Last week in sports: 12/14 through 12/20

Ball+State+players+reach+for+the+trophy+after+defeating+Buffalo+in+the+Mid-American+Conference+championship+NCAA+college+football+game%2C+Friday%2C+Dec.+18%2C+2020%2C+in+Detroit.

Carlos Osorio | Associated Press

Ball State players reach for the trophy after defeating Buffalo in the Mid-American Conference championship NCAA college football game, Friday, Dec. 18, 2020, in Detroit.

Kyle Mathas, Reporter

DeKALB — Whether it is NCAA Football conference championship games or the College Football Playoff, this has been a jam packed week of sports.

 

Mid-American Conference Football

The Mid-American Conference held its championship game Friday. Ball State University defeated the University at Buffalo and gave Buffalo it’s first loss of the season. Buffalo running back junior Jaret Patterson only rushed for 47 yards this game. 

NCAA Football

This weekend was full of conference championship games that would decide bowl games for the coming weeks.

The University of Oregon upset the 13-ranked University of Southern California in the PAC-12 conference championship game Friday. USC opted out of any bowl games the following day. 

Ohio State University defeated Northwestern University to win the Big 10 conference championship game and the University of Oklahoma defeated Iowa State University to win the Big 12 conference championship.

Ohio State running back Trey Sermon, right, is congratulated by head coach Ryan Day, left, after being named most valuable player following the Big Ten championship NCAA college football game, Saturday, Dec. 19, 2020, in Indianapolis. Ohio State defeated Northwestern 22-10. (Darron Cummings | Associated Press)

Third-ranked Clemson University defeated second-ranked University of Notre Dame in the Atlantic Coastal Conference championship game Saturday. The University of Cincinnati defeated the University of Tulsa in the American Athletic Conference championship.

Finally, the University of Alabama defeated the University of Florida in the Southeastern Conference championship game. Quarterbacks junior Mac Jones for Alabama and senior Kyle Trask for Florida, threw for over 400 yards, making them the top-two quarterbacks in passing yards in SEC championship game history. 

Also, the two teams scored a combined total of 98 points in the game, making it the second-most points scored in the SEC championship game behind Auburn University and the University of Missouri who scored  101 combined points in 2013. 

NFL

On Thursday Night Football, the Los Angeles Chargers defeated the Las Vegas Raiders in overtime. Rookie quarterback Justin Herbert passed for 314 yards in the win. 

On the two Saturday football games, the Buffalo Bills defeated the Denver Broncos as Bills quarterback Josh Allen threw for almost 400 yards. With the win, the Bills clinched the AFC East division and will make it to the playoffs. 

The Green Bay Packers defeated the Carolina Panthers with Packers running back Aaron Jones rushing for 145 yards. The Packers clinched the playoff berth and won the NFC North division.

On Sunday, the Tampa Bay Buccaneers defeated the Atlanta Falcons after the Falcons blew another big lead of17 points in the second half. The Miami Dolphins defeated the New England Patriots to eliminate coach Bill Belicheck and the Patriots from playoff contention for the first time since 2008. The Chicago Bears defeated the Minnesota Vikings to stay in the hunt for the playoffs, and the New York Jets defeated the Los Angeles Rams for their first win of the season. 

The Arizona Cardinals defeated the Philadelphia Eagles to claim hold over the final spot in the wild card playoffs over the Bears heading into Week 16. 

The Kansas City Chiefs took down the New Orleans Saints,improving their record to 13-1 on the season. They are the number one team in the NFL at the moment. Chiefs running back Clyde Edwards-Helaire had a leg injury and was taken to the locker room in the fourth quarter.

Kansas City Chiefs cornerback Bashaud Breeland (21) breaks up a pass intended for New Orleans Saints wide receiver Juwan Johnson (83) in the second half of an NFL football game in New Orleans, Sunday, Dec. 20, 2020. (Butch Dill | Associated Press)

On Sunday Night Football, the Cleveland Browns defeated the New York Giants with Browns quarterback Baker Mayfield passing for 297 yards. This puts the Browns as the highest-ranked wild card team in the hunt for the AFC playoffs.

NHL News

The NHL revealed the four divisions for the 2021 NHL season this week, putting all of the Canadian teams in one division to reduce travel to the U.S. during the season. The season is planned to start on Jan. 13. 

NCAA Men’s Basketball

Duke University defeated Notre Dame Wednesday. In a top-25 matchup, the University of Kansas defeated Texas Tech University by one point on a last second shot by junior Ochai Agbaji. Top-ranked Gonzaga University took down third-ranked University of Iowa Saturday, and the University of Wisconsin defeated the University of Louisville in another top-25 matchup. 

Rutgers University defeated the University of Illinois Sunday to remain undefeated on the season. 

Some notable upsets from this week were Marquette University defeating ninth-ranked Creighton University, Brigham Young University upsetting 18th-ranked San Diego State University and the University of North Carolina defeated the University of Kentucky. Sunday, Northwestern University upset fourth-ranked Michigan State University.

Head Coach John Calipari and Kentucky are 1-5 for the first time in his coaching career at Kentucky.

Kentucky head coach John Calipari yells instructions to players in the first half of an NCAA college basketball game against North Carolina, Saturday, Dec. 19, 2020, in Cleveland. (Tony Dejak | Associated Press)

The NIU men’s basketball game against Southern Illinois University-Edwardsville was cancelled due to a positive COVID-19 test within SIUE’s program. The Huskies recorded their first win of the season over the Chicago State University Cougars Friday. Their current record is 1-5. 

NCAA Women’s Basketball

The women’s basketball team lost to Ohio University by 10 Wednesday and to Michigan State University by 12 Sunday. Their record stands at 2-5. 

Boxing

Canelo Alvarez defeated Callum Smith to win a world title in his fourth division Saturday night. 

 

Upcoming this week

Bowl Games

Some of the biggest college football bowl games this season are the New Year’s Six Bowl games. On Dec. 30, the University of Oklahoma will play the University of Florida in the Goodyear Cotton Bowl Classic in Arlington, TX. Oklahoma won the Big 12 championship, and Florida lost to Alabama in the SEC Championship. 

Jan. 1, the University of Cincinnati will play the University of Georgia in the Chick-Fil-A Peach Bowl in Atlanta, GA. Cincinnati is undefeated this season so far. Also on New Year’s day, the two college football semifinals take place. Alabama will play Notre Dame in the Rose Bowl Game. Instead of the game being played in Pasadena this season, it will be played in Arlington. Clemson University will play Ohio State in the Allstate Sugar Bowl in New Orleans, LA. The winner of those two games will play in the national championship game. 

On Jan. 2, the University of Oregon will take on Iowa State in the Playstation Fiesta Bowl in Glendale, AZ. Oregon won the Pac-12 championship and Iowa State lost in the Big 12 Championship.

Also, Texas A&M University will play UNC in the Capital One Orange Bowl in Miami, FL. Texas A&M is ranked fifth in the country and just one spot out of the college football playoff. 

NCAA Basketball

Some important college basketball games this week start with a top-10 matchup Tuesday. The University of Kansas will take on the University of West Virginia. 

Wednesday, Rutgers will play Ohio State to try to remain undefeated. On Saturday, the top-ranked team in the country, Gonzaga, will play the University of Virginia. 

On Christmas day, it will be a top-15 Big-10 conference matchup between Wisconsin and Michigan State. 

Men’s basketball will play one game this week in Ohio against the University of Toledo. Tip-off will be at 1 p.m. Tuesday and can be watched on ESPN3. 

NBA

The NBA season will start Tuesday with the Golden State Warriors playing the Brooklyn Nets, and the Los Angeles Clippers playing the Los Angeles Lakers. Both games will be broadcasted on TNT. 

This will be former Warriors forward Kevin Durant’s first game against the Warriors since he played with the Oklahoma City Thunder in the 2016 Western Conference Finals. This will also be his first game since the 2019 NBA Finals after tearing his Achilles tendon and missing the 2019-20 NBA season.

Brooklyn Nets forward Kevin Durant (7) passes during the first half of a preseason NBA basketball game against the Washington Wizards, Sunday, Dec. 13, 2020, in New York. (Kathy Willens | Associated Press)

On Christmas day, there will be five games played. The Dallas Mavericks will play the Lakers and the Nets will play the Boston Celtics, to name just two of the games being played. 

NFL

On Friday will be the Minnesota Vikings and the New Orleans Saints. 

There will be three games on Saturday; the Buccaneers will take  on the Detroit Lions, the San Francisco 49ers will play the Cardinals and the Miami Dolphins will go against the Raiders. 

Some of the biggest games on Sunday will be the Indianapolis Colts playing the Pittsburgh Steelers, the Rams will play the Seattle Seahawks and the Tennessee Titans will play the Packers on Sunday Night Football.