Holiday Sports Download

January 2, 2023

By: Carlos Alvarez

Welcome Back & Happy New Year 

The holiday break was full of sports, but Santa delivered plenty of gifts for football fans. The CFB Playoff finale is set, and the NFL playoff picture is almost crystal clear. We’re stepping into 2023 with high hopes and dreams for the sports year ahead. Keep joining us every morning to be a sports expert in 2023.

Letter Rip!



Bowl Season Download


#1 Georgia & #3 TCU to Meet in National Championship


The stage is set! A holiday break full of bowl games brings us into 2023 with a clash of titans from the south. No. 1 Georgia rallied to shock No. 4 Ohio State in the Chick-fil-A Peach Bowl (42-41) thanks to an 18-3 fourth-quarter finish. UGA QB Stetson Bennett tossed the go-ahead touchdown with 54 seconds left, and Ohio State’s last-second field goal attempt from 50 yards was hooked hard left. In the other semifinal (Vrbo Fiesta Bowl), No. 3 TCU was dominating No. 2 Michigan by three scores in the second half until a Michigan rally. The Wolverines put up 39 points in the second half but fell short (51-45). It’s the defending champs against the underdogs from TCU in the finale next Monday. Here’s a rundown of all the big bowl games from the holidays.


College Football Playoff Highlights

#1 Georgia def. #4 Ohio State (42-41)

#3 TCU def. #2 Michigan (51-45)


Other Notable Bowl Highlights

#5 Alabama def. #9 Kansas State (45-20)

#6 Tennessee def. #7 Clemson (31-14)

#12 Washington def. #20 Texas (27-20)

#15 Oregon def. North Carolina (28-27)

#21 Notre Dame def. #19 South Carolina (45-38)


Today’s Schedule (Monday)

#22 Mississippi State vs. Illinois (12:00 pm ET)

#16 Tulane vs. #10 USC (1:00 pm ET)

#17 LSU vs. Purdue (1:00 pm ET)

#11 Penn State vs. #8 Utah (5:00 pm ET)


National Championship

#3 TCU vs. #1 Georgia (Mon. Jan. 9, 7:30 pm ET)


Additional Storylines

ESPN: Another TCU Upset or a Georgia Repeat? Previewing the CFP Championship

CBS Sports: TCU Sits 1 Win From Improbable National Championship

Yahoo! Sports: Georgia Rides 4th-Quarter Rally to Thrilling Peach Bowl Win



NFL Playoff Picture & Bubble Teams


11 of 14 Playoff Berths Clinched After Week 17; 8 Bubble Teams Vying for Final 3 Spots


Three Sundays have passed since our last edition, and the NFL playoff picture looks a lot different. The Eagles still hold the No. 1 seed in the NFC despite two straight losses, but the Cowboys are chomping at the bit for the division crown in Week 18. Eleven of the 14 total playoff spots are secured with one Wild Card left in each division and the AFC South title still up for grabs between the Jaguars and Titans. The Bills and Bengals square off on Monday Night Football with seeding implications, but the final three spots will be decided next weekend. Here’s a look at where they stand after the holiday sprint.


NFL Playoff Picture



NFC East: Eagles (13-3)

NFC North: Vikings (12-4)

NFC West: 49ers (11-4)

NFC South: Buccaneers (8-8)

Wild Card: Cowboys (12-4)

Wild Card: Giants (9-6-1)

Wild Card: Seahawks (8-8)


In the Hunt: Lions (8-8), Packers (8-8)



AFC West: Chiefs (13-3)

AFC North: Bills (12-3)

AFC East: Bengals (11-4)

AFC South: Jaguars (8-8)*

Wild Card: Chargers (10-6)

Wild Card: Ravens (10-6)

Wild Card: Patriots (8-8)

In the Hunt: Dolphins (8-8), Steelers (8-8), Titans (7-9), Raiders (6-10)

*Not Clinched


All Week 16 Scores & Highlights

Steelers def. Ravens (16-13) | Falcons def. Cardinals (20-19) | Lions def. Bears (41-10) | Chiefs def. Broncos (27-24) | Patriots def. Dolphins (23-21) | Giants def. Colts (38-10) | Saints def. Eagles (20-10) | Buccaneers def. Panthers (30-24) | Browns def. Commanders (24-10) | Jaguars def. Texans (31-3) | 49ers def. Raiders (37-34, OT) | Seahawks def. Jets (23-6) | Packers def. Vikings (41-17) | Chargers def. Rams (31-10) | Cowboys def. Titans (27-13)


Additional Storylines

ESPN: Sports World Reacts to J.J. Watt Retirement Announcement

NFL: Week 17: What We Learned From Sunday’s Games

B/R: Top NFL Contenders Most Likely to Suffer an Early Playoff Exit



Luka\’s Holiday Heroics


Luka Doncic Delivers Epic Holiday Stretch With 45 PPG in Last 5 Games


A full slate of holiday hoops saw plenty of big performances across the NBA these last few weeks, but none were more eye-popping than Luka Doncic’s 45 PPG average over five games of the Mavericks’ six-game win streak. Doncic had three — count ‘em, three! — 50-point games, including a never-seen-before 60-21-10 night in a win over the Knicks. Doncic’s 228 points over five games makes him the first player in NBA history to record at least 225 points, 50 rebounds, and 50 assists in a five-game span. And he shot above 55 percent in the process. Here’s the Luka holiday reel (enjoy).


Watch: Luka’s Six 3s, 51-Point Night

Watch: Luka’s 60-20-10 Triple Double

Watch: Luka’s 50-10-8 Performance


Other NBA Highlights


Nets Streak Hits 11: After a tumultuous start to the 2022 season, the Brooklyn Nets are entering 2023 as the hottest team in the NBA. The Nets won their 11th straight game on Saturday over the Hornets (123-106). They’re now just 1.5 games back of the Celtics for the top spot in the East.


Dubs Dominating at Home: The Warriors are back above .500 after a four-game home win streak over the last week, including narrow wins over the Jazz and Blazers. That home stand continues tonight against the Hawks.


Throwback Birthday ‘Bron: Among the standout performances from the holidays was LeBron James’ season-high 47-10-9 night in the Lakers’ win over the Hawks last Friday (130-121) — on his 38th birthday no less. It was the third-highest point total for a player 38 years or older. He even predicted a 40-point night before the game.



\"⚽️\" SOCCER: Messi, Argentina Make World Cup History

The beginning of the holiday break saw Lionel Messi and Argentina top France in the World Cup finale via a penalty kick shootout (3-3, 4-2). Kylian Mbappe netted a hat trick for the French side, but Messi’s brace and a PK thriller delivered the GOAT his first-ever World Cup crown.


\"🏒\" NHL: Canes Set Franchise Record With 11th Straight

The Hurricanes won the holidays in the NHL with an 11-game win streak capped by Sunday’s 5-4 shootout win over the Devils. Derek Stepan scored twice and Andrei Svechnikov netted the shootout winner to boost Carolina (56 points) atop the Metro.


\"🏀\" NCAA Basketball

Men’s Scoreboard

Women’s Scoreboard