Spartan Strong


By: Jeff Yoder

Good Morning,

A mixed bag of emotions was the story on Tuesday. From Michigan State’s first home game since last week’s tragedy to a shocking twist in the Champions League, we’ve got it all. We’re one week from March, and the madness is palpable…

Letter Rip!


Spartan Strong

Photo: Icon Sportswire / Getty Images

Michigan State Beats #17 Indiana (80-65) in 1st Home Game Since Campus Shooting

An emotional night in East Lansing stole the show in college basketball on Tuesday night as Michigan State played their first game at the Breslin Center since last Monday’s campus shooting that killed three students and injured five others. A number of tributes in the pregame were the precursors to a game that felt bigger than a game, including visiting Indiana wearing “Spartan Strong” shirts and tear-filled shots of Michigan State head coach Tom Izzo. The Spartans got off to a slow start and fell behind by as many as nine, but Izzo’s bunch turned the Breslin Center into a Sparty party by night’s end as they ran away in the final 25-plus minutes. A.J. Hoggard (22) and Tyson Walker (23) combined for 55 points in a win that was bigger than basketball.

Watch: Michigan State def. #17 Indiana (80-65)

NCAA Scoreboard (Men)

#8 Texas def. #23 Iowa State (72-54)

#14 Kansas State def. #9 Baylor (75-65)

#10 Marquette def. #19 Creighton (73-71)

#25 Texas A&M def. #11 Tennessee (68-63)

#13 Miami def. Virginia Tech (76-70)

Villanova def. #16 Xavier (64-63)

NCAA Scoreboard (Women)

St. John’s def. #4 UConn (69-64)*

#7 Maryland def. #6 Iowa (96-68)

#15 Villanova def. DePaul (67-64)

*St. John’s snaps 10-game losing streak against UConn

Additional Storylines

ESPN: Michigan State Tops Indiana in Emotional Return to Home Court

ABC News: Patterson, Bailey Lead St. John’s to Upset of No. 4 UConn



A Standing O’

Photo: Bill Wippert / Getty Images

Ryan O’Reilly Nets Hat Trick On 1st 3 Goals After Trade to Maple Leafs; NHL Playoff Race Update

We had planned to feature the NHL playoff race in today’s edition, then Ryan O’Reilly made a splash for the Maple Leafs. O’Reilly joined Toronto in a trade with the Blues late last week, and he tallied a hat trick in his third start with his new team last night. The Leafs beat the Sabres (6-3) on what quickly became the O’Reilly welcome show. Toronto’s new wingman scored his two goals in the first four minutes and changed before completing the hat trick late in the third. O’Reilly also made an assist while Mitch Marner tallied five assists, and the Leafs are back in the win column as they continue chasing the Bruins in the Atlantic. Here’s a lengthy list of last night’s highlights and a look at where they stand coming down the stretch.

Watch: Ryan O’Reilly Nets Hat Trick in Leafs’ Win (6-3)

Other NHL Highlights

Lightning def. Ducks (6-1)

Red Wings def. Capitals (3-1)

Canadiens def. Devils (5-2)

Hurricanes def. Blues (4-1)

Wild def. Kings (2-1)

Predators def. Canucks (5-4, SO)

Blackhawks def. Golden Knights (3-2, SO)

Oilers def. Flyers (4-2)

NHL Playoff Picture


1. Hurricanes (84 pts)

2. Devils (79 pts)

3. Rangers (75 pts)

4. Islanders (65 pts)

In the Hunt: Penguins (63 pts), Capitals (62 pts), Flyers (56 pts)


1. Bruins (91 pts)

2. Maple Leafs (78 pts)

3. Lightning (75 pts)

4. Panthers (64 pts)

In the Hunt: Red Wings (62 pts), Sabres (60 pts), Senators (58 pts), Canadiens (52 pts)


1. Stars (72 pts)

2. Jets (71 pts)

3. Avalanche (67 pts)

4. Wild (65 pts)

In the Hunt: Predators (58 pts), Blues (55 pts)


1. Golden Knights (72 pts)

2. Kings (71 pts)

3. Kraken (70 pts)

4. Oilers (68 pts)

In the Hunt: Flames (63 pts)

NHL Trade Deadline: March 3 (3:00 pm ET)

Additional Storylines

SportsNet: New Addition O’Reilly Nets Hat Trick, Sparks Maple Leafs Win
BS Meter on the Latest Rumors 11 Days From the 2023 NHL Trade Deadline



Madrid Makes Magic

Photo: Michael Regan / Getty Images

Real Madrid Rally to Crush Liverpool (5-2) in Rematch of 2022 Champions League Final

The Champions League continued its Leg 1 action in the Round of 16 on Tuesday, and things shifted for two high-profile clubs in the blink of an eye. Liverpool led Real Madrid (2-0) at Anfield just 14 minutes into one of the most anticipated matchups of the Round of 16 — the two finalists from last year’s Champions League finale — but the defending champs were just waking up. Real Madrid fired back to even things up by halftime thanks to a pair of goals by Vinicius Jr. (2-2), including a wild clearance deflection, before a second-half blitz. Eder Militao scored the go-ahead goal on a set-piece header just minutes into the second half, and Karim Benzema smashed home two of his own in a runaway win that nearly seals a quarterfinal birth for Los Blancos barring a miracle by Liverpool in Leg 2. Over in Germany, Napoli dominated Eintracht Frankfurt in a lopsided opening match that was expected. Both losing sides still have hope in Leg 2, but the light is dim.

Yesterday’s Highlights

Real Madrid def. Liverpool (5-2)

Napoli def. Eintracht Frankfurt (2-0)

Today’s Schedule

RB Leipzig vs. Manchester City (3:00 pm ET)

Inter vs. FC Porto (3:00 pm ET)

Round of 16 Scores & Fixtures

Additional Storylines

The Athletic: How Real Madrid Rallied From 2-Goal Deficit to Thrash Liverpool

Telegraph: Liverpool Suffer Worst-Ever Home Defeat in Europe as Real Madrid Run Riot



 The Latest on College Sports Realignment

With the Big Ten and SEC preparing to start 16-program versions in 2024 and the 12-team playoff looming the same year, the rest of the college football landscape is left to sort itself out. The only certainty is that more change is coming. (ESPN+)

 NFL Mock Draft & QB Carousel

We aren’t exactly sure where they’ll land, but we know marquee veteran quarterbacks are going to be on the move this offseason, and, of course, those moves will have a seismic impact on the draft. Here’s how the draft could shake out. (CBS Sports)

 Predicting the NHL Trade Deadline

The NHL’s March 3 trade deadline is less than two weeks away. There have already been seven trades since Jan. 1 with three deals involving notable players taking place over the past three weeks. Predicting the biggest winners and losers of the deadline isn’t easy. (Bleacher Report)