NCAA\’s Top-2 Tumble

January 10, 2024

By: Carlos Alvarez

Good Morning

It’s the mid-week edition, and we\’re still recovering from Week 18 and the CFP championship. The news never stops, and neither do we.

In today’s edition: More NFL coaching news, Draymond Green’s return, and the top two college basketball teams fell to unranked teams on the same night for the first time in eight years. No one is safe…


College Basketball\’s Top-2 Tumble

Photo: Steven Branscombe / Getty Images

#1 Purdue Upset by Nebraska (88-72), #2 Houston Falls to Iowa State (57-53)

It’s been a wild season of college basketball, and we’re only halfway through. Tuesday night marked just the third time in the last 40 seasons that both of the top two teams in men’s college basketball were upset on the same night by unranked opponents. Both #1 Purdue and #2 Houston went on the road in the midwest and lost to some hungry conference opponents — Nebraska and Iowa State. The Boilers’ month-long hold on the No. 1 spot could come to an end, but it won’t be the Cougars taking it.

Nebraska def. #1 Purdue (88-72)

The Huskers outscored the Boilers 14-2 to end the first half after 7-foot-4 reigning Player of the Year Zach Edey went to the bench with foul trouble. Nebraska’s pressure defense continued in the second half, and the Boilers never regained the lead. Edey was in foul trouble throughout, and the Huskers ran away with it down the stretch to win by double digits in Lincoln.

Iowa State def. #2 Houston (57-53)

The Cougars committed 16 turnovers in their down-to-the-wire game with Iowa State. The Cyclones fed off a raucous crowd that powered them to big plays in crunch time. Neither team shot it well, but Iowa State had enough juice to hand Houston their first loss of the season.

Polls/Rankings Implications

Purdue’s loss was their second dropped conference game this year after an OT loss to Northwestern. No team in Division I remains undefeated, and #3 Kansas (13-1) is the likely new No. 1 team come next week. Most Recent AP Poll

Other NCAA Basketball Scores

#6 Kentucky def. Missouri (90-77)

#11 Duke def. Pittsburgh (75-53)

#14 Baylor def. #18 BYU (81-72)



Titans Launch the Rebuild

Photo: Icon Sportswire / Getty Images

Tennessee Titans Fire Mike Vrabel After 6 Years, 6-24 Record in Final 24 Games

Make it six head coaching vacancies heading into the NFL offseason. The Tennessee Titans fired head coach Mike Vrabel on Tuesday after another disappointing campaign. Vrabel’s Titans found plenty of success in his first four seasons, including four winning records (41-24), but the last two seasons were trainwrecks. The Titans were 7-3 in 2022 before the wheels came off. They finished 7-10 last year and missed the playoffs. This year, it got worse (6-11). Despite the Titans finishing dead last in the AFC South, there were glimpses of greatness from rookie QB Will Levis, who recorded three of those six wins in the last 18 contests. Veteran RB Derrick Henry is expected to move on, as well. The Titans are gearing up to rebuild.

Expect Vrabel to be one of the most highly-coveted head coaches on the market, if not the premier defensive coordinator option for teams searching this offseason. Could the former Patriots player and Bill Belichick protege be linked to a New England return?

6 Head Coaching Vacancies







Read More

CBS Sports: Ranking All 6 NFL Head Coaching Vacancies

NBC Sports: Titans Make a Huge Risk in Moving on From Mike Vrabel

The Ringer: What Does the Mike Vrabel Firing Tell Us About Titans\’ Future?



Draymond\’s Fresh Start

Photo: Takashi Aoyama / Getty Images

Warriors’ Draymond Green Set to Return After 3-Week Suspension, Therapy & Revelations

Our last big story of 2023 took a look at Draymond Green’s growing reputation as the NBA’s most-ejected player. He ranks 2nd all-time in ejections in NBA history (20). His swinging fist against Suns’ center Jusuf Nurkic landed him a third ejection in the first month of the 2023-24 season, and ultimately landed him an indefinite suspension by the league. Three weeks later, Draymond is reinstated, and there’s a story to tell.

A Fresh Start for Draymond

Plenty was made of Green’s three-week absence over the holidays, including conversations with NBA commissioner Adam Silver and a tear-jerking moment with Warriors’ head coach Steve Kerr. Green spoke about these moments on his podcast “The Draymond Green Show,” claiming Silver talked him out of retirement. Green also said he and Kerr both cried when Kerr visited him during his suspension. He underwent an extensive counseling program over the past three weeks, too.

\”We had a long, great conversation — very helpful to me. Very thankful to play in a league with a commissioner like Adam who\’s more about helping you than hurting you; helping you than punishing you. He\’s more about the players.” — Draymond Green

Draymond was reinstated by the league on Saturday, and he’s been practicing this week. The Warriors host the Pelicans tonight (8:30 pm ET, ABC), and it looks like Green will be ready. Whether he starts or plays limited minutes is TBD. But we do know one thing — the fiery version of Draymond Green is likely to be more tame moving forward. His NBA future depends on it.

Read More

Yardbarker: Draymond Green Says Adam Silver Talked Him Out of Drastic Retirement Decision

SI: Draymond Green Says He Didn’t Deserve Applause From Warriors Teammates at First Practice Back



NBA: Knicks Notch 5th Straight Since Trade

The New York Knicks were just 17-15 at the end of 2023. They traded R.J. Barrett to the Raptors for O.G. Anunoby and went on a winning streak. The Knicks won their fifth straight on Tuesday over the Blazers (112-84). They’re 5-0 in 2024 with four of those wins by 15-plus.

NHL: Panthers Streak Hits 8 Behind Tkachuk

Multiple teams are catching fire in the NHL right now, but the Florida Panthers are as hot as any. The Panthers won their eighth straight game last night behind Matthew Tkachuk’s natural hat trick in the third period. They paced the Blues (5-1), and they haven’t lost since Dec. 21.

*The Oilers (W8), Jets (W7), Kraken (W7) and Maple Leafs (W4) are also riding NHL winning streaks.



2024 Way-Too-Early CFB Rankings

The 2024 season will arrive with a seismic shift that includes even more conference realignment and a bigger (and supposedly better) 12-team CFP format. That will surely make everyone in Florida happy, right? (ESPN)

2024 NCAA Tournament Predictions

The non-conference portion of the 2023-24 men\’s college basketball season was all sorts of entertaining, but now that conference play is fully underway, it feels like Selection Sunday for the NCAA tournament is just around the corner. (B/R)

24 MLB Predictions for 2024

This has been a doozy of an offseason, hasn’t it? Feels weird to say that knowing there are lots of impact free-agents yet to sign, and pitchers to be traded. We held off on our predictions file as long as we could. (Sporting News)





Today\’s Must-Watch List


Timberwolves at Celtics (7:00 pm ET)

Pelicans at Warriors (8:30 pm ET)

Raptors at Clippers (10:30 pm ET)


Wild at Stars (7:30 pm ET)

Golden Knights at Avalanche (10:00 pm ET)


Supercopa: Real Madrid vs. Atletico Madrid (2:00 pm ET)

Carabao Cup: Liverpool vs. Fulham (3:00 pm ET)