13) Did some research today: as far as NFL teams meeting for third time in season in playoffs; in Super Bowl era, the home team is 34-25 in the third meeting. Teams that swept first 2 meetings are 11-5 in third meeting.
Carolina lost to the Saints twice this year, so they fit this scenario Sunday.
12) Jon Gruden is going to get a 10-year, $100M contract to coach the Oakland/Las Vegas Raiders, which seems excessive, but now ESPN needs to come up with someone to replace Gruden interviewing college QB prospects before the NFL Draft, because that was some of their best programming.
College basketball notes from last few days:
11) Western Kentucky’s 4-star recruit Josh Anderson became eligible this week, and will play at Marshall Saturday. Anderson is an athletic defender at guard who gives the Hilltoppers needed depth- they used seven players in their last three games.
10) North Texas won two of its first three games in C-USA; the three games were decided by total of four points.
9) Stanford 107, UCLA 99 2OT— Bruins went 19-35 on foul line in this double OT game, a game Bruins led by 13 with 9:31 to play. Six players fouled out of this game, three on each side.
8) Over last seven years, Big West has put seven different teams into the NCAA tournament; in these one-bid leagues, all that really matters in the conference tournament in March, not sure if thats a good thing, but it is what it is.
7) Best college basketball studio show is on FS1, with Steve Lavin/Jim Jackson analyzing games and Rob Stone. Good banter where you can learn stuff, and laugh at same time.
6) Mike Dunleavy Sr has coached 1,329 NBA games; quite a coup for Tulane to hire him as their basketball coach. Green Wave was 33-63 the last three years, 6-25 in Dunleavy’s first season last year, but they’re 11-4 this year, and 2-1 in the AAC with wins over Temple/SMU.
Big improvement for Tulane, who last finished over .500 in conference 11 years ago.
5) Cal Poly 80, Cal-Santa Barbara 79 OT— Gauchos led this game 23-2 on road Thursday nite, but let it slip away down the stretch. Not too many teams that are down 21 come back to win.
4) Colorado 90, Arizona State 81 OT— Sun Devils were unbeaten, ranked #4 in country, but now they’re 0-2 in Pac-12, after losing to Arizona/Colorado. ASU was 9-33 on arc in this game, was +7 in turnovers. Conference play is tough, much more competitive.
3) UNLV 82, San Jose State 76 OT— UNLV coaches dodged a bullet here; down a point with 0:16 left, Rebels called timeout, but star player McCoy didn’t check in quick enough during the timeout, so he had to stay on the bench, and since UNLV was out of timeouts, they played the most important possession of the game without their best player. No bueno.
UNLV tied the game, McCoy came back in and played the OT, and the Rebels survived to win a game that would’ve been a hideous loss. San Jose State is rebuilding- there was almost no one there— there had been a power outage on campus during the day. UNLV did its walk-thru in a mostly dark gym— seriously. TV announcer Drew Goodman filmed part of it with his phone.
2) Tennessee State 67, Jacksonville State 60— Gamecocks were 0-3 on foul line for the game; you don’t see that a lot- they were 10-24 on the arc. Tennessee State was 15-15 on the line; they shot 61% inside the arc. JSU may have been looking ahead to its game with Belmont Saturday.
1) Texas A&M scored 61.5 ppg in losing its first two SEC games, after an 11-1 start to their season, but think they get leading scorer Hogg back from suspension for their home game with LSU today. Hogg was 5th (and hopefully last) Aggie to be suspended this season- they just got couple guys back from knee injuries- they’re very good if they can just get back to full strength.