The NFL’s Final 4


By: Jeff Yoder

Welcome Back

The weekend was full of surprises. The NFL Playoffs stole the show, but the Australian Open and an NHL win streak are stories to follow as we move forward. Plus, Coach K’s NCAA wins record just fell, and so did Sports Illustrated. RIP to every sportswriter’s nostalgic, childhood publication.

Today’s edition is a long and strong. No time to waste.

Letter Rip!


The NFL’s Final 4

Photo: Al Bello / Getty Images

Lions & Chiefs Join Ravens & 49ers in Next Week’s Conference Championship Games

It’s crazy hours in the NFL Playoffs! Eight teams enter the Divisional Round. Four teams come out the other side. The Ravens, 49ers, Lions and Chiefs are still playing football after a weekend of wild scenes and storylines. The Ravens rolled the Texans in a blistery Baltimore while the 49ers needed some late-game magic to avoid a Packers’ upset. Detroit keeps exercising demons of playoffs past, and Dan Campbell’s postgame tears will make anyone a Lions fan. And the Chiefs are heading to the AFC title game for the sixth consecutive season with a new Superfan — shirtless Jason Kelce. Three games to go. Let’s rewind the Divisional Round.

AFC: Ravens def. Texans (34-10)

A second-half rout in Baltimore opened the Divisional Round playoff games Saturday afternoon. The Ravens and Texans were knotted 10-10 at the half, but Lamar Jackson’s prolific offense put up 24 unanswered in the second half to blitz Houston and halt C.J. Stroud’s magnificent run. Jackson (4 TDs) accounted for every Baltimore touchdown. The first game of the Divisional Round was the only game decided by more than one score, and it was a three-score drumming. Do a little dance, Jim Harbaugh.

NFC: 49ers def. Packers (24-21)

The 7-seed Packers had the 1-seed 49ers on the ropes all night on Saturday, but a go-ahead touchdown by Christian McCaffrey put the Niners on top with 1:07 left. A San Francisco interception on the final drive by Dre Greenlaw iced the win, and the 49ers escaped their first playoff game with a sigh of relief. Brock Purdy wasn’t his best, but the Packers can feel good about their future knowing first-year QB Jordan Love had Green Bay a play away from playing for the NFC title. Instead, it’s 49ers-Lions. Hey Jared Goff. Welcome back to California.

NFC: Lions def. Bucs (31-23)

They’re still partying in Detroit! One week after exercising playoff demons, the Lions held off the Bucs to reach the NFC title game. QB Jared Goff was spectacular (30/43, 287 yards, 2 TDs), and the Lions defense made a few critical stops when it mattered most. Bucs QB Baker Mayfield was slinging it on the road (364 yards, 3 TDs), but two interceptions bit the Bucs. The Lions scored 14 unanswered in the 4th to turn a 17-17 tie into a 31-17 advantage, and Detroit is now one win away from the franchise’s first-ever trip to the Super Bowl. A trip to the Bay stands in the way.

AFC: Chiefs def. Bills (27-24)

Another thriller between the Chiefs and Bills came down to the wire on Sunday night, and once again, Kansas City prevails. The final game of the weekend was a back-and-forth battle between the AFC giants. Both Patrick Mahomes (17/23, 234 yards, 2 TDs) and Josh Allen (26/39, 258 yards, 3 TDs) played borderline perfect games. Two turnovers in the final 10 minutes brought chaos down the stretch. Bills kicker Tyler Bass missed a field goal wide right (44 yards) with 1:47 left that would’ve tied it at 27-all. Instead, the Chiefs picked up a first down and notched their sixth consecutive trip to the AFC Championship. Fun Fact: Patrick Mahomes has reached the AFC title game in each of his first six seasons as a starter.

Conference Championship Schedule (Sunday)

AFC: Chiefs at Ravens (3:00 pm ET, CBS)

NFC: Lions at 49ers (6:30 pm ET, FOX)

Read More

Yahoo! Sports: Everything to Know About the AFC & NFC Championship Games

NBC Sports: Lions Kneel Too Soon, But Bucs Fail to Use Last Timeout in Bizarre Finish

USA Today: Once Again, Bills Devastated by Wide-Right Field Goal in the Playoffs

CBS Sports: Patrick Mahomes & Travis Kelce Pass Tom Brady & Rob Gronkowski for Most All-Time Playoff TD Connections (16)



VanDerveer on Top

Photo: Thearon W. Henderson / Getty Images

Stanford Women’s Basketball Coach Tara VanDerveer Breaks Coach K’s NCAA Division I Wins Record

Step aside, Coach K! Hard to believe that’s something we’d ever type. Stanford women’s basketball coach Tara VanDerveer won her record-setting 1,203rd game on Sunday night with a 65-56 Pac-12 victory over Oregon State. Kiki Iriafen had 36 points and 12 rebounds in the win, but it was the coach’s milestone moment that took over college hoops for the evening. VanDerveer passed legendary Duke coach Mike Krzyzewski for the most wins in Division I history.

Mount Rushmore of Division 1 Wins

1. Tara VanDerveer (Stanford): 1,203 Wins

2. Mike Krzyzewski (Duke): 1,202 Wins

3. Geno Auriemma (UConn): 1,196 WIns

4. Pat Summit (Tennessee): 1,098 Wins

Others: C. Vivian Stringer (Rutgers): 1,041 Wins; Sylvia Hatchell (UNC): 1,023 Wins; Jim Boeheim (Syracuse): 1,015 Wins

VanDerveer is in her 37th season with Stanford where she’s built the Cardinal into a powerhouse in women’s basketball. Now 70 years old, she’s amassed 14 Final Fours and 3 National Championships to reach the top of the NCAA mountain. And she’s not done yet. This year’s Stanford squad is ranked No. 8 in the nation at 17-2, and they have the firepower to make a deep run. Congrats to Tara VanDerveer on eclipsing Coach K, and to many more wins.

Read More

ESPN: Tara VanDerveer’s Path to NCAA Wins Record: Never Stop Growing

FOX Sports: Tara VanDerveer Sets NCAA Hoops Wins Record: A Statistical Overview of Her Career



Oil Rush: Streak Hits 13

Photo: Andy Devlin / Getty Images

Edmonton Oilers Closing On NHL History With 13th Straight Win, Longest Streak by Canadian Team

In one of the fastest early-season turnarounds the NHL has ever seen, the Oilers have gone from an ugly start to the hottest team on ice. Edmonton won its 13th straight game on Saturday, topping the Flames (3-1) with two goals in the third period. That would’ve been hard to believe just two months ago. The Oilers were just 3-9-1 after the first month of the season. It was quite an underachieving start to the year for a team with significant star power. Head coach Jay Woodcroft was fired in November and replaced with Kris Knoblauch, and the Oilers flipped a switch. They won eight straight to get back above .500 in mid-December. After a few losses before the holidays, Edmonton launched the current win streak (13). It’s already making NHL history as the longest streak by a Canadian NHL team.

Longest NHL Win Streaks (All-Time)

1. 1992-93 Penguins (17 Games)

2. 2016-17 Blue Jackets (16 Games)

T3. 1981-82 Islanders (15 Games)

T3. 2012-13 Penguins (15 Games)

T5. 1929-30 Bruins (14 Games)

T5. 2009-10 Capitals (14 Games)

T7. Six Teams With 13-Game Win Streaks

Next Game: vs. Blue Jackets (Tues. 9:00 pm ET)

The Oilers are currently 26-15-1 — they’re 23-6-0 since that November turnover — and downright deadly. Not only are Connor McDavid and Leon Draisaitl cooking, but multiple role players have erupted since the coaching change. Zach Hyman (28 goals, 17 assists), Ryan Nugent-Hopkins (29 assists) and Ryan McLeod (9 goals, 10 assists) have sparked an epic turnaround. We could be rewriting NHL history books wthin a week.

Watch: Oilers Douse Flames (3-1) for 13th Straight Win

Read More

SportsNet: Oilers Set NHL Record for Longest Win Streak by Canadian Team

ESPN: Oilers Sign 38-Year-Old Corey Perry Amid 13-Game Win Streak



Australian Open: Swiatek Stunned

Photo: Cameron Spencer / Getty Images

Unranked Linda Noskova Knocks Off Women’s #1 Seed Iga Swiatek; Djokovic, Alcaraz & Gauff Still Swinging

Week 2 of the Australian Open is underway after a weekend of eliminations that shifted the brackets. Namely, world No. 1 Iga Swiatek tumbled out of Melbourne at the hands of unranked Czech teenager, Linda Noskova. Noskova dropped the first set before stunning the tennis world with two straight sets to topple Swiatek. The other big stars? They’re still playing. Novak Djokovic and Coco Gauff are cruising into the quarterfinals, and Carlos Alcaraz is in action again this morning. Both the men’s and women’s singles draws will be down to the final eight (quarterfinals) within the next 24 hours. Melbourne madness continues…

Women’s Singles Highlights

L. Noskova def. #1 I. Swiatek (3-6, 6-3, 6-4)

#2 A. Sabalenka def. A. Anisimova (6-3, 6-2)

#4 C. Gauff def. M. Frech (6-1, 6-2)

Men’s Singles Highlights

#1 N. Djokovic def. #20 A. Mannarino (6-0, 6-0, 6-3)

#2 C. Alcaraz def. J.C. Shang (6-1, 6-1, W/O)

#4 J. Sinner def. #15 K. Khachanov (6-4, 7-5, 6-3)

#5 A. Rublev def. #10 A. De Minaur (5 Sets)

In Action Overnight

M: #2 C. Alcaraz vs. M. Kecmanovic (3:00 am ET)

Full Upcoming Match Schedule

Read More

Eurosport: Linda Noskova ‘Shaking’ After Huge Upset Win Over Iga Swiatek

ESPN: Wild Card Arthur Cazaux Has Taken the Australian Open by Storm




Nikola Jokic Notches Season-High 42 Points

Devin Booker Catches Fire (52 Points)

Anthony Edwards Wows With Alley-Oop Off Glass


Kirill Kaprizov Nets Hat Trick for Wild

Bruins Score 9 Behind Danton Heinen’s Hat Trick

Oilers Top Flames (3-1) for 13th Straight Win


Rory McIlroy Wins 4th Dubai Desert Classic

Alabama Sophomore Nick Dunlap Wins American Express*

*Becomes 1st Amateur to Win PGA Event Since Phil Mickelson (1991)

NCAA Upsets

W: #18 Ohio State Upsets #2 Iowa (100-92)

M: Pittsburgh Upsets #7 Duke (80-76)

M: West Virginia Upsets #3 Kansas (91-85)





Today’s Must-Watch List


Spurs at 76ers (7:00 pm ET)

Celtics at Mavericks (8:30 pm ET)

Hawks at Kings (10:00 pm ET)


Jets at Bruins (7:00 pm ET)

Golden Knights at Devils (7:00 pm ET)
Blackhawks at Canucks (10:00 pm ET)

Italian Supercup

Napoli vs. Inter (2:00 pm ET)

NCAA Basketball

M: Wake Forest at #4 North Carolina (7:00 pm ET)

M: Cincinnati at #3 Kansas (9:00 pm ET)

W: #5 UCLA at #20 Utah (7:00 pm ET)

W: #7 Kansas State at #12 Baylor