At the box office, The Upside debuted this past weekend at #1 edging out last week’s top dog, Aquaman.  In the sports world, viewers were dialed in to the NFL’s divisional playoffs as the Super Bowl matchup is almost set. 

Let’s see what else is happening in the sports world…

TINK Sports Big-3

Here are three things you need to know:

1) The NFL Playoffs are down to the Final Four with the Super Bowl less than three weeks away

2) The NBA’s James Harden continues to amaze

3) The Tennis season kicks off with the Australian Open

National Football League (NFL)

The Super Bowl is just weeks away and the league is down to it final quartet.

Father time is coming?  Not yet for Tom Terrific.  On Sunday, the New England Patriots cruised to a 41-28 victory over the Los Angeles Chargers behind stellar performances from Hall of Fame quarterback Tom Brady (41 years young) and running back Sony Michel.

Source: NESN

No revenge here…Sunday’s late game saw the New Orleans Saints survive against the defending champion Philadelphia Eagles.  Philly was seeking payback for a 48-7 loss to the Saints a couple months ago but it was #Gumbo over #Cheesesteaks in the Big Easy.

“Run Forrest run”…that’s what Los Angeles Rams fans must have been screaming as LA ran it down the Dallas Cowboys‘ throat Saturday en route to a 30-22 win.  The Rams rushed for a franchise record 273 yards.  #GroundAndPound

In the snow, the Kansas City Chiefs easily dropped the Indianapolis Colts 31-13 Saturday to kick off the weekend’s playoff action.

The top two seeds in both conferences won at home and will face each other to determine who plays In the Super Bowl, February 3rd in Atlanta.

Schedule:

Los Angeles Rams @ New Orleans Saints, Sunday 3:05pm ET

New England Patriots @ Kansas City Chiefs, Sunday 6:40pm ET

Storylines:

  • Rematch is the name of the game.  The Saints beat the Rams 45-35 in Week 9 (in New Orleans), and the Patriots edged the Chiefs 43-40 Week 6 (in New England)
  • Hello junior…Patrick Mahomes, the presumptive league MVP, faces Tom Brady, the three-time MVP and five-time champion.  Brady is 18 years older, which represents the largest age gap of any two starting QBs in playoff history.
  • Great Eight. The Patriots are heading to their record 8th straight AFC title game
  • Offensive?  Top NFL’s top four scoring teams are the last teams standing

National Basketball Association (NBA)

The NBA crossed the regular season’s halfway point, and these are the top four teams in each conference:

Eastern Conference:

  1. Toronto Raptors
  2. Milwaukee Bucks
  3. Indiana Pacers
  4. Philadelphia 76ers

Western Conference:

  1. Denver Nuggets
  2. Golden State Warriors
  3. Oklahoma City Thunder
  4. Portland Trail Blazers

Source: Business Insider

A tale of two games?  Houston Rockets star James Harden (aka “The Beard”) scored 38 points Sunday matching Kobe Bryant’s streak of 16 30-point games.  That was only half the story as the league’s reigning MVP shot 1-for-17 from 3-point range tying the dubious record for most missed three pointers in a game in NBA history.

National Hockey League (NHL)

Like the NBA, the NHL has crossed the midway point in its regular season.  The clear leader of the pack is the Tampa Bay Lightning paced by its MVP candidate, Russian-born Nikita Kucherov, who leads the league in scoring.

You wouldn’t believe who is a hockey fan…Snoop.  Check out the Long Beach native as he brings a twist to NHL coverage.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cSIZGuqsKfE&feature=youtu.be

Tennis

The Australian open kicked off Monday and will last for the next two weeks.  On the Men’s side, the top seeds are a who’s who of all-time Men’s tennis greats: #1 Novak Djokovic, #2 Rafael Nadal and #3 Roger Federer

The Women’s top two seeds are #1 Simona Halep and #2 Angelique Kerber, and defending champion Caroline Wozniacki is seeded #3.

Basketball or Tennis?  That’s what Aussie Open spectators were asking when two Americans 6’10” John Isner and 6’11” Reilly Opelka met Monday in what became the tallest matchup in pro tennis history.  Opelka won in a match that featured only two service breaks, 7-6, 7-6, 6-7, 7-6   

College Basketball

The new top-5 ranking came out Monday morning and is the same as last week’s:

#1 Duke

#2 Michigan

#3 Tennessee

#4 Virginia

#5 Gonzaga

Hours later #1 Duke (14-2), who survived a scare from #13 Florida State over the weekend, lost at home to Syracuse 95-91 in overtime. 

#2 Michigan and #4 Virginia continue their undefeated seasons and are now in great position to land the #1 overall ranking.  Schedule alert: Duke takes on Virginia Saturday.

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Remember at TINK Sports we watch the games so you don’t have to.

See you next time…

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