Garza, Cook lead Iowa past Wisconsin 85-67


For once, Iowa was the aggressor.

The result was a much-needed win over a long-time rival and, finally, some hope that the next six weeks might not be so bleak after all.

Freshman Luka Garza scored 17 points with a career-high 16 rebounds, Tyler Cook added 17 points and Iowa walloped Wisconsin 85-67 on Tuesday night, snapping a two-game losing streak.

Iowa was without guard Brady Ellingson and forward Ryan Kriener, both of whom missed the game with concussions. It hardly affected the Hawkeyes, as their starters scored 68 points. Cook turned his ankle late in the second half, but McCaffery said he could have returned should Iowa have needed him too. For once, it didn’t.

Jordan Bohannon had 13 points and 11 assists for Iowa, and Cordell Pemsl scored 11 with seven boards. …Wisconsin was 4 of 18 on 3s and got outrebounded 41-32. …The Hawkeyes, who entered play with one of the worst Power Five defenses in America, held the Badgers to 40 percent shooting for its biggest win by margin of victory in the series since 1997.

I thought Luka was great. Happ’s an All-American and Luka is a freshman, McCaffery said. I thought Luka slid his feet really well and made it tough for him.

The River Hawks extended their 33-28 halftime lead with an 8-2 run to start the second half with a 3-point play and a jumper by Jahad Thomas and a 3-pointer from Gantz.

J.C. Show hit a 3 to bring Binghamton within 46-40 with 14:37 to play, but UMass Lowell used a 9-2 run to extend the margin to 59-46 with a layup from Gantz. The Bearcats closed the deficit to five with a 10-2 run before Harris hit a 3 and followed with a jumper and Binghamton couldn’t get closer thereafter.

Thomas scored 14 points and Ryan Jones 10 for UMass Lowell (7-12, 1-5), which shot 54.5 percent (30 of 55).

Show led Binghamton (10-11 1-5) with 26 points. Everson Davis scored 15 and Thomas Bruce added 13 with a career-high 19 rebounds.

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Five worst halftime shows in Super Bowl history


There have been some really great Super Bowl halftime performances, but there have also been some really awful ones, too.

Here are the five worst Super Bowl halftime performances in the history of the big game:

Cold Play’s Super Bowl 50 performance wasn’t terrible, it just underwhelmed and lacked spectacle. The band was collectively treated like a footnote and eventually dismissed as an opening act for, who had an electric performance with Bruno Mars and stole the show.

This season, he reached career highs in receptions (102, fourth in the NFL) and yards (1,393, third, behind only Antonio Brown and Julio Jones). His catches were a franchise record, and the only player in Chargers history with more receiving yards in a season is Hall of Famer Lance Alworth.

They did a really good job of trying to run you off the 3-point line, Harden said. So that was kind of tough for us tonight, but defensively that second half we locked up, controlled the game and that was it.

Whiteside led the Heat with 22 points and 13 rebounds. The team was missing Goran Dragic for the second straight game because of a bruised left knee.

They finished and finished in high fashion, making shots, and we struggled to get clean looks on the other end, Heat coach Erik Spoelstra said.

Houston was at full strength for the first time in a while with Trevor Ariza and Gerald Green back after serving two-game suspensions for an altercation with the Clippers. Ariza had three points and five rebounds in 29 minutes, but Green did not play.

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Shane Beamer to become assistant head coach at Oklahoma


Shane Beamer is leaving Georgia to become the assistant head coach for offense and tight ends coach at Oklahoma.

Beamer was the special-teams coordinator and tight ends coach at Georgia the past two seasons. He was previously associate head coach and running backs coach at Virginia Tech, where he worked for his father, Hall of Famer Frank Beamer.

The Texans and Denver Broncos have been prominent in the Romo speculation. Several agents and coaches and executives with other NFL teams said in recent days at the NFL scouting combine that they regard the Texans as the most likely destination for Romo.

That one makes the most sense to me, a high-ranking official with one franchise said. I don’t think anyone in the league would be surprised to see that one happen.

It is not clear yet if Cowboys owner Jerry Jones will release Romo, putting the quarterback completely in charge of picking his next team, or try to get something in return for Romo via a trade. Even in a trade scenario, Romo potentially could exert some control over where he is headed. He is to count $24.7 million against next season’s salary cap under his current contract. A team trading for Romo would inherit that contract and might be interested in reworking the deal. It’s also unlikely a team would trade for Romo if he does not want to play there.

Evans was a combined 5-of-20 shooting, 2-of-13 on 3-pointers, as Tech lost twice on the road last week. After making 1 of 4 shots before halftime against the Cowboys, he was 6 of 9 in the second half.

Keenan didn’t play any different tonight than he has been. He’s a great shooter, Tech coach Chris Beard said. He’s remained aggressive.

Oklahoma State: The Cowboys have lost all four of their true road games, all in Big 12 play. At home, they have won their last three games in overtime or on the final shot in regulation.

Texas Tech: After a tough week on the road, the Red Raiders got a much-needed boost with an impressive comeback after halftime. They made only one of 12 field goals in the final 10 minutes of the first half, but made 15 of 28 after halftime, including 6 of 9 3-pointers.

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Jalen Crutcher’s 3 helps Dayton hold off Davidson 65-64


Trey Landers scored 16 points, Jalen Crutcher made a key 3-pointer and Dayton held off Davidson 65-64 on Tuesday night.

Crutcher’s 3 gave the Flyers (10-10, 4-4 Atlantic 10 Conference) a 63-61 lead with 56 seconds remaining. Kellan Grady missed a jumper on Davidson’s next possession, then Landers hit two free throws to stretch the Flyers’ lead to 65-61. Grady’s 3-pointer made it a one-point game with 3.3 seconds left.

Darrell Davis missed the front end of a 1-and-1 and Will Magarity grabbed the defensive rebound, but Grady couldn’t get off a midcourt shot as time expired.

With the Hawks poorly defending inside, Markkanen took his game to the rim. The 7-foot, 227-pound Finn, a prolific 3-point shooter, had five dunks. He went 0 for 4 beyond the arc, marking the first time in 17 games that he didn’t hit a 3.

Markkanen hit 100 3s in his first 41 games, faster than any rookie in NBA history, but he wants to make the adjustment inside when teams focus on taking his perimeter game away.

The game was tied at 43 with 49 seconds remaining before the break. The Antelopes had a 22-9 surge that spanned the halves for a 65-52 lead. Braun scored 11 points, and capped the surge with a 3-pointer. The Warriors pulled within nine points, but didn’t get closer.

Vrabel is the other candidate still alive here. The real question is, was there a shift with Patricia being more interested in the Giants job? While Patricia won’t make a call until after his team is done playing, there has not been enough credible information to make one believe he’d pick the Giants over the Lions.

The Giants haven’t officially eliminated candidates, but it’s clear there are four left with legitimate chances at the head coaching job — McDaniels, Patricia, Panthers defensive coordinator Steve Wilks and Vikings offensive coordinator Pat Shurmur. Patricia has received a lot of love inside the building, but the search is not to the point where anyone is considered a favorite.

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Cooks has 30th career double-double, Winthrop wins 81-68


Xavier Cooks scored 19 points and grabbed 11 rebounds, Josh Ferguson added 17 points and eight boards, and Winthrop beat Presbyterian 81-68 on Sunday.

Bjorn Broman made four 3-pointers and scored 13 points, and Anders Broman added 11 points for Winthrop (11-8, 5-3 Big South), which has won four straight. It was Cooks’ 30th career double-double.

Celtics: Irving made the All-Star game for the fifth time. … The Celtics honored Jo Jo White, a two-time NBA champion who played 10 seasons for Boston, with a video tribute and a No. 10 draped over his regular seat. White died Tuesday at age 71.

What this might come down to is Bryant’s desire to remain a Cowboy versus the lure of more money elsewhere. This is a league in which a franchise gave Kenny Britt $8.125 million per season; another team flush with cap space will be willing to pay Bryant $10 million per year. It will be interesting to see if Bryant and the Cowboys can work out a restructuring, an outright pay cut or resort to a mutual parting of ways.

Flaherty, ranked sixth in the country at 23.1 points per game, entered needing just six points to move into sixth on the Big Ten’s career scoring list. She passed Maggie Lucas of Penn State (2010-14). Flaherty’s 3-point play with 5:25 left in the third quarter put her at 20-plus for the 12th straight game.

Nicole Munger added 13 points and Hallie Thome grabbed 11 rebounds for Michigan (18-4, 7-2), which has its highest ranking in the AP Top 25 since coming in at No. 12 on Dec. 24, 2001.

Sidney Cooks scored 17 points for Michigan State (14-7, 4-4), which entered having won seven of the last nine in the series. The Spartans only dressed eight players due to a handful of injuries to their perimeter players, including starting point guard Taryn McCutcheon.

Jason Kidd’s tenure in Milwaukee was undone by weak defense. Kevin Pelton examines whether a coaching change will get the young Bucks roster to the next level.

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Kansas City drives into LA territory but comes away with no points just before halftime.


The Chiefs move to the Chargers 34 but Alex Smith throws an incomplete pass on third down. Harrison Butker comes on to attempt a 52-yard field goal but he misses wide left. The Chargers take over at their 34 with 12 seconds to play.

Touchdown Chargers. Los Angeles answers the Chiefs score with one of its own. The Chargers string together a 10-play, 75-yard drive that eats up 4:30 of game action and ends with a 2-yard touchdown run by Melvin Gordon. But Travis Coons misses the extra point and the Chargers now trails 10-6. Gordon has 72 total yards in the game.

Nonetheless, the bad Lakers have been trying and trying and trying to land a big fish in free agency since their downfall after Dwight Howard left and Steve Nash fell apart. Howard walked away despite a full-court press. LaMarcus Aldridge declined. Carmelo Anthony didn’t choose Los Angeles. James didn’t entertain a meeting. Neither did Kevin Durant. L.A. native Russell Westbrook, long rumored to be a future Laker, signed an extension before hitting free agency. So did James Harden. DeAndre Jordan went elsewhere (twice). Blake Griffin stayed with the crosstown rivals.

At this point, to hijack Wyche’s catch-phrase, you’re denying living in Cincinnati or Cleveland. It’s time for both franchises to take real steps toward putting the last 30 seasons away. That’s what makes these next hires so critical.

Lewis must go. The Bengals need to move on, and Jackson is not the next answer. Dave Shula, Bruce Coslet and Dick LeBeau weren’t the right answers after Wyche, either. The Bengals missed out on hiring former defensive coordinator Mike Zimmer and former Giants coach Tom Coughlin, but they need somebody of that mold �� to put it bluntly, somebody who won’t side-step an increasingly unhealthy sibling relationship with Pittsburgh.

This season, Harris scored 72 points in two games. Two new career highs of three dozen apiece. In consecutive games? Not quite, but twice in the last nine. Harris is putting things together quickly this season, and his game is blossoming on several fronts. Here’s a few highlights from the first 36-point outing, against Kyrie Irving, no less…

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The contrast in quarterbacks will be stark.


One thing is certain: Garoppolo has made himself a lot of money with his current run, and his increased value to the franchise will translate to a huge contract and more endorsement opportunities.

It took four weeks following the trade for Shanahan to turn the keys over to Garoppolo in Week 13, but the ensuing period has been sensational for the team and its new leader.

Tennessee recognizes the challenge it faces against Brady. It opened the week as a 13-point underdog, and prior to last week hadn’t won a playoff game since the 2003 season.

It’s a playoff game, so it’s not like it’s the preseason where I can go out there, ‘Oh, it’s Brady,’ and I’m chillin,’ Tennessee All-Pro safety Kevin Byard said. This is a playoff game. So I don’t really care if it was Joe Montana. You know what I’m saying? I’m trying to go out there and win the game. I want to make him look like (Jacksonville Jaguars quarterback) Blake Bortles if I can to try to catch a couple picks.

Tom Brady is a great quarterback, but it’s a playoff game. I’m not really looking at it like that.

First off, the fact that Nick Foles had a big first start against the Giants shouldn’t hurt Wentz’s cause. Second, here are the numbers Wentz put up in nearly 13 full games: 3,296 passing yards, 33 passing TDs to 7 INTs, 101.9 passer rating, 299 rushing yards. The fact that he missed the end of the season for the NFC’s best team should only make what he did while healthy look better.

Given the Eagles can clinch everything in Week 16, Wentz likely lost out only on two games that counted toward his candidacy. He deserves to remain right with Brady, but it’s unlikely voters will think that way.

When Brown went down and then Ben Roethlisberger and Le’Veon Bell couldn’t lead Pittsburgh past New England without him, it took all three Killer Bs off the board going into Week 16. That’s because, in essence, Big Ben and Bell cancel each other out.

The end result is Thad taking a face-up, step-back jump shot without doing much to force the defense to react.

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Jimmy Garoppolo gets his first big test against a good defense after going 3-0 in his first three starts with the 49ers.


Another team from LA, another matchup lopsided in favor of the visitors. Jared Goff and Todd Gurley will be in great positions to succeed against the Tennessee defense, while the Titans don’t have the same rushing efficiency and firepower to get the better of the Rams’ defense.

Derek Carr and Jack Del Rio aren’t the aggressive, finishing QB-coach combination they were a year ago. The Eagles with Nick Foles and Doug Peterson are pretty much the same team they were with Carson Wentz and Pederson. The Raiders’ defense will have no answers, and the offense will struggle once Marshawn Lynch is contained.

According to Gutekunst, one of the first pieces of advice that Thompson offered after getting the job on Sunday was to smile more at his first press conference.

John Gutekunst told his son to be humble, and to make sure that he takes care of his staff.

Now, you know, on Mondays after watching our game, the younger Gutekunst said, he’ll tell me some other things.

The run-blocking remained solid to prop up Elliott replacements Alfred Morris and Rod Smith, but Prescott faced more discomfort in key stretches of key games. The Cowboys were often rendered one-dimensional in the atypical way, as running from either their backs or Prescott sometimes was their only source of offense. In a complementary game, those issues were exacerbated by problems at another position.

Prescott still threw to Bryant often but the catches didn’t come close to matching the targets, and the big plays and red-zone scoring prowess were few and far between. As the Cowboys’ go-to wide receiver turned 29 in November, his decline continued through December. So much for being healthier and re-booted for Prescott in Year 2.

When the L.A. Clippers lost both of their top point guards and then lost Blake Griffin and went on a skid, we wrote them off. It turns out that was premature. L.A. has won six of seven and is just a game out of the playoffs in the West!

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There is never really a good time to suffer an injury.


Because the Bucs have Winston, they could have a bounceback season in 2018 provided they can stay relatively healthy. While Winston has certainly played poorly at times this season, he showed Monday why he was the top pick in the 2015 draft. He led the Bucs downfield in the final minute for a potential game-tying field goal, but Patrick Murray missed a 54-yard attempt as time expired.

JaMychal, after a very good 2016-2017 campaign that earned him quite the raise (but not as much as he hoped for) in his latest contract with the Grizzlies. He wasn’t paid to be a star, but he was paid to be a competent role player who competes at a high level. That hasn’t happened- among players who have played at least 600 minutes, he has the 4th worst net rating (-6, a problem in and of itself with four guys on the team worse than him). His defensive rating (110) is worse than that of Mario Chalmers, and his offensive rating (104) is five points worse than James Ennis III, who is not a starter on this team (but maybe should be). In addition to his various ratings all being career worsts, he is posting the worst PER of his career (12.7), as well as his lowest win shares per 48 minutes (.064).

Fans wanted to sit in the cold. They didn’t fear Pittsburgh or Houston. The Dawg Pound and The Jungle weren’t empty stadiums. Cincinnati and Cleveland didn’t want to be like each other. They couldn’t stand the sight of each other.

Tell ’em, Sam …

Now we live in a time in which Cincinnati wants to be like Cleveland, and vice versa, despite a combined 5-23 record.

But I also include this because Gay’s career strikes me as instructive. Gay was a central player on some bad Memphis Grizzlies teams during his first few seasons. They ultimately gave him a big contract because they had little else and little choice. The Grizzlies started to win, but they did so because they acquired better players than Rudy Gay. In the end they traded him in the midst of their best regular season, and proceeded to make the Western Conference Finals, and win 50+ games the following two seasons as well.

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As six teams compete for the final three playoff spots, the Browns will attempt to avoid infamous perfection.


The Browns have had numerous opportunities to win a game this season, most notably when they held a 21-7 second-half lead on the Packers only to lose in overtime. Their final opportunity to win will come Sunday in Pittsburgh.

It’s been a while since the Browns (0-15) won at Heinz Field, where Pittsburgh’s only setback this season was the controversial 27-24 loss to the Patriots on Dec. 17. Cleveland’s losing streak in Pittsburgh spans 13 games, but last season’s Week 17 contest went into overtime, and the Steelers (12-3) won by just a field goal in Cleveland in the 2017 season opener.

The Chiefs (9-6) are locked into the No. 4 seed in the AFC and will rest starting quarterback Alex Smith. Coach Andy Reid announced this week he will start rookie Patrick Mahomes against the Broncos (5-10) in Denver, where the 2017 first-round pick will have to keep his rocket arm in check in the thin air of the Mile High City to end Kansas City’s long QB drought.

It’s the professor against his prized pupil, and their history together will headline the chatter surrounding this game. From 2004 to 2015, Smart spent every season but one as a member of Saban’s coaching staff. Saban has been Smart’s mentor, as the 42-year-old worked for Saban at LSU, the Miami Dolphins and Alabama, where he was eventually promoted to defensive coordinator. He is in only his second season at Georgia, but in his nine seasons with Alabama, Smart helped the Tide win four national titles. To say Smart learned a thing or two is an understatement. The question is whether he learned enough to outsmart the man who taught him much of what he knows. Alabama has won each of its 11 games against teams coached by Saban’s former assistants — by an average of more than 28 points.

The Tide’s defense looked much stronger and healthier against Clemson than it did toward the end of the regular season, when it was ravaged by injuries, particularly at the linebacker position. Georgia finished with five rushing touchdowns against Oklahoma in the Rose Bowl, and Sony Michel and Nick Chubb combined for 326 yards — the most by a duo in a single game. Michel finished with an eye-popping 16.5 yards per carry (181 on 11 carries).

With such opportunistic defenses on both teams, neither offense can afford to give the ball away. Clemson gave up two interceptions against Alabama in the Sugar Bowl, including one that was returned for a touchdown. The Alabama defense has forced at least one turnover in 41 of its past 43 games, dating to the start of the 2015 season.

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