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Friday, January 10, 2014

Must See Sports – Second Weekend of January 2014

Last week's advantage/disadvantage record, excluding series: 6-1
2013 Advantage/Disadvantage FINAL Record, excluding series: 106-81
2013 Advantage/Disadvantage FINAL Record (series only): 22-13-4

Give me some props. I closed out 2013 HOT! Time for the first Must See of the new year....

If you don’t want some football, then you should go home!

Friday, January 10

Miami Heat at Brooklyn Nets

Winners of four straight games (including a win over the Oklahoma City Thunder), the Nets appear to be salvaging a catastrophic start to this season. While it is more of a reflection of how abysmal the Eastern Conference is, the cold hard fact is that if the season ended today, the Nets would be in the post season. If a veteran team like that can get hot at the right time, watch out!

Give me the two-time defending champion Heat in this contest.

Advantage: Heat

Get ready for your recovery to hit a King sized speed bump, Nets fans! 1
Saturday, January 11


2013 NFL Playoffs

New Orleans Saints (12-5) at Seattle Seahawks (13-3)

The Saints were blown to smithereens in their December 2, 2013 meeting in Seattle. Since then, the Seahawks secured home field advantage throughout the NFC playoffs while the Saints have been uncomfortably close to .500 and suffered a rash of injuries. The sudden emergence of running back Mark Ingram (97 yds., TD, 5.4 avg last week vs Eagles) is encouraging for the Who Dat Nation, but I haven’t seen the Saints do much on the field to indicate that the wide gap shown in December has closed.

Advantage: Seahawks

They should take the Saintsations with them for good karma. They haven't lost yet when the girls are in the building! 2

Indianapolis Colts (12-5) at New England Patriots (12-4)

Indianapolis needed injuries, a little “Luck”, and a coaching meltdown on the Kansas City Chiefs’ sideline to pull off the second-greatest comeback in NFL history and survive into the second round. Indy was at home. Tom Terrific won’t let that happen to his troops in his own building at Foxboro.

Advantage: Patriots

Their Luck might run out at Foxboro. 3
Sunday, January 12

San Francisco 49ers (13-4) at Carolina Panthers (12-4)

Colin Kaepernick (7 rush att., 98 yards last week vs Green Bay) went back to his read option roots and his favorite target in Michael Crabtree (8 rec., 125 yds. Last week vs Packers) to melt the Green Bay Packers on the frozen tundra of Lambeau Field. Timing is everything in sports as in life. The 49ers are playing their best ball and have all of their weapons that they had on their 2012 run to Super Bowl XLVII. 

The Panthers still have a touch and go passing attack, notwithstanding the menacing dual threat of quarterback Cam Newton (3,379 yds., 24 TD, 13 INT, 62% comp.), and wide receiver Steve Smith, the heart and soul of the team, has not played since December 22nd due to a knee injury and was limited in practice yesterday. The momentum is on the 49ers side as is the advantage in this game.

Advantage: 49ers

Crabtree is back and the Panthers' 15 minutes are up. 4

San Diego Chargers (10-7) at Denver Broncos (13-3)

You guys are going to think, “Just because the game is in Colorado, doesn’t mean you can smoke rope like you’re in Colorado.” I think the Broncos meet their Waterloo in this game. The Chargers are red hot, winners of five straight and six of their last seven games, including a butt-whooping (in spite of the 27-20 score) in Denver on Thursday Night Football last month.

Peyton Manning has been known to press in the playoffs, with a 9-11 lifetime record. Compounding matters, the Broncos confirmed that star linebacker Von Miller (5 sacks, 3 FF, 1 FR, 9 GP) will miss the rest of the season with a torn ACL. The Chargers offense has seemed unstoppable for most of the season, moreso in the last two months. Finally, San Diego Chargers Head Coach Mike McCoy, Manning’s former position coach, worked intensely with Manning during his comeback from neck surgeries. Call me crazy, but in a game of matchups, I think the Chargers have the Broncos’ number.

Advantage: Chargers

Manning might be sick and tired of this walk of shame, but he's used to it. 5
Monday, January 13

NCAA Basketball

#18 Kansas Jayhawks at #9 Iowa State Cyclones

Kansas climbed as high as #2 this season after beating Duke in the “Clash of the Future” in November. Andrew Wiggins (15 PPG, 5 RPG), the likely #1 overall pick in the 2014 NBA Draft, showed his skills against Duke’s Jabari Parker. Since then, Kansas has lost four games against formidable competition and has slid down the rankings.

Iowa State has started its season 14-0 and quietly slipped into the top 10. Beating #7 Baylor this past Wednesday in their first week of Big 12 play has the attention of the college basketball world. The Cyclones are all new and all out for the Big 12 title this year.

How are the all-new Cyclones doing it? There is some all-new blood in big, imposing senior point guard DeAndre Kane (16 PPG, 7 RPG, 6 APG), a transfer from Marshall. Success can be contagious as Kane’s floor leadership has helped forward Melvin Ejim (Sr. – 18 PPG, 7 RPG) have a breakout year. 

The raised eyebrows with an early season win over then-seventh ranked Michigan.  They made a statement with a win over big brother Iowa last month. They have all eyes on them after sticking it to conference rival #7 Baylor.

I expect Kansas to have a sense of urgency and be “up” for this game. However, ISU is on fire and doing all of the little things right. The Cyclones are at home and have yet to lose a game this season. Except for the Duke game, Kansas has not risen to any occasion against tougher competition. Give me the Cyclones.

Advantage: Iowa State

DeAndre "Big Daddy" Kane is taking the Big 12 by a Cyclone! 6

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