College Basketball Tips Off
The University of Kentucky men’s basketball team has had an interesting first week. They beat pre-season #1 Michigan State last week in what we call the “tipoff (State Farms champions) classic”, which also featured Duke vs. Kansas, but then the Wildcats lost on Tuesday at home to Evansville. Evansville is coached by former UK star Walter McCarty who played on the 1996 national championship team. This was the 3rd biggest upset in college hoops in the last 15 years (per ESPN stats). UK, which was favored by 25 points, had won 52 straight home games against unranked non conference opponents until Tuesday night. The key to the game was Evansville’s defense and rebounding (they outrebounded the bigger UK squad 38-35), and held UK to 20 of 54 shooting from the field and 4 of 17 from three. It is still super early and UK is playing a ton of young guys but you have to love the upset. In other college hoops news, #10 Ohio State beat #9 Villanova by 25 in Columbus. Could Ohio State have the best football and men’s basketball teams in the country this season? Lastly, we want to thank the AD and President of the University of Memphis for standing up for James Wiseman, the 7 foot, 1 inch super freshman. They went to court and obtained a temporary restraining order (TRO) against an NCAA ineligibility ruling oh Wiseman. This TRO has allowed Wiseman to play in the first few games for the Tigers this season-Memphis is ranked #16 and attracted 5 of the nations top 60 recruits (all 4 and 5 star players). The eligibility issue dates back a few years ago when University of Memphis legend, NBA star and now head coach Penny Hardaway paid $11,500 for moving expenses so the Wiseman’s could move from Nashville to Memphis so James could pay for Penny’s Memphis based high school team. Hardaway coached Memphis East High before becoming the head coach at the to University of Memphis in 2018. Apparently the NCAA views Hardaway as a booster as he has donated significant funds to his alma mater. We say, let the kid play, if anything this appears to be a high school eligibility issue not an NCAA issue.
Rivers family NBA funnies
Bri loved the ending of last nights Clippers vs Rockets NBA game. Check it out on ESPN app if you have not seen it. With 1:31 left in the game Clippers coach Doc Rivers got into an argument with the officials. His son Austin, who was on the court for the Rockets at the time, walked over to the scrum and gave the technical sign, encouraging the refs to tee up his Dad which happened just a few seconds later. Austin then motioned to his dad as if he was going to call him later. Bri says it is nice to see a son having fun at Dad’s expense. Check out the video well worth it.
Our thoughts on the second College Football playoff poll (who should be #4?)
Undefeated LSU, Ohio State and Clemson continue to hold the top 3 seeds, no argument here. We do have an issue with Georgia at #4. The committee cited UGA’s impressive wins over Florida (neutral site) and Notre Dame (in Athens). We believe the Dogs loss to an unranked South Carolina team should move Georgia below both Oregon and Alabama. Bri would put Oregon #4, only loss was in the last minute in neutral site game to Auburn in week 1. Mike would put Alabama at #4. They outplayed #1 LSU in the second half on Saturday and did so with a clearly hobbled Tua at QB. Bri believes Georgia will lose to Auburn on the Plains this Saturday so it may not matter. If Oregon and Alabama win out, things could get very interesting-the Iron Bowl in 3 weeks, which would allow the committee to see a common opponent-Auburn vs. both Oregon (week 1) Alabama (last week of season) could be crucial.
Phil Mickelson has fallen out of Pro Golf’s top 50 ranking
Per ESPN, this is the first time in 26 YEARS (1,353 weeks), that Phil has not been ranked in the top 50 in the world (he currently ranks #53). Mickelson, who turns 50 next year, has won 44 times on the PGA Tour (his first win was as an amateur). Unfortunately Phil has not had a top 10 finish in the last 9 months. His latest win was at Pebble Beach last February. Phil was recently quoted as saying “I haven’t seen good, clear pictures. I haven’t been as committed and connected to the target.” Could the deterioration in his golf game be driven by age, off the course interests or perhaps physical conditioning. Phil has lost 25 pounds since July, what impact could that be having? As Bri says, Phil doesn’t currently know where his drives are going, we hope he finds some magic in 2020.