Utah Keeps Tournament Hopes Alive With Win Against UCLA

45 seconds to go, with the shot clock winding down, Utah up by 3,  the Utes needed a score to seemingly put the game out of reach. With hot shooters on the court like Justin Bibbins, Utah turned to junior guard Parker Van Dyke. Letting a desperation three go while the shot clock expired, Van Dyke drilled it. The Bruins couldn’t pull off the come back, and the Utes held on to win, 84-78, keeping their tournament hopes well alive.

“The shot with 45 seconds is something that I’ll never forget”, said Van Dyke. “I got the ball with the shot clock running down. Didn’t really have time and I knew to I had to make a play so I let it fly and it felt good when it left my hands.”

With their 5th straight victory last night, Utah didn’t just defeat UCLA, they moved ahead of the Bruins for third place in the PAC 12 standings with just a week of regular season basketball to be played. The Utes avenged their earlier season loss to UCLA in front of a playoff-like atmosphere at the Huntsman Center Thursday night.

With both teams coming into the game desperately needing a win to improve their resume for the looming NCAA Tournament, the Utes and Bruins came out firing from 3-point range. Mid-way through the first-half was a scare for Utah, as center David Collette, who hit his first four shots, went down and was escorted into the locker room. Still, the Utes led 47-40 at the half.

Collette ultimately returned, and Utah built a 14-point lead early in the second half. Collette was automatic all night, leading the Utes with 21-points, going 9-for-9 from the field. Bibbins continued his hot streak, scoring 17 points while also adding 10 assists, as the Utes needed extra support without the play of injured guard Sedrick Barefield.

However, it was Van Dyke who stole the show against the Bruins. Four 3-pointers by the Salt Lake native cooled off a furious second-half comeback by UCLA, including two from beyond the arc in the final two minutes. The 6″3 guard also sunk two clutch free throws to seal the victory, high-fiving the courtside Utah fans after being fouled.

Van Dyke’s career high 18 points was enough to bolt the Utes into third place in the PAC 12 by night’s end, in a game that was seen all throughout the country on ESPN, with Bill Walton calling the game.

Regarding the win last night, Van Dyke had this to say, “The win against UCLA gave our team a lot of confidence. It made us realize how good we can be and that we can compete with anyone as long as we play our game.”

With a win on Thursday, the Utes now turn their attention to an even more pivotal matchup, as USC, another team that defeated Utah earlier in the year, makes their approach into Salt Lake City. The Utes sit one game behind the Trojans, and both teams are hot. USC has won three in a row, while the Utes will be gunning for their sixth straight win.

“We need to take the same focus into the next games that we had for last nights game,” Van Dyke said.

Another key component in Utah’s recent success is playing at home in front of their fans. The Utes are 11-2 at home at the Huntsman Center. “The Huntsman Center is a great atmosphere and we as a team play better together at home,” Van Dyke commented. “I love playing at home in front of friends and family with the team that I grew up cheering for.”

In terms of their tournament dreams, the Utes control their own destiny. Last season, four PAC 12  teams danced in March, and with a win last night, Utah is right where they want to be.


How Drake’s New Song Will Help The University of Miami

In the mid-late 80’s, the University of Miami was the nation’s premiere college football football program, for several reasons. One, because of their obvious success on the field, winning 4 national championships in 9 seasons, and also, their swagger that they presented themselves with. Now in 2018, Miami is on the rise once again, and exposure from one of music’s largest names will help regaining their swagger.

Drake, one of the most popular names in music today, released the music video for his new song “God’s Plan”. Throughout the music video, which was shot in the city of Miami, Drake is seen sporting a University of Miami sweatshirt while also on the campus for durations of the song.

Last week, Drake made a visit to the campus, while thousands of students stood below him at the Moss Terrace. You saw Drake throwing up the famous “U” that the school is known for. While on the campus, Drake also gifted a student at the University a $50,000 check for her tuition.

Drake told the students, ““I’ve been to a lot of places in the world,” he told the crowd. “I don’t think I’ve ever been to a more turnt school.” Students were heard chanting the familiar sound, “It’s great to be a Miami Hurricane!”

In the 80’s while the Canes were running rough-shot over the country, the rap group 2 Live Crew’s Luther Campbell, otherwise known as “Uncle Luke” also wore Miami gear during music videos. This brought credibility to the school, which went alongside the success that the Hurricanes were having on the football field.

What the university soon found out, is that with Uncle Luke sporting Canes gear, it helped immensely with recruiting, and all of a sudden Miami was the place to be. What we have here in 2018, is that Miami is once again relevant. A 10-3 record in 2017, trip to the Orange Bowl, and also, their swagger back. The Canes rocked the Turnover Chain on the sidelines, and the country took notice.

I have absolutely no doubt in my mind, that kids across the country, they see the Turnover Chain, they see Drake throwing up the U, and most importantly, they see winning on the field, and they’ll want to come to Miami. Drake isn’t the first celebrity to showcase the University of Miami, Alex Rodriguez and Jennifer Lopez were regulars at Hurricanes games in the fall, with A-Rod making an appearance on College Gameday prior to the Notre Dame game.

Famous rapper and Miami Liberty City native Trick Daddy, has also been known to support his Hurricanes. In 2014, Trick released his song “U Already Know” as an anthem to past UM glory, and future Hurricanes promise. The song was used for ESPN’s 30 for 30, “The U Part 2”.

While many people will look at this and say it may be a negative effect, because of some of the words that Drake uses. However, building a program is also about building hype, building excitement, and for Miami, regaining its swagger.

Why Have The Jazz Been Able To Turn It Around?

Monday night, fans were elated and couldn’t believe it that the Jazz had won their 10th straight game. On Wednesday evening, again at home, Utah fans expected to roll over the Suns, and thats what happened. A 10-point victory gave Utah its 11-straight win heading into the All-star break.

So without star player Gordon Hayward, who bolted to Boston last summer, and a rookie leading the team, how have the Jazz been able to do this? At the beginning of the season, writers across the league were saying that Utah wouldn’t even win 40 games this season. Now, though still not in the playoff standings as of right now, the Jazz have positioned themselves perfectly to continue their run once their schedule resumes next week.

So again we ask, how has Utah done this?

  1. Donovan Mitchell

This is an obvious first answer. The rookie out of Louisville is exceeding all expectations, and is clearly the favorite or runner-up for Rookie of the Year. Against the Suns on Wednesday, Mitchell scored 24 points, leading the team. It was his fourth straight game scoring over 20 points, and has emerged as the superstar for a city who is trying to find their next star after Hayward left.

2. Supporting Cast

One of the reasons why Utah has been able to win 11 straight, is that the Jazz, even though Mitchell is their superstar, haven’t needed him to be their star every game. Two games during the streak, Mitchell hasn’t scored 10 points, and one game he wasn’t even playing, and Utah found a way to win. Why? Its because the Jazz have players besides Mitchell who can create plays, and become clutch for them down the stretch.

One night it may be newly added Ricky Rubio, who against the Warriors, scored 23 points and 11 assists in the third win of the streak. Against the Raptors, Rudy Gobert, who spent this season injured, totaled 18 points and 15 rebounds in a win in Toronto.

And who can leave out fan favorite Joe Ingles. Ingles has emerged a crucial part of the Jazz success, whether its shooting the long ball from beyond the arc, or with his passing skills, which was evident in the win against the Spurs on Monday.

3. Quin Snyder

A coach who certainly does not receive enough praise. A coach who reminds me a lot of Brad Stevens, someone who can lose a star player from the season before, and get his team to exceed expectations and play to their absolute peak.

Take for instance Royce O’Neale. Royce is a player who went from a practice squad with Golden State, played overseas, and found his way to the Jazz. While other teams may have passed on him, Snyder and the Jazz use him. Last night agains the Suns, O’Neale scored 19 points.

Snyder, in his 4th season in Utah, has taken the Jazz to the second round, but this season may be his most impressive job with the Jazz.

With 15 of their remaining 25 games of the season on their home court, a second straight playoff appearance for Utah, in a season which seemed doomed, is extremely likely.



Hottest Team In The NBA…..The Utah Jazz?

On January 22nd, the Utah Jazz walked off the court at Phillips Arena following a humiliating loss to the Atlanta Hawks, the worst team in the Eastern Conference. A team that didn’t bring much attention to themselves to begin the season with, especially after the departure of Gordon Hayward, was now just even more an afterthought around the NBA. Tonight, in front of a sold-out Vivint Smart Home Arena in Salt Lake City, the Jazz edged the Spurs, for their 10th straight win. Yes, you read that right, the Utah Jazz have won ten games in a row.

Monday nights victory for the Jazz, aside from their 30-point win over the Warriors two weeks ago, might have been their most impressive. The Spurs took a 13-point lead with seven minutes to go, and it seemed that the streak was going to end at home. However, what makes the Jazz great and also dangerous, is that even when rookie sensation Donovan Mitchell struggles from the field (9-28), the Jazz still find a way to win.

Derrick Favors, a player that may be in his final season wearing a Jazz uniform, was a key contributor in the Utah come from behind victory. Favors scored 19 points, several coming off great assists from Joe Ingles. Ingles has also shown his worth during the winning streak, shooing 57.8% for field goals, 57.1% from three point range, and also 100% from the charity strike.

Also, the addition of Jae Crowder is factoring in to the wins. Crowder, though going only 4-11 on Monday, hit 3-three pointers against San Antonio, receiving great support from the already amped home crowd.

In the fourth quarter, Rudy Robert even chalked up a mid-range jumper, much to the surprise and jubilation of fans, adding yet another trick to his arsenal, in what was a double-double performance.

Quinn Snyder, the man who may be one of the most underrated head coaches in the NBA, currently has this team, who three weeks ago were left for dead, going for their 11th straight win as they head into the All-Star break this weekend.

Though, if the playoffs started tomorrow, the Jazz would miss. Good news for Utah fans however, Utah has the 25th easiest schedule remaining in the NBA. Two games out of the 8th spot, the Jazz have 6 out of their next 7 games at home, three of those games coming against teams who have playoff records as of today.

With the win over the Spurs, the Jazz improve their record to 29-28, the first time they’ve been over the .500 mark since December. With their tenth win a down,  its their longest streak since 2009, with a very real chance to match their franchise record of 15 wins in a row.

I don’t get too excited about the Jazz very often, that is until the playoffs come to Utah, but today however, was different. There’s a different kind of atmosphere when your town only has one professional team, and they’re playing good. I found myself look desperately for a ticket for tonight, found one, called my buddy, and was at the arena in 20 minutes. Had seats in the nosebleeds, couldn’t care less however. One thing we all learned tonight, is that the Jazz are for real.


I won’t lie to you, the NBA has sucked for a few years. Ever since a certain player whom shall not be named, left our Miami Heat in 2014, and especially since we lost our heart and soul in 2016, its been hard to even care about basketball. However, on February 8th, 2018, basketball returned to Miami. Number 3, our heart and soul, the son of Miami, the face of my childhood and the franchise, Dwyane Wade, is back with the Heat.

Throughout the absolute chaos of the trade deadline in the NBA on Thursday, when I saw the news on Twitter that the Heat acquired Wade from the Cavs, I wanted to tear up. Only Heat fans, true Heat fans, pre big-3 Heat fans, realize what this man means to South Florida. If you didn’t have a number 3 Wade jersey in the mid 2000’s growing up in Broward or Dade county, you were a huge loser and nerd.

Does Wade coming back to the Heat mean that we’re going to win the NBA championship? Probably not. Does it mean that the Heat could potentially make a playoff run? Absolutely.

Obviously this is a very emotionally charged trade, all basketball fans understand that. This trade was made so that Wade could retire in a Heat uniform. However, it couldn’t have come at a better time. Wade knows how to win, and this Heat team right now frankly doesn’t. They’re 3-7 in their last 10 games, and this trade very well could be the fire that ignites them.

We’ll worry about winning basketball games after Wade’s first game back in Miami on Friday night. For now, let us Heat fans celebrate this glorious moment. The best part about this is, on Thursday night when Wade and Gabrielle Union landed in Miami, the pure joy on their face is absolute goals. They love Miami, and we love them even more. WELCOME HOME DWYANE!!!!!!!!!!!!!!



Top 5 Super Bowl Teams Of All-Time

The Super Bowl, the most important day of the year in sports. Millions, across the world, even if they’re not football fans, tune into the game. Throughout the first 51 years of the big game, too many great teams have claimed their spot of the NFL’s best, that its impossible to create a list of greatest and not have arguments.

When deciding a great team, you have to look at the entire unit. This isn’t a list of the greatest defenses or offensive units of all time, but the entire squad. Performances in the Super Bowl and playoffs as a whole will be judged. Also, winning the Super Bowl is a prerequisite, so sorry 2007 Patriots.

5. 1992 Dallas Cowboys

Easily the most dominant team in franchise history, the 1992 Cowboys went 13-3, and eventually defeated the Bills in Super Bowl 27. With the number one defense in the NFL, and also Troy Aikman, Emmitt Smith and Michael Irvin, its easy to see why this team was so successful.

In the playoffs, Dallas dominated the Eagles in the divisional round at home, then won the NFC championship in San Francisco, against a 49ers team that had Steve Young, Jerry Rice, Rickey Watters and many other household names. In the Super Bowl, the Cowboys annihilated Buffalo, forcing a Super Bowl record 9 turnovers, going on to win 52-17.

In a span of four years from 1992 to 1995, Dallas won three Super Bowls, with the first one in 92 being the best and most remembered.

4.  1984 San Francisco 49ers

The second team under Bill Walsh and Joe Montana to win a Lombardi Trophy, this Niners team still dominated the NFL, and they hadn’t even drafted Jerry Rice yet. However, guys like Roger Craig and Ronnie Lott were.

This is a team often overshadowed by the 1981 team and Dwight Clark’s catch, or the 1988 and 1989 team, however, this is one of the greatest teams in franchise and league history. In 1984, this team went 15-1, and had 10 players selected to the Pro Bowl.

During the playoffs, San Francisco shoutout the Bears and also defeated the Giants, the two teams that would go on to win the Super Bowl the next two seasons. In the Super Bowl, the 49ers held the record setting Dolphins and Dan Marino to just 16 points, going on to win 38-16.

3. 1991 Washington Redskins

No John Riggins or Joe Theisman here, but a team that was probably better than those early 80’s squads. The 1991 Redskins are hardly talked about, but went 14-2, while leading the league in scoring and allowing the second fewest points in the NFL. Also, they have the second-highest point differential of any Super Bowl champion.

Another insane fact about this team, was that quarterback Mark Rypien was sacked just seven times throughout the season. They played a very tough schedule in a very tough division, including the future dynasty Cowboys, also the 91 Eagles had statistically the best defense of all time.

Mark Rypien led the NFC in passing, and also had a 8.5 yards per pass completion, while the Redskins also had two receivers with over 1,000 yards. In the playoffs, the Redskins never trailed, and whomped on the Bills in the Super Bowl.

2. 1985 Chicago Bears

Let the controversy begin. I know this will upset a lot of my friends in the Windy City, but second place ain’t bad. Again, if this was the best defense in NFL history, the Bears would probably find themselves atop the list, but its not. Having one of the best defenses in league history, as well as one of the best running backs in history puts you at number two on this list.

We already know about the famed 46 defense led by Buddy Ryan. This squad forced 61 turnovers, and played its best in the defense. In two brutally cold games in Chicago, the Bears held both the Giants (winner of the Super Bowl the very next year) and the Rams scoreless. Then in the Super Bowl, they embarrassed the Patriots, as New England’s quarterbacks were looking for places to hide underneath the carpet in the Superdome.

So why isn’t this team number one? They played a very favorable schedule, and had no offensive weapons besides Walter Payton. Also, in their only loss of the season, the Dolphins exposed the Bears and their defense.

  1. 1989 San Francisco 49ers

I’m sorry to all my fellow Cowboys fans, but its true. This team was loaded, absolutely loaded. Joe Montana, Jerry Rice, Roger Craig, John Taylor, Charles Haley, Ronnie Lott, Keena Turner. They went 15-1, and amazingly they did all this with a first year head coach in George Seifert.

Joe Montana was at the height of his powers, averaging 9.1 yards per attempt, Roger Craig had over 1,00 yards rushing, Tom Rathman had 73 catches, Jerry Rice had 17 touchdowns, they were just so well balanced.

In the playoffs, this team was down right scary. In three games, they outscored their opponents 126-26. In the Super Bowl against Denver, Montana threw for 5 touchdowns, completely mastering the West Coast offense to perfection.

No Way The Eagles Just Won The Super Bowl

There have been certain times in my sport viewing life, where a game surprised me so much, that even when the game was over, I was still expecting the losing team to come out on top. When Tom Brady’s Hail Mary pass fell incomplete and the time read ZERO on the clock, I was still looking for the Patriots to somehow win the game.

The Philadelphia Eagles. Loser of three straight NFC championship games. The Eagles, the team known for failing in the playoffs. The Eagles, the franchise and city known for insane fans who throw snowballs at Santa. The Eagles, aren’t they the team that lost to the Patriots and the Raiders in the Super Bowl, and also had T.O. doing sit ups in the parking lot? The Philadelphia Eagles, your Super Bowl champions. This can’t be real right?

Coming into the game, I knew it’d be close. Every single Super Bowl Brady had played in, it had always been close. I never expected a blowout win on the Patriots side, and thankfully we didn’t get it. I was so confident that it would be close that I took the Eagles +5.

I know I get a lot of crap because of my love for Brady and Gronk, so thus I wanted the Pats to win the game. Also, I’m a diehard Dallas Cowboys fan, and I hate the Eagles more than any team in the league, and growing up I never worried about if the Eagles would ever win a Super Bowl, because its the Eagles!

The game started out exactly the way I predicted, Philly comes out fast, while the Patriots make several early mistakes. Brady, though he was hitting receivers, threw a few ducks as well, and the Eagles went up 10 going into half. However, because of what happened last year, nobody I was around were even amused that Philly was winning. At that point, I would’ve bet the house that I don’t own that the Pats would win that game.

First drive of the second half, and it can be described in one word, Gronk. On a different note, when healthy, Gronk is the greatest tight end of all time. Any who, once the Patriots scored on that first drive, it was a done deal, New England had it.

Fast forward, Patriots are now up by 1 33-32. 4th and 1 for the Eagles with under 6 minutes to go, in their own territory, and they go for it. I was laughing at Pederson’s decision, but the dude did it anyway. Wouldn’t ya know, they made it, and later scored a touchdown.

Brady fumbles the next drive, but I have no doubt the Pats defense will hold Philly to a field goal, which they did. And then, for some odd reason, for which I will never know, the Pats try and run a reverse on the ensuing kickoff, which of course fails miserably, and Brady now has to go 90 yards, with no timeouts, under a minute to go.

The Hail Mary falls short, and I don’t even know what happened. I was in complete shock when the Eagles actually stormed the field as world champions. Not Tom Brady, the greatest quarterback ever to grace us with his presence. Its Nick Foles up on the podium receiving the Lombardi Trophy.

Sadness has filled my body. Not only has my sworn NFL enemy won a Super Bowl, but football is over. I’m gonna crawl in a dark hole and listen to highlights of Chris Berman until training camp starts.