Tyson Fury proved he’s the top heavyweight boxer in the world, MLB Spring Training started, and Kansas and Baylor are tops in college hoops. Also, on Monday, the sports world said goodbye to legend Kobe Bryant. Check out what happened the past week in sports!
Weekly Sports Update – February 25th Edition
20,000 Pack Staple Center to Honor Kobe
On Feb. 24, the City of Los Angeles had a memorial for Kobe Bryant and his daughter Gianna. Jimmy Kimmel, a family friend, emceed the memorial while Beyonce opened it with a couple of her songs, XO and Halo.
Vanessa Bryant, Kobe’s wife, approved every detail of the memorial. There were 33,643 red roses, one for each point Bryant scored during his career, at the foot of the stage. Starting before 6:00 am, people stood in line to enter the Staple Center.
Kobe was a son of Los Angeles. Los Angelenos made sure to show respect. 20,000 packed the Staples Center for the memorial.
On Monday night, Kobe was honored in a different way. The Washington Wizards’ Bradley Beal became the first player to score 50 points or more in back-to-back games since Bryant. Beal dropped 55 against the Bucks after shooting 58% from the field.
Players like Beal are honoring Kobe by playing as well as they can. That’s something Bryant, no doubt, would have appreciated.
Gonzaga, San Diego State Lose, Kansas & Baylor 1-2
The Kansas Jayhawks and Baylor Bears are 1-2 in the AP Poll. On Feb. 22, Kansas beat Baylor 64-61. The Jayhawks followed up the win with an 83-58 victory against Oklahoma State on Monday. Although Baylor lost, it was just their second loss of the season.
If things stand as they are, Baylor and Kansas will grab 1-seeds in the NCAA Tournament. It’s hard to see if any team can beat the Baylor-Kansas Big 12 juggernaut. We must figure that when conference tournaments start in a couple of weeks, the Bears and Jayhawks will fight each other in the Big 12 Championship. No matter who wins or losses, both should get a 1-seed.
The reason? San Diego State got exposed. The Aztecs had gone undefeated this season. But this past Saturday, UNLV shocked SDSU with a 66-63 win. San Diego State now ranks fifth in college basketball. Another stub of the toe and they’d drop out of the Top 10 for sure.
BYU beat Gonzaga, but the AP voters didn’t feel it necessary to drop the Zags past 3. Why? Gonzaga has played the most consistent basketball this season outside of Lawrence, Kansas and Waco, Texas. The Zags are in line for a 1-seed. That is, unless they blow another game in some way.
The fourth-ranked team in the nation are the Dayton Flyers. Early in the season, the Kansas Jayhawks beat the Flyers by 6. The Colorado Buffalos beat them by 2. Since then, Dayton has dominated with 16 straight wins.
Where are the Kentuckys, Dukes, Louisvilles, and Michigan States? Not in line for a 1-seed, that’s for sure. Although if the Zags or Flyers lose another game, one of the teams from the top conferences: Maryland in the Big Ten, Duke or Louisville in the ACC, and Kentucky or Auburn in the SEC, could win their conference tournament and grab a 1-seed.
Right now, Baylor and Kansas look like locks. So, the other teams must hope that either Dayton or the Zags falter.
Tampa Bay Lightning Win at NHL Trade Deadline
What’s the saying? The rich get richer? In the National Hockey League, that appears to be the case. The Tampa Bay Lightning, the hottest hockey team on the planet added 3 pieces to their squad that could ensure a Stanly Cup Finals appearance.
The Lightning acquired center Blake Coleman, defenseman Zach Bogosian, and defensive forward Barclay Goodrow. All 3 will contribute to a team with 2 double-digit winning streaks and a plus-41 goal differential since Dec. 25. That makes the Lightning the team to beat for the Cup.
While the Lightning got better, the Dallas Stars, Toronto Maple Leafs, and Colorado Avalanche did nothing. Those three teams have a chance to make the playoffs this season. Doing nothing before the trade deadline might not be the way to get there.
MLB Spring Training Begins and Everyone Hates the Astros
Spring training in MLB has begun! Wouldn’t you know it? Fans and opposing players aren’t happy with the cheating Astros. The Stros battled the Detroit Tigers over the weekend. A pitch grazed Jose Altuve’s foot. Also, fans called Altuve and his teammates cheaters.
But although the Astros had to put up with catcalls, they dominated the Detroit Tigers 11-1. Nothing provides relief from the cheater label as much as winning without cheating. If Houston can prove that this year, forget it. Most Major League Baseball fans won’t remember the stealing signs scandal.
Fury Dominates Wilder, Deontay Will Exercise Rematch Clause
This past Saturday on Feb. 22, Tyson Fury and Deontay Wilder danced for the second time. The first fight between the two top heavyweights in the world ended in a draw. The second fight wasn’t even a contest.
After Fury knocked Wilder down with a ridiculous left hook overhand right combo in Round 3, everyone watching knew how this was going to go. In Round 5, Tyson knocked Deontay down again. This time with a body shot.
While Fury pounded on Deontay in the seventh-round, Wilder co-trainer Mark Breland threw in the towel. Made sense because Wilder had no shot of winning. Tyson controlled things from the opening bell. He beat up Deontay Wilder.
Wilder said he’s absolutely going to demand a rematch. Deontay walked into the ring in a 40-pound outfit. Some sort of Game of Thrones thing that he says caused him to lose energy before the first-round.
Wilder’s probably right. Anybody who saw the 40-pound Knights of the Round Table costume had to be thinking, “What is this guy doing?” At championship level boxing, a single decision can lead to disaster. Deontay made an awful decision last Saturday night.
But even if Deontay doesn’t show up for the third fight in a costume, he could be in some trouble. Wilder doesn’t move well. He seemed off-balance the entire night. If he hadn’t been off-balance in the third-round, Tyson’s two-punch combo might not have knocked him down.
If Wilder wants to have any shot against Tyson Fury in the third fight, he had better get his footwork together. That’s the only way for Deontay to regain the throne.
Have a great week!