Although we’re in the first month of college hoops, drama reigns. But drama in college basketball wasn’t the only sports news from this past week. A Euro player felled the best team in the NBA. The Champions League played a round of matches and a College Football Playoff staple crashed and burned. Check out what happened last week in sports!
Weekly Sports Update – December 2nd Edition
NBA: Dallas Mavericks’ Luka Doncic Sends Lakers Back to Earth
Most of us aren’t paying close attention to the NBA. Makes sense because college football ended their regular season on Saturday. Also, the NFL has kicked it into high-gear. For those of us who need an update, this year’s NBA has produced a Euro MVP candidate.
In only his second season, Luka Doncic dominates. Doncic won’t turn 21 until Feb. 28. Although he’s not legal to drink, it’s okay for him to posterize his peers in the National Basketball Association. Doncic put a beating onto LeBron and the L.A. Lakers in the Mavs’ impressive 114-110 win on Sunday.
Luka scored 27, dished 10, and grabbed 9 boards. He also had 3 thefts. The man can do it all. Doncic has led the Mavericks to a 13-6 record. That’s 3 ½ games behind the Lakers in the Western Conference. Luka averages 30.6 points, 9.9 boards, and 9.6 assists. Right now, Doncic’s NBA MVP odds are at +350. On Nov. 1, his odds were at +1200.
The odds make Doncic second choice behind reigning most valuable player Giannis Antetokounmpo. Giannis offers +225 odds. The Greek Freak averages 30.9 points, 13.4 boards, and 5.9 assists. Doncic could overtake Giannis in the MVP race.
Speaking of Milwaukee, they’re at 17-3. The Bucks have won 11 in a row. They’re the top team in the Eastern Conference. Now that Milwaukee has the best record in the East, it’s hard to see any team overtaking them. Toronto is good. They’re not great like the Bucks. Neither are the Celtics.
Dallas exposed the Lakers on Sunday. Don’t expect Los Angeles to maintain their dominance throughout the season. The Bucks will continue to dominate in the East, though.
Soccer: No Surprises in UEFA Champions League
Last week’s round of Champions League play didn’t surprise soccer fans. Paris St. Germain got down 0-2 before they rallied for a 2-2 draw versus Real Madrid. PSG has 12 points in Group A. Real is in second place with 8.
Bayern Munich and Tottenham dominate Group B. Bayern has 15 points. Tottenham has 10. Over in Group C, Manchester City has a 5-point lead, 11 to 6, over Shakhtar Donetsk. Juventus rules Group D with Atletico Madrid in second place. Liverpool and Napoli sit at the top of Group E while Barcelona has run away with Group F.
Ajax Amsterdam has a 2-point lead over Valencia and Chelsea in Group H. Group G is the lone surprise Champions League group. It’s not because an underdog has overtaken a favorite. It’s because none of the 4 teams in Group G should challenge for the Champions League trophy.
Isn’t this how it should be? When the top teams win in the Champions League, we know things are going the way they should.
College Basketball: Duke Falls, Louisville Rises
March Madness has arrived early. Michigan State, Kansas, and Duke have already lost. None of those 3 teams are ranked first. In the preseason, the Top 10 on the AP To 25 were: Michigan State, Kentucky, Kansas, Duke, Louisville, Florida, Maryland, Gonzaga, North Carolina, and Villanova.
On Dec. 2, the Top 10 are: Louisville, Kansas, Maryland, Virginia, Michigan, Ohio State, North Carolina, Gonzaga, Dayton, and Kentucky.
Where is Duke? 11th after falling to Stephen F. Austin on their homecourt last week. The Blue Devils battled the Lumberjacks a -27 favorite. Stephen F. pushed the game into overtime and then upset Duke. It ranks as one of the biggest upsets in college hoops history. First, Duke rarely loses at home. Second, Duke only loses at home to teams like North Carolina.
What does the early season madness mean? The gap between the Power 5 Conference squads and everyone else has dwindled. Dayton received 1 vote for the AP Top 25 before the season started. Now, they rank 9th.
At the end, the madness could prove meaningless. Since 2015, Villanova has won twice, Duke, North Carolina, and Virginia once. Could a Louisville, Maryland, Dayton, Gonzaga, or Ohio State grab the title? If history doesn’t repeat itself, yes. But, we shouldn’t get our hopes up. The favorites have plenty of time to get on track.
College Football: Auburn Ends Alabama’s Dream
In College Football Week 14, Auburn outlasted Alabama in one of the greatest Iron Bowl’s ever played. The Tigers beat Bama 48-45. That ended Alabama’s quest for another trip to the College Football Playoff.
Alabama’s loss might be Utah’s or Oklahoma’s gain. #4 Georgia battles LSU in the SEC Championship on Saturday. If the Dawgs fall, the Utes or Sooners could jump into the CFP Top 4. Utah takes on Oregon. Oklahoma takes on Baylor.
Even Baylor could stamp their ticket to the CFP. The Bears’ lone loss happened against Oklahoma. If they turn the tables, it could be difficult to keep them out. The guess here is the Pac-12 sends underrated Utah to the big show. The Utes have dominated since an early season loss to USC. Baylor and Oklahoma haven’t impressed as much as Utah has. Not only that, but Utah ranked 6th behind Alabama before Bama’s Iron Bowl loss.
Utah could enter the College Football Playoff a real dark horse to win it all. Before the season, the Utes offered +6600 odds.
Have a great week!
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