Spoiler Up

November 29, 2022

By: Carlos Alvarez

Good Morning,

It\’s a hoops-focused edition before we flip to the World Cup for the USMNT\’s win-or-go-home match with Iran (2:00 pm ET). But first, three players dropped a 40-piece in the NBA, and there\’s early chaos in the college basketball polls. Hoops season is here.

Letter Rip!



Spoiler Up: Picking Apart the Polls


Purdue & Arizona Soar Into Top-5 of Latest Men’s AP Poll; South Carolina Clings to Top Spot in Women’s Game


An early upheaval in the college basketball polls brought the shock factor over the holiday break, and not a single team in the men’s game stayed in the same spot. After upsets to No. 1 UNC, No. 6 Gonzaga, and No. 8 Duke, there’s a whole new lineup from 1-10. Purdue and Arizona made major leaps as the Wildcats (10 spots) and Boilers (19 spots) climbed mountains. Houston now holds the top spot. And in the women’s game, It’s South Carolina holding down the No. 1 spot after beating No. 2 Stanford last week. Here’s where they stand:


Men’s AP Top-10

1. Houston (6-0) | ↑1

2. Texas (5-0) | ↑2

3. Virginia (5-0) | ↑2

4. Arizona (6-0) | ↑10

5. Purdue (6-0) | ↑19

6. Baylor (5-1) | ↑1

7. Creighton (6-1) | ↑3

8. UConn (8-0) | ↑12

9. Kansas (6-1) | ↓6

10. Indiana (6-0) | ↑1

Full AP Top-25


Women’s AP Top-10

1. South Carolina (4-0) | —

2. Stanford (5-1) | —

3. UConn (3-0) | ↑2

4. Ohio State (4-0) | ↑4

5. Iowa State (4-0) | ↑2

6. Indiana (5-0) | ↑6

7. Notre Dame (4-0) | ↑2

8. North Carolina (4-0) | ↑5

9. Iowa (4-1) | ↓5

10. Louisville (4-1) | ↓4

Full AP Top-25


Additional Storylines

ESPN: NCAA Power Rankings: Purdue Dominates, UNC Drops Out

NCAA: The Good, Bad & Everything in Between From the Men’s Basketball Season So Far



40-Piece Trio


Durant, Booker & Porzingis All Drop 40-Plus on Wild Monday Night in the NBA


Shooters gotta’ shoot! Not a single 40-point performance occurred over the holiday break in the NBA, but a busy Monday saw a trio of 40-balls by two guys you might expect, and a third you wouldn’t. Devin Booker (44 points) powered the Suns over the Kings (122-117) for their fifth straight win. Kevin Durant (45 points) went off with an 18-for-24 shooting night to lift the Nets over the Magic (109-102). Brooklyn has now won five of their last seven. And out east, Kristaps Porzingis (41 points) had a career-high for the Wizards in a rout of the Timberwolves (142-127) thanks to six 3s. It’s a trifecta of 40 pieces to start the week!


40-Point Performances

Kevin Durant (BKN): 45 points, 7 rebounds, 5 assists

Devin Booker (PHX): 44 points, 8 rebounds, 6 steals

Kristaps Porzingis (WAS): 41 points, 4 rebounds, 3 blocks


Bonus: Pacers’ Andrew Nembhard Hits Buzzer-Beater 3 to Beat Lakers (116-115)


Who’s Hot?

Suns (W5), Celtics (W4), Nuggets (W3), 76ers (W3), Warriors (W3), Heat (W3)


Who’s Not?

Spurs (L8), Magic (L5), Jazz (L5), Hawks (L3), Timberwolves (L3)


Additional Storylines

NBA: Power Rankings as Season Nears Quarter-Mark

ClutchPoints: Kevin Durant Has NBA Twitter Going Crazy After 45-Point Explosion



World Cup Scoreboard


Brazil & Portugal Punch Tickets to World Cup Round of 16


Two more teams have added their names to the Round of 16 in Qatar. Brazil and Portugal took control of Group G and Group H on Monday. Casemiro fired a late-game winner for Brazil to top Switzerland (1-0) while Bruno Fernandes tallied a brace for Portugal over Uruguay (2-0). The two clubs joined France as the first three teams to secure spots in the Knockout Stage. Groups A and B get decided today, including the do-or-die match for the U.S. Men’s National Team against Iran.


World Cup Highlights

Group G: Cameroon draw Serbia (3-3)

Group G: Brazil def. Switzerland (1-0)

Group H: Portugal def. Uruguay (2-0)

Group H: Ghana def. South Korea (3-2)


Today’s Schedule

Group A: Ecuador vs. Senegal (10:00 am ET)

Group A: Netherlands vs. Qatar (10:00 am ET)

Group B: Iran vs. USA (2:00 pm ET)

Group B: Wales vs. England (2:00 pm ET)


Additional Storylines

SI: 2022 World Cup Knockout Stage Scenarios for Each Team & Group

MLS: Who Starts? USMNT Lineup Prediction for World Cup Game vs. Iran

Yahoo! Sports: Bruno Fernandes’ Brace Lifts Portugal Over Uruguay & Into Knockout Round



\"🏈\" NFL: Steelers Outlast Colts on MNF (24-17)

The Steelers handed the Colts their second-straight home loss on Monday Night Football in Indy (24-17) thanks to a 4th-quarter go-ahead touchdown. Pittsburgh blew a 16-3 lead before retaking the advantage with a touchdown run from RB Benny Snell.


\"🏒\" NHL: Marner Extends Point Streak to 17

Make it 17 straight games with a point for Mitch Marner. The Toronto winger lifted the Maple Leafs over the Red Wings (4-2) behind 42 saves from goaltender Matt Murray. The Leafs are riding high and are now 7-0-2 in their last nine games.



\"⚾️\" Judge’s Big Decision

With all the speculation about where Aaron Judge will sign, what about the question of where he should sign? Let’s rank all 30 teams. (ESPN+)


\"💰\" Exploding Sports Franchises

Teams were once considered poor, unpredictable investments. Today they’re among the most coveted assets in the world. What changed? (The Ringer)


\"🏈\" NFL Week 12 Grades

After giving us three crazy games on Thanksgiving, the NFL might have topped itself on Sunday with several wild games that went down to the wire. (CBS Sports)