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Detroit Sports

Deal Close For Michigan College Athletes To Be Paid

(CBS DETROIT) – Michigan college athletes are one step closer to making money off of endorsement deals.

With an 8-to-1 vote in the house oversight committee, the proposal to let athletes in college earn compensation for their name image and likeness cleared its first hurdle.

If passed, the legislation could give athletes the ability to make a profit in an industry bringing in billions of dollars per year.

© 2020 CBS Broadcasting Inc. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.


WWE Royal Rumble 2020 Picks: Can Brock Lesnar Go The Distance?

(CBS DFW/CBS Local Sports) — The holidays have come and gone, but for fans of pro wrestling the most wonderful time of the year is about to begin. WWE gets rolling on the road to WrestleMania this Sunday at the Royal Rumble from Minute Maid Park in Houston. The venue fits like a glove, since it’s home to Major League Baseball’s Astros, and cheating is commonplace in wrestling.

Headlining the show this year are the annual 30-man and 30-woman over-the-top-rope Royal Rumble matches, with the winners of each earning a chance to main event WrestleMania. We also have a pair of highly anticipated rematches to look forward to, including Universal Champion, “The Fiend” Bray Wyatt, clashing with Daniel Bryan and Raw Women’s Champion, Becky Lynch, putting her title on the line against Asuka.

Elsewhere on the show, Roman Reigns will be looking get revenge on King Corbin following weeks of torment and a dousing of dog food on SmackDown. Also from the blue brand, SmackDown Women’s Champion, Bayley, will be putting her title on the line against the fast-rising Lacey Evans, and Shorty G will look to play David to Sheamus’s Goliath in the Irishman’s return match. A high-flying match between United States Champion, Andrade, and Humberto Carrillo rounds out the card.

The Royal Rumble is famous for show-stopping surprises, which have kept fans tuning in year after year. There is no reason to believe the 33rd edition of the pay-per-view won’t be carrying on that tradition. Who will be the blast from the past to enter the match? Which wrestlers will be returning from injury or long absences? There is no shortage of rumors floating around, but the smokescreens won’t lift until Sunday when the WWE Universe finds out together.

Here is a list of known competitors for the Royal Rumble matches and some thoughts on how things will play out.

>>READ: Latest from the world of Pro Wrestling

Men’s Royal Rumble Match

Brock Lesnar has declared that he will be the first person to enter the match. Beyond that we don’t know what order the remaining 29 competitors will be entering. But The Beast’s advocate, Paul Heyman, says that matters not because — spoiler — the WWE Champion will be victorious.

However, the deck is stacked against Lesnar, as only twice before has someone won the match from the first spot. Historically, the 27th entrant has had the best luck with more men winning from that position than any other.

Among the names rumored to appear this year is WWE Hall of Famer Edge, who was forced into an early retirement nearly a decade ago. The winner of the 2010 Royal Rumble has steadfastly denied that he has received medical clearance to compete and shot down any rumors of an appearance. But there appears to be more smoke than in years past with the persistence of the reports.

Although unconfirmed by WWE, Lesnar’s UFC foe Cain Velasquez has stated that he will be in the match.

So who will win the Royal Rumble year? I doubt it will be Lesnar since he already holds a title. The more likely scenario has whomever eliminates him going on to challenge him for the WWE Championship at WrestleMania.

Here is a list of confirmed entrants for the men’s Royal Rumble match:

  • Brock Lesnar (entering No. 1)
  • AJ Styles
  • Aleister Black
  • Big E (SmackDown Tag Team Champion)
  • Bobby Lashley
  • Braun Strowman
  • Buddy Murphy (Raw Tag Team Champion)
  • Dolph Ziggler
  • Drew McIntyre
  • Elias
  • Erick Rowan
  • Kevin Owens
  • King Corbin
  • Kofi Kingston (SmackDown Tag Team Champion)
  • Otis
  • Randy Orton
  • Rey Mysterio
  • Ricochet
  • Roman Reigns
  • Rusev
  • Samoa Joe
  • Seth Rollins (Raw Tag Team Champion)
  • Shinsuke Nakamura (Intercontinental Champion)
  • Tucker

Oddsmakers have Roman Reigns as the favorite to win this year. Both he and King Corbin will be pulling double duty, as they’re also scheduled to meet in a falls count anywhere match on the show. But I don’t think it’s The Big Dog’s time. Instead, look for Drew McIntyre to step up and solidify himself as a main-event player. It is his time to shine. Given his recent beef with Randy Orton, it would be no surprise if those were the final two men standing. Pick: Drew McIntyre

Women’s Royal Rumble Match

There are only a handful of names confirmed for the women’s Rumble as of mid-week. This leaves the door wide open for surprises, and some believe that Ronda Rousey will be making her return to the squared circle following a nine-month absence. In fact, at least one online oddsmaker is almost daring people to bet on her comeback by giving the former Raw Women’s and UFC Champion the second highest odds of winning, trailing only Shayna Baszler from NXT. Rousey has not closed the door on returning to wrestling, but made clear when she departed WWE following last year’s WrestleMania that she and husband Travis Brown would begin trying to have a child. There have been no reports of substance linking Rousey to a possible return in Houston, so don’t read too much into the silence.

Rumors are also swirling that former Women’s Champion Naomi will be making her return to action on Sunday. She has been out of action since late summer along with her husband, Jimmy Uso, who recently returned to the ring.

Here is a list of confirmed entrants for the women’s Royal Rumble match:

  • Alexa Bliss
  • Charlotte Flair
  • Natalya
  • Nikki Cross
  • Sarah Logan

Of the names confirmed to compete, Charlotte Flair seems to be the most logical choice. Another scenario would have Becky Lynch lose to Asuka earlier in the night and then enter the match to immediately begin a quest for revenge. The storyline practically writes itself, as she’d be facing the one woman who has always managed to get the best of her, and she’d be doing it at the biggest show of the year. Perhaps this could even lead to her putting her career on the line. There are a number of different ways WWE could go with that.

With 25 opens spots, it’s almost impossible to see how everything will shake out. But I do like the idea of a shocking win from someone on the NXT roster. WWE has already shown they’re not afraid to put the Wednesday night brand on the same level as their Raw and SmackDown counterparts. So, the oddsmakers might be spot on here with the Baszler pick. Imagine that… an NXT Superstar in the main event of WrestleMania. If that doesn’t send a shot at Wednesday night rival All Elite Wrestling, I don’t know what would. Pick: Shayna Baszler

Universal Championship Match
“The Fiend” Bray Wyatt (c) vs. Daniel Bryan

Daniel Bryan stated in an interview this week that he wasn’t planning on shaving his head, but that a real-life barber mishap after Bray Wyatt ripped out his hair on SmackDown led to the new look. That’s grounds enough for revenge, but little more than a fun fact that won’t be factored into this match. “The Fiend” is on a roll and continues to be a fan favorite despite the blowback from wrestling under an awkward red light. There is no doubt that Bryan is due for another title reign, but it wouldn’t make sense to kill “The Fiend’s” undefeated streak before WrestleMania. Expect for this incarnation of Wyatt to roll into Tampa still undefeated. Pick: “The Fiend” Bray Wyatt

Raw Women’s Championship
Becky Lynch (c) vs. Asuka

The scenario mentioned earlier, with a Lynch vs. Asuka match down the line at WrestleMania, is plausible. If their match on Sunday takes place before the women’s Royal Rumble, then a title change becomes more likely. That would be a decent story, but I think WWE will opt to go in another direction with Lynch retaining and having a date against Baszler or another NXT Superstar and Royal Rumble match winner in a few months. Pick: Becky Lynch

Roman Reigns vs. King Corbin (Falls Count Anywhere Match)

Pay-per-views were made for the bad guy to finally get what he has coming to him. For months King Corbin and his cronies have been targeting Roman Reigns. All of that ends here. Reigns gets his revenge, and there maybe or may not be dog food involved. Pick: Roman Reigns

SmackDown Women’s Championship
Bayley (c) vs. Lacey Evans

Lacey Evans told me last month that her goal in 2020 was to become champion. Shortly thereafter we started to see her go on a tear and creep into the main-event picture. Like Corbin, Bayley and Sasha Banks have been trying to get the best of Evans. The Sassy Southern Bell’s young daughter has even become the subject of their ire, making this one personal in storylines. Thus, Evans should get the win here and begin her first championship run. WWE has been high on her since she first joined the main roster. And after a rocky start she’s come a long way in a short time. Pick: Lacey Evans

Shorty G vs. Sheamus

For a time it seemed like Sheamus had wrestled his final match, but he battled his way back and there is zero chance he doesn’t get the win in his return. Shorty G is little more than a sacrificial lamb here. Blink and you’ll miss it. This one will be quick. Pick: Sheamus

United States Championship
Andrade (c) with Zelina Vega vs. Humberto Carrillo

This clash has been set up beautifully. Until recently, it seemed as though Carrillo’s potential was being wasted on the main roster, but this is the perfect match to get him back on track. He came back to make the save after Andrade’s attempted post-ladder match thumping of Rey Mysterio on Monday. The crowd popped when he unmasked himself and attacked Andrade to set up a golden opportunity at the Royal Rumble and a chance at his first title reign. Does it actually happen though? Doubtful. But I don’t think this feud ends here either. Look for a rematch at the next pay-per-view. Pick: Andrade

Chuck Carroll is former pro wrestling announcer and referee turned sports media personality. He once appeared on Monday Night RAW when he presented Robert Griffin III with a WWE title belt in the Redskins locker room.

Follow him on Twitter @ChuckCarrollWLC.


Zadina’s 2 Goals Not Enough In Loss To Minnesota

ST. PAUL, Minn. (AP) — With their chances of a playoff appearance slipping by the day, the Minnesota Wild returned home for a stretch of games before the All-Star break knowing there was little room for error.

They have taken advantage of the homestand and head into the break believing they are ready to make a push to the postseason.

 

ST PAUL, MINNESOTA – (Photo by Hannah Foslien/Getty Images)

 

Eric Staal and Mats Zuccarello each had a goal and assist, and Devan Dubnyk stopped 25 shots as the Wild beat the Detroit Red Wings 4-2 on Wednesday night.

Jordan Greenway and Jason Zucker also scored for Minnesota, which enters the All-Star break with three wins in four games.

“When you win and you feel like you can win, you don’t want to break,” Zuccarello said. “But I feel like it’s good for confidence and mind to get away from the game a little bit. I think that’s OK and hopefully we can come back and ready to go and fight for that playoff spot.”

A string of six losses in seven games left the Wild eight points out of a playoff spot on Jan. 14. Minnesota heads to the break five points behind Vegas and Arizona as wild cards in the West.

 

ST PAUL, MINNESOTA – (Photo by Hannah Foslien/Getty Images)

 

“I was counting on four wins,” Wild coach Bruce Boudreau said of the four home games leading to the break. “That’s why I was probably so disappointed the other night. But Winnipeg lost again tonight. We’re all jumbled in there. I know you have to jump more than one team but if you have a good two weeks, it’s capable of doing it because a lot of teams are playing each other.”

Detroit’s Filip Zadina was credited with two goals, his first NHL multi-goal game, but both came on deflections off a Wild player.

Jimmy Howard had 29 saves for the Red Wings, who will head into their break having lost six in a row overall and eight straight on the road.

“I didn’t have that concern because I can’t imagine how, I can’t even fathom how that could be possible with where we’re at and the number of games that we’ve won,” Detroit coach Jeff Blashill said of his team possibly looking ahead to the break. “How do you let any game slip away at all? How do you not make sure you’re ready to go? But that wasn’t the case.”

 

 

 (Photo by Gregory Shamus/Getty Images)

 

Detroit got the first goal of the game 3:08 in after Zadina’s cross-ice pass to Tyler Bertuzzi deflected off the stick of Minnesota center Joel Eriksson Ek, sending the puck up and over Dubnyk’s shoulder.

“That was the puck luck we actually need as a team,” Zadina said. “I tried to go back there for Bert and it ended up in the net, so I was glad for it. We need to play better hockey, I guess. The game is simple but it’s hard on the ice.”

Zadina scored again with 3:21 left in the first period after his shot from the circle was saved by Dubnyk. The puck bounced off Dubnyk and defenseman Jared Spurgeon before ricocheting back under the goaltender, who knocked it into the net.

 

(Photo by Gregory Shamus/Getty Images)

 

“That wasn’t on him,” defenseman Matt Dumba said of Dubnyk. “He stood tall the rest of the way and we got our act together.”

They were breaks not often seen this season by a Detroit team that will go into the break having the fewest wins, points and goals scored per game while also allowing the most goals per game.

It was the 15th time in 51 games the Red Wings held a lead after the first period.

“It was kind of a little bit of fool’s gold in the first – some guys were going, some guys just weren’t ready to go,” Blashill said. “It catches up to you as the game goes along and it caught up to us. Then we played stupid.”

 

ST PAUL, MINNESOTA – (Photo by Hannah Foslien/Getty Images)

 

Zuccarello and Zucker scored in the first 2:19 of the second to give the Wild the lead and Staal, who was honored before the game for scoring his 1,000th point earlier this season, scored later in the period.

NOTES: Detroit recalled D Dennis Cholowski from Grand Rapids of the AHL before the game. He took the lineup spot of Mike Green, who was scratched after sustaining a lower-body injury in the previous game at Colorado. Cholowksi also took Green’s place on the team’s top power-play unit. … C Frans Nielsen was also scratched with a lower-body injury sustained against Colorado. … Minnesota C Mikko Koivu returned to the lineup after missing two games with an illness. Ryan Donato was scratched in place of Koivu.

UP NEXT

Red Wings: At the New York Rangers on Jan. 31.

Wild: Host Boston on Feb. 1.

 

© 2019 Associated Press. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.


Get Your Favorite Detroit Tiger’s Autograph During Signature Saturday

DETROIT (CBS DETROIT) – Don’t miss your chance to get your favorite Detroit Tiger’s autograph at the inagural “Signature Saturday” in Downtown Detroit.

More than a dozen players will be at Hockeytown Cafe and the M-Den from 10 a.m to Noon on Saturday.

© 2020 CBS Broadcasting Inc. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.


Former Yankee and Michigan Native, Derek Jeter, Named To Hall of Fame

DETROIT (CBS DETROIT) – Kalamazoo native, Derek Jeter, has been named to the baseball hall of fame.

He is one of just two inductees into the baseball hall of fame this year.

The kalamazoo kid spent 20-years as the new york yankees’ short stop.

Jeter was just one vote short of being unanimously voted into baseball’s highest honor.

Former outfielder Larry Walker is also in the 2020 class of inductees.

© 2020 CBS Broadcasting Inc. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.


Former Wolverine Brady Sidelined For This AFC Championship Game

Tom Brady has been synonymous with the AFC championship for the last two decades.

 

FOXBOROUGH, MASSACHUSETTS – JANUARY 04: Tom Brady #12 of the New England Patriots walks off the field during the the AFC Wild Card Playoff game against the Tennessee Titans at Gillette Stadium on January 04, 2020 in Foxborough, Massachusetts. (Photo by Maddie Meyer/Getty Images)

 

Thirteen times he played for the Lamar Hunt Trophy and nine times he won it, besting MVP Patrick Mahomes in overtime, upending Blake Bortles in a classic comeback, denying Andrew Luck and Philip Rivers trips to the Super Bowl, foiling Ben Roethlisberger twice and Kordell Stewart once, and splitting two games with Joe Flacco.

 

FOXBORO, MA – SEPTEMBER 10: Tom Brady #12 of the New England Patriots and Ben Roethlisberger #7 of the Pittsburgh Steelers embrace after the Patriots defeated the Steelers 28-21 at Gillette Stadium on September 10, 2015 in Foxboro, Massachusetts. (Photo by Maddie Meyer/Getty Images)

 

Peyton Manning he bested once but three other times he lost to his rival in the conference title game.

 

DENVER, CO – JANUARY 19: Tom Brady #12 of the New England Patriots congratulates Peyton Manning #18 of the Denver Broncos after the Broncos defeated the Patriots 26 to 16 during the AFC Championship game at Sports Authority Field at Mile High on January 19, 2014 in Denver, Colorado. (Photo by Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images)

 

Sunday’s showdown between the throwback Tennessee Titans (11-7) and the top-seeded Kansas City Chiefs (13-4) marks the first AFC championship game since 2010 without Brady barking under center and Bill Belichick scowling on the sideline.

It’s also the first time since 2002 that the AFC championship doesn’t include Brady, Manning or Roethlisberger.

 

KANSAS CITY, MISSOURI – JANUARY 12: Patrick Mahomes #15 of the Kansas City Chiefs celebrates his teams win against the Houston Texans in the AFC Divisional playoff game at Arrowhead Stadium on January 12, 2020 in Kansas City, Missouri. (Photo by Tom Pennington/Getty Images)

 

The star attractions this time are the Titans’ bulldozing running back Derrick Henry, the man most responsible for putting an end to New England’s pre-eminence and for trampling the high hopes in Baltimore after All-Pro Lamar Jackson played his position in 2019 unlike any other quarterback in the league’s first 100 years.

 

BALTIMORE, MARYLAND – JANUARY 11: Running back Derrick Henry #22 of the Tennessee Titans carries the ball against the Baltimore Ravens during the AFC Divisional Playoff game at M&T Bank Stadium on January 11, 2020 in Baltimore, Maryland. (Photo by Rob Carr/Getty Images)

 

Reigning league MVP Mahomes produced an astonishing 51-7 response to the 24-0 hole the Chiefs found themselves in against Houston in the divisional round last week. So consummate was Kansas City’s comeback that the Chiefs ran out of fireworks they shoot off to celebrate their touchdowns at Arrowhead Stadium.

 

 

KANSAS CITY, MISSOURI – JANUARY 12: Quarterback Patrick Mahomes #15 of the Kansas City Chiefs celebrates his teams 51-31 win against the Houston Texans in the AFC Divisional playoff game at Arrowhead Stadium on January 12, 2020 in Kansas City, Missouri. (Photo by David Eulitt/Getty Images)

 

Before Brady made the AFC title game his personal playground, John Elway, Bob Griese and Terry Bradshaw built their reputations in the big games that secured Super Bowl appearances for the eventual Hall of Famers.

Two decades before winning two AFC titles from the front office with Manning as his quarterback, Elway engineered five victories for the Denver Broncos from the huddle, including classics such as ” The Drive ” and “The Fumble” against the Cleveland Browns. 

 

FOXBORO, UNITED STATES: Denver Broncos quarterback John Elway passes the ball in the first half of Denver’s 17 November game against the New England Patriots at Foxboro Stadium in Foxboro, Massachusetts. Denver beat New England 34-8, giving the Broncos a league-best record of 10-1. AFP PHOTO/John MOTTERN (Photo credit should read JOHN MOTTERN/AFP via Getty Images)

 

He won Super Bowls following his last two conference championship appearances and another with Manning, who toppled Brady 20-18 in the 2016 AFC title game in the 17th and final meeting between the two greatest quarterbacks of the 21st century.

Griese led Miami to three consecutive AFC trophies in the years following the 1970 merger, including a win over Pittsburgh and Bradshaw during the only undefeated season in league history.

 

PITTSBURGH, PA – OCTOBER 21: Retired Quarterback Terry Bradshaw of the Pittsburgh Steelers holds up his old number during the NFL game against the Indianapolis Colts at Heinz Field on October 21, 2002 in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. Pittsburgh won 28-10.(Photo by Rick Stewart/Getty Images)

 

Bradshaw bounced back to win four AFC titles in six seasons, parlaying each of them into a Super Bowl ring. 

Jim Kelly won a record four consecutive AFC championships in the 1990s, but heartbreaking Super Bowl losses followed each of them during a streak of 13 consecutive victories by the NFC representative.

 

Jim Kelly #12, Quarterback for the Buffalo Bills during the National Football Conference West game against the San Francisco 49ers on 17 December 1989 at Candlestick Park, San Francisco, California, United States. The 49ers won the game 21 – 10. (Photo by Otto Greule Jr/Allsport/Getty Images)

 

Elway snapped the streak with an upset of Brett Favre and the Green Bay Packers in Super Bowl 32 after beating the Steelers 24-21 for the AFC title, providing the first ring for the celebrated QB class of 1983, which had gone 0-9 in Super Bowls.

THE DRIVE & THE FUMBLE

After Bernie Kosar put the Browns ahead 20-13 with a 48-yard touchdown pass with 5:43 left in the AFC championship in Cleveland on Jan. 11, 1987, Broncos returner Ken Bell couldn’t handle a knuckleball of a kickoff that teammate Gene Lang recovered at the Denver 2.

Broncos coach Dan Reeves was resolute. 

 

John Elway #7, Quarterback for the Denver Broncos calls the play on the line of scrimmage during the American Football Conference Championship game against the Cleveland Browns on 11 January 1987 at the Cleveland Municipal Stadium, Cleveland, Ohio, United States. The Broncos won the game 23 – 20. (Photo by Rick Stewart/Allsport/Getty Images)

 

“Whenever you have John Elway as your quarterback, you’ve got a chance,” Reeves said.

Elway poked his head into the huddle and hollered, “Let’s go!” above the din of 79,915 roaring fans.

Fifteen plays and 98 yards later, Mark Jackson dived into the end zone to catch Elway’s touchdown pass with 37 seconds left, and Rick Karlis’ extra point tied it.

 

DENVER – JANUARY 17: Wide receiver Mark Jackson #80 of the Denver Broncos breaks a tackle on his way for a touchdown during the 1987 AFC Championship game against the Cleveland Browns at Mile High Stadium on January 17, 1988 in Denver, Colorado. The Broncos won 38-33. (Photo by George Rose/Getty Images)

 

Then, 41 seconds into overtime, Elway and the Broncos took over again and, with two passes covering 50 yards, they marched to the Cleveland 15 before Karlis kicked the winning field goal.

“The day before a big game, you dream of doing things like that,” Elway said after beating both the heavily favored Browns and the longest of odds.

“That drive probably is something I might be able to do again,” Elway said.

 

DENVER – JANUARY 17: Earnest Byner #44 of the Cleveland Browns takes the hand off during the 1987 AFC Championship game against the Denver Broncos at Mile High Stadium on January 17, 1988 in Denver, Colorado. The Broncos won 38-33. (Photo by George Rose/Getty Images)

 

A year later, it wasn’t “The Drive” that broke Cleveland hearts but “The Fumble.”

The Browns trailed 38-31 at Mile High Stadium when Earnest Byner fumbled at the Denver 2 with a minute remaining and cornerback Jeremiah Castille recovered. Denver punter Mike Horan ran out of the end zone for a safety with 8 seconds to play. 

“Last year, I felt elated. This year, I feel numb,” Reeves said afterward. “I know the Cleveland Browns feel terrible.”

BRADY VS. MANNING XVII

In the AFC championship match in Denver on Jan. 24, 2016, Brady and Manning met for the 17th and final time.

“I don’t know that there’ll ever be another rivalry — or has been a rivalry — like it” in football, said Elway, who faced fellow Hall of Famer Dan Marino just twice in his playing career. 

Brady had won 11 of their meetings but had split four playoff games, with Manning beating him in the conference championship with the Colts and Broncos. 

 

DENVER, CO – JANUARY 24: Quarterbacks Peyton Manning #18 of the Denver Broncos and Tom Brady #12 of the New England Patriots shake hands following the AFC Championship game at Sports Authority Field at Mile High on January 24, 2016 in Denver, Colorado. The Broncos defeated the Patriots 20-18. (Photo by Christian Petersen/Getty Images)

 

“This is Jesse James and Wyatt Earp standing out in the street at high noon for the last showdown,” Joe Theismann said before the game. 

Manning was the last man standing this time when Bradley Roby’s interception of Brady’s 2-point pass in the closing seconds sealed Denver’s 20-18 win in a game in which the Broncos walloped Brady 23 times, more than he’d ever been hit in his career.

“He was rattled,” said Broncos cornerback and former Brady teammate Aqib Talib. “I don’t think I’ve ever seen anybody put that much pressure on Tom — ever.”

CLASSIC COMEBACK

The first time Brady and Manning squared off in the AFC championship was Jan. 18, 2004, and Brady built a 15-0 lead on Manning’s Indianapolis Colts on the way to a 24-14 victory at home.

They met again three years later at the RCA Dome in Indianapolis and Brady again built a big lead, this time putting the Patriots up 21-3 early in the second quarter only to watch Manning engineer the biggest comeback in NFC title game history for a 38-34 Colts victory that sent him and coach Tony Dungy to their first Super Bowl.

 

FOXBORO, MA – JANUARY 18: Quarterback Tom Brady #12 of the New England Patriots and quarterback Peyton Manning #18 of the Indianapolis Colts greet each other on the field after the AFC Championship Game on January 18, 2004 at Gillette Stadium in Foxboro, Massachusetts. The Patriots defeated the Colts 24-14 to advance to the Super Bowl. (Photo by Elsa/Getty Images)

 

Joseph Addai’s 3-yard run with 1 minute left gave the Colts their first lead in the game.

Manning couldn’t bear to watch Brady’s desperation drive, looking up from the sideline only after hearing the crowd at the RCA Dome go wild after Marlin Jackson’s interception.

“I said a little prayer on that last drive,” Manning said. “I don’t know if you’re supposed to pray for stuff like that, but I said a little prayer.”

CHILLY CHARGERS

Cincinnati Bengals coach Forrest Gregg called the Freezer Bowl — a 27-7 win over the San Diego Chargers on Jan. 2, 1982 — worse than the Ice Bowl on Dec. 31, 1967, when he was a Packers offensive lineman in the most famous cold-weather game in NFL history.

The Ice Bowl was colder — minus-13 degrees at kickoff with a wind chill of minus-48 — but the 35 mph wind gusts in Cincinnati 15 years later made minus-9 degrees feel like minus-59.

 

CANTON, OH – JULY 29: Newly inducted Pro Football Hall of Fame enshrinees, (L-R), Henry Jordan, Jr., accepting for his deceased father Henry Jordon, Steve Largent, Jim Finks, Jr, accepting for his deceased father Jim Finks, Lee Roy Selmon and Kellen Winslow stand with their busts after ceremonies 29 July 95 in Canton, OH. (Photo credit should read KIMBERLY BARTH/AFP via Getty Images)

 

 “The ball is frozen, the laces are razor-sharp — the passes are cutting the receivers’ hands, but they’re not bleeding because it’s so cold,” recalled Hank Bauer, then a Chargers special teams star and later a team broadcaster. “It was just too cold to play football.”

The Chargers were depleted after playing the NFL’s most-remembered warm-weather game only the week before, a 41-38 overtime win in Miami. Chargers tight end Kellen Winslow was helped off the field several times in the high-80s heat and humidity, yet caught 13 passes and blocked a field goal try.

“I’ve never felt so close to death before,” Winslow said.

A week later, Winslow caught the only touchdown pass thrown by Dan Fouts, who had icicles hanging from his beard a week after sweating it out in Florida.

 

© 2019 Associated Press. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.


Sound Mind Sound Body Strives To Deliver Academics, Athletics And Life Skills

 

In 2004, the Sound Mind Sound Body (SMSB) Football Academy was created to increase the number football student-athletes graduating high school and earning college scholarships in the Metro Detroit community. During this time a significant number of under-served students were not obtaining scholarships due to various factors including but not limited to: lack of exposure, poor grades and bad character. Sound Mind Sound Body developed a unique curriculum that combined academics, athletics and life skills. The SMSB curriculum would be delivered by national instructors, motivational speakers, college and NFL coaches along with community mentors. This formula would make Sound Mind Sound Body the top Football academy in America!

 

 

Curtis Blackwell, President and CO-Founder ( SMSB ) – Being from the city of Detroit seeing so many of the most talented players not make it to the next level because of academics, character or lack of exposure, I felt like we had to do something to fill that void.

 

Maliq Carr, Wide Receiver – This program has taken me from a D-3 player to a D-1 player with in the years. First off your GPA has to be high, it’s a sliding scale with your SAT or ACT score. So getting the help with SAT’s or ACT’s really helps a lot and the homework helps your grades.

 

Since 2004, over 13,000 students have become SMSB certified. Over 10,000 of these students have graduated high school while 1,000 SMSB certified student-athletes have earned college scholarships. In 2007, the program expanded to Washington D.C. along with Tulsa, Oklahoma and Tampa, Florida. In 2016 the program will be held in six cities- Detroit, Washington D.C., Tampa, Houston, Atlanta and Los Angeles.

 

 

 

 

John Wangler, Adidas Regional Manager – Curtis has done a great job with his school program, he wants to develop the whole person on the field and off. Part of that is prepping these student athletes for the SAT & ACT along with tutorials to prepare for those exams.

PURPOSE

Use football as a vehicle to improve the number of high school students in under-served communities that graduate high school and also attend college. Our mission is to create well rounded young men that understand the SMSB formula for SUCCESS:

 

© 2019 CBS Broadcasting Inc. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed. The Associated Press contributed to this story. 


Xfinity Series To Run Indy Road Course For 1st Time

Roger Penske already is making changes at Indianapolis Motor Speedway.

It looks like more are on the way, too.

INDIANAPOLIS, INDIANA – SEPTEMBER 08: Bubba Wallace, driver of the #43 World Wide Technology Chevrolet, races during the Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series Big Machine Vodka 400 at the Brickyard at Indianapolis Motor Speedway on September 08, 2019 in Indianapolis, Indiana. (Photo by Chris Graythen/Getty Images)

On Wednesday, in his first major move since buying the iconic facility, Penske announced the NASCAR Xfinity Series race at Indy on July 4 will use the track’s road course. The Cup Series race, the Brickyard 400 scheduled for July 5, will remain on the track’s 2 1/2-mile oval.

“Sitting down with the NASCAR team and our team, we said what can we do to make this Brickyard weekend different?” Penske explained just nine days after officially closing on the track purchase. “We want our fans to look at this and see if this something they want so we can grow this in the future. And it’s going to put on some great racing.”

Attendance for NASCAR races has been a particular concern at IMS since the 2008 Cup race, which turned into a series of 10-lap shootouts followed by competition cautions because of tire wear. Speedway President Doug Boles and the previous track ownership, the Hulman-George family, tried just about everything to win back fans.

INDIANAPOLIS, INDIANA – SEPTEMBER 08: Kevin Harvick, driver of the #4 Mobil 1 Ford, celebrates after winning the Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series Big Machine Vodka 400 at the Brickyard at Indianapolis Motor Speedway on September 08, 2019 in Indianapolis, Indiana. (Photo by Brian Lawdermilk/Getty Images)

They added sports car races. They moved the Xfinity Series race to the speedway. They improved the entertainment lineup with big-name bands. They changed the dates of the race and even debated running at night.

The stands remained more than half-empty on race day.

So after purchasing the track, Penske selected one of the few options still open for debate — using the road course.

“I’d like a little redemption on the oval,” said driver Justin Allgaier, who finished second in last year’s Xfinity race. “But on the flip side of it, this opportunity really, really is exciting to me. To switch to a race course that I think fits our cars very well, I believe in my mind there’s going to be some great passing zones and the ability to put on a great race.”

(Photo by Daniel Kalisz/Getty Images)

Matt DiBenedetto will test two potential courses next Wednesday. A tire test also could be added to the schedule.

If it all goes well, the Xfinity and Cup drivers could be making another switch.

“Who knows, maybe next year we’ll run NASCAR on the road course and Xfinity on the oval,” Penske said, drawing laughter. “I’m serious. Our fans will tell us.”

After moving the Brickyard 400 from August to September two years ago, NASCAR officials scheduled it for the Fourth of July weekend, giving Penske’s speedway team an opportunity to package two holiday weekends with deep patriotic and military ties: the Indianapolis 500 on Memorial Day weekend and the Brickyard 400.

INDIANAPOLIS, INDIANA – SEPTEMBER 06: Noah Gragson, driver of the #9 Switch Chevrolet, prepares to drive during practice for the NASCAR Xfinity Series Indiana 250 at Indianapolis Motor Speedway on September 06, 2019 in Indianapolis, Indiana. (Photo by Matt Sullivan/Getty Images)

Boles also announced fans will be allowed camp in the third turn of the oval course starting July 3, the night Florida-Georgia Line will be the feature concert. There will be another full concert schedule the following night and a fireworks display. Both races will be televised by NBC.

Track workers will be busy: After the Xfinity race ends, they will have about 90 minutes to convert the speedway’s road course back to its traditional format on July 4 so Cup drivers can have one or two practices ahead of their race the next day.

Qualifying for the Cup race will be held July 5 with the race scheduled for the afternoon.

All of it, Penske hopes, makes a difference.

(Photo by Chris Graythen/Getty Images)

“We think with the conversion of the road course Saturday to the oval Sunday will be great for our fans,” Penske said. “We know we can turn it. It’s not easy to go from a road course to an oval but our team and do it and we think the fans will enjoy it.”

© 2019 Associated Press. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.


‘I’m Not Taking Anybody’s Crap,’ Says Aubrey Edwards, Female All Elite Wrestling Referee

(CBS Miami/CBS Local Sports) — In the world of professional wrestling, it is the referee’s job to go largely unseen. The focus of the match is between the competitors in the ring, meaning it’s up to the person in charge to control the action while still being as unobtrusive as possible. It’s a delicate act and one that has been passed down through generations. Count to three, call for the bell, raise the victor’s hand, but never become the story of the match. That’s the role of the ref.

Aubrey Edwards doesn’t subscribe to that philosophy. All Elite Wrestling’s first full-time female referee doesn’t put up with any nonsense from any competitor in the ring. She’s in charge, and she wants you to know it. It doesn’t matter if you’re a six-foot six-inch man with muscles the size of Texas, if you bend the rules or get in her face, she will back you down and put you in your place.

Her fearless by-the-book attitude has earned her a loyal legion of fans and transformed her into a role model for the young women watching her in action. Thanks to Edwards, the door has been opened for other women to become officiants, a role once exclusively reserved for men.

It wasn’t long before rival World Wrestling Entertainment took notice of her popularity and used the path she just laid to continue the Women’s Evolution. In December, Jessika Carr was promoted to the SmackDown brand and hired to become the company’s first full-time female referee.

But Edwards is still standing out on her own. Somehow she’s able to be that dominant force in the ring without becoming the focus of the match she’s overseeing. The story is and always will be on the wrestlers, which makes the balancing act she’s able to accomplish that much more impressive.

It’s not just fans who are taking notice either. Edwards has caught the eye of Earl Hebner, a longtime WWE official widely thought of as one of the best referees in history. She considers that to be an enormous feather in her cap. Some now even refer to her as Gearl Hebner.

Until recently Edwards was on a very different career path. She spent decades as a classically trained ballet dancer and later worked in the video game and non-profit industries. Neither job is exactly what you’d expect to find on a referee’s resume, but she’s an anomaly and will humbly tell you as much.

Edwards added another job to her resume in December when AEW tapped her to become the promotion’s project coordinator.

I had the opportunity to catch up with Edwards to talk about her long and winding road to the wrestling business, earning respect in a male-dominated industry, training the next generation of female referees, and the heartfelt messages she’s received from parents of young girls who now view her as a role model.

>>READ: Latest from the world of Pro Wrestling

Your stock is on the rise, Aubrey. How has this journey been for you?

It’s been pretty wild, especially given the fact that every other ref on our team has over like 15 years of experience and I’ve literally been doing this for two-and-a-half. So if you had told me three years ago that I would’ve completely changed careers and be on TV every week, I would have told you that you were an idiot and there’s no possible way. So that’s kind of where I’m at.

You have Earl Hebner among the refs in AEW, and yet I would argue to say you are the highest-profile at the moment.

So after the match at All Out with Jericho and Page, I walked to the back, and I’m just kind of like, “Oh my God, that happened.”

And I see Earl, and I’m like, “Do you have any feedback?” He goes, my feedback is, “I’m going to put my resume together, because you might’ve put me out of a job.”

He’s a sweetheart. Super supportive guy. I’m thrilled and blessed, whatever word you like. Grateful. I could come up with the adjectives all day, but to have him on our team and be able to learn from him and get feedback from him, it’s like he’s Earl frigging Hebner. Right? It’s insane. But everyone’s got their favorite refs. I have my favorite reference is Bryce Remsburg. He’s the GOAT. I love him. I’ve taken so many things from him when we were on the indies and then now we’re working together every day. It’s great.

Did you always want to be a referee or did you want to wrestle at one point?

I have kind of a weird backstory. I was a classical ballet dancer for 20 years and for the last 10 years professionally I’d made video games.

Who are you?

I’m an anomaly. I do everything. I was doing my full-time games job Monday through Friday, and then I started reffing about two-and-a-half years ago after I had retired from dance, because I was running a dance company. I was doing some nonprofit work, all that kind of stuff. But I’m in my early 30s, that’s kind of when they send dancers out to pasture anyway, because we start getting old. Everything hurts. My feet look terrible. It’s bad. But I start reffing, so I’m literally working two jobs. I’m doing Monday through Friday, I’m in an office making games and then Friday night through Sunday night I’m driving all over the place, I’m reffing. I’m flying places, all this stuff.

It was funny because with AEW becoming a thing, I basically got to switch careers, which is terrifying, but it’s a pretty fun switch. It’s a pretty damn good switch.

Talk to me about the nonprofit work you were doing.

I worked for a dance nonprofit based in Seattle, Washington where we were working with groups in the community. We work with the boys and girls club a lot, to provide dance classes to underprivileged members in the community. Biggest reason why is that dance is very expensive and dance is very inaccessible to a lot of people, especially kids who come from families that may be like both parents are working all the time just to make ends meet. So we wanted kids to experience culture and art forms, while not having to deal with the financial blocking factors of dance.

Right now, I’m not dancing anymore, but now I’m training the next generation of refs up in Seattle. And seeing things like what I’ve done with making women referees a thing. Jessika Carr’s done a lot for NXT, and then I’m kind of doing the same thing for AEW. But my entire ref team of students, I’ve got one guy, and I’ve got four girls. I literally in my last independent show we had four women referees on the roster. Completely organically, it’s not like we planned it, but it’s literally that’s what you have because representation matters. And being able to see people that look like you in media is really important.

Was there a surge of female referees before you came in the business?

There was a bit. There’s always been a handful here and there, you just had to really find them. I know there was a couple over in the UK, there’s a couple on the West coast. Becky, who’s one of my favorites actually, came from this area, like MCW. I think she’s doing some work with Ring Of Honor right now, or she was. But I know for a fact, one of my students actually saw me at Double or Nothing. There was this incident where the bell rang early in a match and I was firm, I held my two. I’m like, “Nope, it is not over. This match is still going.” And it was chaos. It was insane. Most of the girls didn’t speak English, so trying to tell them like, “No, the match is not over. We are still going.” It was just pure, pure chaos.

So she reached out to us shortly after and says, “I did not realize until that moment that referees could be characters. So I looked up who Aubrey Edwards was. Found out she was in Seattle.” She’s in Portland. She drives three and a half hours once a week. So seven hours total to come train with me for two hours a week. It’s insane to know that like, “Oh my God, I really can’t mess up.” Right?

Because now it’s like I have someone who’s investing all, and she got to debut recently. So it was fantastic to watch her, and she’s just so great. She’s killing it. I love it.

You have a strong character. I would imagine that being that strong character who does hold firm, puts her foot down, that’s somebody that you know, little girls can look up to. You’re not being intimidated by these big hulking wrestlers that are in the ring.

I literally have messages from parents every day. A lot of times it’s dads who say that they’re trying to get their daughters into wrestling, and it’s a lot easier when you have a strong authoritative woman who’s not taking any crap from men. And it kind of goes back to what I said before, representation matters. People want to raise strong women, and that starts when we’re all young. And part of that is seeing people that look like you do things that you want to do. And now we have all of this interest. One of the shows I worked up in near Seattle, there’s this little girl. She wants to be a veterinarian and a ref, and she knows she can do both because Britt Baker is also a dentist. It’s fantastic.

The people that weren’t even thinking about this before are now like, “This is a possibility.” And that’s probably the thing that I didn’t know I was going to get out of this, but probably my favorite part. …All of the little girls that know that this is something they could do, and they’re not afraid to do it because big tall dudes are intimidating. But if I’m not taking anybody’s crap, neither should they.

So you’re doing the school. Are you also still working the indies or are you doing AEW exclusively?

I’m not working too many Indies. I just worked my home promotion, 3-2-1 Battle up in Seattle. They’re the guys that trained me. They’re who I work with to train the next generation of refs up there. It’s a really fantastic place. The organization in its current form, it’s been running like five or six years. We’re kind of this underground punk rock, weird wrestling vibe. It’s great.

So I’m working there because they did a lot for me to get me where I’m at. I’m kind of doing my thing, paying it forward. I’m giving back to what they did, but I’m also helping them grow more. I’m working their shows every other Friday. I’m working at AEW. So that’s like fly out Tuesday, work Wednesday, fly back Thursday. I’ve been working a long time. Doing games is hard because there’s a lot of crunch,, we’ve all heard the stories who work in the two jobs of games and reffing. I’m excited to enjoy my time off right now. I get to hit the gym a lot, which is great.

NEWS & NOTES

Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson’s father passed away Wednesday. Rocky Johnson, a member of the WWE Hall of Fame, was 75. Rocky Johnson amassed dozens of championships throughout a career that spanned nearly four decades. In 1983, he and Tony Atlas became the first African-American duo to win World Wrestling Federation Tag Team Championships.

AEW’s early success is already paying off. Just months into their first television deal, the promotion and Time Warner Media have reached an agreement to renew AEW: Dynamite through 2023. According to Dave Meltzer of The Wrestling Observer, the deal has a total value of $175 million and gives TWM an option for 2024.

An expanded version of AEW’s YouTube series, AEW Dark, is also being green lit for television. The repackaged show will be given a new name and feature behind-the-scenes and documentary-style material in addition to its current wrestling matches, according to TMW Chief Creative Officer, Kevin Reilly. The show will likely air on TNT but is unlikely to be a 52-week-a-year show, he tells The Wrap. A stripped-down version of the show will continue on YouTube.

Paul “Triple H” Levesque has apologized to WWE Superstar Paige for a comment he made regarding her during a recent media tour in the UK.  He stated that the 27-year-old, who was forced into early retirement from in-ring action, had kids she may not know about.

Former UFC Heavyweight Champion Cain Velasquez confirmed that he will be among the 30 participants in the Royal Rumble. “”I’m going in to win this thing,” he told The Sun.

Velasquez’s rival Brock Lesnar stated that he will be the first entrant in the match.

Chuck Carroll is former pro wrestling announcer and referee turned sports media personality. He once appeared on Monday Night RAW when he presented Robert Griffin III with a WWE title belt in the Redskins locker room.

Follow him on Twitter @ChuckCarrollWLC.


Tigers Sign White Sox Ivan Nova To 1-Year Deal

DETROIT (AP) — The Detroit Tigers agreed to terms Monday on a $1.5 million, one-year deal with Iván Nova, keeping the right-hander in the AL Central after he spent last season with the Chicago White Sox.

 

SEATTLE, WA – SEPTEMBER 15: Starter Ivan Nova #46 of the Chicago White Sox delivers a pitch during the first inning of a game against the Seattle Mariners at T-Mobile Park on September 15, 2019 in Seattle, Washington. (Photo by Stephen Brashear/Getty Images)

 

Nova, who turned 33 on Sunday, went 11-12 with a 4.72 ERA last season, making a career-high 34 starts. He is 89-76 with a 4.32 ERA in 10 big league seasons with the White Sox, Pittsburgh Pirates and New York Yankees.

 

MINNEAPOLIS, MINNESOTA – SEPTEMBER 18: Ivan Nova #46 of the Chicago White Sox delivers a pitch against the Minnesota Twins during the first inning of the game at Target Field on September 18, 2019 in Minneapolis, Minnesota. (Photo by Hannah Foslien/Getty Images)

 

Detroit’s deal with Nova includes $500,000 in performance bonuses: $250,000 each for 10 starts and 75 innings pitched. In recent years, the rebuilding Tigers have typically added pitchers on short-term deals, who can then become trade candidates if they pitch well. Nova fits that trend.

Earlier this offseason, the Tigers signed catcher Austin Romine, who was a teammate of Nova’s with the Yankees.

 

LAKELAND, FLORIDA – FEBRUARY 19: Matt Hall #64 of the Detroit Tigers poses for a portrait during photo day at Publix Field at Joker Marchant Stadium on February 19, 2019 in Lakeland, Florida. (Photo by Mike Ehrmann/Getty Images)

 

The Tigers also designated left-hander Matt Hall for assignment.

Nova went 16-4 with the Yankees in 2011, but he has not had an ERA under 4.00 since 2013.

 

© 2019 Associated Press. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

 

 


Younger Pistons Take Care Of Celtics In Beantown 116-103

BOSTON (AP) — The Pistons have been playing most of the past month without three starters. 

They didn’t let it stop them from finding a way to get the best of one of the East’s top teams. 

 

BOSTON, MASSACHUSETTS – JANUARY 15: Head Coach Brad Stevens of the Boston Celtics looks on during the game against the Detroit Pistons at TD Garden on January 15, 2020 in Boston, Massachusetts. (Photo by Maddie Meyer/Getty Images)

 

Rookie Sekou Doumbouya scored a season-high 24 points and Detroit snapped a three-game losing streak with a 116-103 win over the Boston Celtics on Wednesday night. 

Detroit continued to be without starters Reggie Jackson (back), Blake Griffin (left knee surgery) and Luke Kennard (knee tendinitis). But Doumbouya has begun to get more comfortable lately, reaching double figures in seven of his last eight games. 

 

BOSTON, MASSACHUSETTS – JANUARY 15: Sekou Doumbouya #45 of the Detroit Pistons takes a shot against the Boston Celtics at TD Garden on January 15, 2020 in Boston, Massachusetts. (Photo by Maddie Meyer/Getty Images)

 

“I feel like normal, just played my game and not try to do too much,” he said. 

Markieff Morris matched his season best with 23 points. Derrick Rose added 22 points and Sviatoslav Mykhailiuk had a season-high 21. The Pistons shot a season-best 60.3% from the field. 

Andre Drummond added 13 points and 13 rebounds to post his 34th double-double of the season.

 

DETROIT, MICHIGAN – DECEMBER 23: Bruce Brown #6 and Andre Drummond #0 of the Detroit Pistons are introduced prior to playing the Philadelphia 76ers at Little Caesars Arena on December 23, 2019 in Detroit, Michigan. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and or using this photograph, User is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement. (Photo by Gregory Shamus/Getty Images)

 

“This is probably the best win we’ve had,” Morris said. “We’ve been struggling lately. To come out and compete like we did tonight, shows us we can play with anybody.”

The Pistons opened the fourth quarter with a 17-5 run, capped by a dunk by Drummond, to take a 108-87 lead with 7:05 to play. 

Boston never got closer than 12 after that. Shortly after coach Brad Stevens pulled his starters, Marcus Smart was called for a foul and ejected after arguing with an official. 

 

BOSTON, MASSACHUSETTS – JANUARY 15: Kemba Walker #8 of the Boston Celtics takes a shot ahead of Bruce Brown #6 of the Detroit Pistons at TD Garden on January 15, 2020 in Boston, Massachusetts. The Pistons defeat the Celtics 116-103. (Photo by Maddie Meyer/Getty Images)

 

It was the conclusion of a night of frustration for Boston, which has lost four its last six.

“They played well from the beginning of the game,” point guard Kemba Walker said. “They came out extremely aggressive and focused. They took that one.” 

Boston was without its second-leading scorer with Jayson Tatum sidelined because of soreness in his right knee. But he is expected to travel with the team for its anticipated matchup with conference leader Milwaukee on Thursday night. 

 

BOSTON, MASSACHUSETTS – JANUARY 15: Kemba Walker #8 of the Boston Celtics directs his teammates during the first half against the Detroit Pistons at TD Garden on January 15, 2020 in Boston, Massachusetts. (Photo by Maddie Meyer/Getty Images)

 

Smart started in his place. 

The Pistons took advantage with Tatum out. They used a 10-0 run, capped by 3-pointer by Mykhailiuk, to build 82-73 lead in the third quarter. He closed the period knocking down a buzzer-beater from just inside the half-court line. 

Rose hit his first four shots to help Detroit take an early 27-18 lead. 

 

 

BOSTON, MASSACHUSETTS – JANUARY 15: Daniel Theis #27 of the Boston Celtics defends Derrick Rose #25 of the Detroit Pistons at TD Garden on January 15, 2020 in Boston, Massachusetts. (Photo by Maddie Meyer/Getty Images)

 

The Celtics closed the gap led by Hayward, who connected on five of his first seven attempts in the first quarter.

TIP-INS

Pistons: Scored 18 points off 15 Boston turnovers. 

Celtics: Bench was outscored 47-23.

SECOND-HALF OPTIMISM

Wednesday marked the start of the second half of Detroit’s schedule. Pistons coach Dwane Casey is hopeful it also bring some improved health for his team. 

Griffin and Kennard have been out since December and currently neither has a timetable to return to action. But Casey said Jackson is practicing and could be ready to come back “any day now.”

“We could sit here and make a lot of excuses. … It’s part of the NBA,” Casey said. “Now is the time for everybody who has the opportunity to make sure they take advantage of it.”

INJURY UPDATE

Stevens said he doesn’t expect big man Robert Williams (left hip bone edema) to return anytime before the All-Star break. 

Williams hasn’t played since Dec. 6. He was last checked out by doctors earlier this month and received a good report. He was put on an action plan that was scheduled to last about a month. 

“They’re going to see how his hip responds to that, rescan him and then determine the course of action from there,” Stevens said. “We were hopeful in the last scan, but we’re also very cautious with his recovery.”

 

UP NEXT

Pistons: At Atlanta on Saturday. 

Celtics: At Milwaukee Thursday. 


Jeff Blashill Visibly Upset With Red Wings Effort In Loss To Islanders

UNIONDALE, N.Y. (AP) — The Islanders vowed to play with purpose following a rough road loss to the crosstown Rangers. They did exactly that against the lowly Detroit Red Wings.

Brock Nelson scored twice and six other Islanders connected as New York routed the hapless Red Wings 8-2.

 

UNIONDALE, NEW YORK – JANUARY 14: Brock Nelson #29 of the New York Islanders scores on Jimmy Howard #35 of the Detroit Red Wings at 7:56 of the first period at NYCB Live’s Nassau Coliseum on January 14, 2020 in Uniondale, New York. (Photo by Bruce Bennett/Getty Images)

 

New York scored three times in the first eight minutes, a rousing response after a 6-2 loss to the Rangers a night earlier.

“We came out and after the first couple of minutes, I knew we would be in good shape. We jumped on them early,” Islanders coach Barry Trotz said.

 

UNIONDALE, NEW YORK – JANUARY 14: Jeff Blashill, head coach of the Detroit Red Wings speaks to his team during a first period timeout during the game against the New York Islanders at NYCB Live’s Nassau Coliseum on January 14, 2020 in Uniondale, New York. (Photo by Bruce Bennett/Getty Images)

 

The league-worst Red Wings were out of it early, and Thomas Greiss made 34 saves to back the Islanders. New York improved to 5-1-1 in the second half of back-to-back games.

“After any loss, the next game is really important and it’s important you get back on track,” said Islanders defenseman Ryan Pulock, who had two assists. “And it helps having that back-to-back so you don’t have too long to think about it.”

 

UNIONDALE, NEW YORK – JANUARY 14: Jordan Eberle #7 of the New York Islanders (R) celebrates his goal at 3:23 of the first period against the Detroit Red Wings at NYCB Live’s Nassau Coliseum on January 14, 2020 in Uniondale, New York. (Photo by Bruce Bennett/Getty Images)

 

Jordan Eberle, Josh Bailey and Nelson chased Detroit goalie Jimmy Howard with their three quick goals early. Calvin Pickard relieved and stopped 14 of 19 shots.

Filip Hronek scored for Detroit 11:45 into the first, but Anders Lee put the Islanders ahead 4-1 later in the period. Eberle assisted on Lee’s goal for his 500th career point.

 

UNIONDALE, NEW YORK – JANUARY 14: Filip Hronek #17 of the Detroit Red Wings (R) celebrates his first period goal against the New York Islanders at NYCB Live’s Nassau Coliseum on January 14, 2020 in Uniondale, New York. (Photo by Bruce Bennett/Getty Images)

 

Nelson scored his 18th of the season early in the second period on a breakaway, and Noah Dobson followed with his first career goal 41 seconds later. The 20-year-old Dobson was a first-round pick in 2018 and playing his 18th game.

“It’s definitely a cool feeling that I will always remember,” Dobson said.

Anthony Beauvillier and Leo Komarov scored in the third to round out New York’s eight-spot.

Detroit’s Givani Smith scored his first career goal to make it 8-2.

 

UNIONDALE, NEW YORK – JANUARY 14: Thomas Greiss #1 of the New York Islanders makes the third period save on Givani Smith #48 of the Detroit Red Wings at NYCB Live’s Nassau Coliseum on January 14, 2020 in Uniondale, New York. The Islanders defeated the Red Wings 8-2. (Photo by Bruce Bennett/Getty Images)

 

The Islanders had scored two or fewer goals in five of their last six games before this season-best outburst. They were 4-5-2 in their previous 11 games to fall from second to third in the Metropolitan Division behind the surging Pittsburgh Penguins.

The Red Wings are 3-10-0 in their last 13 games and 5-20-0 in their last 25. They are last in the league with 27 points.

“We have to be way better than that,” Red Wings coach Jeff Blashill said. “We left Jimmy hanging and in the end it didn’t work. We weren’t good enough in front of him to start the game.”

 

UNIONDALE, NEW YORK – JANUARY 14: The New York Islanders celebrate a first period goal by Brock Nelson #29 (2nd from right) against the Detroit Red Wings at NYCB Live’s Nassau Coliseum on January 14, 2020 in Uniondale, New York. (Photo by Bruce Bennett/Getty Images)

 

The Islanders have a rematch with the Rangers on Thursday night at Nassau Coliseum, the first time in nearly five years the rivals will meet on Long Island. 

The Islanders moved to Brooklyn following the 2014-15 season but are now splitting time between Barclays Center and Nassau Coliseum while a new arena is being constructed on the grounds of Belmont Park. Their new home is slated to be ready for the 2021-22 season.

Trotz applauded his team’s effort and quickly turned the page to the looming New York-New York rematch.

 

UNIONDALE, NEW YORK – JANUARY 14: Johnny Boychuk #55 and Nick Leddy #2 of the New York Islanders celebrate their 8-2 victory over the Detroit Red Wings at NYCB Live’s Nassau Coliseum on January 14, 2020 in Uniondale, New York. (Photo by Bruce Bennett/Getty Images)

 

“We’ve to show what we are,” he said. “We have another level in our game we should hopefully bring it on Thursday.”

NOTES: The Islanders scratched F Ross Johnston plus D Sebastian Aho while injured F Casey Cizikas (lower body) missed his second straight game. … 

The Red Wings scratched Ds Trevor Daley and Jonathan Ericsson plus F Brendan Perlini. … The teams meet again Feb. 21 at Nassau Coliseum. … The Red Wings fell to 0-11-0 against Metropolitan Division opponents. … The Islanders are 24-1-2 when scoring at least three goals (including overtime winners) this season.

UP NEXT

Islanders: Host New York Rangers at Nassau Coliseum on Thursday night.

Red Wings: Host Pittsburgh Penguins on Friday night.

 

© 2019 Associated Press. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.


NBA Fines Rose $25,000

Pistons guard Derrick Rose was fined $25,000 by the NBA on Tuesday for tossing a pen across the court during the end of Detroit’s loss to New Orleans.

With 37 seconds left in overtime and play stopped on Monday night, Rose sat slumped on a courtside table and flung the pen into the stands. The Pelicans beat the Pistons 117-110.

DETROIT, MICHIGAN – NOVEMBER 25: Head coach Dwane Casey of the Detroit Pistons talks to Derrick Rose #25 in the first half while playing the Orlando Magic at Little Caesars Arena on November 25, 2019 in Detroit, Michigan. (Photo by Gregory Shamus/Getty Images)

The punishment was announced by NBA executive Kiki VanDeWeghe.

Rose had 23 points and eight assists, but it was a costly and frustrating night. His bank shot tied the score at 100 in regulation with 30 seconds left, capping Detroit’s rally from 16 points down with 11 minutes remaining.

E’Twaun Moore missed two short jumpers, giving Detroit the ball with 14 seconds to go. That gave Rose a chance to replicate his winner from Dec. 9 in New Orleans, but he missed at the buzzer. In overtime, Rose had two turnovers in the last 90 seconds.

© 2019 Associated Press. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.


NASCAR Looking To Improve Short-Track Racing

NASCAR has changed the rules on its aerodynamic package for short tracks and road courses because the racing didn’t improve at those venues under rules introduced last season.

AVONDALE, ARIZONA – NOVEMBER 10: Martin Truex Jr., driver of the #19 Bass Pro Shops Toyota, races during the Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series Bluegreen Vacations 500 at ISM Raceway on November 10, 2019 in Avondale, Arizona. (Photo by Jared C. Tilton/Getty Images)

NASCAR had been fairly adamant the rules package would remain unchanged but reversed course late last season when it was evident the racing clearly had suffered at smaller tracks. The most glaring issue was a ho-hum penultimate race at Phoenix Raceway, which this season will host the championship finale.

A week after the dud in Phoenix, NASCAR President Steve Phelps promised fans the sanctioning body was working on improving the racing at short tracks.

AVONDALE, ARIZONA – NOVEMBER 10: Martin Truex Jr., driver of the #19 Bass Pro Shops Toyota, races during the Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series Bluegreen Vacations 500 at ISM Raceway on November 10, 2019 in Avondale, Arizona. (Photo by Matt Sullivan/Getty Images)

Teams will now use a separate rules package at Bristol, Dover, Martinsville, New Hampshire, Phoenix, Richmond, the Charlotte Roval, Sonoma, and Watkins Glen. The changes include a significantly smaller rear spoiler, which shrinks from an 8-inch height to 2.75 inches. The front splitter’s overhang will now measure a quarter-inch (down from 2 inches), with approximately 2-inch wings (reduced from 10.5 inches).

There will be alterations to the radiator pan by removing its vertical fencing in an effort to reduce front-end downforce. The dimensions of the pan remain the same.

AVONDALE, ARIZONA – NOVEMBER 10: Kyle Busch, driver of the #18 M&M’s Toyota, races during the Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series Bluegreen Vacations 500 at ISM Raceway on November 10, 2019 in Avondale, Arizona. (Photo by Jared C. Tilton/Getty Images)

“Our goal has always been to provide the best possible racing for our fans, regardless of venue,” said Steve O’Donnell, NASCAR executive vice president, and chief racing development officer. “The 2019 Cup Series race package delivered some of the most exciting races on intermediate and larger tracks that our sport has seen. However, we felt we could make improvements to short tracks and road courses.

“We believe we have found the right balance for 2020 that will allow teams to build off their previous knowledge of this package and showcase exciting side-by-side racing at tracks of all sizes.”

© 2019 Associated Press. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.


“If You Ain’t Cheatin’, You Ain’t Tryin'”

A look back at other infamous cheating scandals in sports

 

 (Photo credit should read DAVID STOCKMAN/AFP via Getty Images)

 

The fallout from baseball’s latest sign-stealing scandal is beginning to take shape. Houston manager AJ Hinch is out of a job, and so is general manager Jeff Luhnow. The question is what will happen with the Boston Red Sox, who are also under investigation for sign stealing.

Before they were fired Monday, Hinch and Luhnow were suspended for one season by Major League Baseball for the team’s use of electronics to steal signs in 2017 and 2018. The Astros won the World Series in 2017. Boston won it in 2018 — and the Red Sox are being investigated for their conduct that season.

 

 

HOUSTON, TEXAS – OCTOBER 05: Manager AJ Hinch #14 talks with Jeff Luhnow, General Manager of the Houston Astros, prior to game two of the American League Division Series against the Tampa Bay Rays at Minute Maid Park on October 05, 2019 in Houston, Texas. (Photo by Bob Levey/Getty Images)

 

With two recent champions involved, this controversy now takes its place alongside some other famous cheating scandals in sports.

DOPING

 

(From L) World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) President-Elect Witold Banka, WADA President Craig Reedie and WADA Director General Olivier Niggli attend a press conference on December 9, 2019 in Lausanne following a meeting of the WADA executive committee which banned Russia from global sporting events including the 2020 Tokyo Olympics and the 2022 Beijing Winter Olympics after accusing Moscow of falsifying data from an anti-doping laboratory. (Photo by Fabrice COFFRINI / AFP) (Photo by FABRICE COFFRINI/AFP via Getty Images)

 

There are enough drug scandals in sports to form their own list, both at the international level and in the major American sports. Russia remains embroiled in an ongoing doping controversy. The International Olympic Committee banned Russia from the 2018 Winter Olympics due to evidence of mass cheating four years earlier at the Winter Games in Sochi. More recently, Russia received a four-year ban from international sports events, including this year’s Tokyo Olympics.

1951 GIANTS

 

New York Giants outfielder Monte Irvin holds up seven fingers to show the number of hits he has had in two games versus the New York Yankees in the World Series, October 1951. (Photo by APA/Getty Images)

 

The sign-stealing scheme heard ’round the world? The New York Giants won the National League pennant over Brooklyn in dramatic fashion in 1951 — on a famous home run by Bobby Thomson. But The Wall Street Journal later quoted Hall of Fame outfielder Monte Irvin, catcher Sal Yvars and pitcher Al Gettel as admitting the Giants stole signs. The Journal said the Giants would spy from their center field clubhouse with a military field scope and relay signals to the bullpen with a buzzer system. Yvars said he relayed signals to hitters.

SPYGATE

 

FOXBORO, MA – JANUARY 18: Head coach Bill Belichick of the New England Patriots holds up the Lamar Hunt Trophy after defeating the Indianapolis Colts in the 2015 AFC Championship Game at Gillette Stadium on January 18, 2015 in Foxboro, Massachusetts. The Patriots defeated the Colts 45-7. (Photo by Elsa/Getty Images)

 

The New England Patriots have been the NFL’s dominant franchise over the past two decades, but suspicion has hung over them. New England was fined $250,000 and lost a first-round draft pick in 2007 for violating rules against using video to steal signals. Coach Bill Belichick was also fined $500,000. Later, the team was accused of illegally deflating footballs for the 2015 AFC championship game. Quarterback Tom Brady was suspended four games, and the team was fined $1 million and docked another first-round pick.

GIVING CHASE

 

(Photo by Jerry Markland/Getty Images)

 

 

In a 2013 race at Richmond, NASCAR’s Clint Bowyer spun on the closing laps, bringing out a caution and setting in motion a series of events that helped teammate Martin Truex Jr. qualify for the Chase for the Sprint Cup. NASCAR penalized Michael Waltrip Racing for manipulating the outcome of the race, and Truex ended up losing his spot in the Chase. Jeff Gordon was also added to the Chase field amid the fallout from NASCAR’s biggest cheating scandal in years. Several other teams were caught in the controversy and it ultimately led to Michael Waltrip Racing going out of business.

WRONG SCORE

 

Vijay singh of Fiji (Photo credit should read MANAN VATSYAYANA/AFP via Getty Images)

 

Vijay Singh was 22 when he was accused of changing his scorecard in the 1985 Indonesia Open and was disqualified. Singh said it was a misunderstanding, but the head of the Southeast Asia Golf Federation suspended him indefinitely from the Asian Tour. Singh took a club pro job in Borneo, eventually made his way back through a small African tour, the European Tour and the PGA Tour and led a distinguished career that led to the World Golf Hall of Fame.

SHUT DOWN

 

Mandatory Credit: Al Bello /Allsp

 

There’s plenty to choose from when it comes to rule breaking in major college sports, but the most severe penalty over the past few decades probably still belongs to SMU football. Boosters funneled thousands of dollars to football players through a slush fund administered by school officials. The NCAA gave SMU’s program the “death penalty” — shutting it down for the 1987 season. The school did not field a team in 1988 either. This season was the first time SMU was ranked in the Top 25 since those sanctions.

DISQUALIFIED

 

le joueur de football chilien Roberto Rojas annonce, le 12 septembre 1989 au cours d’une conférence de presse à Santiago, qu’il va saisir la FIFA pour témoigner personnellement sur les incidents intervenus lors du match Chili-Brésil comptant pour les éliminations de la coupe du monde 1990 en Italie. Pendant le match en effet, Rojas, le gardien de but de son équipe, a reçu un projectile lancé des tribunes du stade par un supporter brésilien. Le joueur souffre d’une blessure au front. AFP PHOTO JOSE DURAN / AFP PHOTO / Jose DURAN (Photo credit should read JOSE DURAN/AFP via Getty Images)

 

Soccer players are often accused of faking injuries, but this was an extreme example: As part of an audacious attempt to help Chile in World Cup qualifying, goalie Roberto Rojas fell to the ground bleeding after a flare was thrown onto the field in a 1989 match at Brazil. Chile’s players refused to continue playing, but a photographer caught Rojas sneaking a razor from one of his gloves and cutting his own head. Chile missed out on the 1990 World Cup and was banned from the 1994 edition.

CUTTING IN

 

 

Rosie Ruiz finished first in the Boston Marathon in 1980, then was stripped of her title days later. Ruiz did not show up on videotape or in photographs taken along the first 25 miles of the race. Two Harvard students came forward to say they saw her join the race about a mile from the finish.

 

© 2019 Associated Press. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.


Pistons Lose To Lonzo Ball And The Pelicans 117-100

A makeshift New Orleans Pelicans lineup blew a 16-point lead in the fourth quarter on Monday.

Lonzo Ball helped his teammates salvage the night.

Ball scored five of his 17 points in overtime, and the Pelicans beat the Detroit Pistons 117-110.

(Photo by Vaughn Ridley/Getty Images)

“That was a tough game,” Ball said. “We kind of lost it in the fourth quarter, but we got it back in overtime and ended up with a good win.”

The Pistons are still missing starters Blake Griffin (knee), Luke Kennard (knee) and Reggie Jackson (back), while the Pelicans played without their top three scorers — Brandon Ingram (knee), Jrue Holiday (elbow) and JJ Redick (hamstring) — along with Derrick Favors (hamstring) and Zion Williamson (knee).

“Over the course of the NBA season, guys are going to get an opportunity,” Pelicans coach Alvin Gentry said. “The question is whether or not they take advantage. Tonight, everyone we put in the lineup did that. This was just a great team effort.”

Along with the injuries, Pistons coach Dwane Casey benched Andre Drummond for the fourth quarter and overtime, playing Christian Wood for the final 20:23. Casey also went with youngsters Svi Mykhailiuk and Sekou Doumbouya down the stretch.

(Photo by Gregory Shamus/Getty Images)

“In a situation like that, we’re looking for five or six men who are playing hard and who can finish the game for us,” Casey said. “It wasn’t a message for Andre as much as a message for everyone who wasn’t on the floor. The young guys were playing hard and earned the right to be out there.”

Detroit, which trailed by 16 with 11 minutes to play, tied the game at 100 on Derrick Rose’s bank shot with 30 seconds left. E’Twaun Moore missed two short jumpers, giving Detroit the ball with 14 seconds remaining.

That gave Rose a chance to replicate his game-winner on Dec. 9 in New Orleans, but he missed at the buzzer.

“It was the same play we ran down there when Derrick won it for us,” Casey said. “He got to his sweet spot again, but this one rimmed out.”

(Photo by Gregory Shamus/Getty Images)

The Pelicans opened overtime with a 9-2 run, including five points from Ball, and Rose had two turnovers in the last 90 seconds.

“I thought Frank (Jackson) did a great job on Rose,” Gentry said. “He did a really good job of being physical and keeping him out of the exact spot he wanted to be.”

New Orleans has won three of four and is now 9-4 after a 6-22 start. Jalil Okafor had 25 points and 14 rebounds while Nicolo Melli scored 20 points and Moore had 16.

The Pistons lost their third straight and their 12th in the last 15 games. Rose had 23 points and eight assists, while Wood added 18 points and nine rebounds. Doumbouya scored 16 points, matching a his career best.

(Photo by Gregory Shamus/Getty Images)

Okafor had 19 points and eight rebounds as the Pelicans took a 63-52 halftime lead.

“My teammates were really urging me on, and once I saw the ball going in, I got into a good rhythm,” he said. “My confidence was through the roof.”

Okafor, though, only had six points after halftime.

“Ja likes to play with his back to the basket and shoot that little jump hook, and he was hitting everything in the first half,” Wood said. “I tried to make him shoot jumpers from further out and that helped.”

Detroit narrowed the gap to seven at the start of the third, but Melli answered with a 3-pointer. The Pelicans kept the gap in double figures for the rest of the quarter, going into the fourth with an 89-77 lead.

Doumbouya’s transition dunk cut it to 97-91 with 6:05 left, and Rose followed with a layup in traffic. Josh Hart and Wood traded 3-pointers, and another layup by Rose pulled the Pistons within 100-98.

TIP-INS

Pelicans: With the Pelicans short-handed, rookie Zylon Cheatham entered the rotation as part of coach Alvin Gentry’s second unit. He played 11 minutes, scoring two points in his third NBA game.

Pistons: Guard Jordan Bone, who came into the game with six NBA minutes over three games, was inserted into the game in the first quarter as part of a three-guard second unit. Bone finished with no points in eight first-half minutes.

PISTONS STRUGGLE ON GLASS

The Pelicans dominated on the boards at both ends of the floor, pulling down 90% of Detroit’s missed shots and 31% of their own misses.

“I don’t think that was all hustle, because they are longer than us at a lot of positions. When we go small, we’re really small,” Casey said. “But they did a good job and we need our guards to be better at getting long rebounds.”

UP NEXT

Pelicans: Host the Utah Jazz on Thursday.

Pistons: Visit the Boston Celtics on Wednesday.

© 2019 Associated Press. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.


Matt Patricia Adds Cory Undlin As Defensive Coordinator

The Detroit Lions have hired Cory Undlin to replace Paul Pasqualoni as defensive coordinator.

Matt Patricia added the former Philadelphia Eagles defensive backs coach to his staff on Monday. Patricia and Undlin started their NFL careers together with the New England Patriots in 2004.

(Photo by Corey Perrine/Getty Images)

The Lions announced earlier this month Pasqualoni was leaving the team to be closer to his family in Connecticut.

Undlin’s task is to turn around a defense that ranked No. 31 in the NFL for a team with three wins in 2019. He was Philadelphia’s defensive backs coach for five seasons after having the same job for two years during a three-season stretch with the Denver Broncos.

Patricia and Undlin started their NFL careers as coaching assistants in 2004 with the Patriots. Undlin was also on coaching staffs with the Jacksonville Jaguars and Cleveland Browns.

Patricia has made several changes to his coaching staff after hanging onto his job for a third season despite his 9-22-1 record.

(Photo by Leon Halip/Getty Images)

He fired six members of his staff two days after finishing the season 3-12-1. Later, Patricia said Pasqualoni was leaving for family reasons and offensive line coach Jeff Davidson was taking an indefinite leave from the profession.

Patricia filled a key role on Saturday, hiring special teams coordinator Brayden Coombs. He previously promoted assistant coaches Hank Fraley and Billy Yates to lead the team’s offensive line.

Patricia and his new-look staff will have an opportunity at the Senior Bowl to evaluate draft prospects later this month as coaches for practices and the game. The Lions have the No. 3 draft pick overall in April.

© 2020 Associated Press. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.


MLB Suspensions Lead To Firing Of Astros AJ Hinch & Jeff Luhnow

HOUSTON (AP) — Astros fire manager AJ Hinch, general manager Jeff Luhnow after MLB suspensions for sign stealing.

 

HOUSTON, TEXAS – (Photo by Bob Levey/Getty Images)

 

HOUSTON, TX – (Photo by Tim Warner/Getty Images)

 

Earlier in the day it was announced that Houston manager AJ Hinch and general manager Jeff Luhnow were suspended for the entire season Monday and the team was fined $5 million for sign-stealing by the team in 2017 and 2018 season.

 

HOUSTON, TEXAS – (Photo by Bob Levey/Getty Images)

Commissioner Rob Manfred announced the discipline and strongly hinted that current Boston manager Alex Cora — the Astros bench coach in 2017 — will face punishment later. Manfred said Cora developed the sign-stealing system used by the Astros.
Houston also will forfeit its next two first- and second-round draft picks.

 

(Photo by Elsa/Getty Images)

 

Manfred said Hinch was aware of the system but did not bring it to the attention of Luhnow. The GM told Major League Baseball he was unaware of the system but Manfred held him accountable for the team’s actions. Manfred also said owner Jim Crane was not aware.

 

© 2019 Associated Press. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.


Minnesota Beats No. 19 Michigan 75-67

Daniel Oturu shook off an injury and had a career game to help Minnesota take down another ranked opponent.

Oturu scored a career-high 30 points, and the Gophers went on a late 11-0 run to beat No. 19 Michigan 75-67 on Sunday.

(Photo by Jamie Squire/Getty Images)

The sophomore center had 20 points in a dominant first half, and he continued his roll with six quick points after the break. But with 14:35 remaining, he hit the deck hard while fighting for a rebound. He stayed on the floor for nearly five minutes, clutching his left shoulder as a hush fell over the crowd.

Oturu received treatment on his shoulder in the locker room and returned to a standing ovation after missing about three minutes of action.

“It felt like it slipped in and out, so I was in a lot of pain,” Oturu said of his shoulder. “But regardless of what injury or whatever I was feeling, I was going to go back out there because I needed to help my team win this game. That was the most important thing.”

Zavier Simpson had 19 points and nine assists for Michigan (11-5, 2-3). Franz Wagner made four 3-pointers and scored 17 points for the Wolverines, who led by 11 early but gave up big runs to Minnesota at the end of each half.

(Photo by Andy Lyons/Getty Images)

“We started off good and had great energy, and then kind of lost that,” Wagner said. “The game is not won in 10 minutes, not won in the last 3 minutes. It’s won the whole game. You’ve got to play solid all 40 minutes.”

Marcus Carr had 21 points and 12 assists for Minnesota (9-7, 3-3 Big Ten), which knocked off No. 3 Ohio State at home on Dec. 15. Alihan Demir scored 13 points and helped shore up Minnesota’s inside game when Oturu was out. Demir and Carr played key roles down the stretch as the Gophers pulled away after a back-and-forth second half.

Eli Brooks hit a 3-pointer with 3:20 to play to put Michigan ahead 65-64. But Oturu answered on the other end with a basket in the low post to give Minnesota the lead for good with 3 minutes left.

(Photo by Jamie Squire/Getty Images)

Michigan only had eight turnovers on the day, but two came at the worst possible time. After Minnesota regained the lead, the Wolverines turned it over on their next two possessions. The Gophers made them pay with a bucket in the paint by Demir and two free throws by Carr.

Then, after Jon Teske’s short hook rolled out, Oturu grabbed the rebound, and the Gophers got a corner 3-pointer from Payton Willis to take a 73-65 lead with 1:02 to play.

“Unfortunately, we didn’t get a chance to capitalize on any of our offensive sets toward down the stretch,” Wolverines coach Juwan Howard said.

Michigan took an early lead and was in control for much of the first half. A 3-pointer by Teske gave the Wolverines their biggest lead at 30-19 with 5 minutes to play in the half.

(Photo by Gregory Shamus/Getty Images)

But the Gophers closed on an 11-1 run that was bookended by two baskets from Carr, the latter coming with 29 seconds to play. Minnesota’s defense then forced a miss on a desperation 3-pointer at the buzzer as Michigan took a 31-30 lead to the locker room.

“I loved the defense,” Minnesota coach Richard Pitino said. “Towards the end when we needed to get a stop, I thought we communicated well and we blocked out. … That’s a very good offensive team, and we held them to 65 points.”

Carr was 2-for-7 shooting in the first half, but he came to life after the break. After hitting two free throws and a driving layup, he made a 3-pointer and then fed Oturu for an alley-oop dunk to put the Gophers up 45-41.

Oturu was injured shortly thereafter.

“He came back and gave his team a big lift in the second half with his energy,” Howard said. “The crowd got really into it. The kid is special. He’s not only done it to us, but he’s been playing very well throughout the season thus far.”

(Photo by Andy Lyons/Getty Images)

POINT GUARD BATTLE

The game featured two of the top point guards in the Big Ten, and they both took care of the ball while making big contributions on offense. Simpson played all 40 minutes and had two turnovers, while Carr also played 40 minutes without a turnover.

BIG PICTURE

Michigan: The Wolverines lived and died from beyond the arc. They made five of their first six 3-pointers before cooling off, finishing 10 for 28 from long range.

Minnesota: The Gophers struggled to find offense from anyone other than Oturu in the first half. Through the first 15 minutes, Oturu had scored 16 of Minnesota’s 19 points. He finished the first half 9 for 12 from the floor, while his teammates went 4 for 16.

UP NEXT

Michigan: Two of the top three offenses in the Big Ten will square off on Friday when the Wolverines travel to Iowa. It’ll be a rematch of the conference opener, which Michigan won 103-91.

Minnesota: The Gophers will look for their sixth straight home win when they host Penn State on Wednesday.

© 2020 Associated Press. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.


Boilermakers Pummel Spartans 71-42

WEST LAFAYETTE, Ind. (AP) — Purdue’s struggling offense received all the attention the last couple weeks.

 

WEST LAFAYETTE, IN – JANUARY 12: Trevion Williams #50 of the Purdue Boilermakers saves the ball from going out of bounds during the second half against the Michigan State Spartans at Mackey Arena on January 12, 2020 in West Lafayette, Indiana. (Photo by Michael Hickey/Getty Images)

 

Now the Boilermakers can start focusing on the raves about their seemingly unbreakable defense.

Purdue held No. 8 Michigan State to its two lowest scoring halves of the season and lowest point total in nearly eight years as it snapped a two-game losing streak with a 71-42 upset.

 

WEST LAFAYETTE, IN – JANUARY 12: Head coach Tom Izzo of the Michigan State Spartans is seen during the second half against the Purdue Boilermakers at Mackey Arena on January 12, 2020 in West Lafayette, Indiana. (Photo by Michael Hickey/Getty Images)

 

“Probably the worst beating I’ve taken as a coach,” Michigan State coach Tom Izzo said. “I think that was great pressure by Purdue. I thought (Purdue coach) Matt (Painter) did one hell of a job.”

The Spartans (13-4, 5-1 Big Ten) came into the game as a 4 1/2-point favorite, averaging 81.3 points per game — 16th in the country — and a reputation for physical play.

But Purdue bottled up Michigan State at every turn and eventually the Spartans buckled.

 

WEST LAFAYETTE, IN – JANUARY 12: Cassius Winston #5 of the Michigan State Spartans shoots the ball as Eric Hunter Jr. #2 of the Purdue Boilermakers defends during the first half at Mackey Arena on January 12, 2020 in West Lafayette, Indiana. (Photo by Michael Hickey/Getty Images)

 

Cassius Winston, the league’s preseason pick for player of the year, finished with 10 points, five assists and nine turnovers. His teammates weren’t any better.

Michigan State finished with season-lows in field goals (18), 3-pointers (two), field goal percentage (35.3) and 3-point percentage (12.5) while accumulating a season-high 18 turnovers. The 32 rebounds matched the Spartans’ second-lowest total of the season, and the 42 points were their fewest since a 42-41 loss at Illinois on Jan. 31, 2012.

Naturally, the Spartans’ eight-game winning streak ended.

 

(Photo by Gregory Shamus/Getty Images)

 

“I just thought they never really quite got into a rhythm,” Painter said. “I don’t want to put that on them or give us the credit. A lot of times it’s something in between.”

The Boilermakers (10-7, 4-3), meanwhile, extended their home winning streak against conference foes to 15 and now have two victories over top-10 teams this season — both by 29-point margins.

 

WEST LAFAYETTE, IN – JANUARY 12: Sasha Stefanovic #55 of the Purdue Boilermakers shots the ball against Thomas Kithier #15 of the Michigan State Spartans during the second half at Mackey Arena on January 12, 2020 in West Lafayette, Indiana. (Photo by Michael Hickey/Getty Images)

 

Purdue scored the first five points, then extended the lead to 19-4 with a 12-0 run. Trevion Williams, who finished with 16 points, helped fuel another big run, 13-2, that made it 34-14 with 3:23 left in the first half.

Michigan State never recovered despite trimming the deficit to 37-20 at halftime and 39-27 early in the second half.

 

WEST LAFAYETTE, IN – JANUARY 12: Evan Boudreaux #12 of the Purdue Boilermakers celebrates during the first half against the Michigan State Spartans at Mackey Arena on January 12, 2020 in West Lafayette, Indiana. (Photo by Michael Hickey/Getty Images)

 

The Boilermakers responded with two 3-pointers to take a 45-29 lead with 14:11 to play and Michigan State couldn’t get closer than 11 again.

“We’ve shown flashes, especially at home that we can play well,” Painter said. “We haven’t been consistent enough.”

BIG PICTURE

Michigan State: Clearly, the Spartans are better than they demonstrated Sunday. They were completely out of sync against Purdue’s defense. They were beaten physically and were careless with the ball. The real danger is it could become a guide for how other opponents can beat Michigan State. 

Purdue: The Boilermakers’ usually strong defense might have been at its best against the Spartans. It’s actually tough to imagine them performing much better. But, offensively, they may have found a solution to their woes by divvying up the scoring chores. Time will tell whether Painter has a fix — or whether it was merely an aberration.

STAT PACK

Michigan State: Committed seven turnovers before forcing the first by the Boilermakers. … The Spartans missed their first 10 3s and finished 2 of 16. … The Spartans have lost four straight in West Lafayette. … Rocket Watts had 10 points. Xavier Tillman finished with eight points and eight rebounds.

Purdue: Williams also had seven rebounds and four assists. … Evan Boudreaux had 11 points and five rebounds while Sasha Stefanovic and Eric Hunter Jr. each finished with 10 points. … Purdue had a 21-8 advantage in points off turnovers. … The Boilermakers broke a tie for the second-longest home winning streak against conference opponents in Mackey Arena history. They won 19 straight between January 1968 and February 1970. … The Boilermakers have won five of their last six home games against top-10 foes.

QUOTABLE

Michigan State: “I laugh every day with my staff about how everybody wants to be the head coach,” Izzo said. “It ain’t as much fun as you think it is. Hell, I don’t want to be the head coach today.”

Purdue: “Collectively, we had to build a wall (around Winston),” guard Nojel Eastern said. “We know the type of player he is, we know what he’s capable of and we had to have a team effort while still playing by our principles.”

UP NEXT

The Spartans will try to rebound at home Friday against Wisconsin.

Purdue faces another daunting challenge Saturday, at No. 12 Maryland.

 

© 2019 Associated Press. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.


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