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Good morning to everyone but especially ...
THE ARKANSAS RAZORBACKS
Two weeks ago, Arkansas lost at home to UNC-Greensboro. Last week, the Razorbacks lost two of three games in the Bad Boy Mowers Battle 4 Atlantis.
But Eric Musselman always seems to get his team on track sooner or later, and he's turned Bud Walton Arena into a house of horrors for highly ranked visitors. Duke was the latest to find out as the, 80-75.
- Musselman, renowned for his work in the transfer portal, got half of his team's points from Khalif Battle (transfer from Temple in 2023) and Trevon Brazile (transfer from Missouri in 2022).
- The Razorbacks made nine 3-pointers and held Duke to 35.1% shooting.
- This was Arkansas' fourth home win over a top-10 team since Musselman arrived in Fayetteville in 2019. Only Florida has more among SEC teams.
Matt Norlander was in the building and writes.
👍 Honorable mentions
- As we outlined yesterday afternoon, Aaron Rodgers is at Jets practice.
- Damian Lillard is with the Bucks, Brad Botkin writes in .
- Félix Bautista and Devin Williams .
- The Mets Luis Severino and Joey Wendle.
- Angel Reese is
No. 7 LSU ahead of a huge game against No. 9 Virginia Tech.
- Oregon State defensive coordinator Trent Bray to head coach.
- Spencer Rattler the NFL Draft.
- The transfer portal continues to fill up: Riley Leonard is from Duke, KJ Jefferson is from Arkansas, and Grayson McCall is from Coastal Carolina.
- Seth Littrell and Joe Jon Finley will for Oklahoma.
- Five-star 2024 DT Justin Scott from Ohio State to Miami.
- Luke Donald will at the 2025 Ryder Cup.
- NASCAR has a .
😳 And not such a good morning for ...
THE CLEVELAND BROWNS
The Browns are one of six teams to start three different quarterbacks this season. They might be the first team to start four.
Joe Flaccowith Dorian Thompson-Robinson in the concussion protocol. Flacco, who following Deshaun Watson's , last played for the Jets in 2022.
Coach Kevin Stefanski said Flacco's role would be "to support this team" when he signed last week, which makes sense. Thompson-Robinson is a rookie, PJ Walker is a career backup, and both have struggled mightily this season. Stefanski, Flacco and pretty much everyone else expected him to be a veteran presence -- not a starter within two weeks.
On one hand, it's hard to be worse than Thompson-Robinson and Walker. Among 40 quarterbacks with at least 100 dropbacks this season, they're 40th and 37th in expected points added per dropback, respectively. Then again, among 35 quarterbacks with at least 200 dropbacks last year, Flacco finished ... 35th.
Basically, trying to win in the NFL is hard enough under normal circumstances. When you're on your second, third and potentially fourth quarterback? Yikes.
👎 Not so honorable mentions
- The NFL from that awesome Tyreek Hill celebration.
- The Patriots' quarterback options are a .
- Chris Paul ( ) is day-to-day, and Gary Payton II ( ) is out indefinitely.
- Steve Kerr says he Moses Moody.
- Dieting? Justin Thomas .
- Though Reese is back with LSU, Kateri Poole , and Sa'Myah Smith .
🏈 College Football Playoff paths for all eight contenders
As we outlined, there's for Ohio State to make the College Football Playoff after . But what about the seven other teams in the hunt? Jerry Palm examined , and while it's pretty straightforward for the current top four as well as No. 5 Oregon, I'm super intrigued by what No. 7 Texas and No. 8 Alabama need.
- "Texas: Like Oregon, it's win or go home, but Texas still needs help. The Longhorns have the advantage of a head-to-head road win over Alabama, the best win any team has this season. Beating Oklahoma State in the Big 12 title game should jump Texas ahead of Ohio State and the loser of the Pac-12 title game. Then, a loss by Georgia, Michigan or Florida State should move Texas to fourth."
- "Alabama: The Crimson Tide need to win and move up four spots in the rankings. Beating Georgia would take care of three spots. Alabama would go past the Bulldogs, the Pac-12 loser and Ohio State. A loss then by Texas, Florida State or Michigan would be required to get the Tide to No. 4."
Keep in mind that the SEC champion has never missed the CFP. Could that change this year? We'll know soon enough, and I can't wait.
🥲 Pac-12 doing itself proud in final football season
"Do not go gentle into that good night,
Old age should burn and rave at close of day;
Rage, rage against the dying of the light."
That's the first stanza from Welsh poet Dylan Thomas' greatest work (from 1951).
It might as well be about 2023 Pac-12 football.
No. 5 Oregon and No. 3 Washington meet in The Conference of Champions' final conference championship game with a spot in the College Football Playoff on the line, a magnificent encore to a terrific closing act.
Dennis Dodd has a.
- Dodd: "Where do all those Pac-12 statistics and milestones go? In the internet age, some of them will be preserved, but certainly not all. There currently are no plans to do a final Pac-12 record book. What, then, becomes of nuggets like this? There are two players who have scored 61 points in a game in the conference's basketball history. UCLA's Lew Alcindor (Kareem Abdul-Jabbar) is obvious, but what about the other? Arizona State's Eddie House in 2000. ... The Pac-12 also has nurtured and grown women's sports. It has been a developmental incubator for our Olympic teams. There were years when the medals won by Pac-12 athletes alone would be greater than some countries. Officials have worried that Olympic foundation may crumble with schools playing in other leagues."
⚽ UEFA Champions League recap: Manchester United fall apart
Wednesday's UEFA Champions League action featured incredible comebacks -- or collapses, depending on your point of view -- with one far more demoralizing than the others. Manchester United jumped out to a 2-0 lead but ultimatelywith Galatasaray in by Andre Onana. Captain Bruno Fernandes called them "really bad goals," and he's certainly not wrong.
With one win in the group stage, the Red Devils are in dire straits at the bottom of Group A heading into Matchday 6 as Pardeep Cattry explains in her.
- Cattry: "Manchester United (four points): Can qualify for the round of 16 with a win against Bayern Munich plus a draw between Copenhagen and Galatasaray."
There was plenty of late drama elsewhere, too:
- Inter Milan against Benfica.
- USMNT striker Ricardo Pepi netted the in the 92nd minute of PSV's 3-2 win over Sevilla. PSV is into the Round of 16.
- Real Madrid gave up a lead twice before 19-year-old Nico Paz provided the match-winner. Los Blancos guaranteed the top spot in Group C.
As for a game that featured little drama, Arsenal ran rampant over Lens, 6-0, and the Gunners are up to third in.
Overall, we have 11 teams through to the Round of 16:
- Bayern Munich
- Real Madrid
- Real Sociedad
- Atletico Madrid
- Borussia Dortmund
- Manchester City
We also have all scores from Wednesday, and James Benge's .
📺 What we're watching Thursday
🏀 Liberty vs. No. 13 FAU, 6 p.m. on ESPNU
🏀 No. 1 South Carolina at No. 24 North Carolina, 7 p.m. on ESPN
🏀 Pacers at Heat, 7:30 p.m. on NBA TV
🏈 Seahawks at Cowboys, 8:15 p.m. on Prime Video
🏀 No. 9 Virginia Tech at No. 7 LSU, 9 p.m. on ESPN
🏀 Clippers at Warriors, 10 p.m. on NBA TV