Thursday’s List of 13: Happy Thanksgiving, everyone……

13) Was going to do a list of things I’m thankful for, but decided that this year, the biggest thing I’m thankful for is that the guy who operated on my detached retina studied a lot in school and became an excellent surgeon. Thank you very much, Dr Mallick!!!! 

12) Kansas 90, Dayton 84 OT— Jayhawks win Maui Classic for third time in an exciting final; Dayton tied the game on a 3-pointer with 0:01.1 left in regulation. 

11) Michigan State 75, UCLA 63— Bruins go to Maui after losing at home to Hofstra and get one win, over D-II Chaminade, so they’ve lost their last three D-I games. UCLA is playing tempo #308; their fans aren’t going to like coach Mick Cronin any more than they liked Ben Howland or Steve Alford or Steve Lavin. 

Howland got fired by UCLA after a 3-year stretch where they went 37-17 in Pac-12 games, but only 1-2 in NCAA tournament games. Tough crowd. 

10) Over the last five seasons, 17 different college basketball teams have made the Final Four, from nine different conferences. 

Over the last seven NCAA tournaments, at last one team made the Final Four that was a #5 or lower seed in their region. 

9) Padres/Brewers made a 4-player trade Wednesday:
Milwaukee gets: IF Luis Urias, P Eric Lauer
San Diego gets: OF Trent Grisham, P Zach Davies. 

8) Pirates filled the last open manager’s spot by hiring 49-year old Derek Shelton as their new skipper. Shelton was Minnesota’s bench coach the last two years. 

7) Texas Rangers signed P Kyle Gibson to a 3-year deal worth $30M. 32-year old Gibson was 13-7, 4.84 ERA with a 1.44 WHIP LY, with 160 strikeouts in 160 IP. Rangers move into their new domed stadium this coming season. 

6) Ole Miss 74, Penn State 72— Rebels trailed 52-31 wth 16:23 left, by 14 wth 6:30 left- they rally to win their fifth game in six tries. Penn State won their last game by a hoop after trailing by 16 with 9:12 left- they returned the favor here.

5) The Cleveland Indians’ baseball cap that Charlie Sheen wore in the 1988 movie Major League is on the auction block; the largest bid, with eight days left to go in the auction, is $4,594. 

You could get a hat just like it for $40 on the Lids website, but someone bid $4,594 for a 31-year old baseball cap that might not even be your size. Go figure. 

4) Lakers 114, Pelicans 110— Anthony Davis scored 41 points in his return to New Orleans. 

3) Detroit Lions are starting rookie 3rd-string QB David Blough against the Bears today. He wasn’t drafted, but Blough played in 44 games at Purdue, throwing 1,429 passes. 

2) 76ers 97, Kings 91— Embiid scored 33 points, had 16 rebounds, after not scoring in his last game, in Toronto. 

1) Sad to report that the Arena Football League went out of business Wednesday; they had a team here in Albany in the late 90’s, and again the last couple years. Arenaball was great fun; thought it helped develop quarterbacks, because they had to make quick decisions, and really couldn’t run much.

Wednesday’s List of 13: Wrapping up the first night of college hoop……

13) Duke 68, Kansas 66— Jayhawks turned ball over 28 times in a game they led by 9 with 14:35 left. Kansas played only six guys more than 8:00; they took only nine 3’s (4-9) and were only 16-26 on the line. 

12) Kentucky 69, Michigan State 62— Tyrese Maxey scored 26 points off the bench for Kentucky, sealing things with a 3-point jumper with 1:00 left. Wildcats are a very good defensive team. 

11) Saint Mary’s 65, Wisconsin 63 OT— On Selection Sunday, this score is going to resonate with the Selection Committee; a huge win for the Gaels, who last year played non-conference schedule #183. Now they have a win over a pretty good Big 14 team. 

10) Georgia Tech 82, NC State 81 OT— Wolfpack blew a 15-point first half lead; Tech shot 60% inside the arc, and is now tied atop the ACC standings. 

ACC played actual conference games tonight, probably to help promote the new ACC Network; awful early to play important games. 

ACC also switched to a 20-game conference schedule this year to bolster tournament resumes; Big 14 also does that. Makes it way harder for mid-majors to get an at-large bid to the NCAA’s.

9) Virginia Tech 67, Clemson 60— Teams combined to make only 16-56 behind the arc; both teams are rebuilding. Coach Young wins his first game with the Hokies after a great run at Wofford. 

8) Upsets:
— Cal-Riverside (+15.5) 66, Nebraska 47
— Ark-Little Rock (+12.5) 67, Missouri State 66
— Ohio U (+12) 65, St Bonaventure 53
— Campbell (+9) 75, Coastal Carolina 74
— Pennsylvania (+7.5) 81, Alabama 80

7) Close calls, but no upset:
— George Mason 68, Navy 55 OT
— Illinois 78, Nicholls State 70 OT

6) Its funny, I like college basketball better than NBA, but one of the big keys to handicapping college ball is figuring out as soon as possible which college players are going to be high draft picks in the NBA, because those guys will be winning lot of games this winter.

College basketball moved the 3-point arc back this season; I’m eager to find out early results on 3-point shooting with the arc farther from the basket this year; how will it change the game, if it does at all? Will report the news when I find out.

5) Morehead State 90, Samford 86, 2OT— Samford led by 11 early on, but couldn’t hold it in another brickfest— teams combined to make 12-55 behind the arc. Jordan Walker was 4-14 on the arc; the other Morehead players were 2-15 on the arc. 

4) Utah State 81, Montana State 73— Kid named Harald Frey drained 34 points in a losing cause for the Bobcats, who were outscored 35-16 on the foul line. Utah State was 35-45, Montana State 16-26 at the charity stripe. But if you took Montana State +21, Harald Frey was your guy.

3) Cal-Riverside 66, Nebraska 47— Fred Hoiberg’s debut in Lincoln was a disaster, losing to a Riverside squad that hasn’t even won half its Big West games since 2009. Riverside made 12-25 on the arc and didn’t have to sweat the outcome at the end. Biggest D-I win in Riverside history. 

2) In the NBA, Atlanta Hawks’ big man John Collins was suspended without pay for 25 games Tuesday for violating the terms of the NBA/NBPA Anti-Drug Program- he tested positive for a PED. Collins played 32.2 mpg in the Hawks’ first five games, scoring 17 ppg. Big loss.

1) Keys to watching college games before Thanksgiving:
— Don’t overreact to scores. Some teams are way ahead of others.
— Lot of these games are played for TV purposes; coaches are experimenting a lot of times, getting ready for conference play.
— Some coaches are better at recruiting, others are better at player development; the coaches who develop players better (Oregon, for one) will have teams that thrive later in the season.