Not if you’re a Purdue fan. The Boilers walked into the week with their first No. 1 ranking in program history. One and done… Courtesy of a half-court game-winner from Rutgers’ Ron Harper Jr. Is it madness already?
Another #1 Bites the Dust
Rutgers Shocks #1 Purdue (70-68) on Ron Harper Jr.’s Half-Court Buzzer-Beater
Thursday’s shot heard ‘round the world came to us courtesy of Rutgers’ Ron Harper Jr. in what was a must-see moment that took down the third No. 1-ranked team is as many weeks. After falling behind by 10 late in the second half, the Scarlet Knights rallied to pull within one in the final minute. A pair of traded baskets gave Purdue the lead (68-67) with just over three seconds left. Enter Harper Jr. — with 3 of his game-high 30 points — burying a half-court game-winner to shock the Boilermakers (70-68) in New Jersey. It was Purdue’s first-ever game as the nation’s No. 1 team.
Watch: Full Game Highlights
First, Gonzaga. Then, Duke. Now, Purdue. The men’s college basketball poll has seen three No. 1 teams go down in consecutive weeks. Next up? We expect Baylor (8-0).
Vikings Win Another Close Call
Dalvin Cook Runs Wild as Vikings Hold Off Steelers’ Comeback (36-28)
Another one-score game came down to the wire for the Vikings on Thursday Night Football. After nearly blowing a 29-0 lead, Minnesota was lucky to fend off a furious 4th-quarter comeback by the Steelers in a finish that came down to one final red zone attempt by Pittsburgh. RB Dalvin Cook was the star of the show with over 200 yards rushing to help bail out a rough night for QB Kirk Cousins. It was the 12th game (out of 13) this season decided by one score for the Vikings.
B. Roethlisberger (PIT): 28/40, 308 yards, 3 TDs, 1 INT
K. Cousins (MIN): 14/31, 216 yards, 2 TDs, 2 INTs
Other Top Performers
RB D. Cook (MIN): 27 carries, 205 yards, 2 TDs
RB N. Harris (PIT): 20 carries, 94 yards, 2 TDs
WR J. Jefferson (MIN): 7 receptions, 79 yards, 1 TD
Records: Minnesota (6-7) | Pittsburgh (6-6-1)
Yahoo! Sports: Vikings Almost Blow 29-0 Lead But Hang On to Beat Steelers
The MLS Cup Final Preview
Portland Timbers vs. New York City FC (Sat. 3:00 pm ET)
One last match for all the marbles. The MLS Cup Final takes the pitch tomorrow afternoon in Portland. It’s the Portland Timbers hosting their first-ever final against the underdogs of New York City FC. Both teams are the 4-seeds from their respective conferences, but Portland — winners of six straight — are the favorites. Let’s see how they got here:
Portland Timbers (17-13-4)
Portland enters the finale riding a six-match win streak, including a blitzing playoff run where they’ve allowed just one goal and outscored opponents 6-1. They expect to have star midfielder Sebastian Blanco back from injury, too. It’s Portland’s third appearance in the Cup Finals with one title to show for their first two trips (2015).
New York City FC (14-11-9)
NYCFC makes their Cup Final debut after a magical playoff run where they took down Atlanta (2-0) and the Supporter’s Shield winners, New England (2-2, 5-3 PKs), before escaping Philadelphia (2-1). The underdogs from New York can get their storybook ending with one last match of magic.
MLS Cup Final (Sat. 3:00 pm ET)
LeBron James became the fifth player in NBA history with 100 triple doubles after his 20-11-10 outing on Thursday night against the Grizzlies. The Lakers lost, 108-95.
Blackhawks goaltender Marc-Andre Fleury posted a shutout against the Canadiens last night (2-0) to record his 500th career win and become the third goalie in NHL history to reach the milestone.
The Pirates of Seton Hall played Top-10 spoiler for the second time this season with a narrow win over 7th-ranked Texas last night (64-60). They also beat No. 4 Michigan last month. Jared Rhoden (18 points) led the scoring. Seton Hall is now 8-1 and on the rise.
In their first game without star Paige Bueckers, 3rd-ranked UConn went down — and went down hard — at the hands of unranked Georgia Tech (57-44). It was UConn’s first loss to an unranked opponent since 2012.
What should the Panthers do with Matt Rhule? What will the Giants decide about Joe Judge? And has Matt Nagy finally come to the end of the road in Chicago? (The Ringer)
The U.S. has announced a diplomatic boycott of the Beijing Winter Olympics, but corporations have been glaringly quiet about human rights in China. (NY Times)
Aware of the legends left in his wake, Stephen Curry is not ready to discuss the emotional significance of the crown that awaits. He’s ten 3s shy of Ray Allen’s all-time record. (NBC Sports)
The Must-Watch List
MLS Cup Finals
New York City FC at Portland Timbers (Sat. 3:00 pm)
Army vs. Navy (Sat. 3:00 pm)
Heisman Trophy Ceremony
Saturday (8:00 pm)
NFL Week 14
Cowboys at Washington (1:00 pm)
Raiders at Chiefs (1:00 pm)
Ravens at Browns (1:00 pm)
Bills at Buccaneers (4:25 pm)
Bears at Packers (8:20 pm)
Celtics at Suns (Fri. 10:00 pm)
Warriors at 76ers (Sat. 8:30 pm)
Bucks at Knicks (Sun. Noon)
Penguins at Capitals (Fri. 7:00 pm)
Hurricanes at Oilers (Sat. 10:00 pm)
Wild at Golden Knights (Sun. 9:00 pm)
M: #14 Houston at #9 Alabama (Sat. 10:00 pm)
M: #6 Villanova at #2 Baylor (Sun. 3:00 pm)
W: #14 Kentucky at #7 Louisville (Sun. 1:00 pm)
W: #8 Maryland at #1 South Carolina (Sun. 3:00 pm)
*All Times ET