A. Arena, Bruce
. After five-plus years as coach of the U.S. men's national team, Jurgen Klinsmann is out. The German was fired last Monday, and U.S. Soccer immediately
replaced him with Arena, who coached the team from 1998 through 2006.
B. Browning, Jake . Washington is likely one win over Colorado in the Pac-12 championship away from a spot in the College Football Playoff. Browning led the Huskies to a 45-17 win over Washington State last Friday by throwing for 292 yards and three touchdowns. Washington is a -7.5 favorite over the Buffaloes on Friday, according to MyBookie.ag.
C. Charlie Strong . Strong was fired as head coach at Texas last Saturday, one day after wrapping up a 5-7 season. The Longhorns ended the season on a three-game losing streak, culminating with a 31-9 setback against TCU. Strong went 16-21 in three years at UT. He was replaced immediately by Houston's Tom Herman.
D. Davis Cup . For the first time in history, Argentina is the champion of the Davis Cup. Juan Martin Del Potro and company did it the hard way en route to the title of tennis' team competition. Trailing at Croatia 2-1 in matches and needing a pair of singles wins on Sunday, Del Potro stormed back from two sets down to beat Marin Cilic in five and keep the visitors alive. Federico Delbonis then thrashed Ivo Karlovic in the decisive fifth match to give the Argentines the trophy.
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E. Embiid, Joel . Philadelphia fans are chanting, "Trust the process," whenever Embiid steps to the free-throw line. That has been the 76ers' motto throughout its rebuilding process. Embiid called the chants "fun" and head coach Brett Brown even said that they "need something like that in this city." They could also use some wins, but Philly is just 4-14-even though Embiid is averaging 18.2 points and 7.8 rebounds per game.
F. Field goals . Justin Tucker nailed four of them in Baltimore's 19-14 win over Cincinnati last weekend, including three in the first half all from more than 50 yards away. But he saved his biggest success for the press room, where he successfully executed the "updog" joke. The Ravens are -3.5 home favorites over Miami on Sunday, per Bovada Sportsbook.
G. Golden State Warriors . Many were rejoicing when the villainous Warriors got blown out by the Lakers on Nov. 4 and dropped to 4-2 on the season. But who's laughing now? Stephen Curry, Kevin Durant, and friends have won 12 in a row and are 16-2 following Monday's 105-100 victory over Atlanta. Golden State is a -125 favorite at GT Bets to win the NBA title.
H. Howard, Jimmy . The Red Wings' goalie left last Friday's game at New Jersey with a groin injury and is expected to miss a week. Howard is sixth in the NHL with a 1.82 goals-against average. Detroit has taken points in three straight contests but it has also lost five of its last seven.
I. Izzo, Tom . Michigan State's head coach recently apologized to his players for too hard of an early-season schedule. The Spartans have losses so far to Arizona, Kentucky, and Baylor. Now they have to face Duke-in Cameron Indoor Stadium-on Tuesday as part of the ACC/Big Ten Challenge. The Blue Devils are -11.5 favorites, per BetOnline Sportsbook.
J. Jimmie Johnson . NASCAR's new playoff format was basically Johnson-proofed after he won championships from 2006 through 2010. It hasn't stopped him from winning. Johnson captured his seventh title earlier this month when he triumphed at Homestead-Miami Speedway.
K. Kansas City Chiefs . The Chiefs are 6-1 in their last seven games after winning a wild one at Denver last Sunday night. Cairo Santos' 34-yard field goal clanked the upright and went in to give Kansas City a 30-27 victory. 5Dimes Sportsbook has the Chiefs as +3.5 underdogs at Atlanta in Week 13.
L. Lamar Jackson . If the race to the Heisman Trophy was a sprint, Jackson would have locked it up in the first few weeks of this season. It is, however, a marathon…and Jackson will still likely win it. That being said, he has opened the door a little bit because Louisville has dropped two in a row since starting the year 9-1.
M. Murray, Andy . For the first time in ATP Tour history, the year-end No. 1 ranking all came down to the last match of the season between the top two players in the world. Both the World Tour Finals title and the top ranking were at stake when Murray and Djokovic collided earlier this month in London. Murray took it all with a straight-set victory and finished a year No. 1 for the first time in his career.
N. Nets . How bad are the Nets? Well, they are better than the Mavericks and the 76ers-which isn't saying a lot! New Jersey is 4-12 and has lost seven games in a row. The team has given up 127, 125, 124, 129, 111, 118, and 122 points during this futile stretch and has allowed more than 100 points in 10 straight outings.
O. Ohio State . The Buckeyes snatched victory from the jaws of defeat against Michigan-with a significant assist from the officials. Wolverines' head coach Jim Harbaugh was "bitterly disappointed with the officiating," especially because Ohio State quarterback J.T. Barrett was given a controversial first down on a fourth-and-one situation during the second overtime. A stop on that play would have given Michigan the win. One play later, Curtis Samuel rushed for a 15-yard touchdown to give the home team a 30-27 victory. BookMaker has OSU as a +240 second choice to win the national title.
P. Payton, Sean . How do you like them apples? That's basically what Payton said to Rams' defensive coordinator and former Saints' colleague Gregg Williams. Despite leading 42-21 with less than 11 minutes remaining, Payton dialed up a razzle-dazzle play that resulted in a 50-yard touchdown pass from Willie Snead to Tim Hightower. MyBookie.ag has New Orleans as a -5 home favorite over Detroit on Sunday.
Q. Qua Searcy . In what will go down as one of the most famous plays in Georgia Tech history, Searcy scored on third-and-goal from the six with 30 seconds left to give the Yellow Jackets a 28-27 road upset of Georgia last Saturday. Searcy improvised a halfback pass into a keeper and dove from three three-yard line to just barely break the plane of the endzone amidst a sea of UGA defenders.
R. Robinson Cano
. Cano has plenty of help in Seattle's infield now. The Mariners acquired shortstop Jean Segura from Arizona last week in a trade for starting pitcher
Taijuan Walker and infielder Ketel Marte. Segura, 26, hit .316 with 20 home runs and 64 RBIs last season. Seattle will have Cano at second, Segura at
short, and Kyle Seager at third.
S. Seattle Sounders . For the first time in franchise history (dating back to 2009), the Sounders are in the MLS Cup. They had previously made seven playoff appearances without reaching the final, but that changed with a 3-1 aggregate victory over Columbus. Seattle won the first leg 2-1 before taking the second match 1-0 this past Sunday.
T. Twelve . That's how many losses the Browns have after 12 games.If head coach Hue Jackson wants to avoid an 0-16 season, his team better get the job done next week. A home date with Cincinnati is its best remaining chance to find the win column.
U. UCLA . Break up the Bruins! UCLA is off to a 7-0 start to the college basketball season, with six double-digit victories and a seven-point win over Texas A&M in last weekend's Wooden Legacy title game. Freshman Lonzo Ball earned tournament MVP honors after scoring 16 points and dishing out 10 assists against the Aggies. UCLA is +2000 at Bovada Sportsbook to win the National Championship.
V. Vikings . In a battle with Detroit for first place in the NFC North, Minnesota fell 16-13 on Thanksgiving Day despite leading for almost 11 minutes in the fourth quarter. The Lions' Matt Prater kicked a game-tying field goal with 1:45 left before a Darius Slay interception of Sam Bradford gave the ball back to the home team. Prater promptly sailed another one through the uprights as time expired to win it for Detroit. The Vikings are now 6-5 after starting the season 5-0.
W. Woods, Tiger . He's back, baby. Well, it's probably not safe to say that with certainty until Tiger actually hits his shot off the first tee on Thursday. But-at least for now-he is scheduled to take part in this week's Hero World Challenge. Tiger has not played competitively since August of 2015. BetOnline Sportsbook has him at +2800 to win the tournament.
X. Xavier . What's the safest bet of this college basketball season? Xavier and Northern Iowa will not play each other in the first round of the NCAA Tournament. It's only Nov. 29 and the two teams have already faced each other twice. The Musketeers prevailed 67-59 in the final of the Tire Pros Invitational on Nov. 20 before dominating 64-42 last Saturday.
Y. Young, Nick
. The Lakers are still banged up, but Young returned from a toe injury to score 17 points in this past Sunday's 109-94 win over Atlanta. He had missed the
previous game against Golden State. Young is averaging 14.1 ppg for a respectable 9-9 Los Angeles squad. The Lakers are +5.5 underdogs at New Orleans on Tuesday, according to GT Bets.
Z. Zack Mahoney . Last Saturday's Pittsburgh vs. Syracuse game ended in a 76-61 score. And that wasn't in basketball, folks. No, the football game between the two schools produced an FBS all-time record 137 points. Mahoney, the Orange's quarterback, completed 43 of 61 passes for 440 yards and five touchdowns to go along with two scores on the ground. The Panthers, however, rushed for 393 yards and six TDs.
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