Western Courier

Late November all around update

Jared Goff stares down a teammate in a home game.

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Jared Goff stares down a teammate in a home game.

Michael Harms, Courier Staff

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As we settle in for the last few weeks of the semester, its time to catch back up in the sports world. While some may have been enjoying the company of friends and family, or catching up on sleep or maybe even going on an actual vacation, I was glued to any screen with a sporting event on it.

I may or may not have been streaming NFL games on the runway while flying home Sunday afternoon, despite the need to put my phone on airplane mode. That Sunday I watched the Pittsburgh Steelers make a comeback and defeat the Jacksonville Jaguars in the last few seconds. The Dallas Cowboys put down the Atlanta Falcons with a last second field goal and the Detroit Lions survived the Carolina Panthers who failed to win the game on a two-point attempt.

There was just too much going on to put my phone away! The NASCAR Playoffs ended in a thriller at Homestead as Kevin Harvick, Kyle Busch, Martin Truex Jr. and Joey Logano battled it out in the last race. Logano ended up winning, pulling away with 20 laps to go ending a season dominated by the other three. This was his first Monster Energy Cup title.

On Monday we saw a flurry of activity on the basketball court as Duke continued to dominate defeating San Diego State University 90-64. But no one cared about that game on Monday. All eyes were on Monday Night Football as two juggernauts, Kansas City Chiefs and Los Angeles Rams, battled it out in Los Angeles.

This game showcased the best the NFL has to offer with a combined 105 points and over 1000 yards of offense. With 14 touchdowns, three defensive and 56 total first downs; this game will forever be framed in the history books. With a final 40-yard touchdown throw from quarterback Jared Goff in the final minutes of the game, the Rams won 54-51.

Tuesday was all college basketball. No. 1 seed Duke took on No. 8 seed Auburn in a highly anticipated matchup in the Maui Invitational. Duke continued to prove they are the No. 1 seed in college basketball as all five of their starters scored in the double digits. They scored 78 to the Tigers and 72 to get to the final round of the tournament.

In the NBA, drama surrounded the Washington Wizards roster as they announced they are willing to trade away their all-star frontcourt players John Wall and Bradley Beal. Their phones are probably ringing off the hook as many teams are looking for a star that will allow them to compete at the top level.

The Warriors started to find the struggles most NBA teams face as they lost a few games. Draymond Green and Kevin Durant had some beef at the end of one of their games that ended with Green getting a one game suspension. Then Stephen Curry got injured, causing for the offensive part of the team to suffer. They ended the week with a record of 12-7.

Wednesday morning came, and it was all basketball all day long. The most notable matchup once again was in Hawaii as Duke played its toughest opponent yet: Gonzaga, who is ranked as a No. 3 team. Zion Williamson led the Blue Devils but they were tamed by the Bull dogs who prevailed 89-87. Through the night professional basketball took over showcasing greatness.

The Philadelphia 76ers outlasted the New Orleans Pelicans as Anthony Davis missed a free throw in the closing seconds of the game. James Harden dropped 43 points in an impressive win against Detroit. Most eyes went to Cleveland as LeBron James went back home wearing a Lakers jersey. The city celebrated his years in Cleveland and the championship he brought to the fans in 2016. As the team struggles in his absence, it was nice to see Cleveland pay their respect to the King of Ohio. James put a show on for them scoring 32 points and securing a win 109-105.

Turkey day brought its NFL greatness as the Cowboys faced off against the Washington Redsksins, the Bears took on the Detroit Lions and the Falcons faced the New Orleans Saints. The Cowboys used their new asset Amari Cooper well as he had 180 yards receiving and two touchdowns to win the game with 31-23. The Bears started the game without Mitchell Trubisky due to injury, but veteran Chase Daniels stayed calm, moving them past the Lions with a score of 23-16. The final game of the day showcased MVP Drew Brees once more throwing four touchdowns and crushing the Falcons 31-17.

Friday marked the start of rivalry week for NCAA football, and one of the years most unique sporting events. Golf legends Phil Mickelson and Tiger Woods squared off in a winner take all one-on-one matchup that has been dreamed of for years. For 15 years these two were the biggest names in golf, Tiger still is, but the historic pair have never played against one another in this type of setting. Not to mention the duo were playing for a $9 million.

Of course, the duo did not let the fans down as nearing the 17th hole Mickelson was only up one on Woods looking to seal the deal. Only in Tiger fashion on this hole as Woods chipped from the back of the green into the hole to square the match up. “You’ve been doing that crap to me for 20 years, I’m not sure why I’d be surprised now,” said Mickelson after the hole. Eighteen holes were not enough to decide a winner, so they prepared for extras. After 22 holes of golf, Mickelson birdied a hole to win the match.

As the match was still going on, playoff hopeful football teams battled it out on the gridiron. University of Central Florida dominated University of Southern Florida, but star quarterback McKenzie Milton went down with a traumatic leg injury. For the past two years he is responsible for 75 total touchdowns in their 24-win streak. Despite their record, the playoff committee will have a tough choice to put them in over other teams. That night the Oklahoma Sooners played a thriller against West Virginia. There were four ties, four lead changes and Oklahoma escaped with a 59-56 win to keep their team in the playoffs.

Saturday, the rest of the top 25 played and all eyes were on Nick Saban leading his undefeated and dominant Alabama Crimson Tide who played Auburn in the Iron Bowl. After the Tigers kept the game close by halftime, Alabama went to work and rocked the second half to win 52-21, to remain as the top No. 1 seed. As the day settled into night, my finger got tired switching between Clemson versus South Carolina, Notre Dame versus University of Southern California and Louisiana State University versus Texas A&M. Clemson, Notre Dame and LSU are all playoff potential teams, but all needed wins to stay in the hunt.

Clemson after allowing South Carolina to score 35 dominated the fourth quarter to win 52-21. Notre Dame went down 0-10, but they could not complete the upset losing score of 24-17. And finally, LSU went into overtime with the Aggies. Not once, not twice, not three times, but seven overtimes later Texas A&M defeated seventh ranked LSU 74-72.

A long break concluded with a night of thrilling sporting events, which other than turkey, was the theme this week. The sports world continues with NCAA football nearing playoff selection, the NFL going into the final quarter of the season, and basketball is just getting started.

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The independent student newspaper of Western Illinois University. Serving Macomb since 1905.
Late November all around update