It\’s Good to be Back

November 10, 2021

By: Carlos Alvarez

Good Morning,

Yesterday marked the first time in nearly two years we had a full slate of college basketball games with actual packed crowds, and it was a glorious sight to see. If every night of the season is as exciting as yesterday, then college basketball fans are in for a treat this year.

Letter Rip!



Champions Classic Recap


College Basketball Season Begins With Some Stellar Performances


The college basketball season kicked off in a big way Tuesday night headlined by the 11th annual Champions Classic that featured a doubleheader with four of the biggest programs in the country. Here’s what went down in Madison Square Garden.


Ochai Agbaji Steals The Show 

The first game of the night saw No. 3 Kansas take down Tom Izzo’s Michigan State 87-74. The Jayhawks opened the season last night without Jalen Wilson, who is currently serving a four-game suspension following a DUI arrest last week. Senior guard Ochai Agbaji picked up the slack for Kansas, going off for a career-high 29 points on an efficient 9/17 from the field. While he has always been an elite athlete, Abaji showed off a much more polished offensive game against the Spartans, which could be a huge addition for Kansas as they aim to win their first National Championship since 2008.


Watch: Kansas Jayhawks vs. Michigan State Spartans Game Highlights


Duke’s Freshmen Duo Show Out 

The main event featured a star-studded battle of the bluebloods as the Kentucky Wildcats took on the Duke Blue Devils in an intense matchup that featured five 2022 1st-round NBA draft prospects. Duke ended up taking the victory (79-71) as freshmen Trevor Keels (25 PTS, 2 AST) and Paolo Banchero (22 PTS, 7 REB) dominated in their first collegiate games. Banchero in particular surely left NBA scouts salivating as he showed off elite shot-creating ability, all while operating at the height of 6’10”.


Watch: Kentucky Wildcats at Duke Blue Devils Game Highlights


Additional Storylines

SI: Ohio State Survives Season-Opening Upset Scare From Akron

ESPN: Surprises, Overreactions and Everything we Learned on Opening Night in Men\’s college basketball



A Trip Around The Association


A Look At The NBA\’s Three Game Slate


Last night\’s NBA action only featured three games that saw the Bucks, Jazz, and Clippers pick up victories on Tuesday night.


Injured Sixers Drop To Bucks

The hobbled 76ers took on the reigning champion Bucks, where they put up a valiant effort before inevitably falling to Milwaukee. The Sixers were extremely short handed as guard Seth Curry sat out due to a foot contusion, joining Joel Embiid, Tobias Harris, and Matisse Thybulle who were sidelined as well. Tyrese Maxey stepped up and scored 31 for Philly, but it wasn’t enough as Giannis put up 31 of his own to lead the Bucks to a 118-109 victory.


Hawks Lose 5th Straight

The struggles for the Hawks continued last night as they dropped their fifth game in a row, losing to the Utah Jazz to fall to 4-8 on the season. Donovan Mitchell paced Utah with 27 points and 5 assists as the Jazz pulled away late to win 110-98. This marks the second straight year the Hawks find themselves in a hole early on, as they started 14-20 last year before firing their coach and rallying to the Conference Finals.


Clippers Stay Hot Against Portland

The Los Angeles Clippers extended their win streak to five games after their 117-109 victory over the Trail Blazers. While Damian Lillard seems to finally be playing like himself again with his second straight impressive performance (27 points, 6 assists), Paul George continues to play like an MVP candidate, as he stuffed the stat sheet with 24 points, 9 rebounds, and 7 assists to lead the Clippers to victory.


Additional Storylines

The Ringer: Giannis Is on the Cusp of His Next Evolution: Becoming an Elite Passer 

SI: Damian Lillard Says NBA Foul Changes are Unacceptable



Two Times The Charm


Carolina Takes Down Tampa Bay in Overtime Thriller


In a nail biter that went to overtime, the Carolina Hurricanes picked up a 2-1 road win against the Tampa Bay Lightning in a game that featured multiple finishes.


The Lightning took control with a Steven Stamkos goal in the 2nd period to take a 1-0 lead. Carolina answered with a power play goal to tie it up midway through the 3rd which eventually led to overtime. In OT, Brady Skjei initially netted the game-winner, but an extended review ruled the play offsides. After the game resumed, Martin Necas ripped a top-shelf goal to give the Hurricanes the win for good.


Carolina now moves to 10-1-0, and their 20 points on the season trail only the Panthers (21) for the most in the NHL.


Watch: Carolina Hurricanes at Tampa Bay Lightning Game Highlights


Additional Storylines

ESPN: As Colorado Avalanche Attempt to Shed Slow Start, Star Center Nathan MacKinnon Misses Practice

NHL.Com: Ducks GM Murray Placed on Administrative Leave Amid Investigation



\"🏈\" NFL Power Rankings Week 10

After hitting the midpoint mark in the longest season in NFL history to date, ESPN\’s NFL Nation writers ranked each team from 1-32 and also included a bold second-half prediction for each squad. (ESPN)


\"🏀\" 10 Players Shining With New Teams After First 3 Weeks

With the amount of player movement in the NBA, it isn\’t always easy to for newcomers to get acquainted with their new teams. Fortunately for these ten players, they\’re not only fitting in, but thriving with their new squads. (NBA.Com)


\"⚾️\" Predicting Every $100 Million MLB Contract Signed During 2021-22 Offseason

The 2021-22 MLB free agent class is loaded with talent, which is going to result in an abundance of 9-figure contracts. Here is a full list of predicted $100 million deals, including a few honorable mentions who could approach that figure as well. (Bleacher Report)



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