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Good morning to everyone but especially ...
THE NO. 9 DUKE BLUE DEVILS AND NO. 1 KANSAS JAYHAWKS
After Arizona dealt Jon Scheyer his first home loss as Duke coach, Scheyer said his team didn't play "winning basketball." His Blue Devils responded and then some in their second straight tough test, holding off No. 18 Michigan State, 74-65, in the Champions Classic opener.
No one embodied the turnaround as much as Caleb Foster. After going scoreless last week against the Wildcats, he buried four of Duke's six 3-pointers en route to a team-high 18 points on 7 of 8 shooting off the bench. Overall, Duke's bench outscored Michigan State's bench 26-10.
More than the offense, though, Duke's defense was much better and more physical. Sure, the Spartans missed a lot of good looks, but this was the type of effort Scheyer was missing Friday. At 2-1,, writes Gary Parrish.
Duke's used to being the villain, but the top villain this year just might play for the top team -- and my goodness, did he deliver. Hunter Dickinson, bloodied, bruised and bullying an undermanned No. 17 Kentucky front line, scored 27 points and gathered 21 rebounds as the Jayhawks beat the Wildcats, 89-84, in an enthralling nightcap.
- Dickinson is the only player with a 20-20 game against Kentucky in the last 25 seasons and the first Kansas player with a 20-20 game against a ranked team since Nick Collison in 2003.
- It helped that Kentucky was without key bigs Aaron Bradshaw, Ugonna Onyenso and Zvonimir Ivišić, but that shouldn't take any shine off Dickinson's masterpiece. He was everything that : Tough, versatile and ruthlessly efficient.
- Dickinson wasn't alone, though: Dajuan Harris Jr. had a career-high 23 points and matched a career-best with five 3-pointers, and Kevin McCullar Jr. had a triple-double.
- Still, it was an encouraging performance from Kentucky, which led by as many as 14 before running out of gas. Oh yeah, and they five-star 2024 center Jayden Quaintance.
It was a great night of college basketball, and there are more coming.
👍 Honorable mentions
- The Bulls are shopping Zach LaVine, and we have .
- The Marlins' Skip Schumaker (NL) and the Orioles' Brandon Hyde (AL) . Here's how our .
- The Raiders former Patriots cornerback Jack Jones off waivers.
- Justin Thomas and Carlos Sainz
, a patently absurd (but fun!) golf/F1 crossover event.
- Oregon State and Washington State got a key court ruling .
😬 And not such a good morning for ...
THE GOLDEN STATE WARRIORS
The Warriors' 104-101 loss to the Timberwolves on Tuesday night wasn't great, but it was far, far from their biggest loss of the day.
Let's start with the news before the contest: Stephen Curry will. While Golden State reportedly doesn't expect Curry to miss much time, any time he does miss could be brutal considering the .
Then the actual game arrived and, well, things got worse. Draymond Green put Rudy Gobertthat saw Green, Klay Thompson and Jaden McDaniels all get ejected. Brad says :
- Botkin: "Green should absolutely be suspended. How many games? I don't know. That's not my job. ... I usually rest firmly in the 'let these guys play with some emotion for crying out loud' camp, but this is way over the line."
So, for those of you keeping track at home, the Warriors will certainly be without their best offensive player and may be without their best defensive player moving forward. They're 6-6 and have lost four straight. Not great!
👎 Not so honorable mentions
- Leighton Vander Esch's season is that Jerry Jones indicated is career-threatening.
- Rory McIlroy from the PGA Tour policy board.
- Potential UCLA recruits are in the Colorado locker room theft.
🆕 Georgia overtakes Ohio State atop College Football Playoff Rankings
Georgia is in a place that's plenty familiar: On top of the college football world. The Bulldogs, unseating Ohio State. Here's the top eight, which otherwise remains unchanged.
- Ohio State
- Florida State
I think it's pretty fair. The back-to-back reigning champions passed consecutive home tests against Missouri (currently No. 9) and Ole Miss (currently No. 13), with the win over the Rebels by an emphatic 52-17 score. Kirby Smart's squad has more challenges ahead -- at Tennessee this weekend and Alabama-- but the No. 1 ranking is well-deserved and perhaps even overdue, too.
Barrett Sallee has.
🏈 NFL Power Rankings, hot seat rankings
Week 10 was a telling one. The 49ers are still really good. The Ravens still have trouble closing games. The Texans are arriving early. And the Bills are in real trouble. TheyKen Dorsey and Joe Brady to the new play caller, but not before falling all the way to 15th in .
- Prisco: "They are a .500 team heading into the toughest second-half schedule in the league. They just don't look like a playoff team. Could heads roll after the season?"
That last sentence is a spicy one. I don't think Sean McDermott is going anywhere -- it's been a brutal year for injuries in Buffalo -- but there certainly will be some head coaching movement. Jordan Dajani has, and it's getting warm(er) in Los Angeles.
- Dajani: "1. Brandon Staley, Chargers -- I'm not here to argue Justin Herbert's 'clutchness' or lack thereof, but the fact is he's just never had a defense -- despite his head coach being hired for his defensive background. Sunday's loss to the Lions was the perfect example of a 'Justin Herbert game.' He threw four touchdowns, one interception, put up 38 total points ... yet still lost. ... The Chargers are 1-3 when scoring at least 30 points since the start of last postseason. To put that in perspective, the rest of the NFL is 64-9."
Sunday definitely felt like a make-or-break game for Staley and his team. A win would have been a third straight. Instead, it's their fourth loss by 3 points or fewer this season, and in a historically competitive AFC, they're on the outside looking in -- and 19th in the.
OK, enough bad news. Here's the top five of:
- Eagles (previous: 1)
- Chiefs (4)
- Lions (6)
- Cowboys (7)
- 49ers (9)
⚽ What to expect from new USWNT coach Emma Hayes
Months after its worst World Cup showing ever, the USWNT made: Emma Hayes will be the 10th coach in team history.
- Hayes has headed Chelsea's women's team since 2012 and led the club to multiple titles in the last 11 seasons. That includes six Women's Super League titles, one WSL Spring Series title, five Women's FA Cups and two FA Women's League Cups.
- She was The Best FIFA Women's Coach of the Year for 2021 and is a finalist for the award this year. She was inducted into the Women's Super League Hall of Fame in 2021.
- Hayes will join the USWNT after the Women's Super League season ends in May -- just ahead of the Paris Olympics.
Listen, this is an incredible hire, and the USWNT meant business: Hayes will become the highest-paid women's coach in the world. Pardeep Cattry has an, including ...
- Cattry: "Tactical flexibility -- Hayes has leaned on a wide variety of formations to achieve her end goals. She prefers a back four but is very much willing to mix things up further up the pitch and has trotted out the 4-1-4-1 and the 4-2-3-1 in recent games. Hayes always leaves her audience guessing, though -- she also has opted for three-back systems on multiple occasions, including in a handful of games this season."
📺 What we're watching Wednesday
🏈 Central Michigan at Ohio, 7 p.m. on ESPNU
🏀 Celtics at 76ers, 7:30 p.m. on ESPN
🏒 Flyers at Hurricanes, 7:30 p.m. on TNT
🏀 Kings at Lakers, 10 p.m. on ESPN
🏒 Islanders at Canucks, 10:30 p.m. on TNT