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College basketball rankings: Villanova may have lost to UCLA, but the Wildcats showed they are a top-five team

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I ranked UCLA No. 1 in Version 1.0 of the 2021-22 CBS Sports Preseason Top 25 And 1 last April. Then Gonzaga subsequently added some interesting pieces, which caused me to flipflop the Bruins and Zags. But I never had UCLA lower than No. 2 the entire offseason.

Some readers took great issue with it.

I was constantly asked, month after month after month, where I would rank UCLA if the Bruins had lost in the First Four last season and not advanced to the Final Four. Respectfully, I always thought it was a weird question, if only because it’s pretty normal to gauge and label teams based on what they actually do, and what UCLA actually did is make the Final Four, finish 13th at KenPom, return every player who was responsible for it, and add a five-star freshman in Peyton Watson who projects as a one-and-done lottery pick. I didn’t really understand why the Bruins had skeptics. But they did – although, after Friday night’s impressive comeback victory, I have to assume the number of skeptics is shrinking.

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Final score: UCLA 86, Villanova 77 in OT.

In this season’s first matchup of top-five teams, UCLA erased a double-digit deficit in the final 10 minutes of regulation, forced overtime, and then pulled away in OT to secure a nice non-league victory over the Big East favorite. Johnny Juzang, a CBS Sports First Team Preseason All-American, led all scorers with 25 points. Jaime Jaquez Jr., a CBS Sports Third Team Preseason All-American, added 21 points and 13 rebounds.

 “I told [Villanova coach] Jay [Wright], let’s just do it again tomorrow,” UCLA coach Mick Cronin said with a grin afterward. “It doesn’t get much better than that.”

It really doesn’t.

So give credit to Wright and Cronin for scheduling this game and making it happen. Both coaches knew their teams would be good, understood the value of testing themselves early, and weren’t worried about possibly taking a non-league loss in November. This isn’t college football, where one early loss really can cost you an opportunity to play for a national title. College basketball isn’t dumb like that. Nothing that happens in terms of wins and losses in November is a season-killer. It’s nice when coaches recognize that and create fun games for the sport.

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Hopefully more will do it next season.

UCLA remains No. 2 in Saturday morning’s updated CBS Sports Top 25 And 1 daily college basketball rankings. Villanova remains No. 5 because — listen up, AP voters! — it would make no sense to punish a team for losing a game in overtime to a higher-ranked team on the road.

Top 25 And 1 rankings





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How disappointing would a Super Bowl loss for Patrick Mahomes be? | FIRST THINGS FIRST

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Nick Wright weighs in on how disappointing a Super Bowl loss would be for Patrick Mahomes and explains he still has time to play a good Super Bowl after underperforming in his previous appearances. Broussard explains this Super Bowl will be a big deciding factor in Mahomes’ career in his chase to catch Tom Brady as the greatest of all-time.



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Jalen Hurts Had A Perfect Quote Before The Super Bowl

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(Photo by Tim Nwachukwu/Getty Images)

 

The Philadelphia Eagles’ quarterback woes appear to be over.

The saga of Carson Wentz and Nick Foles, while entertaining and providing the city of Philadelphia with a Super Bowl, proved to be a mere stopgap on their way to finding a superstar.

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Jalen Hurts has been a key contributor for the Eagles this season, one of the main reasons they have made it back to the Super Bowl.

Ahead of Sunday’s game, Hurts provided a legendary quote about his season thus far.

When asked about his best play of the season, Hurts responded with, “Season isn’t over yet,” implying that the Super Bowl should be filled with highlight plays.

Hurts is an MVP candidate, and his highlight reel from the season up to this point has been nothing short of spectacular.

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In the Super Bowl, the Eagles will be facing Patrick Mahomes and the Kansas City Chiefs.

Mahomes is a fellow MVP candidate and will look to provide a few highlight plays of his own.

Even though the Chiefs should be a tough test for the Eagles, Hurts will be looking to put the game away, with his ability to throw the ball efficiently, along with using his legs to pick up extra yardage.

The Eagles offense has been incredible all season.

Which team will prevail on the league’s biggest stage?

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There is a slight possibility that either Mahomes or Hurts will win league MVP and Super Bowl MVP, depending on how the next week plays out.

Either way, this should be one of the most high-scoring Super Bowls in the last several seasons.

NFL fans, buckle up for this one.

The post Jalen Hurts Had A Perfect Quote Before The Super Bowl appeared first on The Cold Wire.





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Twins Insider Reveals Carlos Correa WBC Update

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(Photo by Mike Mulholland/Getty Images)

 

Minnesota Twins shortstop Carlos Correa made all kinds of headlines during the MLB offseason.

He agreed to three different contracts with three teams, but the first two (a $350 million deal with the San Francisco Giants and a $315 million pact with the New York Mets) were nixed due to concerns over his surgically-repaired right ankle.

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The third time was the charm, as the Twins snagged him for $200 million and a chance to make it $270 million.

He has been a regular for Team Puerto Rico in international competitions such as the World Baseball Classic.

However, he has decided to step away and not represent his country in the 2023 edition that will start in a little over a month.

“Carlos Correa is withdrawing from the World Baseball Classic after making a joint decision with the #MNTwins. Correa’s wife is due with the couple’s second child the same week that Puerto Rico opens WBC play. Twins don’t want Correa juggling family/WBC. Story to follow,” Twins insider Dan Hayes tweeted.

It appears that the decision was a joint one between Correa and the team and doesn’t have anything to do with his ankle.

Correa has played, so far, in eight WBC games, in two editions.

He has performed admirably, with a .333/.500/.750 line (10-for-24), 10 runs scored, three homers, and nine RBI.

He has a cool 10/4 BB/K ratio, too.

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In other words, Puerto Rico just lost one of their best players for the tournament.

Will they be able to overcome that loss? It remains to be seen.

The player, meanwhile, will be focusing on his family before focusing on the Twins’ 2023 season and the challenges ahead.

The post Twins Insider Reveals Carlos Correa WBC Update appeared first on The Cold Wire.





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