13) New Orleans Saints lost a home playoff game Sunday, third year in a row they did that, but they’ve got nothing on the Kansas City Chiefs. From 1995-2017, the Chiefs went 0-7 in playoff games at Arrowhead Stadium, an amazing display of playoff futility.
Over a 23-year period, they went 0-7 in home playoff games. Oy.
Last year’s Super Bowl title quashed those bad memories, but now all Chief fans can stress out this week about Patrick Mahomes’ concussion.
12) They mentioned a cool stat Sunday that I had never heard of before; from 2012-15, Seattle Seahawks led at one point or another in 70 consecutive games, which is the all-time record. Right now, Kansas City has led in 60 consecutive games, so the record is within reach.
11) When I was a kid, I learned how to do math in my head by doing batting averages; if Sal Bando went 4-13 for a weekend, I knew that was .308. if Catfish Hunter gave up two runs in seven innings, I knew that was a 2.57 ERA. Stuff like that; decades later, when I was an adult, I actually got a job promotion because of my math skills. For real, a big promotion.
So when I see the Big EAST Conference has five teams in the midwest, it saddens me; how can kids learn geography if they think Nebraska is in the east?
— Xavier is in Cincinnati
— Creighton is in Omaha
— DePaul is in Chicago
— Marquette is in Milwaukee
— Butler is in Indianapolis
None of those cities are close to the east; they’re midwestern cities.
Big East needs to find a better name for the league, for education’s sake.
10) Houston Cougars are 11-1, with a win over Texas Tech; all 15 of their players have already tested positive for COVID at some point this season. They’ve got a shot at going a long way in March/Mask Madness.
9) Ivy League didn’t play basketball this winter, which means one less automatic bid to the NCAA Tournament, and one more at-large bid. Not sure what criteria will be used; some teams haven’t played in a while:
— 8-1 Villanova is a top 10 team; they haven’t played since December 23
— 7-1 Saint Louis hasn’t played a league game yet; they haven’t played since December 23.
When the bubble teams come more into focus, it’ll be fun to see how their resumes contrast.
8) College basketball upsets this weekend:
— Northern Arizona (+12) 62, Montana 58
— California (+11.5) 72, Utah 63
— Butler (+9) 70, Creighton 66
— Wm & Mary (+9) 69, Drexel 64 (Sunday)
— Georgia (+7.5) 78, Ole Miss 74
— IUPUI (+7) 65, Northern Kentucky 63
7) There are couple of very bad basketball teams in the Mountain West; so far this season, favorites of 15+ points are 8-1-1 ATS in conference games.
6) Odd Fact of the Day: Starting lineup for the Wisconsin Badgers is older than the starting lineup for the NBA’s Chicago Bulls.
5) James Harden made his debut for the Brooklyn Nets Saturday night; he put up 32 points, 12 rebounds, 14 assists in the Nets’ 122-115 win over Orlando. Not a bad opening act.
4) Sunday will be Aaron Rodgers’ 5th NFC title game, but the first one played at Lambeau Field; Green Bay lost the conference championship in Santa Clara LY to the 49ers.
3) Los Angeles Chargers didn’t have to look far for their next coach; they hired Brandon Staley, who was the Rams’ defensive coordinator this past season. Staley is 38, was a coordinator for one season; he comes from the Vic Fangio coaching tree.
Curious who his offensive coordinator will be, seeing how Sean McVay runs Rams’ offense, so he’ll be poaching someone off another coaching staff.
2) Kansas City 22, Browns 17:
— Mahomes (concussion) was KO’d in 3rd quarter; Chad Henne finished up at QB.
— Browns lost a goal-line fumble with 1:34 in first half, which turned out to be damaging.
— Chiefs outgained Cleveland 438-308; they host the Bills Sunday night.
1) Tampa Bay 30, New Orleans 20:
— Saints are first team since ’86-’88 Bears to lose home playoff game 3 years in a row.
— Brees threw three INT’s; New Orleans was minus-4 in turnovers.
— Buccaneers go to Lambeau Field for the NFC title game Sunday.