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Coach K’s farewell tour: No. 2 Duke beats Georgia Tech as Blue Devils return from COVID-19 pause



Duke coach Mike Krzyzewski began the final calendar year of his legendary coaching career with a victory Tuesday night as the No. 2 Blue Devils knocked off Georgia Tech 69-57 in their first game since Dec. 22. The win improved Duke to 12-1 (2-0 ACC) after they had two league games wiped out last week due to COVID-19 issues within the program.

“COVID hit our program extremely hard,” Krzyzewski told reporters Monday. “It went through most of our players and is still finishing up. It went through a lot of our staff, including our support staff.”

Freshman phenom Paolo Banchero led Duke with 17 points and 11 rebounds as he turned in his second double-double of the season. Banchero also led Duke with 23 points in its win over Virginia Tech to begin ACC play before Christmas. He, along with fellow freshmen Trevor Keels and AJ Griffin, appear to hitting their stride. Keels and Griffin combined for 22 points in the win over Georgia Tech to compliment Banchero. Sophomore center Mark Williams added 10 points and 14 rebounds.


Krzyzewski is retiring after this season, which will be his 42nd as Duke’s coach, and handing the program over to his assistant and former Duke star Jon Scheyer. As Krzyzewski’s final season continues, we will update this piece with the latest tributes — and tribulations — from the farewell tour of a coaching legend. 

How to watch Duke vs. Miami live

Date: Saturday, Jan. 8 | Time: 8 p.m. ET
Location: Cameron Indoor Stadium  — Durham, North Carolina
TV: ACC Network | Live stream: fuboTV (Try for free)

COVID-19 foils start of ACC play

Duke began ACC play with a 76-65 home win over Virginia Tech on Dec. 22 behind a huge second half from its key trio of freshmen. Paolo Banchero, Trevor Keels and AJ Griffin combined for 35 of the Blue Devils’ 44 second half points as Duke overcame a 36-32 halftime deficit in the victory. It was a good start to conference action, but then came an unwelcome disruption.

As much of college basketball dealt with scheduling disruptions due to COVID-19 issues, the Blue Devils were among those hit by the virus. That kept them from playing their second and third league games as scheduled against Clemson and Notre Dame, meaning Duke’s second ACC game didn’t come until Jan. 4 against Georgia Tech. But the pause didn’t seem to bother the Blue Devils too much as they knocked off the Yellow Jackets 69-57 in their first game back.

Returning from break

Duke had a two-week hiatus between games spanning the first two weeks of December amid the final exam period for the university. But it returned with a 103-62 win over South Carolina State on Dec. 14 and followed that with a 92-67 victory over Appalachian State on Dec. 16. It was supposed to play Loyola (Maryland) on Dec. 18, but the meeting was canceled because of a COVID-19 issue within the Loyola program. Replacement opponent Cleveland State also had to cancel on Duke because of the same issue, which left the Blue Devils scrambling to find a third potential opponent for the slot. Elon agreed to play on short notice, giving Duke one final tune-up before ACC play.


The wins over South Carolina State and Appalachian State were two of the best games yet for freshman forward AJ Griffin. He made 5 of 9 attempts from 3-point range over those contests to bolster the team’s perimeter shooting outlook after it struggled in that facet during the first month of the season.

Short stay at No. 1

Just one day after rising to No. 1 in the AP Top 25 on the heels of a thrilling win over Gonzaga, Duke dropped a 71-66 decision at Ohio State in the ACC/Big Ten Challenge. The Buckeyes outscored Duke 41-23 in the second half and roared back from a 15-point deficit behind a 20-point night from sophomore big man Zed Key. Wendell Moore Jr. led the Blue Devils with 17, and Paolo Banchero added 14. But Banchero struggled in the second half, going 0-for-7 from the field in the second half.

Knocking off the Zags, rising to No. 1

Duke improved to 7-0 with an 84-81 win over No. 1 Gonzaga on Nov. 26 in front of a crowd of 20,389 at T-Mobile Arena. It was the largest crowd to ever see a basketball game in Nevada, and they were treated to a thriller. Paolo Banchero scored 20 points in the first half before dealing with cramps in the second half and going quiet. Wendell Moore Jr. picked up the slack by scoring 16 of his 20 points in the second half.

The victory improved Krzyzewski to 7-11 all-time against No. 1 ranked teams, and it catapulted the Blue Devils to No. 1 in the new set of rankings released three days later.

Getting ready for Gonzaga

Duke easily won games against Lafayette and The Citadel on Nov. 19 and Nov. 22 as it prepared to face No. 1 Gonzaga on Nov. 26. The Blue Devils beat Lafayette 88-55 behind a 23-point outing from Wendell Moore Jr. Duke beat The Citadel 107-81 behind a combined 50 points from Moore and Paolo Banchero. There was a scary moment in the Citadel game, when Bulldogs’ coach Duggar Baucom collapsed on the court in the first half. He stayed overnight at Duke University Hospital and was released the afternoon after the game.


DWI charge for grandson

An otherwise sterling start to Krzyzewski’s final season hit a speed bump in the early morning hours of Nov. 14, when Duke walk-on Michael Savarino, who is Krzyzewski’s grandson, was arrested for suspicion of DWI. Complicating matters, Duke star freshman Paolo Banchero was a passenger in the vehicle and was cited for aiding and abetting DWI. But while Savarino was suspended, Banchero was not held out of any game action, as Krzyzewski explained “it’s two different situations.”

“Headlines might make it look like it’s the same,” he said. “It’s not. I think the decisions we made are in conjunction with our authorities, my superiors.”

West Point flashback

Duke played host to Army West Point on Nov. 12 in its home opener as part of the Duke Veterans Day Weekend Showcase. The Blue Devils won 82-56, but the game carried special significance because Army is where Krzyzewski both played and first served as a head coach. Between his four years as a student at Army and five as the coach, Krzyzewski spent nearly a decade of his young adult life in West Point. Army explored his history with the program in a special tribute video released before the game.

Garden party

Krzyzewski’s final season began on a big stage, with the Blue Devils beating Kentucky at Madison Square Garden on Nov. 9 in the Champions Classic. The venue is one of Krzyzewski’s favorites, and it offered a parting gift to the legendary coach. Krzyzewski is now 34-11 all-time at Madison Square Garden, and that record will remain unchanged unless the Blue Devils end up playing in the NIT, which would be nothing short of a disaster.

More on Coach K’s final season


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The Dodgers Are First To An Impressive 2022 Mark



(Photo by Ronald Martinez/Getty Images)


Thanks to the recent slide of the New York Yankees, the Los Angeles Dodgers now have the best record in all of baseball and are dominating everybody in their path.

After signing Freddie Freeman, the Dodgers became instant favorites to win another World Series title, just as they did in 2020.


They’re in a good position to potentially do that again.

Last night, they opened up a series against the struggling Milwaukee Brewers at American Family Field.

They had learned of some tough news earlier in the day when it was revealed that Walker Buehler would be out for the rest of the season.

But that didn’t stop Julio Urias, who dominated the Brewers for five innings and led the way as the Dodgers became the first team in all of baseball to reach 80 wins.


80 Wins For The Dodgers

Once again, these Dodgers are at the top of the heap.

Even with all of the injuries they have dealt with, they remain as one of the top teams in all of baseball.

Even more impressive, they’ve picked up their 80th win before they even reached 40 losses on the year.

They expanded their lead in the NL West to 17 games.


They’ve effectively buried the San Diego Padres and the San Francisco Giants.

The new “Evil Empire” resides in Los Angeles now.

This is one of, if not the best team in all of baseball from top to bottom.

The wins keep piling up.

Despite the end of their 12-game winning streak, they remain hot and are showing no signs of slowing down.


The Dodgers are going to be a tough team to deal with come October, which is where they always shine the brightest.

The post The Dodgers Are First To An Impressive 2022 Mark appeared first on The Cold Wire.

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Ravens’ J.K. Dobbins ‘continues to improve’; John Harbaugh not ready to commit to RB’s Week 1 status yet



J.K. Dobbins continues to progress in his rehab from last season’s ACL injury that took away his entire sophomore season in the NFL. The Baltimore Ravens are still being cautious with Dobbins, giving him two off days to rest up the knee before ramping things back up Monday. 

Dobbins looked good when he participated in team drills, yet didn’t take any snaps against a live defense. John Harbaugh still liked what he’s seen from his starting running back. 

“He looked good. He’s kind of back on track, and I thought he looked a little better than he did before – last week,” Harbaugh said Monday. “So, he continues to improve, and we’ll see where it goes.”


Are the Ravens going to ramp things up every practice to get Dobbins ready for the season? Harbaugh still doesn’t have a timetable if Dobbins will be ready for Week 1, staying noncommittal amid the rehab process. 

“I think it depends on the injury and just the improvement with it – the progress he makes from one day to the next,” Harbaugh said. “That remains to be seen.”

Dobbins returned to practice a week ago, and insisted he’ll be ready for the season opener against the New York Jets on Sept. 11. He’ll be a vital part of the offense when he returns. 

Dobbins was dominant in his rookie season, leading all NFL running backs in yards per carry (6.01) while setting a Ravens’ rookie record with nine rushing touchdowns (third amongst all NFL rookies). His 805 rushing yards were also third among rookie running backs as Dobbins finished with a franchise-record seven consecutive games with a rushing touchdown. 

Dobbins closed out the regular season with six consecutive games of 50-plus rushing yards and a rushing touchdown, tying Eric Dickerson (1983) and Franco Harris (1972) for the longest rookie streak of its kind since the AFL-NFL merger. Dobbins is one of just six running backs to have 800 rushing yards, nine rushing touchdowns, and 6.0 yards per carry in a season — and the first rookie to accomplish the feat. 

The Ravens are deep in running back depth with Gus Edwards, Mike Davis, Justice Hill, and Tyler Badie — yet having Dobbins at 100% would be a game changer for a team that’s expected to compete for the AFC North title. Baltimore is taking a cautious approach with Dobbins with the depth of its running back room — and can afford to be patient in order to get Dobbins ready for Week 1. 


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The NBA Has A Special Day Off Planned In November



(Photo by Jeenah Moon/Getty Images)


The 2022 NBA schedule is slowly but surely coming to light.

We still don’t know a lot of the lineups scheduled but more and more of them are being leaked and we are starting to get a clearer picture of the season ahead.


While nothing is 100% confirmed yet, it seems that the league is making a major move to get American citizens involved in their civic duty.

Apparently, the NBA will not have a single game scheduled on Tuesday, November 8, 2022.


That is Election Day in the United States and the NBA is planning to highlight the need for residents to vote.

Instead of playing on that Tuesday, all 30 teams will play the Monday before on a themed “civic engagement night” created to encourage fans, players, and staff to vote in the midterm elections.

This is a gigantic gesture from the NBA but really isn’t surprising.


Election Day Energy

Typically, Election Day is just another day for the league and while there is attention dedicated to reminding folks to vote, things go on like normal for the most part.


That won’t be the case this season.

Over the last few years, the NBA and the players within it have become more involved and vocal about issues they care about, from voting rights to racial equality and so much more.

Additionally, the NBA worked with cities across the country in 2020 to convert 23 arenas and team facilities into voting centers.

Therefore, it’s not a shock to see the NBA make this decision.

While all of this will culminate in a quiet night on Election Day, you can bet there will be a lot of talk around the NBA about voting in the weeks preceding the midterms.


The post The NBA Has A Special Day Off Planned In November appeared first on The Cold Wire.

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