BOYS HIGH SCHOOL BASKETBALL

TEC

Randolph Southern 55 Union County 52

MEC

Blue River 76 Union 35

EASTERN INDIANA

Lawrenceburg 58 Franklin County 52

PIONEER

Seton Catholic 83 Anderson Prep 46…SETON: Jake Moynihan 24 points (10-14fg), 19 rebounds (8 offensive), 6 block shots, Mason Harvey 20 points (7-11fg), 9 rebounds, Jonah Falcone 8 points, 8 assists, Sam Casper 9 points, Braiden Hogg 8 points

STATE SCOREBOARD

Alexandria61Eastbrook58 
Argos81North Miami25 
Bethany Christian59South Bend Career42 
Bloomfield62Clay City53 
Bloomington Lighthouse61Medora42 
Blue River76Union (Modoc)35 
Bowman Academy63East Chicago Central56 
Calumet58Griffith43 
Cannelton65Cloverport (Ky.)33 
Carroll (Fort Wayne)72DeKalb37 
Christian Academy66South Central (Elizabeth)41 
Elkhart Christian59Bremen41 
Evansville Mater Dei53Evansville Harrison48 
Fishers52Noblesville41 
Gary West75Lowell63 
Hammond74Portage29 
Homestead72Fort Wayne Blackhawk60 
Indianapolis Manual57Thrival Indy Academy51 
Indianapolis Shortridge54Central Christian51 
Jasper49Southridge44OT
John Glenn60Elkhart55 
LaVille58Winamac46 
Lake Central59Highland51 
Lawrenceburg58Franklin County52 
Maconaquah61Taylor38 
Madison54Bedford North Lawrence52OT
Mishawaka Christian64Clinton Christian57 
Mishawaka62Jimtown52 
Munster59Hanover Central43 
New Albany79Southwestern (Hanover)54 
New Prairie69Wheeler30 
Northridge61South Bend Riley54 
Norwell64Fort Wayne Wayne58OT
Penn51Warsaw48 
Plainfield53Hamilton Southeastern45 
Purdue Poly Englewood71Indianapolis Washington61 
Randolph Southern55Union County52 
Seton Catholic83Anderson Prep Academy46 
South Bend Clay82Oregon-Davis70 
South Central (Union Mills)71North Judson67OT
South Ripley77Oldenburg Academy25 
Southwood64Oak Hill45 
Springs Valley39Paoli31 
Tell City58Hancock County (Ky.)32 
Trinity Greenlawn65Community Baptist26 
Washington Twp.66Westville61 
West Washington56Salem41 
Western67Northwestern31 
Allen County Conference Tournament
Adams Central43Heritage35 
South Adams89Southern Wells63 
Bluffton53Woodlan52 
Johnson County Tournament
Center Grove60Whiteland53 
Franklin62Edinburgh61OT
Greenwood Christian56Indian Creek51 
Marion County Tournament
Lawrence North69North Central (Indianapolis)59 
Lawrence Central58Decatur Central38 
Brebeuf Jesuit57Franklin Central49 
Ben Davis51Beech Grove48 
Southport46Park Tudor42 
Indianapolis Lutheran56Indianapolis Roncalli54 
Warren Central67Perry Meridian53 
Northeast Corner Conference Tournament
Angola75Eastside69 
Fremont63Garrett52 
Churubusco108Prairie Heights60 
Central Noble57Lakeland42 

GIRLS HIGH SCHOOL BASKETBALL

NCC

Harrison 64 Lafayette Jeff 30

Marion 57 Mississinewa 44

Zionsville 59 McCutcheon 37

Connersville at Richmond postponed

Kokomo at Lebanon postponed

TEC

Northeastern 58 Tri 46

Winchester 92 Lincoln 25

Shenandoah at Centerville postponed

MEC

Blue River 84 Union 26….Marci Chamberlin 21 points, Mallory Cross 11 points, Emma Blackburn 10 points, Ally Madden 13 rebounds

Eastern Hancock 56 New Castle 44

Wapahani 74 Randolph Southern 22

Cowan 63 Daleville 41

Yorktown 58 Wes-Del 10

EASTERN INDIANA

East Central 54 Cincinnati Home School 22

Jac-Cen-Del 62 Lawrenceburg 52

Martinsville 61, Greensburg 35

Rushville 63 Shelbyville 42

South Ripley 49 Batesville 26

Southwestern 55 S. Dearborn 49

Brown County at Greensburg postponed

HOOSIER HERITAGE

Eastern Hancock 56 New Castle 44

Mount Vernon 52 Noblesville 41

New Palestine 46 Triton Central 43

Plainfield 63 Greenfield 31

Rushville 63 Shelbyville 42

Yorktown 58 Wes-Del 10

STATE SCOREBOARD

Barr-Reeve28Orleans27 
Bellmont45DeKalb38 
Ben Davis46Columbus North35 
Benton Central58Delphi35 
Bethany Christian65South Bend Career23 
Bethesda Christian50Park Tudor47 
Blue River84Union (Modoc)26 
Boone Grove36Bowman Academy18 
Boonville55South Spencer45 
Carmel48Brownsburg46 
Cascade71Monrovia32 
Castle67Evansville Central27 
Central Christian37Indiana Math & Science27 
Chesterton60Hobart31 
Cloverport (Ky.)57Cannelton40 
Columbus East67Bedford North Lawrence66 
Concord56Jimtown30 
Covenant Christian (DeMotte)56West Central30 
Crown Point79Munster31 
East Central54Cincinnati HomeSchool (Ohio)22 
Eastern (Pekin)54Charlestown47 
Eastern Greene45White River Valley42 
Eastern Hancock56New Castle44 
Elkhart Christian41South Bend Clay32 
Evansville North47Evansville Reitz29 
Forest Park49Corydon Central30 
Fort Wayne Northrop61Lakewood Park56 
Fountain Central33Covington28 
Frankfort54Rossville51 
Goshen42South Bend St. Joseph35 
Greencastle33North Montgomery27 
Hamilton Heights61Western35 
Harrison (West Lafayette)64Lafayette Jeff30 
Heritage Hills58North Posey33 
Homestead53Mishawaka Marian42 
Indiana Deaf51Irvington Prep Academy21 
Indianapolis Riverside62Providence Cristo Rey27 
Indianapolis Roncalli47Guerin Catholic33 
Jac-Cen-Del62Lawrenceburg52 
Jennings County59Whiteland39 
John Glenn53Oregon-Davis48 
Kankakee Valley29Highland17 
Knox70South Central (Union Mills)34 
Kouts47LaCrosse30 
Lafayette Central Catholic55West Lafayette53 
Lapel77Elwood21 
Linton-Stockton58Terre Haute North45 
Loogootee47Vincennes Lincoln46 
Madison-Grant48Taylor34 
Marion57Mississinewa44 
Martinsville61Greensburg35 
Mitchell39Bloomington North31 
Mooresville46Hamilton Southeastern43
Morgan Twp.46Washington Twp.29 
Mount Vernon (Fortville)52Noblesville41 
New Haven42Fort Wayne Luers41 
New Palestine46Triton Central43 
North Daviess45Shakamak28 
North Newton47Frontier30 
North White52Clinton Prairie45OT
Northeastern58Tri46 
Northridge63Wawasee27 
Northview75North Putnam64 
Oldenburg Academy30Hauser25 
Paoli53Scottsburg46 
Pioneer67Maconaquah45 
Plainfield63Greenfield-Central31 
Plymouth40LaPorte31 
Providence40New Washington36 
River Forest63Hebron35 
Rushville63Shelbyville42 
Sacred Heart (Ky.)55Jeffersonville34 
Seeger72Tri-County26 
Sheridan59Clinton Central38 
Silver Creek46Madison38 
South Knox67Shoals45 
South Putnam84Riverton Parke30 
South Ripley49Batesville26 
Southridge42Northeast Dubois19 
Southwestern (Hanover)55South Dearborn49 
Sullivan69North Central (Farmersburg)53 
Switzerland County63Trimble County (Ky.)562OT
Tippecanoe Valley57NorthWood52 
Tipton60Northwestern51 
Tri-West77Southmont46 
Twin Lakes75Rensselaer Central43 
Valparaiso46Elkhart31 
Wapahani74Randolph Southern22 
West Vigo33Cloverdale19 
Western Boone44Crawfordsville38 
Westfield66Avon48 
Winamac36Triton35 
Winchester92Cambridge City Lincoln25 
Zionsville59McCutcheon37 
Allen County Conference Tournament
Adams Central58Heritage52 
South Adams58Southern Wells39 
Bluffton40Woodlan38OT
Delaware County Tournament
Cowan63Daleville41 
Yorktown58Wes-Del10 
Indianapolis City Alliance Tournament
Heritage Christian76Indianapolis Scecina44 
Covenant Christian43Indianapolis Ritter40 
Indianapolis Chatard89Purdue Poly Englewood40 
Indianapolis Cathedral66Indianapolis Tindley32 
Northeast Corner Conference Tournament
Angola40Eastside35 
Garrett62Fremont24 
Prairie Heights59Churubusco48 
Lakeland44Central Noble40 

AP INDIANA BOYS BASKETBALL POLLS

Class 4A

1. Lawrence North

2. Carmel

3. Homestead

4. Lafayette Jeff                 

5. Cathedral               

6. S. Bend Adams                  

7. Westfield                      

8. Crispus Attucks           

9. Zionsville                     

10. Crown Point                    

Others receiving votes: Gary West 44. Greenwood 8. Plainfield 8. Carroll (Allen) 7. Chesterton 7. Bloomington North 6.

Class 3A                                

1. Heritage Hills             

2. Hammond                     

3. Silver Creek                   

4. Ev. Bosse                      

5. Leo                            

6. S. Bend St. Joseph’s           

7. Mishawaka Marian               

8. Sullivan                       

9. Greensburg                     

10. Danville                       

Others receiving votes: Peru 35. Connersville 30. Guerin Catholic 30. Beech Grove 14. Delta 10.

Class 2A

1. Ft. Wayne Blackhawk

2. Shenandoah                     

3. Linton-Stockton                

4. S. Spencer                     

5. Blackford                      

6. Westview                       

7. Parke Heritage                 

8. Central Noble                  

9. Covenant Christian       

10. Southwestern (Jefferson)        

Others receiving votes: S. Ripley 33. Eastern Hancock 30. Madison-Grant 16. Northeastern 14. Churubusco 9. Ev. Mater Dei 6. Lake Station 6. Andrean 6.

Class A

1. Barr-Reeve

2. Kouts                          

3. Loogootee                      

4. Bloomfield                     

5. N. Daviess                     

6. Edinburgh                      

7. Covington                      

8. Morristown                     

9. Lutheran                

(tie) Tindley                      

Others receiving votes: Jac-Cen-Del 46. Lafayette Catholic 26. Triton 23. Washington Twp. 7. Ev. Christian 6. Lanesville 6.

MEN’S COLLEGE BASKETBALL

Oklahoma State 75 #6 Kansas 70

#7 Michigan 77 #9 Wisconsin 54

#20 Virginia Tech 74 #19 Duke 67

Buffalo 85 Western Michigan 69

Northern Illinois 67 Akron 65

Kent State 94 Central Michigan 85

UNLV 95 St. Katherine 34

Boston College 84 Miami, Florida 62

Alabama State 64 Mississippi Valley 51

Ball State 88 Bowling Green 64

St. John’s 69 Butler 57

Davidson 80 St. Joseph’s 66

Florida 72 Ole Miss 63

Ohio 78 Miami Ohio 61

Toledo 96 Eastern Michigan 63

Oklahoma 82 TCU 46

Grambling 79 Alcorn State 74

Alabama 85 Kentucky 65

North Carolina 81 Syracuse 75

Marquette 79 Providence 69

USC 67 UC Riverside 62 OT

WOMEN’S COLLEGE BASKETBALL

Alabama State 69 Mississippi Valley 45

Alcorn State 61 Grambling 58

NBA SCOREBOARD

Indiana 104 Golden State 95

Philadelphia 137 Miami 134 OT

Utah 117 Cleveland 87

Brooklyn 122 Denver 116

LA Lakers 117 Houston 100

San Antonio 112 Oklahoma City 102

NFL PLAYOFFS

Saturday, January 16

NFC:    4:35 PM (ET)  Los Angeles Rams (11-6) at Green Bay Packers (13-3) (FOX, FOX Deportes) 

AFC:    8:15 PM (ET)  Baltimore Ravens (12-5) at Buffalo Bills (14-3) (NBC, Universo) 

Sunday, January 17

AFC:    3:05 PM (ET)  Cleveland Browns (12-5) at Kansas City Chiefs (14-2) (CBS, CBS All Access,

ESPN Deportes)

NFC:    6:40 PM (ET)  Tampa Bay Buccaneers (12-5) at New Orleans Saints (13-4) (FOX, FOX Deportes) 

BUTLER FALLS AT ST. JOHN’S

(BUTLER RELEASE)

St. John’s used a late 10-1 run to pull away in a 69-57 win over Butler Tuesday night at Carnesecca Arena in Queens, N.Y.

The Red Storm’s pressure forced the Bulldogs into 16 turnovers, which proved to be the deciding factor.

“We made some poor decisions with the ball tonight,” said Butler coach LaVall Jordan. “Not all of the turnovers were due to their pressure. I thought we allowed them to dictate and speed us up. We will grow our toughness and stay the course.”

Jair Bolden led Butler with 17 points, including five three-pointers. Bryce Nze pulled down 14 rebounds, his highest total in a Butler uniform. Butler had a 39-30 rebounding advantage.

Seven straight makes by the Bulldogs pulled the visitors within four at 55-51 with just over nine minutes remaining. Butler then cooled by making just two of their next 11 attempts from the floor as St. John’s was able to put together the decisive 10-1 run.

Julian Champagnie led the Red Storm (7-6, 2-5 BIG EAST) with 18 points. The Red Storm shot 45 percent from the field, but turned the ball over only eight times.

St. John’s closed the first half on a 9-0 run, including a pull-up three-pointer from Vince Cole at the horn to take a 41-31 halftime lead. The Red Storm hit seven of their 13 attempts from behind the arc in the first half. Fourteen of Bolden’s points came in the opening 20 minutes as he kept the Bulldogs within reach.

Aaron Thompson’s second foul of the game came less than five minutes into the contest, sending him to the bench for all but eight minutes in the opening half for a team that was already missing third-leading scorer Chuck Harris, who sat the game out with a knee bruise. Thompson’s fourth foul coincided with the beginning of the St. John’s second-half run.

Bryce Golden (12) and Thompson (10) also landed in double figures for the Bulldogs. Myles Tate had eight points, six rebounds and four assists.  

The Bulldogs return to Hinkle Fieldhouse for a Saturday tip with Top 10 Creighton. Tickets are still available for the 4 p.m. tip, which will also air on FS1.

CARDINALS ROUT BOWLING GREEN

(BALL STATE RELEASE)

BOWLING GREEN, Ohio – Six players scored in double figures and the Ball State men’s basketball team turned in its most complete performance of the season in an 88-64 rout at Bowling Green.

Ishmael El-Amin scored 20 points and made five 3-pointers to lead the best road scoring outing for the Cardinals in three years. Brachen Hazen and K.J. Walton each scored 14 points and Luke Bumbalough and Teemu Suokas added 11. Walton also led the team with nine rebounds and led the defensive effort on Bowling Green’s All-MAC star Justin Turner, who was held below his scoring average. The sixth double-figure scorer was Kani Acree with a season-high 10 points.

TURNING POINT: BSU shot 52% in the first half to claim a 43-36 halftime advantage, and then routed the league’s first-place team the rest of the night. A trey by El-Amin put the Cardinals up 51-38 early in the second half and later a lay-up by Miryne Thomas extended the lead to 58-40. Bowling Green wouldn’t get closer than 12 the rest of the way as Ball State won the second half 45-28.

STRAIGHT FROM THE COACH: “I’m just really pleased with our team,” head coach James Whitford said. “Was really happy with the way our guys have been really working hard and we had good practices before Buffalo and good practices before Bowling Green. We knew some better days were coming and I was really, really happy for them that were able to put together this win.”

PLUS-15 ON THE GLASS: Ball State allowed 25 offensive rebounds at Buffalo last weekend and came to Bowling Green near the bottom of the conference statistics in rebounding. But the Cardinals flipped that trend upside down with a dominating rebounding performance Tuesday night. BSU controlled the glass for a 41-26 rebounding advantage and grabbed 87% of its defensive rebounds, a 20% increase from the season average. Four Cardinals in addition to Walton grabbed six rebounds or more rebounds.

ROAD SHOW: BSU’s 88-point output was the team’s most in a road game since it scored 90 in a win at Akron on Feb. 13, 2018. Currently, the Cardinals are 3-2 in conference play with all three wins coming on the road (at NIU, at WMU, at BG).

THEY’RE NOT USED TO THIS: Bowling Green is very strong at home, and the win Tuesday was something road teams don’t do often. Ball State’s 24-point margin of victory for gave BG its most lopsided loss at home for Bowling Green since 2018.

BG’s Turner, who scores 21 points per game, finished with 18 points and four turnovers. No other Bowling Green player reached double figures and BG shot 5-for-24 from 3-point range. BSU shot a season-best 12-for-26 from 3-point range, including 7-for-13 in the second half.

UP NEXT: The Cardinals return to Muncie to host Northern Illinois Saturday at 1 p.m. Ball State won at NIU 79-70 in overtime in early December. A win would lift the Cardinals to 4-2 in league play.

RED HAWKS FALL AT OHIO

(MIAMI RELEASE)

ATHENS, Ohio—Senior forward Dalonte Brown became the 37th member of the Miami University men’s basketball 1,000 point club off a pair of free throws early in the second half, but it was not enough as the RedHawks (4-4; 1-2 Mid-American Conference) dropped a 78-61 decision at Ohio University (7-5; 3-3 MAC) on Tuesday evening.

HOW IT HAPPENED

The Bobcats jumped out to a quick 12-3 advantage, but Miami staged an 8-0 run with four points from Brown to cut the Ohio advantage to one by the 13:12 mark of the first half, 12-11.

The RedHawks trailed by three with just over two minutes to go in the half, but Ohio scored six unanswered points to take a 38-29 lead into the half.

After Brown sunk his second-half free throws to cut the Bobcat lead to seven, Ohio pushed its lead to 17 on a 10-0 spurt.

Miami got as close as 10 in the second half off a sophomore guard Dae Dae Grant triple at 9:30 in the second half.

NOTES

Brown led Miami with 16 points, 10 coming in the first half, as he surpassed the 1,000-career point mark. Brown sunk a pair of free throws at the 19:31 mark of the second half to hit the benchmark. He led Miami with five rebounds.

Junior guard Mekhi Lairy tallied 15 points and five assists.

Grant chipped in 12 points, hitting four triples.

UP NEXT

Miami continues a two-game road stretch when the RedHawks travel to Western Michigan for a 12 p.m. game on Saturday, Jan. 16. The game is scheduled to be aired on ESPN3.

MICHIGAN ROUTS WISCONSIN

Juwan Howard watched his team turn another highly anticipated matchup into a blowout.

First, Michigan pushed its lead to 17 at halftime. Then it was 30. Then, unbelievably, the Wolverines led No. 9 Wisconsin by 40 points near the midway point of the second half.

“It says a lot about their maturity – understanding that every possession counts and matters,” said Howard, in his second season as Michigan’s coach. “Wisconsin’s a team that’s capable of going on runs, and basketball is based on runs.”

On this night, it was No. 7 Michigan that made the big run – and that’s an understatement. The Wolverines outscored the Badgers 43-6 over a stretch that spanned parts of both halves, and Michigan remained unbeaten with a 77-54 win Tuesday.

Mike Smith had 16 points and six assists for the Wolverines. Franz Wagner added 15 points and 10 rebounds. It was another masterpiece for Michigan (11-0, 6-0 Big Ten), which became first team in college basketball history to beat three ranked opponents in a row by at least 19 points.

“They’re coached very well. They have a lot of players and they have playmakers on both ends of the floor,” said D’Mitrik Trice, who led Wisconsin with 20 points. “A lot of guys that can get up and run the floor. A lot of shooters. And, they space the floor really well. They’re very disciplined in what they need to get accomplished. It just shows.”

Michigan set the tone for this one with its rim protection. The Badgers (10-3, 4-2) struggled to finish plays around the basket early on, and the Wolverines had six blocked shots in the first half alone.

Michigan led 26-23 before scoring the last 14 points of the half. A steal and dunk by Wagner made it 33-23. Smith followed that with a steal and a layup. Wagner then drove the baseline and dunked for a 14-point advantage.

The start of the second half wasn’t any better for Wisconsin. A 3-pointer by Eli Brooks made it 47-26, and a 3 by Smith made it 54-26. Finally, a layup by Chaundee Brown gave Michigan an almost incomprehensible 69-29 lead.

“You definitely don’t expect that coming into the game,” Wagner said. “Knowing how we worked, what we did in the summer, I’m just happy that it pays off.”

The last time Michigan started the season with a run like this was when the Wolverines were 17-0 during the 2018-19 season. Wisconsin actually ended that unbeaten streak, but the Badgers didn’t come close to a repeat performance.

OKLAHOMA STATE UPSETS #6 KANSAS

Oklahoma State’s talented young squad is growing up.

Cade Cunningham scored 18 points, and the Cowboys held off a late rally to beat No. 6 Kansas 75-70 on Tuesday night.

Kansas trailed by three in the closing seconds and had possession, but Oklahoma State’s Bryce Williams stole the inbounds pass, drove the length of the floor and and dunked as time expired.

The Cowboys blew a 19-point lead in a loss to West Virginia eight days earlier and squandered a 16-point lead in the second half of this one before scoring the game’s final eight points.

“This is what the process looks like,” Oklahoma State coach Mike Boynton said. “It doesn’t always happen immediately. It’s not easy.”

Williams scored 17 points and Avery Anderson III added 14 for the Cowboys (9-3, 3-3 Big 12). It was the fifth time in the past eight tries that Oklahoma State has beaten the Jayhawks at Gallagher-Iba Arena.

David McCormack scored a season-high 24 points for Kansas (10-3, 4-2). But the Jayhawks struggled with shot selection and made 5 of 21 3-pointers.

“I’m disappointed,” Kansas coach Bill Self said. “We didn’t deserve to win, but certainly, we put ourselves in position that we could have won, and I thought our guys did compete and tried really hard for a stretch of the game, especially late.”

Early on, it was all Oklahoma State.

On one first-half possession, Cunningham collected a rebound, then delivered a perfect left-handed bounce pass about half the length of the court to a streaking Anderson, who made a layup and was fouled. Anderson’s free throw put Oklahoma State ahead 43-30 with 2:36 left in the first half. Cunningham scored 14 points in the first half to help the Cowboys lead 46-35 at the break.

Kansas battled back, slowing the Cowboys with a triangle-and-two zone defense. Two layups by Marcus Garrett put the Jayhawks up 68-67. McCormack scored over Cunningham to put Kansas ahead 70-67 with 1:21 to play.

Oklahoma State’s Isaac Likekele hit a three with a minute to go to tie the game at 70.

“If Likekele doesn’t make that shot, we win the game,” Self said.

Garrett drove again, but this time, Cunningham blocked him, then found a teammate with a wild save. The fast break led to a made layup by Rondel Walker, who was fouled. His free throw put the Cowboys ahead 73-70.

Garrett missed a 3-pointer, and Oklahoma State got the ball in a scramble and called timeout with 17.8 seconds left. Williams missed the free throw to set up the final sequence for Kansas.

PACERS WIN AT GOLDEN STATE

(INDIANA RELEASE)

Playing on the second night of a back-to-back, the Pacers were without seven players on Tuesday night at Golden State. But Indiana used a balanced offensive attack and strong defense to pull away late to beat Stephen Curry and the Warriors.

Five Pacers scored in double figures and three recorded double-doubles as Indiana (7-4) bounced back from two straight losses and came away with a 104-95 win over Golden State (6-5).

The two teams were tied at 90 in the final minutes of regulation, but Myles Turner’s third 3-pointer of the night gave Indiana the lead with 2:59 remaining. Aaron Holiday’s layup 25 seconds later pushed the Pacers’ lead to five.

Malcolm Brogdon was initially whistled for a foul on Draymond Green on the other end, but Pacers coach Nate Bjorkgren challenged the call and won. Indiana won the ensuing jump ball, and Holiday found his big brother Justin for his 12th assist of the night.

A Domantas Sabonis layup and Justin Holiday free throw capped a pivotal 13-0 run by Indiana to seal a bounce-back victory.

“I just think we were really locked in from the jump,” Turner said after the win. “I think we had a really good game plan going into (Tuesday). Everybody executed it quite well.

“They went on their runs like good teams do. I don’t think that team gets enough credit, they’re a tough team in the West…they definitely made it tough for us, but we prevailed with our defense.”

Turner led the Pacers with a season-high 22 points, 11 rebounds, and four assists while going 7-for-10 from the field and 3-for-5 from 3-point range. Sabonis added 18 points, 14 rebounds, and six assists.

Aaron Holiday busted out of an early season slump to tally 16 points and 12 assists off the bench, tallying nine points and six dimes in the fourth quarter alone.

“I know how good I am,” Holiday said. “I know how I can play. I missed a few shots (to start the season), but they were good looks, so I can’t really worry about that. All I can do is shoot them. It felt good to get the win. That’s all that really matters.”

The Pacers got off to a sluggish start on the second night of a back-to-back. Indiana opened Tuesday’s contest by going 3-for-12 from the field while committing four turnovers, which allowed Golden State to open up an 18-9 lead. The offense picked up a little from there, but Indiana still trailed 28-19 entering the second quarter.

The Blue & Gold mounted a rally to start the second quarter, opening the frame with a 15-4 run to briefly take the lead. The Warriors responded with an 11-2 run of their own to retake control and remained in front for the remainder of the first half, taking a 57-50 lead into the intermission.

The Pacers rallied again in the third quarter, using a 10-2 run — capped by Edmond Sumner taking it right at Draymond Green for a fastbreak layup — to take a 65-64 lead midway through the period.

But Curry came to life for Golden State shortly thereafter, hitting two 3-pointers and a floater over an 11-4 Warriors run to retake the lead. Indiana closed the third quarter with four straight points, but the hosts held a narrow 75-73 advantage heading into the fourth quarter.

Indiana moved back in front early in the final frame thanks to five straight points from Turner. The Warriors moved back in front after back-to-back threes from Damion Lee and Mychal Mulder before Aaron Holiday’s 3-pointer tied the game at 88 with 5:25 to play.

Curry’s jumper 20 seconds later put the Warriors back in front, but Holiday answered again with a left-handed layup with 3:38 remaining, the start of what proved to be 13 unanswered points from the Blue & Gold.

“They were mad from last night and they came today with an edge to them,” Bjorkgren said.

Brogdon finished with 13 points and eight assists for Indiana. Sumner, making his first start of the season, added 12 points on 6-of-11 shooting and four rebounds.

Andrew Wiggins led Golden State with 22 points, seven rebounds, three assists, and five blocks. Curry added 20 points on 7-of-17 shooting (3-of-8 from 3-point range), while Kelly Oubre Jr. added 17 points and five rebounds.

The Pacers were without starting guard Victor Oladipo on Tuesday. The two-time All-Star has yet to play both nights of a back-to-back since returning from a ruptured quad tendon last January.

Indiana will continue its five-game Western Conference road trip on Thursday night in Portland before visiting Phoenix and Los Angeles (to take on the Clippers) over the weekend.

Inside the Numbers

Turner topped 20 points for the first time this season while also blocking at least four shots for the sixth time in 11 games to open the year.

Sabonis recorded his 11th straight double-double to open the season. He is two more double-doubles away from tying his own franchise record for consecutive double-doubles, a mark he set last season from Nov. 25 to Dec. 17.

Indiana outscored the Warriors 56-34 in points in the paint.

After allowing 125 and 127 points in their previous two games, the Pacers kept Golden State under the century mark on Tuesday while limiting the Warriors to 38.6 percent shooting.

You Can Quote Me On That

“I thought our readiness was much better. Whatever happened on the offensive end, makes or misses, I thought our readiness just getting back and getting our defense set up was key there. And the communication among the players out there on the floor, they were really talking through all the actions and being aggressive.” -Bjorkgren on the difference defensively from the previous two games

“He was big there in the fourth (quarter)…He was just making the right play, making the right reads if he needed to go to the rim or if he needed to kick out for a three ball. It was nice to see the ball in his hands there navigating through ball screens.” -Bjorkgren on Aaron Holiday

“I just tried to find my teammates on the weak side. They did a great job hitting shots for me coming down the stretch.” -Aaron Holiday on his mentality in the fourth quarter

“You can’t not be aggressive. I think the past couple games I haven’t been aggressive enough, especially last game. Shooting the ball four or five times a game is not the way I want to play. The coaching staff encourages me to be aggressive, so tonight I just wanted to bounce back and I was able to do that.” -Turner on taking on a greater offensive role on Tuesday

“Aaron was big time. Aaron and Myles came out and changed the whole game with their defense, their energy, their offense. They just made the right reads the whole game.” -Sabonis

Stat of the Night

Over his previous five games entering Tuesday, Aaron Holiday had a total of just 17 points on 6-for-28 shooting and six assists. He had 14 points and 12 assists — both season highs — against the Warriors, recording his first double-double since Aug. 1.

EMBIID SCORES 45 IN WIN

Pick a position, Joel Embiid got to the basket at will and continued to stir early-season MVP hype. Dakota Mathias needed only one open look to squeeze his way into Embiid’s personal highlight reel.

Embiid had 45 points and 16 rebounds, Mathias’ only basket of the game was a go-ahead 3-pointer with 26.1 seconds left and the Philadelphia 76ers hung on to beat the undermanned Miami Heat 137-134 in overtime on Tuesday night.

“I’ve got a goal. I want to win the championship and I can’t do it alone,” Embiid said.

Embiid had some of the great moments of his career and carried the Sixers with a perfect third quarter and clutch buckets in OT to put them on the brink of victory.

“He willed that game for us,” coach Doc Rivers said.

It was little-known Mathias with the stunner that won it. Mathias, who went undrafted in 2018 and signed this season with the Sixers as a two-day G League player, got the ball from the top of the arc and buried it for the 134-132 lead.

“No hesitation,” Rivers said. “It says a lot about him.”

With Jimmy Butler, Bam Adebayo and Goran Dragic among the Heat sitting out for COVID-related reasons, they pushed the Sixers into OT with a mad-dash end to the fourth. Tyler Herro helped the Heat overcome Embiid’s dominant effort when his 3-pointer tied the game 115-all with 2:25 left. Precious Achiuwa scored two straight baskets — the first off Philly’s shot clock violation, then off a turnover — for a 119-115 lead.

Embiid buried the pull-up jumper just inside the 3-point arc with 3.3 seconds left that tied it 120-120 and sent the game into overtime. It was his only bucket of the fourth after he made all eight shots in the third.

Embiid’s go-ahead three-point play with 2:37 left in OT put the Sixers up 126-124, and Herro matched his regulation theatrics with another tying 3 for 129-all.

Danny Green matched the 76ers’ record with nine 3-pointers and scored 29 points and Mike Scott had 16 points.

ERVING BEING INVESTIGATED FOR PARTY

The Brooklyn Nets and the NBA are looking into Kyrie Irving’s actions after a video showed the point guard at an indoor family gathering while not wearing a mask.

General manager Sean Marks said Tuesday that the team is reviewing the circumstances with both Irving and the league to determine his compliance with health and safety protocols.

Marks added in a statement that a date for Irving’s return to the team has yet to be finalized.

Asked if he was confident Irving would be back with the Nets this season, coach Steve Nash responded: “Sure.” But he offered no clarity about when that might happen.

“Like I said, right now I’ve got to focus on coaching this team and getting the best out of them,” Nash said. “So I can’t make any predictions, prognostications about things that are outside this building.”

The video on social media appears to be a family celebration, though it’s unclear how many people are in attendance.

Irving missed his fourth straight game for what the Nets are calling personal reasons Tuesday night against Denver. He will likely face a quarantine period upon his return and could be fined if the NBA determines he violated the rules in place during the coronavirus pandemic.

Houston’s James Harden was fined $50,000 last month when he attended an indoor private party, violating protocols that prohibit attending indoor social gatherings of 15 or more people or entering bars, lounges, clubs or similar establishments.

HARDEN CALLS HOUSTON SITUATION CRAZY

James Harden publicly acknowledged his discord with the Houston Rockets for the first time Tuesday night following back-to-back blowout losses to the Los Angeles Lakers.

“We’re just not good enough … I love this city. I literally have done everything that I can,” Harden said. “I mean, this situation is crazy. It’s something that I don’t think can be fixed.”

Harden had remained quiet through months of speculation that he is unhappy in Houston. Numerous reports have indicated he’s looking to be shipped to Brooklyn to play with former Oklahoma City teammate Kevin Durant, who left and became an NBA champion with Golden State. For all his accomplishments, Harden is still seeking an NBA title.

He’s been asked repeatedly to address the trade rumors since the season began but has deflected questions and refused to reveal any frustration.

That all changed after a 117-100 blowout loss to the Lakers on Tuesday night. The Lakers led by 30 points in the third quarter after leading by 27 during a 120-102 on Sunday.

Harden didn’t elaborate or take any additional questions following his initial comments.

Harden’s words will surely be noticed by NBA officials, but it wouldn’t seem that what he said postgame would merit a trade demand – and subject him to a fine. The league has a longstanding rule about players not being able to publicly express a desire to be traded and has issued $50,000 fines in recent years to players like Anthony Davis and Dewayne Dedmon for breaking that policy.

Harden was fined $50,000 earlier this season for conduct detrimental to the league related to him not following the health and safety protocols put into place by the NBA and the National Basketball Players Association for navigating a season during a coronavirus pandemic.

Harden won each of the last three scoring titles by notable margins – 2.3 points over Davis in 2017-18, 8.1 points over Paul George in 2018-19 and 3.8 points over Bradley Beal last season. His 24.8-point average so far this season ranked 18th in the NBA, still putting him among the leaders but obviously well off his usual pace.

He’s averaged at least 25 points per game in each of his eight full seasons with the Rockets.

The Rockets traded Russell Westbrook to the Washington Wizards in exchange for John Wall and a future first-round draft pick before the season in what was seen as an attempt to pacify Harden.

So far, the pairing of the two ball-dominant guards hasn’t gone well. The Rockets are 3-6 and looked completely overmatched in their last two games against the reigning champions.

Wall was asked how he and Harden have worked together on the court so far after Tuesday’s game.

“It’s a little rocky,” Wall said. “I don’t think it’s the best it could be, that’s all I could say.”

NBA PROTOCOLS STIFFEN

 With five games called off this week already and more teams dealing with virus-related issues, the NBA and the National Basketball Players Association enacted additional rules Tuesday in the hope of keeping the season going safely.

For “at least the next two weeks,” the league and union said, players and team staff will have to remain at their residence when in their home markets and are prohibited from leaving their hotels when on the road – with exceptions primarily for practices and games.

“I’m all for anything we possibly can do to ramp up the safety,” said Miami coach Erik Spoelstra, whose team had the NBA-minimum eight players in Philadelphia on Tuesday night, missing eight for COVID-related reasons and another with injury. “Just because we want to proceed with our profession doesn’t mean that there isn’t a reality of what’s going on in the world. The virus is still very much out there.”

Utah’s game in Washington on Wednesday was postponed because contact-tracing issues among the Wizards meant they wouldn’t have eight available players for that matchup. Orlando’s game in Boston on Wednesday is also off, the third postponement since Sunday involving the Celtics.

Boston’s most recent list showed eight players as unavailable because they are adhering to the NBA’s health and safety protocols, which means they either tested positive or contact-tracing data showed they may have been exposed to someone who is positive.

“I’m for whatever the NBA wants us to do,” Washington coach Scott Brooks said.

All that is permitted in home markets, for now, is “to attend team-related activities at the team facility or arena, exercise outside, or perform essential activities,” the league and union said. On the road, team activities and emergencies are the only allowable reasons for leaving hotels.

NBPA executive director Michele Roberts said “it would be irresponsible and unacceptable” to not seek better ways to keep players safe.

“No one wants to see more restrictions imposed,” Roberts said. “No one also wants to see the infection rate increase if there are steps we can take to mitigate the risk. Our experts have concluded that these new procedures will add to our arsenal of weapons against the virus.”

The new rules add to a challenging time in the NBA, especially when dealing with the mental strain of playing in a COVID-19 world. And the flurry of virus-related issues in the last few days have only made matters tougher.

“I feel like I’m living my life in a box,” Portland guard Damian Lillard said. “I go to practice, I go back home, I don’t go anywhere else.”

When teams started testing in late November prior to the start of training camps, 48 players had positive COVID-19 tests. In the last four weeks, the league has announced a total of only seven positive tests, part of the reason the NBA has not paused play.

“This is real life, COVID-19, and taking the precautions and taking the protocols seriously is the most important thing,” Minnesota coach Ryan Saunders said.

Additional actions taken Tuesday include a new rule prohibiting any pregame meetings in locker rooms from lasting more than 10 minutes; when those meetings take place everyone must wear a mask.

Players have been told to limit on-court interactions with fellow players to elbow or fist bumps, with no extended socializing. And when a player is subbed out of a game, he can sit in a “cool down chair” without a mask – but must put a mask on when he returns to the bench and sits in his assigned seat.

There were at least 36 players in the league dealing with virus-related issues or protocols when Tuesday began, based on information released by teams. That number went up in part because of the Wizards’ situation; it was not clear how many are affected there.

INDIANA FOOTBALL: COACH ALLEN NAMED AFCA COACH OF THE YEAR

(INDIANA RELEASE)

BLOOMINGTON, Ind. – Indiana head football coach Tom Allen has been named the 2020 Werner Ladder AFCA Football Bowl Subdivision (FBS) National Coach of the Year. He was honored during a virtual AFCA Convention awards presentation on Tuesday.

Allen was selected by a vote of the active AFCA members at FBS schools. He joins Bo McMillin (1945) and John Pont (1967) as the only IU head coaches to earn Werner Ladder AFCA FBS National Coach of the Year recognition.

“Tom is very deserving of this honor, which recognizes the remarkable job that he has done in propelling our football program to a level of success that we have not enjoyed in decades,” IU Vice President and Director of Intercollegiate Athletics Scott Dolson said. “I’m particularly pleased that this honor comes from the AFCA and his fellow coaches, who appreciate the outstanding job that Tom has done with our program. This is a great day for not only Tom and our players, but also our department and Indiana University.”

The Big Ten’s Hayes-Schembechler Coach of the Year (coaches vote) and Dave McClain Coach of the Year (media vote), Allen is also a finalist for the Paul “Bear” Bryant Coach of the Year Award and the George Munger College Coach of the Year Award.

He was also a finalist for the Dodd Trophy and the Eddie Robinson Coach of the Year Award.

Below are some of the program’s notable 2020 achievements:

•Indiana finished the year ranked for a program record 10-consecutive weeks, including a No. 12 final rating from the Associated Press, its highest final ranking since 1967 (No. 4).

•IU played in consecutive January bowl games for the first time in school history.

•The Hoosiers were ranked in the Top 10 six times, the second-most in school history (9 weeks in 1945).

•Indiana collected its first Top-10 ranking in the Nov. 8 AP Poll (No. 10) since Sept. 22, 1969 (No. 10).

•IU’s No. 7 rating (Dec. 13, 20) was its best in the AP Poll since Nov. 27, 1967 (No. 4).

•The Hoosiers three Top-25 victories tied for the third-most in the country.

•Their three Top-25 wins also matched the 1945 team’s program record.

•Indiana is 14-7 overall and 11-5 in league play since the beginning of the 2019 campaign.

•IU’s 14 victories share fourth and its 11 Big Ten wins share third among all B1G teams during that span.

•With their victory over Maryland, the Hoosiers clinched a winning league record in consecutive seasons for the first time since 1987-88 and for the sixth time overall (1967-68, 1944-46 and 1936-37).

•Indiana’s six conference wins tied for the most in school history (1967, 1987).

•IU’s 11 Big Ten victories are tied for the most in program history over a two-year span (1987-88).

•The Hoosiers collected their first win over No. 16 Wisconsin (14-6) since defeating the Badgers in back-to-back seasons on Oct. 6, 2001 (63-32) and on Oct. 12, 2002 (32-29), the former coming at Camp Randall Stadium.

•Indiana recorded its first road victory over a ranked opponent since No. 18 Missouri on Sept. 20, 2014 (31-27), and its first B1G road win over a ranked opponent since No. 22 Michigan State on Nov. 10, 2001 (37-28).

•Wisconsin’s six points marked its lowest total against IU since Oct. 24, 1992 (3), and it was U-W’s first game without a touchdown since Oct. 3, 2015, against Iowa.

•The Hoosiers matched a school record with five-straight league victories (1967) before losing at No. 3 Ohio State and have won 11 of their last 14, their most successful stretch in conference games in program history.

•Indiana defeated Michigan State, 24-0, to reclaim the Old Brass Spittoon for the first time since 2016 and earn its first win in East Lansing since 2001.

•IU’s 38-21 victory over No. 23 Michigan was its first over the Wolverines since Oct. 24, 1987 (14-10).

•The Hoosiers 36-35, overtime win against No. 8 Penn State in the season opener was the sixth against a Top-10 opponent in school history, with the last coming at No. 9 Ohio State (31-10) on Oct. 10, 1987.

•It marked Indiana’s first Top-10 victory at Memorial Stadium since Nov. 25, 1967 (No. 3 Purdue, 19-14).

•IU defeated PSU, U-M, MSU and UW in the same season for the first time in program history and beat the Wolverines and Spartans in the same year for the first time since 1967.

The AFCA has named a Coach of the Year since 1935. The Werner Ladder AFCA?FBS Coach of the Year award is the oldest and most prestigious of all the Coach of the Year awards and is the only one chosen exclusively by coaches.

Werner Ladder became the title sponsor of the AFCA FBS Regional and National Coach of the Year awards in August of 2019. Werner is the world leader in ladders and has a complete line of climbing products designed for working at heights.

“Werner is once again excited to be the sponsor and associated with such a prestigious award,” said Stacy Gardella, vice president of brand marketing at WernerCo. “Coach Allen led Indiana to one of its greatest seasons in 2020 as the Hoosiers ‘stepped up’ to every challenge they faced.”

Most Awards: Penn State’s Joe Paterno has the most AFCA FBS National Coach of the Year awards with five. He won his honors in 1968, 1972, 1982, 1986 and 2005. Second behind Paterno is Alabama’s Paul “Bear” Bryant with three honors in 1961, 1971 and 1973. Three coaches are tied for third with two honors each: Darrell Royal, Texas, 1963, 1970; John McKay, USC, 1962, 1972 and Gary Patterson, TCU, 2009, 2014.

INDIANA FOOTBALL: HOOSIERS RANKED 12TH IN FINAL AP POLL

(INDIANA RELEASE)

BLOOMINGTON, Ind. – Indiana finished the 2020 season ranked No. 12 in the Associated Press (AP) Poll. The Hoosiers are ranked in the final AP Poll for the first time since 1988, and it marks their highest finish since 1967 (No. 4).

IU has now been rated in 10-consecutive polls, which extends its program record.

Below is a look at Indiana’s history in the final AP rankings:

2020 – No. 12

1988 – No. 20

1979 – No. 19

1967 – No. 4

1946 – No. 20

1945 – No. 4

INDIANA FOOTBALL: HOOSIERS ADD RYDER ANDERSON

(INDIANA RELEASE)

BLOOMINGTON, Ind. – The Indiana football program announced on Tuesday that defensive lineman Ryder Anderson will join the Hoosiers as a transfer from Ole Miss. The 6-6, 275-pounder played in 37 games (14 starts) for the Rebels from 2017-20.

“Ryder has proven to be an excellent football player in the SEC,” IU head coach Tom Allen said. “He is long, athletic and plays extremely hard. Ryder brings a high level of leadership to our defensive line room and his addition makes us a better football team.”

Anderson has collected 99 tackles, 38 solo, 6.5 sacks, 15 stops for loss, 17 quarterback hurries, one forced fumble, one fumble recovery, one pass breakup and one blocked punt in his career.

The Katy, Texas, native made 43 of those tackles in 2020. Anderson finished second on the team with seven TFLs, shared third with 2.5 sacks and led the way with six QBHs to go along with the fumble recovery and the PBU.

He carded one sack and two tackles for loss, with three stops overall and one hurry against the Hoosiers in the Outback Bowl.

Anderson earned his degree in integrated marketing communications in May 2020.

The son of Rod and Jobie Anderson graduated from Katy High School. His brother, Rodney, was a running back for the Cincinnati Bengals (2019) and starred at the University of Oklahoma (2015-18).

His uncle, Mark, was a seven-year NFL veteran at defensive end and played at the University of Alabama (2002-05).

INDIANA STATE FOOTBALL OPTS OUT OF SEASON

(INDIANA STATE RELEASE)

TERRE HAUTE, Ind. — Indiana State University Director of Athletics Sherard Clinkscales and Head Football Coach Curt Mallory announced today that the Sycamores will opt out of the 2021 spring football season.

The decision was made following consultation with doctors and health officials, in addition to training and strength and conditioning personnel.

The Sycamores had the full backing of Indiana State University to play, but with both a spring and fall championship season, the Sycamores would play a minimum of 19 games in just under nine months, bypassing the necessary time for development and recovery.

“This is a challenging environment to navigate. I support Curt and his vision for the Sycamore football program, especially when it comes to the health, safety and development of our student-athletes,” Clinkscales said. “The University has provided us with all the resources needed for a spring season and we were certainly looking forward to games, but the health and safety of our student-athletes is a priority. We look forward to normal spring practices in the coming months as we continue to work toward a full fall season in 2021.”

Said ISU President Deborah J. Curtis: “We will always make the health and safety of student-athletes our first priority. I’m grateful to coach Mallory for his leadership and judgement about what’s best for his players. We look forward to a successful season of football in the fall.”

Mallory said he feels badly for players and coaches because they wanted to play and are mentally ready to play football.

But, he added, “The difficult situation we find ourselves in is that we may not be physically ready to play with such a short turnaround, not only leading up to a spring season but going into a full fall schedule. The wellbeing of our players over multiple seasons is my top priority and is what led to this difficult decision.”

“The thing that I am looking forward to now is getting into our winter workouts for the next twelve weeks, get ready for spring practice and to really develop this football team for next fall. We have a really good team coming back along with some new players coming in and I am ready to actually be around them and get some consistency as we continue building this program moving forward.”

Indiana State will use its spring to prepare for its return to action this fall, with the first game scheduled for early September.

Information regarding season tickets will be shared in the weeks to come.

COLTS OT CASTONZO RETIRES

When Anthony Castonzo first arrived in Indianapolis in 2011, he figured he’d be a short-timer.

He wound up starting at left tackle for the next decade.

The Colts’ longtime offensive line anchor announced his retirement Tuesday, three days after a postseason loss at Buffalo and less than two weeks after undergoing season-ending surgery on his right ankle.

“If you would have told me after training camp my rookie year that I was going to have a 10-year career, I would have laughed in your face,” the 32-year-old Castonzo said during a video call. “I would have been like, `I can’t block anybody in the NFL’ because Dwight Freeney did that to me.”

Clearly, the Colts knew better when they drafted the Boston College alum with the No. 22 overall pick.

Indy envisioned Castonzo being Peyton Manning’s blindside protector into the foreseeable future. But a neck injury kept Manning out of the entire 2011 season. Manning was released in March 2012 before the two ever took a snap together.

Still, Castonzo managed to deliver on his promise.

He won the starting job as a rookie and played in 152 games including playoffs – sometimes with one of the league’s best offensive lines, sometimes with one of the NFL’s worst. Regardless, Castonzo did his job.

“For 10 seasons, Anthony consistently handled premier pass rushers at one of the toughest positions,” team owner Jim Irsay said in a statement.

“He quickly developed into the leader of our offensive line and set a standard for preparation, strength and conditioning and play. Anthony deserves a tremendous amount of credit for helping our offensive line mature into one of the best units in the NFL. He will sorely be missed.”

Castonzo considered retiring last year before signing a two-year deal to stay in Indy.

This season, he missed four regular-season games with rib, knee and ankle injuries and went on injured reserve before the wild-card game. Castonzo said the injuries played no part in the decision, only that it helped cement the feeling it was the right choice.

“I talk to Andrew (Luck) really regularly. He and I are still very good friends,” Castonzo said “I talked to him just saying, `What’s it like?’ I didn’t really need to do it because I’ve seen it. I mean I still hang out with him and see him a bunch, but yeah I definitely leaned on him because he’s been through the process.”

Castonzo developed a niche for keeping quarterbacks such as Luck, Philip Rivers and Matt Hasselbeck upright while also paving the way for three 1,000-yard runners – Frank Gore, Marlon Mack and Jonathan Taylor.

Though he never was selected to the Pro Bowl or All-Pro teams and never played in a Super Bowl, the Illinois native said he leaves with no regrets.

What’s next? Losing weight, relaxing and perhaps a future in scouting.

“I actually talked to Ed Dodds a little bit because they would send you things like, `What did you think of this player you played against?'” Castonzo said, citing Indy’s assistant general manager. “I took a lot of time and I would send our personnel guys pretty detailed descriptions of what I thought of different players. He was like, `If you ever have any idea of getting into the personnel department, just let me know.’ I like watching football film and I could tell you what I think of players. I could maybe get into that in the future, but nothing in the immediate future. I’m ready to take a little break from football.”

The bigger question may be what’s next for the Colts?

Quarterback Philip Rivers has an expiring contract and though he played his best football over the final 12 games, it’s unclear whether he’ll return next season at age 39.

Indy must fill the huge void at left tackle, too.

NFL PLAYOFF PREVIEWS

Playoff football is a harmonious symphony, and the volume is about to rise.

The NFL has reached the Divisional stage of the 2020 playoffs and the two conferences have distinctly different personalities.

In the AFC, the average age of the four starting quarterbacks on gameday will be 24 years and 345 days, marking a single conference’s youngest group of starting quarterbacks in the Divisional round of the playoffs in NFL history.

The NFC, meanwhile, features three of the most prolific quarterbacks in league annals. Tampa Bay’s TOM BRADY (six Super Bowl wins), New Orleans’ DREW BREES (one) and Green Bay’s AARON RODGERS (one) have combined for eight Super Bowl victories, more than any group of starting quarterbacks ever in a single conference’s Divisional round.

Kicking off the weekend on Saturday (4:35 PM ET, FOX/FOX Deportes), the LOS ANGELES RAMS and the NFL’s No. 1-ranked scoring defense (18.5 points allowed per game) travel to meet the league leader in scoring offense (31.8 points scored per game), Rodgers and the GREEN BAY PACKERS.

Then, two of the league’s most electrifying young players square off in Western New York on Saturday (8:15 PM ET, NBC/Universo), when LAMAR JACKSON and the BALTIMORE RAVENS travel to clash with JOSH ALLEN and the BUFFALO BILLS.

BAKER MAYFIELD, like Jackson and Allen a member of the NFL Draft Class of 2018, leads the CLEVELAND BROWNS into Arrowhead Stadium on Sunday (3:05 PM ET, CBS/CBS All Access/ESPN Deportes) to square off against PATRICK MAHOMES and the defending Super Bowl champion KANSAS CITY CHIEFS.

And in the crescendo, the two ageless quarterbacks with the most touchdown passes in NFL history – Brady (581) and Brees (571) – face off when the TAMPA BAY BUCCANEERS travel to face the NEW ORLEANS SAINTS (6:40 PM ET, FOX/FOX Deportes).

The Divisional playoff schedule:

Saturday, January 16

NFC:    4:35 PM (ET)     Los Angeles Rams (11-6) at Green Bay Packers (13-3) (FOX, FOX Deportes) 

AFC:    8:15 PM (ET)     Baltimore Ravens (12-5) at Buffalo Bills (14-3) (NBC, Universo) 

Sunday, January 17

AFC:    3:05 PM (ET)     Cleveland Browns (12-5) at Kansas City Chiefs (14-2)

(CBS, CBS All Access, ESPN Deportes)

NFC:    6:40 PM (ET)     Tampa Bay Buccaneers (12-5) at New Orleans Saints (13-4) (FOX, FOX Deportes) 

A look at the four games in the Divisional round of the 2020 NFL playoffs:

LOS ANGELS RAMS (11-6) at GREEN BAY PACKERS (13-3)

Saturday, FOX/FOX Deportes, 4:35 PM ET       

  • Green Bay is playing a postseason game in a 34th season, surpassing the DALLAS COWBOYS (33 postseasons) for the most in NFL history. With a victory, the Packers would tie the PITTSBURGH STEELERS (36 postseason wins) for the second-most postseason wins in league annals, trailing only the NEW ENGLAND PATRIOTS (37).
  • Under head coach MATT LAFLEUR, who took the team’s reins in 2019, the Packers have won 13-or-more games in consecutive seasons for the first time since 1996-97, when they advanced to Super Bowls XXXI and XXXII.
  • LaFleur, who worked with Rams head coach SEAN MCVAY in both Washington and Los Angeles, has 26 regular-season wins, surpassing STEVE MARIUCCI (25, 1997-98) for the second-most by an individual in his first two seasons as an NFL head coach in league history. Only GEORGE SEIFERT (28, 1989-90) has more.
  • Green Bay led the NFL with 31.8 points per game, the second-highest total in franchise history (35.0 points per game in 2011), and paced the league by scoring touchdowns on 80 percent (48 of 60) of its red-zone possessions.
  • The Rams allowed the fewest points per game (18.5), fewest yards per game (281.9), fewest passing yards per game (190.7), and ranked second in sacks (53) in the NFL this season.
  • Rams defensive lineman AARON DONALD, who had two sacks in his team’s Wild Card win, tied for second in the league with 13.5 sacks in 2020 and became the fourth player since 1982 with at least eight sacks in each of his first seven seasons, joining Pro Football Hall of Famers DERRICK THOMAS and REGGIE WHITE, as well as DEMARCUS WARE.
  • Donald has 85.5 sacks in his first seven seasons and surpassed Pro Football Hall of Famer DERRICK THOMAS (85) for the most sacks by a player in his first seven seasons since 1982, when the individual sack became an official statistic.
  • Green Bay quarterback AARON RODGERS led the NFL with a career-high 48 touchdown passes this season, tied with Pro Football Hall of Famer DAN MARINO (48 touchdown passes in 1984) for the fifth-most touchdown passes in a single season in NFL history.
  • Rodgers led the NFL with a 121.5 passer rating, the second-highest single-season mark by a quarterback in NFL history, trailing only his 122.5 rating in 2011.
  • Rodgers enters Saturday’s game having thrown a touchdown pass in 14 consecutive postseason games.
  • Packers wide receiver DAVANTE ADAMS led the NFL with 18 touchdown receptions, tied for the third-most touchdowns by a wide receiver in a single-season in NFL history. Only Pro Football Hall of Famers RANDY MOSS (23 touchdowns in 2007) and JERRY RICE (23 touchdowns in 1987) had more.

BALTIMORE RAVENS (12-5) at BUFFALO BILLS (14-3)

Saturday, NBC/Universo, 8:15 PM ET 

The Ravens are 16-10 (.615) all-time in the postseason, the second-best winning percentage in NFL history behind New England (37-21, .638).

Including 236 rushing yards in its Wild Card victory, Baltimore has totaled 889 rushing yards (296.3 per game) over its last three games. Led by Jackson, who became the first quarterback in NFL history with multiple 1,000-yard rushing seasons, Baltimore led the NFL this season with 3,071 rushing yards and 191.9 rushing yards per game. The Ravens are the first team in league history to rush for at least 3,000 yards in consecutive seasons.

Ravens rookie running back J.K. DOBBINS has rushed for a touchdown in seven consecutive games, including the Wild Card win, tied for the second-longest such streak by a rookie in NFL history, including playoffs. Only MAURICE JONES-DREW (eight games in 2006) has a longer streak.

CLEVELAND BROWNS (12-5) at KANSAS CITY CHIEFS (14-2)

Sunday, CBS/CBS All Access/ESPN Deportes, 3:05 PM ET 

Kansas City won its fifth straight AFC West title and advanced to the playoffs for a sixth consecutive season, the NFL’s longest active streak of postseason berths.

The Chiefs with a win would become the first team since the 2002-04 PHILADELPHIA EAGLES, whose head coach was ANDY REID, to host three consecutive conference championship games.

Cleveland running back NICK CHUBB totaled 145 scrimmage yards (76 rushing, 69 receiving) and scored on a 40-yard touchdown reception in the Wild Card win.

Kanas City quarterback PATRICK MAHOMES ranks as the NFL’s career leader among qualified players in both regular-season passer rating (108.7) and postseason passer rating (106.6), with a minimum of 100 attempts.

Chiefs wide receiver TYREEK HILL ranked second in the NFL with 15 receiving touchdowns. He also has 14 career games with at least two total touchdowns, tied with Pro Football Hall of Famer LANCE ALWORTH (14) for the second-most such games by a wide receiver in his first five seasons in NFL history. Only Pro Football Hall of Famer JERRY RICE (18 games) has more.

Chiefs tight end TRAVIS KELCE finished second among all players with 1,416 receiving yards this season, the most single-season receiving yards by a tight end in NFL history. Kelce, who had 103 receptions in 2018, had 105 receptions this season to become the first tight end in NFL history with at least 100 receptions in multiple seasons.

TAMPA BAY BUCCANEERS (12-5) at NEW ORLEANS SAINTS (13-4)

Sunday, FOX/FOX Deportes, 6:40 PM ET 

  • In New Orleans’ 21-9 Wild Card victory over Chicago, the Saints allowed nine points and 239 total yards, both the lowest postseason totals in franchise history.
  • The Buccaneers last week secured the franchise’s first postseason victory since winning Super Bowl XXXVII on Jan. 26, 2003 in San Diego.
  • Tampa Bay quarterback TOM BRADY has the most postseason games played (42), wins (31), passing yards (11,769) and passing touchdowns (75) of any player in NFL history.
  • Buccaneers wide receiver MIKE EVANS had six catches for 119 yards in the Wild Card win. Evans had 1,006 receiving yards in 2020 to become the first player in NFL history with at least 1,000 receiving yards in each of his first seven seasons.
  • Saints quarterback DREW BREES completed 28 of 39 attempts (71.8 percent) for 265 yards and two touchdowns with no interceptions for a 107.3 rating in New Orleans’ Wild Card victory last week.
  • Saints running back ALVIN KAMARA had 116 scrimmage yards (99 rushing, 17 receiving) and ran for a touchdown in his team’s Wild Card win.
  • Kamara led the NFL with 21 scrimmage touchdowns (16 rushing, five receiving), the most in a single season in franchise history, including six rushing touchdowns in Week 16, tying the NFL’s single-game record.
  • Kamara became the first player with at least 500 rushing yards and 500 receiving yards in each of his first four seasons in NFL history. His 2,824 career receiving yards are the most ever by a running back in his first four seasons.

SEAHAWKS FIRE OC

The Seattle Seahawks fired offensive coordinator Brian Schottenheimer on Tuesday following a season in which the team set several offensive records but coach Pete Carroll had clear issues with how the offense operated.

Seattle announced the move, citing “philosophical differences.” The Seahawks had the highest-scoring team in franchise history, Russell Wilson threw a career-high 40 touchdowns in the regular season, and wide receivers DK Metcalf and Tyler Lockett both set club records for receiving.

Still, the Seahawks regressed offensively in the second half of the season, and Wilson and Carroll both made comments following Seattle’s 30-20 playoff loss to the Los Angeles Rams that indicated concerns with the lack of adjustments by the offense late in the season.

Carroll brushed aside questions about any changes to his coaching staff during his end-of-season news conference on Monday.

“I would never anticipate changes in my staff and share that with you. I wouldn’t tell you whether we’re doing it or not,” Carroll said on Monday. “We got work to do. We have a ton of evaluations to do. We have to figure things out. We have to make decisions on how we’re moving forward and all of that.”

Schottenheimer, 47, completed his third season with the Seahawks after previously serving as the offensive coordinator of the New York Jets and St. Louis Rams. Seattle’s offense was humming at a record pace through the first half of the season, but problems emerged starting with the Seahawks’ Week 10 loss to the Rams.

Over the final eight games, Seattle averaged 23.1 points per game after averaging 34.3 through the first eight games. Wilson averaged under 200 yards passing and defenses figured out schemes to take away the Seahawks’ downfield passing game.

Carroll and Wilson both noted after the season a concern with the lack of counters to how defenses were playing the Seahawks. Carroll said Monday that one of his top priorities going into next season was to re-establish being a run-dominant team.

“It’s really a football thing. It’s a scheme thing and I want to see if we can run the ball more effectively to focus the play of the opponents and see if we can force them to do things like we’d like them to do more, like we have been able to do that in the past,” Carroll said. “That doesn’t mean we’re going to run the ball 50 times a game, it means we need to run the ball with direction and focus and style that allows us to dictate the game.”

Clearly, what Carroll wanted didn’t fit with Schottenheimer’s view of how to move forward.

RAIDERS HIRE GUS BRADLEY

The Las Vegas Raiders hired Gus Bradley as their new defensive coordinator Tuesday with the task of turning around one of the league’s worst units.

Coach Jon Gruden decided to bring on the experienced Bradley to fill the role Paul Guenther had for the first two-plus seasons on his staff before being fired in December.

“This is an exciting defense to play and I would say that the players will be very excited to be a part of it because they know that they’re going to have the ability to play fast,” Bradley said. “I think our job as coaches is really to evaluate the players and put them in position to where they can make plays.”

Bradley got his start in the NFL on Gruden’s staffs in Tampa Bay from 2006-08 before heading to Seattle, where he served as defensive coordinator for four seasons. He helped build a dominant defense for the Seahawks that went on to win the Super Bowl the year after he left for a head coaching job in Jacksonville.

Bradley struggled with the Jaguars, going 14-48 before getting fired late in his fourth season. He then returned to a defensive coordinator role the past four seasons with the Los Angeles Chargers.

He takes over a Raiders defense in need of major improvement. Since Gruden returned in 2018 with Guenther as his defensive coordinator, the Raiders allowed the most points in the NFL, had the fewest sacks, the second-fewest takeaways and allowed the second-most yards per play.

That led to the decision to fire Guenther after Week 14. Defensive line coach Rod Marinelli handled the job the last three games and is expected to remain on Bradley’s staff.

The Chargers allowed the eighth-fewest points and 11th-fewest yards per play during Bradley’s four seasons running the defense but struggled to generate takeaways and pressure the quarterback despite having a pair of top edge rushers in Joey Bosa and Melvin Ingram.

“I know really where it all starts is up front,” he said. “I think that’s first and foremost – to get things right up front and then fill it in everywhere else. But, you need quality players at each level to be successful in the NFL and then the ability to really communicate that information to them so it truly looks like football.”

NOTRE DAME SWIMMING AND DIVING: STRAUB, FLAUTE, GILLILAN EARN ACC WEEKLY HONORS

(NOTRE DAME RELEASE)

NOTRE DAME, Indiana — Three Notre Dame student-athletes were named ACC Performers of the Week Tuesday, winning all but one of the four categories. Senior Kelly Straub and junior Austin Flaute earned women’s and men’s Diver of the Week honors, respectively, while sophomore Coleen Gillilan took home ACC women’s Swimmer of the Week, all for their performances vs. No. 13/14 Louisville. 

Straub swept the women’s diving events in Notre Dame’s upset of No. 14 Louisville. Her biggest mark was made with a sky-high 325.20 on the 1-meter, earning a Zone A designation. She added a 282.30 on the 3-meter for a Zone C score and the win. 

Flaute was Notre Dame’s highest-scoring men’s diver in both the 1- and 3-meter events. He won the 1-meter with a Zone-C 311.03, besting the nearest competition by nearly 20 points. Flaute placed second in the 3-meter with a 312.45. 

Gillilan continued her dominance in the Fly and IM events, winning all three of her individual races. She notched NCAA B-Cut times with wins in the 200 Fly (1:56.62) and the 100 Fly (53.52), while also winning the 200 IM with a 2:00.37. Additionally, Gillilan swam in the 200 Medley Relay that placed second. 

The Irish return to the pool January 21-23 for the annual Shamrock Invitational. Follow @NDSwimDive on Twitter for updates. 

HCAC WOMEN’S PRE-SEASON BASKETBALL POLLS

CARMEL, Ind. – In a vote of league coaches, Transylvania University was selected as the favorite in the 2020-21 Heartland Collegiate Athletic Conference (HCAC) women’s basketball race.
 
The Pioneers earned 80 votes, placing them in the first slot. Franklin College was picked to finish second with 70 points. Anderson University and Hanover College finished in a tie for third with 57 points each, while Bluffton University rounded out the top five, receiving 47 points.
 
Listed below is the 2020-21 HCAC Women’s Basketball Preseason Poll and the 2020-21 HCAC Players to Watch.  For more information on HCAC Women’s Basketball, visit the websites of any of the participating schools, or go to the HCAC’s home on the Internet at www.heartlandconf.org.  Be sure to stay up to date on all of your Heartland Collegiate Athletic Conference news by following @HCACDIII on Twitter and by liking the “HCAC DIII” Facebook page.
 
2020-21 HCAC Women’s Basketball Preseason Poll
 

1.Transylvania University80
2.Franklin College70
3.Anderson University57
3.Hanover College57
5.Bluffton University47
6.Defiance College33
7.Mount St. Joseph University30
7.Rose-Hulman Institute of Technology30
9.Earlham College20
10.Manchester University16

 
2020-21 HCAC Players to Watch:
 
Anderson

NameClassHometownPosition
Payton MooreJRSpiceland, Ind.Forward
Lexi DellingerJRBerne, Ind.Guard
Hannah HawkinsSRFairmount, Ind.Center

 
Bluffton

NameClassHometownPosition
Brianna GilligJRNew Riegel, OhioForward
Nora HemmingerSRMcComb, OhioGuard
Samantha ShardoSOFindlay, OhioGuard
Kylie BrockSRVilla Hills, Ky.Guard

 
Defiance

NameClassHometownPosition
Taylor DayJRWest Mansfield, OhioGuard
Josi WolfSOLaRue, OhioForward/Center
Nicole SimsSOCamden, OhioGuard
Kalyn PickensSRFort Wayne, Ind.Guard

 
Earlham

NameClassHometownPosition
Kayla BowlingSROsgood, Ind.Guard
Rosie NewhartSROsgood, Ind.Center
Acacia TennetteSRSacramento, Calif.Guard
Neely TrenshawSONappanee, Ind.Guard

 
Franklin

NameClassHometownPosition
Britney BallardJRColumbus, Ind.Guard
Destinee CrossJRLafayette, Ind.Forward
Jessica NixJRMartinsville, Ind.Guard/Forward
Cassidy YantSRChurubusco, Ind.Guard/Forward
Lindsay FreijeSRIndianapolis, Ind.Guard

 
Hanover

NameClassHometownPosition
Savannah CourtneySRFrankfort, Ky.Forward
Lexi RigglesJRDanville, Ind.Guard

 
Manchester

NameClassHometownPosition
Macy MillerJRHuntertown, Ind.Forward

 
Mount St. Joseph

NameClassHometownPosition
Maddie HaberthySRCincinnati, OhioGuard
Chloe JansenSOHighlands, Ky.Guard
Aliyah HuffSRCincinnati, OhioCenter
Kamryn McCoolJRFranklin, Ind.Forward
Haley ScottJRCincinnati, OhioForward

 
Rose-Hulman

NameClassHometownPosition
Jordan BarlowSOHutchinson, Kan.Forward
Kahlan JesterSOMounds View, Mich.Guard
Rose BurnhamSOSouth Riding, Va.Forward
Nola WilsonSOMcCordsville, Ind.Guard

 
Transylvania

NameClassHometownPosition
Zenoviah WalkerSRDanville, Ky.Guard
Kennedi StacySOSalyersville, Ky.Guard
Elizabeth HardimanSRWinchester, Ky.Center
Miranda OteroSRBrook Park, OhioCenter

OHIO STATE WOMEN’S BASKETBALL: BUCKEYES TRAVEL TO IOWA WEDNESDAY

COLUMBUS, Ohio – No. 15 Ohio State looks to stay perfect on the year as it heads to one of the toughest places to play in the conference, Carver-Hawkeye Arena, on Wednesday. The Buckeyes are taking on an Iowa squad that enters the game 8-2 overall and features two players averaging 20+ points per game. Tip-off is set for 4 p.m. ET and the game can be seen on BTN.

  • Ohio State and Iowa are meeting for the 71st time on Wednesday afternoon.
  • The Buckeyes lead the all-time series 36-34 but both teams have dominated on their home floors. OSU is 21-9 in Columbus while Iowa holds a 22-9 edge in Iowa City.
  • Iowa City hasn’t been fun for the Buckeyes but the most recent meeting between the two teams certainly was as the Buckeyes flew out of the gate and rolled to an 87-66 win in the quarterfinals of last season’s Big Ten Tournament.
  • The two teams were supposed to meet in Columbus on Dec. 19 but the Buckeyes were forced to postpone the game due to COVID 19 protocols.
  • Ohio State is looking to remain undefeated as the Buckeyes won their first five games at home and then picked up their first road win of the season last Thursday in a 78-55 win at Illinois.
  • The 6-0 start is the best start to a season for Ohio State since the 2011-12 team won the first 15 games of the season.
  • Iowa comes in at 8-2 overall and 4-2 in the conference, following its 77-67 loss at Northwestern on Saturday. The Hawkeyes are led by freshman sensation Caitlin Clark, who has not only been the best freshman in the conference, but perhaps the overall MVP through the first 10 games. Clark is averaging 25.6 ppg and 6.5 apg.
  • Sophomore Jacy Sheldon leads five Buckeyes in double-figures at 18.3 ppg. She is coming off a career-high four three-point makes at Illinois. Sheldon has four 20-point games so far this season and is ninth in the conference in scoring.
  • Point guard Madison Greene is averaging 13.3 ppg and is one of two players in the country with 20 or more free throw makes (23-of-23) without a miss.
  • Gabby Hutcherson has made the most of her opportunity the last two games, averaging 9.5 points and 4.5 rebounds while shooting 50 percent from the floor.
  • The Buckeyes are one of three teams in the country averaging more than 90 points per game (90.8 ppg).

BIG 10 WRESTLING IS BACK

(BIG 10 RELEASE)

COVID-19 put the world on hold in 2020, but the nation’s top college wrestlers never stopped training. Michigan sophomore lightweight Jack Medley and several of his teammates ran multiple summer marathons in their hometowns, Iowa’s Spencer Lee drilled against his dog and his mom, and Ohio State freshman Anthony Echemendia reminded the world that he’s still one of the best gymnasts in college wrestling.

Their training didn’t go to waste either, as USA Wrestling, FloWrestling, Rokfin, TrackWrestling, Beat the Streets and numerous Regional Training Centers sponsored creative events that allowed the athletes to shake off the rust and challenge themselves. As the focus shifts to the NCAA season, here’s what we know about some of the top college wrestlers, their summer performances, and their skills heading into another championship college season.

Minnesota’s Gable Steveson took a big step

Minnesota junior Gable Steveson was a big name before he even donned the Maroon and Gold for the Gophers. Since arriving in Minneapolis, his success and status has only increased over the course of his college career; his recent wins during this pandemic add to his dominant wrestling reputation.

After finishing second in the Big Ten tournament and placing third at NCAAs as a heavyweight freshman, Steveson won the conference tournament in 2020 and was the top seed heading into the national tournament in his own city of Minneapolis. The two-time All-American and Hodge Trophy finalist took the disappointment of the cancelled tournament and let it fuel him for a summer of training — his efforts ultimately culminated in a win against Nick Gwiazdowski, a senior world medalist and the NC State two-time NCAA champion that beat out Steveson for his world spot in 2019. Steveson’s redemption victory against Gwiazdowski came on the first day of the FloWrestling and Titan Mercury Wrestling Club Cup and sent a message that Steveson was officially in contention for the US Olympic spot at 125 kilograms.

As Steveson prepares for his junior season with the Gophers and the 2021 Olympic Trials in State College, Pennsylvania, he can look back on his training and performances over the last eight months with confidence. Minnesota will need strong performances from Steveson to compete in the competitive Big Ten conference this season, but their star is primed. Steveson has always been a big man, but now he showed the wrestling community that he has what it takes to be the big man, on the college and international stage.

Meet Michigan’s Dylan Ragusin

On the opposite end of the weight-class spectrum, a new star emerged for Michigan over the course of the last months. Incoming freshman Dylan Ragusin burst onto the scene with a second-place finish at Senior Nationals and a win at the 2020 Junior National championship in Omaha, Nebraska this fall. Ragusin, an Illinois native, came to Michigan after winning two state titles and three Fargo titles and will compete for the starting spot at 125 pounds for the Wolverines this season.

Jack Medley owned the spot last year for Michigan and was one of the few athletes to hold two-time NCAA champion Spencer Lee to a decision. With Ragusin’s incredible success this summer, he’ll likely be the guy for the Maize and Gold, adding power to a title-contending lineup that also includes U23 champion Will Lewan and senior national champions Mason Parris and Logan Massa. All four athletes flourished this summer and early fall and will be expected to make a splash at the collegiate scene. The Big Ten is a tough conference for freshmen, but as a senior national finalist, Ragusin, has shown that he can hang with the best of them, at least in freestyle.

Iowa shines in single RTC event

The team that ended last season ranked No. 1, and the team that Michigan and others will look to topple in 2020, is none other than the Iowa Hawkeyes, led by Lee and head coach Tom Brands. Iowa hosted and participated in just one dual post Big Ten in 2020, but the team also sent numerous athletes to Senior, Junior and U23 Nationals to test themselves against the best of the country. Unsurprisingly, Lee dominated his only freestyle match of the fall, pinning four-time All-American Zach Sanders in the first period. His crisp, calm style proved too much for Sanders, and Lee will be expected to carry this success into 2021 as he competes for his third NCAA title and ultimately a spot on the U.S. Olympic team.

DOMINANT: History and records from the Iowa wrestling dynasty

The bigger and more exciting surprise for Hawkeyes during the pandemic competitions was graduate transfer Jaydin Eierman taking down 2016 Olympic gold medalist Vladimer Khinchegashvili 4-1 at 67kg during the Hawkeye Wrestling Club event. Eierman did take losses at senior nationals to 2020 U.S. Open finalist Evan Henderson and NCAA finalist Joey McKenna, but he also recorded valuable wins against four-time All-American Matthew Kolodzik and NCAA finalist Ethan Lizak at the same event. Eierman is expected to go 141 pounds this year with last year’s 141-pounder Max Murin moving up to take Pat Lugo’s spot at 149 pounds. Murin, for his part, beat Minnesota’s Mitch McKee, who would go on to win the U23 Nationals, and was one of six of Iowa’s likely starters to pick up a win in the Hawkeye Wrestling Club event.

The Hawks could see other lineup changes as a result of the Hawkeye Wrestling Club event as junior Nelson Brands beat sophomore Abe Assad 9-0 in a match that could impact Iowa’s decision for 184 pounds this season. Assad won the spot for last year but missed out on the chance to battle for a podium spot at NCAAs because of the COVID pandemic. Both Brands and Assad started at various points for Iowa in the 2019-2020 season, and Brands’ win at the Hawkeye Wrestling Club event shows Iowa’s depth at this weight and throughout the lineup.

Penn State is primed

The Hawks weren’t the only Big Ten team to test out their starting lineup in an RTC-sponsored event. Cael Sanderson and Co. set up four events with the Nittany Lion Wrestling Club to give athletes the chance to test themselves, and test themselves they did. Two-time All-American Roman Bravo-Young had perhaps the busiest summer, beating NCAA finalist Jack Mueller on July 25 and then picking up two wins against Shelton Mack and Aljamain Sterling at NLWC events. His success is rivaled only by that of his teammates Carter Starocci and Greg Kerkvliet, both of whom are expected to start for the Nittany Lions at 174 and 285 pounds respectively this year.

SANDERSON SUCCESS: The legend of the man behind the Penn State Nittany Lions

Starocci made waves in 2020 as a redshirt for Penn State, winning the Southern Scuffle and earning a reputation as an up-and-comer to watch. His summer performances, however, show that he has arrived. A tech fall against Daniel Bullard of N.C. State was a nice way for the Penn State redshirt freshman to end 2020, but his pin against All-American Devin Skatzka and his 4-2 win against two-time All-American Chance Marsteller sent a message. Starocci will be expected to slot in at 174 pounds for the Nittany Lions and put up big points from the first dual against Rutgers all the way through the NCAA tournament, but he won’t be the only one with high expectations.

Penn State heavyweight Greg Kerkvielt also took some names this summer, tech-falling N.C. State’s Deonte Wilson, Cliff Keen Wrestling Club member and two-time All-American Youssif Hemida and two-time NCAA qualifier from Pittsburgh Demetrius Thomas. None of his opponents scored any points on him during the pandemic, and these results align with the kind of success that Kerkvielt has seen at the Junior and U23 national and international tournaments. A three-time Cadet World Team member and two-time champion as well as a Junior World Silver Medalist, Kerkvielt brings a wealth of high-level experience to the lineup and will be expected to make an immediate impact. He’s big, he’s fast, he’s athletic, and his results show that he can hang with college placewinners just fine.

North Carolina State westlers made an impact

Outside of the Big Ten, the ACC also made some noise in the off-season, with NC State separating itself from its conference opponents with the amount of participation in tournaments and events. A number of top NC State wrestlers — including All-Americans Hayden and Trent Hidlay, as well as Tariq Wilson and Jakob Camacho — have been active and wrestling, competing in the RTC Cup, senior, junior and U23 nationals and taking on the Nittany Lions in a Wolfpack RTC vs. NLWC dual.

Trent Hidlay, a junior bronze medalist and the No. 5 seed at the 2020 NCAA tournament, led the way for NC State this summer from a results standpoint. The younger of two Hidlay brothers on NC State’s squad, Trent had a strong showing at senior nationals, finishing third with wins over Garrett Joles, Austin Clayton, and David McFadden, but his true breakout performance came at the FloWrestling and Titan MercuryRTC cup. Wrestling at 86kg, Hidlay topped NCAA champion Drew Foster, Olympian Myles Amine, Big Ten Champion Sammy Brooks, All-American, Domenic Abounader and NCAA finalist Brett Pfarr to go 5-0 on the weekend for the Wolfpack RTC. His brother Hayden finished 1-1 in the same event with a win over Jevon Balfour and an 8-8 loss to Logan Massa on criteria. Both Hidlay brothers earned first-team All-American honors in March 2020 and are expected to be title contenders in 2021.

Sophomore Jakob Camacho and senior Tariq Wilson also saw action this summer and fall, with Camacho notching a seventh-place finish at senior nationals with wins against Brody Teske, Johnie Flakes, Shelton Mack and Jack Medley. His biggest performance, however, came at the RTC cup when he topped All-American Sean Russell 12-6 to put important points on the board for the Wolfpack. A tough loss against NCAA champion Seth Gross put Camacho’s record at 1-1 for the event, but his aggressive, exciting style makes him a must-watch wrestler this season. Wilson, on the other hand, went 0-2 at the RTC cup with losses to Alec Pantelo and Yianni Diakomihalis, two elite athletes. Wilson is known for his late-season performances, so while his summer and fall results don’t suggest a top finish at NCAAs, he’s never one to count out come March.

WATCH TARIQ WILSON’S SURPRISE RUN AT THE 2018 WRESTLING CHAMPIONSHIPS

Given that all of these events were competed in freestyle as opposed to folkstyle, and given that the pandemic created different challenges for different people, the results only tell part of the story of what elite wrestlers did this summer. But the part of the story that they do tell does offer some insight into what we can expect from the likes of Gable Steveson, Spencer Lee and others as we look towards the 2021 championship season with excitement and anticipation.

PGA: MASTERS TO HAVE LIMITED FANS

Some volume is returning to the Masters, just maybe not the head-turning roars.

Augusta National Chairman Fred Ridley said Tuesday the club intends to allow a limited number of spectators for the Masters on April 8-11, provided it can be done safely amid the COVID-19 pandemic.

In other areas, the Masters in April will be a lot like the last one in November. Ridley said it will be conducted with similar health and safety standards. Those standards included mandatory testing for the coronavirus and masks being worn to prevent its spread.

Ridley said holding the Masters with only essential personnel made the club confident in its ability to stage a major championship with limited fans.

“Nothing is, or will be, more important than the well-being of all involved,” Ridley said. “While we are disappointed that we will be unable to accommodate a full complement of patrons this year, we will continue our efforts to ensure that all who purchased tickets from Augusta National will have access in 2022, provided conditions improve.”

The Masters was played Nov. 12-15 – the first time in the autumn since it began in 1934 – because of the pandemic that forced golf to reconfigure its major championship season and led to the cancellation of the British Open.

Ridley did not indicate how many spectators will be allowed. The Masters does not publicize how many tickets it sells or how many people typically are on the grounds. It has been estimated at roughly 40,000, though it’s far easier to judge the attendance in volume decibels.

The roars are a big part of what makes the Masters, and they were missing in November when Dustin Johnson set the scoring record at 20-under 268 to win by five shots for his first green jacket.

“From playing it in November with no fans – not that I didn’t know this – but I didn’t give enough credit to how much the fans and the whole atmosphere builds and makes the Masters,” Augusta native Charles Howell III said. “With that said, any fans we get brings us closer back to the Masters. And so I was really excited to hear that.”

NBA STANDINGS

Eastern Conference
Atlantic Division
 WLPctGBHomeRoadDivConfLast 10Streak
Boston73.7003-14-21-16-37-34 W
Philadelphia84.6676-12-32-18-36-41 W
Brooklyn66.5002.05-41-22-03-34-61 W
New York56.4552.52-33-30-24-45-53 L
Toronto28.2005.01-21-61-21-22-82 L
 
Central Divison
 WLPctGBHomeRoadDivConfLast 10Streak
Milwaukee74.6365-12-34-06-37-32 W
Indiana74.6364-33-12-04-26-41 W
Cleveland57.4172.52-33-41-24-53-73 L
Chicago47.3643.01-33-40-22-34-63 L
Detroit28.2004.52-40-40-31-52-81 L
 
Southeast Division
 WLPctGBHomeRoadDivConfLast 10Streak
Orlando65.5453-33-23-05-25-53 L
Charlotte65.5453-23-32-04-36-44 W
Atlanta55.5000.52-33-20-24-55-51 W
Miami45.4441.03-21-31-12-44-51 L
Washington38.2733.01-52-30-31-83-71 W
 
Western Conference
Northwest Division
 WLPctGBHomeRoadDivConfLast 10Streak
Utah74.6361-26-22-14-26-43 W
Portland64.6000.53-23-21-15-36-43 W
Oklahoma City55.5001.50-45-10-11-35-51 L
Denver56.4552.02-43-22-03-55-51 L
Minnesota37.3003.52-31-41-32-63-71 W
 
Pacific Division
 WLPctGBHomeRoadDivConfLast 10Streak
LA Lakers93.7503-36-00-18-38-23 W
LA Clippers74.6361.53-24-23-16-46-41 W
Phoenix74.6361.53-14-31-25-26-41 L
Golden State65.5452.54-32-22-13-26-41 L
Sacramento56.4553.54-31-31-23-54-61 W
 
Southwest Division
 WLPctGBHomeRoadDivConfLast 10Streak
Dallas54.5562-13-31-03-25-43 W
San Antonio65.5451-35-21-15-55-51 W
New Orleans45.4441.02-32-21-02-24-53 L
Memphis46.4001.51-53-10-10-34-62 W
Houston36.3332.03-30-30-12-53-62 L