013-15.
Marshall was the first head coaching job for Holliday, who is known as a solid recruiter and spent three decades as an assistant, most of them at West Virginia. When Holliday took over in 2010, Marshall hadn’t had a winning season since 2003.
#3 VILLANOVA TO POSTPONE NEXT THREE GAMES
No. 3 Villanova’s next three games have been postponed because of COVID-19 issues within the program.
The Wildcats (8-1) were scheduled to play Tuesday at DePaul, Friday vs. Marquette, and Jan. 13 at Xavier.
No makeup dates have been announced.
Coach Jay Wright announced last week he had tested positive for COVID-19 and the program paused all activities. Wright was scheduled to return to practice on Tuesday.
JAYS GIVE SPRINGER 5-YEAR DEAL OFFER
George Springer has a multi-year offer on the table from the Toronto Blue Jays.
The free-agent star outfielder received an offer in the five-year range, but it was well under the $150 million he’s looking for, according to Jim Duquette of SNY.
The Blue Jays and New York Mets are reportedly the finalists for Springer, who’s expected to choose between the two clubs in January.
It’s unknown at this point what New York offered the three-time All-Star.
Springer, 31, is arguably the best position player available in free agency. The 2017 World Series MVP slashed .270/.361/.491 with 174 home runs and 458 RBIs over seven seasons with the Houston Astros. He went deep a career-high 39 times in 2019.
CANADA WILL PLAY FOR GOLD
Canada blanked Russia 5-0 in their semifinal at the World Junior Championship on Monday evening.
The Canadian squad now moves on to the gold-medal game against the United States, which edged Finland 4-3 in the other semifinal Monday night.
Dylan Cozens collected an empty-net goal and two assists, while Canadian goaltender Devon Levi stopped all 27 shots to remain red-hot.
Alex Newhook, Connor McMichael, Cole Perfetti, and Braden Schneider added markers for the host side.
Canada has yet to trail in six games at the tournament and hasn’t allowed an even-strength goal.
Monday’s victory was Canada’s biggest against Russia since the nation prevailed 5-0 in the 2006 gold-medal game.
|New York||4||3||.571||2.0||1-1||3-2||0-2||4-3||4-3||2 W|
|Oklahoma City||2||4||.333||2.0||0-3||2-1||0-1||0-2||2-4||1 L|
|LA Clippers||5||2||.714||—||2-1||3-1||2-0||5-2||5-2||1 W|
|LA Lakers||5||2||.714||—||2-2||3-0||0-1||5-2||5-2||3 W|
|Golden State||3||3||.500||1.5||1-1||2-2||–||1-1||3-3||1 W|
|New Orleans||4||3||.571||—||2-1||2-2||1-0||2-1||4-3||1 L|
|San Antonio||2||4||.333||1.5||1-3||1-1||1-1||1-4||2-4||4 L|