🐏 The Ceiling is the Roof!

RJ Davis makes Dean Dome history, NFL news, NBA, NHL, USWNT, and more...

Good Morning! We have a shorter letter for you today, but sometimes shorter is better — just ask RJ Davis. The North Carolina guard made history last night at the Dean Dome; however, things got dicey down the stretch for the Heels. In the NBA, the Knicks used a frantic final sequence to survive a scare at the Garden, and in the NHL, the B’s got beat again. Plus, some star NFL running backs are on the loose (luckily, none of whom are named OJ), but as history shows, fighting a physical defensive front isn’t as taxing as fighting a fiscal front office. Finally, the USWNT was stonewalled by their Mexican counterparts, and there’s a new No. 1 in men’s college basketball. “The ceiling is the roof!

WTF Stat: Kansas State men’s basketball is 7-0 in overtime games this season. Their seven OT victories are the most in a single season in men’s DI history - under HC Jerome Tang, who was hired before the 2022-23 season, the Wildcats are 12-0 in overtime.

Written By: Ian Dardani

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🏈 Chargers RB Austin Ekeler, Cowboys RB Tony Pollard, Giants RB Saquon Barkley, Raiders RB Josh Jacobs, and Titans RB Derrick Henry are all expected to become free agents as their respective teams are reportedly unlikely to franchise tag them - the five running backs can still explore new deals with their current teams

🏈 Bengals applied their franchise tag to WR Tee Higgins, marking the first NFL franchise tag placement of the 2024 offseason - Higgins, 25, has accrued 3,684 receiving yards and 24 touchdowns through four NFL seasons and will make $28.1M next year under the tag placement

🏀 Houston moved to No. 1 in the latest AP Top 25 men’s college basketball poll, climbing one spot to end UConn’s six-week stay atop the poll - No. 2 Purdue, No. 3 UConn, No. 4 Tennessee, and No. 5 Marquette round out the top five

🏀 Duke F Kyle Filipowski avoided serious injury but suffered a bruised knee after colliding with a fan who was storming the court following Wake Forest’s win on Saturday - Filipowski’s status for Wednesday’s game against Louisville is up in the air

🏀 Clippers unveiled new uniforms and a new logo as part of the team’s rebrand for the 2024-25 season that will coincide with their move to a new arena, the Intuit Dome, which will open next fall in Inglewood, CA - the new jerseys are made of a special, high-tech fiber that prevents James Harden from requesting a trade for 12 months

🔴 Mid-American Conference (MAC) board voted to add UMass as an all-sports member beginning in 2025 - UMass will request to stay in the Atlantic 10 for men’s and women’s lacrosse

Photo: The Davis Dome | Source: USA Today

College Basketball - Top Games

  • NCAAM | #9 North Carolina 75, Miami 71: RJ Davis (42 PTS, 7-11 3PT, 6 REB) went absolutely ballistic, dropping a career-high 42 points for a single-game record at the Dean E. Smith Center (opened in 1986), and although the injury-riddled Canes made it a two-point game in the final minute after trailing by 14 with 6:48 to play, the Tar Heels survived in Chapel Hill thanks to some late free throws - Miami’s Norchad Omier (22 PTS, 5 AST) missed a potential game-tying hook shot with 45 seconds left, and it’s The U’s seventh straight loss

  • NCAAM | Kansas State 94, West Virginia 90 (OT): After trailing 49-26 at recess, Raeqan Battle (28 PTS, 6-9 3PT, 4 REB) and the Mountaineers used a 53-point second half to shockingly force overtime at the Octagon, but Tylor Perry (29 PTS, 6 AST) and the Wildcats held on in a must-win game to keep their tournament hopes alive - entering Monday, K-State (17-11) was out of the NCAA Tournament field according to Joe Lundardi’s Bracketology

  • NCAAM | #15 Baylor 62, TCU 54: After a disheartening overtime loss to Houston on Saturday, Yves Missi (16 PTS, 5 REB) and Baylor bounced back in a major way by blowing out the Toads on the road in a game that was much more one-sided than the final score suggests - it’s Baylor’s (15-5) first road win this month

  • NCAAW | #8 UCLA 53, #13 Colorado 45: After blasting Utah on Thursday, UCLA picked up their second straight ranked-conference win as Kiki Rice (20 PTS, 9 REB) led the way offensively while Colorado’s Jaylyn Sherrod (10 PTS, 7 REB, 4 AST) was the only Buffalo to score in double-figures - Colorado (20-7) has now lost four games in a row, all coming against ranked Pac-12 opponents

See the full NCAAM scoreboard here and the current rankings here. See the full NCAAW scoreboard here and the current rankings here.

NBA - Top Games

  • New York Knicks 113, Detroit Pistons 111: In one of the craziest final sequences you will ever see, Jalen Brunson (35 PTS, 12 AST) picked up a loose ball in a hectic scramble and fed Josh Hart (23 PTS, 8 REB, 6 AST) for a go-ahead, and-1 with 2.8 seconds remaining, as the shorthanded Knicks survived a thriller against Cade Cunningham (32 PTS, 8 AST) and the bottom-feeding Pistons at the Mecca - Pistons HC Monty Williams was irate in his postgame interview regarding a blatant missed no-call that led to Hart’s go-ahead bucket

  • Miami Heat 121, Sacramento Kings 110: The Heat notched their fourth straight win and their fifth in six games as Bam Adebayo (28 PTS, 10 REB, 7 AST) and Miami got the best of De’Aaron Fox (27 PTS, 8 REB, 6 AST) and the Kings, who lacked energy after a big win over the Clippers on Sunday night - all four of Miami’s wins have come on the road

  • Toronto Raptors 130, Indiana Pacers 122: Pascal Siakam (27 PTS, 9 REB, 6 AST) had another strong showing against his former team, but Tyrese Haliburton (9 PTS, 2-11 FG, 7 AST) struggled, and fellow All-Star Scottie Barnes (21 PTS, 12 REB, 12 AST) posted his fourth triple-double of the seasons to lead the Raptors past the Pacers - Indiana (33-26) was playing on the second night of a back-to-back after beating the Mavericks, 133-111, on Sunday

See the full NBA scoreboard here and the current standings here.

NHL - All Games

  • Seattle Kraken 4, Boston Bruins 3 (SO): After blowing a 2-1 lead in the 3rd period, Charlie Coyle (1 G) tied the game for Boston with just three minutes remaining in regulation, but Kailer Yamamoto’s lone goal in the shootout gave Seattle the win, as the Kraken handed the East-leading B’s their third straight loss in an upset out West

  • Edmonton Oilers 4, Los Angeles Kings 2: Connor McDavid (2 A) and the Oilers halted their three-game skid as Evan Bouchard (1 G, 1 A) and Ryan Nugent-Hopkins (1 G, 1 A) ripped 3rd-period goals to double up Trevor Moore (1 G) and the Kings in Edmonton

  • New York Islanders 3, Dallas Stars 2 (OT): After a scoreless 3rd period, extra hockey was needed to decide a winner in Dallas, where Bo Horvat (1 G) sent home a feed from Mathew Barzal (1 A) to give the Isles a much-needed road victory over Logan Stankoven (1 G, 1 A) and the Stars - it’s Horvat’s second OT-winner against the Stars this season and New York’s (24-20-14) second win in seven games

  • Washington Capitals 6, Ottawa Senators 3: Aliaksei Protas (1 G, 2 A) and the Caps took a 4-2 lead into the first intermission, and Hendrix Lapierre (2 G) added a pair of goals in the 2nd period to put away Brady Tkachuk (1 G, 2 A) and the Senators in the nation’s capital

See the full NHL scoreboard here and the current standings here.

International Soccer - Top Matches

  • Women’s Concacaf | Mexico 2, USA 0: The Stars and Stripes were no match for El Tri in the women’s Concacaf Group Stage, as Mexico picked apart the USWNT defense all night, leading to goals by Lizbeth Ovalle (38’) and Mayra Pelayo (90’+2’) and an easy victory in Carson, California - the USWNT (2-0-1) has already locked up a spot in the knockout round and Mexico is the first Concacaf team beat them on American soil since Canada did so in 2000

  • EPL | West Ham United 4, Brentford 2: West Ham’s Jarrod Bowen (5’, 7’, 63’) netted an early brace and then secured a hat trick in the second half before Emerson (69’) added the finishing blow to tackle Neal Maupay (13’) and Brentford at London Stadium, ending the Hammers’ six-match drought in the Premiership

See the full international scoreboard here and the current EPL table here.

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Photo: Craig James, Eric Dickerson | Source: SMU

On February 27, 1987, the NCAA imposed the “Death Penalty” on SMU football’s program for widespread violations of paying players. Ten years prior, the small Dallas university, consisting of just 6,000 students, was far from being considered a “football school.” The Mustangs had five consecutive losing seasons from 1975-79 and struggled to compete in a strong Southwest Conference consisting of Texas, Arkansas, Baylor, and others. But HC Ron Meyer, who was hired in 1976, suddenly began recruiting at an elite level, and SMU rose to national prominence behind a sensational running back duo of Eric Dickerson and Craig James, a backfield dubbed “The Pony Express.” The team notched its first 10-win season since 1935 in 1981 and then finished the 1982 season undefeated, ranking No. 2 in the nation and winning the Cotton Bowl, before adding a second conference championship two years later. But speculation around paying players began to swirl, and after back-to-back, 6-5 finishes from 1985-96, the allegations came to a head in February 1987. The NCAA handed down strict penalties for “gross violations” regarding widespread athletic corruption, canceling the team’s 1987 season while stripping away scholarships en masse. The school itself elected to not play in 1988, and the Mustangs didn’t have a full complement of scholarships until 1992, effectively ending its run as a football powerhouse. The program has yet to fully recover; however, the team has slowly built itself back up. 2009 marked their first winning season since the death penalty, and 2023 marked their first 11-win season since their undefeated campaign in 1982. Now, the school is set to join the ACC this summer in hopes of returning to the national spotlight - if you haven’t seen it, ESPN’s 30 for 30 about the SMU death penalty, “Pony Excess,” is a must-watch!


  • Dallas Mavericks @ Cleveland Cavaliers 7:00pm ET, Local

  • Philadelphia 76ers @ Boston Celtics 7:30pm ET, TNT

  • Houston Rockets @ Oklahoma City Thunder 10:00pm ET, TNT

  • Full Schedule


  • Vegas Golden Knights @ Toronto Maple Leafs 7:00pm ET, NHLPP / ESPN+

  • Dallas Stars @ Colorado Avalanche 9:30pm ET, Hulu / ESPN+

  • Pittsburgh Penguins @ Vancouver Canucks 10:00pm ET, NHLPP / ESPN+

  • Full Schedule

College Basketball

  • NCAAM: Cincinnati @ #1 Houston 7:00pm ET, ESPN2

  • NCAAM: #16 Kentucky @ Mississippi State 7:00pm ET, ESPN

  • NCAAM: BYU @ #7 Kansas 8:00pm ET, Big 12 / ESPN+

  • NCAAM: Texas @ Texas Tech 9:00pm ET, ESPN

  • NCAAM: Full Schedule

  • NCAAW: #14 Indiana @ Northwestern 7:00pm ET, BTN

  • NCAAW: Full Schedule

English FA Cup - Fifth Round

  • Leicester City @ AFC Bournemouth 2:30pm ET, ESPN+

  • Manchester City @ Luton Town 3:00pm ET, ESPN+

Trivia Time Answer

B. 11. Despite having 233 made field goals in the restricted area this season, Nikola Jokic only has 11 dunks through 56 games. For reference, Bucks F Giannis Antetokounmpo has 222 dunks this season through the same number of games, which leads the NBA.

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Men’s College Basketball

  • BYU @ #7 Kansas: KU -6.5 (-110)

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