Good morning! Turns out there are incredibly talented Sprinters among us.
Longtime reader Andrew Moses runs the Everybody Pulls the Tarp podcast, where he’s interviewed Super Bowl champ Ryan Clark and Olympians like Monica Aksamit.
Check it out here and, if you’re doing something cool, drop us a note. We want to lift every one of our readers up.
- Nathan & Blake
In today's Sprint:
🥊 Kamaru Usman gets interested in boxing.
🏀 LaMelo and Carmelo go head-to-head.
🏈 The Bears have a gripe with the officials.
Trivia:Which Power Five conference has the longest active men’s March Madness Championship drought?
*Answer at the bottom
WATER COOLER TALK
💰 Fanatics and bet365, two of the largest players in sports betting, won’t have licenses in NYC. FanDuel and DraftKings will.
The limited selection of betting companies allows New York to tax the companies at a whopping 51% of winnings, compared to 13% for neighboring New Jersey.
New York online betting is expected to be up and running as soon as the Super Bowl.
🥊 After a huge victory at UFC 268, Kamaru Usman wants a chance at boxing’s Canelo Alvarez.
Dana White, who’s not eager to see more of his stars make massive money outside of the octagon, said: “I watched the Canelo fight. Let’s stop this… You don’t want to box him.”
🥊 Former NBA All-Star Deron Williams will fight on an undercard bout before the Jake Paul vs. Tommy Fury boxing match on December 18th.
The most notable potential opponent for Williams is 5x NFL Pro Bowl running back and ageless wonder Frank Gore.
🏈 The Las Vegas Raiders stayed in the headlines, releasing 2020 first-round pick Damon Arnette after a video surfaced of him making death threats while brandishing a gun.
Arnette is the third Raider to be removed from the team in the past month, following the resignation of Jon Gruden and the release of Henry Ruggs.
Seven months after Baylor lifted the NCAA college basketball trophy, college basketball is ready to start it's five-month journey before a new champion is crowned on April 4th, 2022.
Preseason rankings: If the college football season has taught us anything, it’s that preseason rankings mean very little.
But we’re going to show you the top-5 anyway, starting off with Gonzaga whose best two players are freshman 5-star Chet Holmgren and mustache-wielding junior Drew Timme.
Baylor, who lost multiple star players, came in at #8. Check out the full top 25 here.
Coach K: Duke’s Coach Mike Krzyzewski already announced this as his last season. Buckle up for countless articles and TV time designated to the farewell tour of the five-time National Champion.
Blue Bloods: After finishing last year unranked, Duke (#9), Kentucky (#10), and North Carolina (#19) return to the top-25… for now.
Name, Image, Likeness: According to OpenDorse, 60.1% of all NIL money has gone to college football players with women’s volleyball next at 9.8%. Expect college basketball to chip into those numbers as the season gets going.
Something fun: Patrick Baldwin, a lottery pick talent, chose to play for his dad at Wisconsin-Milwaukee. He might average 40 points per game.
And don’t forget North Carolina is now without legendary coach Roy Williams, too, as Hubert Davis takes over for the Heels.
The Championship odds look different than the top-5:
Bonus:Here’s the crazy story of how Scott Drew joined Baylor in 2003 after a murder rocked the program and turned them into a national title winning team 18 years later.
AROUND THE LEAGUES
Melo a Melo
(6-5) LA Lakers126vs. (5-7) Charlotte Hornets 123 - OT
Both Melo’s went off. Charlotte’s LaMelo Ball (25 pts, 15 reb, 11 ast) recorded a triple-double while LA’s Carmelo Anthony (29 pts, 3 reb) continues to remind the league why he’s one of the best scorers ever.
Must-watch: The Lakers hit a ridiculous half-court shot to end the third quarter on a botched endpoint play. The three ended up being the difference in the game.
(7-4) NY Knicks103vs. (8-3) Philadelphia 76ers 96
The Knicks Julius Randle (31 pts, 12 reb) led all scorers as he and the Knicks continue to prove last season was no fluke.
Ben Simmons skipped another game, meaning the 76ers will fine him $360k. He refuses to cooperate with team physicians to help with his mental health.
(7-3) Chicago Bulls 118 vs. (7-4) Brooklyn Nets 95
The Bulls outscored the Nets 42-17 in the 4th quarter to ice the game behind DeMar DeRozan (28 pts, 4 reb) and Zach LaVine (24 pts, 5 ast).
Kevin Durant (38 pts, 10 reb) continued his MVP form, but he’s getting little help from the rest of the Nets.
(5-3) Pittsburgh Steelers29vs. (3-6) Chicago Bears 27
It was a tough night for Chicago fans… down 14 at the start of the 4th quarter, Chicago scored 21 points to take the lead before losing on a game-winning field goal in the last minute.
Chicago linebacker Cassius March got hip-checked by a ref who then threw a personal foul flag on him, costing the Bears 15 yards.
The foul came with 3 minutes left in the game right after March had sacked Big Ben on a crucial third down. The ref said it was because of March’s celebration near the Steelers sideline, but that was weak as well for such a critical penalty.
Stat:$4 million. Scott Frost restructured his contract to remain the University of Nebraska’s head football coach in 2022, bringing his annual salary down from $5 million to $4 million.
Quote:“My fatal flaw is I love too much where I am… where I was. I regret it. I should have gone somewhere else.”
- Legendary Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger on opportunities he had to coach at Juventus and Real Madrid.
Highlight:Vikings receiver Justin Jefferson completely forgot how to run while blocking for Dalvin Cook.
#3 Kansas (0-0) vs. Michigan State (0-0) - 7:00 ET on ESPN
#10 Kentucky (0-0) vs. #9 Duke (0-0) - 9:30 ET on ESPN
Milwaukee Bucks (4-6) vs. Philadelphia 76ers (8-3) - 7:30 ET on TNT
Portland Trail Blazers (5-5) vs. LA Clippers (5-4) - 10:00 ET on TNT
Ohio (2-7) vs. Eastern Michigan (6-3) - 8:00 ET on ESPN2
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