13) NFL playoffs were expanded to 14 teams this year, so only the #1 seed in each conference gets a bye; over the last seven years, of the 14 teams to make the Super Bowl, 10 were one-seeds and four were 2-seeds. Having the bye has obviously been an advantage.
12) Last five years, teams that had the first round by e were 12-7-1 ATS on the second weekend, which was their first playoff game that year.
11) Over last three years, underdogs are 8-2-1 ATS on first weekend of the playoffs; one game was pick ‘em.
10) 2012 Ravens are last Super Bowl champ that didn’t have a first round bye.
9) Underdogs are 12-7 ATS in last 19 Super Bowls, though favorites covered the last two.
8) Baseball doings:
— Pirates traded 1B Josh Bell to Washington, for two young pitchers.
— Detroit signed free agent pitcher Jose Urena.
7) Atlanta Hawks led Chicago 83-59 at halftime Wednesday; are the Hawks that good, or are the Bulls terrible? (With Billy Donovan coaching, they won’t be bad for very long).
6) Charlotte Hornets C Cody Zeller broke his left hand Thursday, is out 4-6 weeks.
5) Pitt Panthers’ best player, Justin Champagnie, is out 6-8 weeks hurting his knee in practice this week. Pitt is off to 5-2 start, 1-1 in ACC games.
4) Hawai’i 28, Houston 14:
— Rainbows picked off three passes, jumped out to a 21-0 lead.
— After Houston but the lead to 21-14, Rainbows ran a kick back for a TD, sealing the deal.
— This was Hawai’i’s first bowl on the mainland since the Sugar Bowl after the ’08 season.
3) Wednesday’s UCLA-Oregon basketball game was postponed, not because any players or coaches had COVID, but because of COVID-19 testing protocols for the refs.
2) Tampa Bay Buccaneers haven’t scored a first quarter point in their last four games; they signed QB Drew Stanton to their practice squad, replacing the departed Josh Rosen. Stanton was with Bruce Arians in Arizona; he knows the offense.
1) Way back when, when Steve Alford was a great college player at Indiana, I was convinced that someday, he would be coach of the Hoosiers. His dad was a high school coach in Indiana, it just made sense that someday, Steve Alford would run the Hoosiers, but it hasn’t happened.
This is a goofy idea, but Indiana/Nevada should trade coaches; Indiana is 26-33 under Archie Miller in conference games, not very good. Alford has gone from Missouri State to Iowa to New Mexico to UCLA to Nevada- he’s made four Sweet 16’s, but no Elite 8’s.
Alford is 25-15 at Nevada, while totally remaking the roster after Eric Musselman left; it would be good theater if got to come home and coach Indiana.