NCAA Men’s College Basketball started up this week with Duke, Kentucky, Michigan State, and Kansas all in action. Over in combat sports, an underrated fighter has built an impressive streak. Also, the Selection Committee came out with their first Top 4 for the College Football Playoff. Check out what happened this week in the world of sports!
Weekly Sports Update – Nov. 11th Edition
Zabit Extends UFC Streak
Even most fight fans don’t know the name Zabit Magomedsharipov. Nicknamed “Zabeast”, Magomedsharipov is 6-0 at UFC. He’s won 14 straight fights. Although he didn’t look great in Round 3 against Calvin Kattar, Zabit provided a reason. He admits his cardio wasn’t up to snuff. He had recently gotten over a staph infection.
Zabit was supposed to fight Kattar on the Volkov-Dos Santos undercard. After Junior had to bow out, Dana White made Zabit-Kattar the feature. Magomedsharipov must wait to fight featherweight champion Max Holloway. The champ battles Alexander Volkanovski at UFC 245 in December.
Zabit is in line for the next title bout. It won’t matter if Holloway remains champ or not.
College Basketball: Kentucky Climbs to #1 in College Hoops, Arizona Impresses
The Kentucky Wildcats beat pre-season #1 Michigan State 69-62 in their first game of the season. The Wildcats followed the victory up with a 91-49 win over Eastern Kentucky. That’s 2 straight on the moneyline and against the spread to start the season. UK should remain on top for a while.
The Wildcats don’t battle a top team until Dec. 21 when they take on Ohio State. They follow that up with a rivalry matchup versus Louisville. Kentucky has a chance to go undefeated although it’s a long shot. The Wildcats are the perfect mix of veterans and 5-star freshman recruits. They’re not the most talented team Coach Cal has had in recent years. They are the most cohesive.
Everyone knows how good Kentucky is. Most are learning how good Arizona is. The Wildcats have dominated in their first couple of games. They beat Northern Arizona 91-52 on Nov. 6. On Nov. 10, they beat Illinois 90-69. The Illinois win proved that Sean Miller’s team is for real.
The Wildcats were up 39-38 at halftime. They outscored the Illini 51-31 in the second half. Arizona has a great inside-outside game. Point-guard Nico Mannion paced the Cats with 23. He also dished 9 assists. Forward Zeke Nnaji shoots 75% form the field. He’s got Zion Williamson type skills.
It’s early, but Arizona could be this year’s dark horse to win the NCAA Tournament.
College Football Playoffs: LSU Dominates Alabama, Penn State Falls
The LSU Tigers entered Bryant-Denny Stadium in Tuscaloosa a +6 underdog. They exited as the best team in the nation. Don’t let the 46-41 score fool you. The LSU Tigers dominated the Alabama Crimson Tide on Saturday.
LSU quarterback Joe Burrow should win the Heisman Trophy. Burrow played against Alabama the same way he’s played against every other team the Tigers have faced this season. He completed 31-of-39 for 391 yards. Burrow threw 3 TD passes. Joe even rushed for 64 yards on 14 carries.
What happened to Alabama? Nothing. They got beat. The Crimson Tide showed something positive, though. Najee Harris rushed for 146 yards and a TD on 19 carries. There is a small chance Alabama gets back into the Top 4. Clemson must lose a game. Even a 1-loss Ohio State should remain ahead of Alabama. A 1-loss Clemson won’t.
Ohio State rolled over Maryland 73-14. The Buckeyes are -50 ½ favorites over Rutgers in Week 12. 50 ½ are a ton of points. Even at -50 ½, Ohio State is an overlay, though. The Buckeyes are 8-1 ATS this season. Their lone ATS loss happened in their firsts game versus Florida Atlantic.
The Buckeyes toughest game should be against Penn State on Nov. 23. That’s hard to write after Minnesota beat Penn State 31-26. Penn State won’t get back into the CFP discussion unless they beat Ohio State. The game is in Columbus. That makes the Buckeyes the easy winners.
NBA: Los Angeles Rules the West, Boston Rules the East
Everyone expected the Lakers and Clippers to be good. They are! The Lakers have lost one game this season. The loss happened to the Clippers. The Clippers have won with Paul George on the bench since the season started. They’re also 4-0 ATS in their last 4. When PG-13 returns, watch out.
While Los Angeles rules the West, the Lakers’ top nemesis rules the East. Boston is 7-1 heading into their Nov. 11 battle with the Dallas Mavericks. The Celtics are a united bunch. They play better together than any team in the NBA. Not only that, but they’ve got one of the Top 3 backcourts in the league. Jaylen Brown plays shooting guard. Kemba Walker plays point.
Who knew the Celtics would be better without Kyrie?
NASCAR Playoffs: Hamlin Knocks Out Logano
The final race in the 2019 NASCAR Playoffs takes place next week at Homestead in Miami. Denny Hamlin came through in Phoenix with a massive victory. Hamlin grabbed the final spot in the Top 4. By winning in Phoenix, Hamlin knocked out defending champion Joey Logano.
Only the 4 following drivers can win the NASCAR Monster Energy Cup next Sunday: Hamlin, Martin Truex Jr., Kevin Harvick, and Kyle Busch. Busch, Truex Jr., and Hamlin all drive for Joe Gibbs Racing. The lone non-Gibbs driver is Harvick. Can Harvick upset Gibbs’ 3 headed monster? We shall see!
NFL: Falcons Drop Saints, Titans Beat Chiefs
The New Orleans Saints were -14 favorites at home over the Atlanta Falcons. The Kansas City Chiefs were -6 favorites on the road against the Tennessee Titans. Both lost straight up. One team had an excuse. The other didn’t.
The Saints are the team with the excuse. Shortly after the game started, guard Andrus Peat left the field. Peat didn’t return. Left tackle Terron Armstead was sick the entire week. He came into the game less than 100%. The Falcons sacked Drew Brees 6 times. That’s the reason the Saints fell 26-9.
Atlanta beat the Saints. The Chiefs blew a win against the Titans. The Chiefs lined up for a field goal with 1:55 to play. A bad snap led to an intentional grounding call. The Titans got the ball back with 1:21 left and down 5, 32-27. It took 4 plays for Ryan Tannehill to throw a 23-yard TD pass to Adam Humphries.
After a 2-point conversion, Tennessee went up 35-32. Although the Chiefs tried for a 52-yard field goal, Tennessee player Joshua Kalu blocked it. The Titans won.
Tough beat if you wagered on either the Saints or the Chiefs. There’s good news for both teams, though. The Saints should have a healthier offensive line in Week 11. Patrick Mahomes looked great under center for Kansas City.
Both Super Bowl contenders will be fine.
Have a great week!
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