November in sports

Jack Markert ‘19

Courtesy of Inside the Iggles

Courtesy of Inside the Iggles

Over the past month, the college football season wraps up a thrilling season, with Alabama, Clemson, and Notre Dame as the clear locked-in teams for the college football playoff. Now, four teams are making arguments to be the last team in the playoffs: Georgia (who would likely only make it with a win over Alabama in the SEC Championship), Oklahoma (who would likely make it should Georgia lose to Alabama and should Oklahoma defeat Texas), Ohio State (who would likely make it should Oklahoma lose to Texas, Georgia to Alabama, and Ohio State beat Northwestern), and UCF (who would make it should all the teams lose, a well-deserved finish to two back to back undefeated seasons). Michigan was knocked out of College Football playoff hopes after a grueling upset to Ohio State.

The NFL has had a thrilling November, with the New Orleans Saints as the clear front-runners after defeating both the Los Angeles Rams and the Kansas City Chiefs. The Rams are close behind, after defeating the Chiefs 54-51 in the highest scoring NFL game in history. Right now, the playoff projections in the NFC are first-round byes for the Saints and Rams and wild card spots for the Bears, Cowboys, Vikings, and Redskins. In the AFC, projections have first-round byes for the Chiefs and Patriots and wild card spots for the Texans, Steelers, Chargers, and Ravens.

With the start of the NCAAM season, #3 Duke has had ups and downs with its new recruiting class, including Zion Williamson, R.J. Barrett, and Cam Reddish, crushing Kentucky 118-84 while losing a close one to Gonzaga (89-87). Gonzaga tops of the rankings, with Kansas trailing closely behind after its overtime defeat of #6 Tennessee (87-81). In a rematch of last year’s national championship, Michigan upset Villanova in a blowout (73-46), led by Charles Matthews.

In the NBA, many surprising teams have had excellent starts to the season including the Bucks, led by Giannis Antetokounmpo, the Raptors, led by Kawhi Leonard, and the Clippers, led by Boban Marjanovic, Tobias Harris, and Shai Gilgeous-Alexander. The Warriors have had an impressive start–even with the absence of Steph Curry–and expect DeMarcus Cousins to return after Christmas. There have been many notable disappointments as well. The Jazz, who despite their dominance last year, have the second-worst record in the West. In addition, the Celtics, who were expected to dominate the East with their all-star roster, have not found their chemistry yet. Perhaps most surprisingly, the Rockets, who despite nearly defeating the Warriors in last year’s Western Conference finals, have an unimpressive 9-10 record.

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