#SportBits…Holiday Party Recovery

Happy Monday HerDaily readers. Wow, I don’t know about you, but the holiday parties are taking a toll on me. I’m not complaining. I had THE BEST time at the HerDaily gathering over the weekend, but the neighborhood party, plus the firework shindig, may have pushed me over the edge. Thank goodness there’s a few quiet days ahead – and a perfect time to catch up on what’s happening in the world of sports. Thanks for checking in with #SportBits today. Here is your sports roundup.

The College Football Bowl game schedule is set. The first game is on Dec. 19. The playoff begins on Dec. 31 with the National Championship game on Monday, Jan. 11, 2016. Here is the complete bowl game schedule.

NFL – It’s week 14 and the playoff picture is becoming clearer.

The Carolina Panthers remain unbeaten, and clinched a first round bye in the playoffs with a 38-0 win over the Atlanta Falcons.

Tampa Bay Bucs lost to the New Orleans Saints 24-17. Tampa Bay drops to 6-7 on the season. Although the Panthers have locked up the division title, the Bucs are very much contenders for one of the two NFC wild card spots. The team has three games left, including one in St. Louis on Thursday. To keep their playoff hopes alive, the Bucs must win all three.

The Buffalo Bills lost to the Philadelphia Eagles 23-20 and with it their chances for the playoffs. The Eagles are now tied with the Redskins for first place in the NFC East.

Green Bay Packers defeated the Dallas Cowboys to take a one game lead over the Minnesota Vikings in the NFC North. The Packers and Vikings meet in week 17 in what will certainly be a great game with a lot on the line.

Seattle Seahawks moved into the 5th playoff spot with a win over the Ravens. Minnesota is also 8-5, but the Seahawks have the tiebreaker thanks to last week’s win over the Vikings.

Complete list of games/results/standings…here.

NBA
The Milwaukee Bucs handed the Golden State Warriors their first loss of the season on Saturday. The stellar NBA-record start ended after 24 wins with the 108-95 defeat. Golden State fell to 24-1 and will not break the NBA’s longest winning streak of 33 games held by 1971-72 Lakers – which weirdly enough was also snapped by Milwaukee.

The NBA and Verizon tipped off NBA All-Star Voting 2016 last Thursday. The all-digital program gives fans everywhere the opportunity to vote for their favorite players as starters for NBA All-Star 2016 in Toronto. This will be the first All-Star Game to be held outside of the U.S. in the event’s 65-year history. #VoteKobe

Here are the conference leaders at this early point of the NBA season:
Eastern conference:
Toronto (Atlantic), Cleveland (Central), Charlotte (Southwest)

Western Conference:
Oklahoma City (N/West), Golden State (Pacific), San Antonio (S/West)

Complete list of conference standings…here.

Scores and Schedules…. here.

College Hoops – Here are some of the more interesting results from this weekend:

#1 Michigan State held off Florida to win 58-52 in East Lansing.

#2 Kansas had no problem with Oregon State, winning 82-67.

#5 Kentucky beat Arizona State 72-58.

Texas Longhorns had a buzzer beater to take down #3 North Carolina on Saturday. Conference play hasn’t started yet, and Selection Sunday is months away. But a win like this can calm doubters on new hire Coach Shaka Smart – and help when it comes to recruiting.

UCLA continues to rack up impressive wins with a 71-66 victory over #20 Gonzaga.

#2 Kansas had no problem with Oregon State winning 82-67.

Complete list of games/scores…. here.

#SportBitsNews…

The Heisman Trophy was awarded to Alabama running back Derrick Henry Saturday night at the Downtown Athletic Club in Manhattan. Henry, the 6′ 3”, 232 lb tank who pushed the Crimson Tide to the College Football Playoff semifinals, won his sport’s biggest honor by a comfortable margin over Stanford sophomore tailback Christian McCaffrey. Henry became the second Alabama player to win the Heisman, joining Mark Ingram, who won in 2009 over another Stanford tailback, Toby Gerhar.

#SportBitsUpdate – The fantasy sports saga in New York took a crazy turn on Friday. Only hours after a State Supreme Court justice told DraftKings and FanDuel that they couldn’t operate in New York while a case regarding their legality was pending, a state appeals judge said that the two fantasy sports giants could stay in business — at least for now. The companies, freaking out over the thought of no business in NY, were granted a temporary stay by an appellate judge. According to ESPN, more than half a million people play daily fantasy sports in New York — 13 percent of the nation’s fantasy players. Both companies continue to argue that only a few players win most of the money is “a feature, not a bug” and it’s one that proves that daily fantasy sports is a game of skill.

Thankfully, my Los Angeles Lakers are not THE WORST team in the NBA. That honor is bestowed upon the Philadelphia 76ers. With only one win this season (against the Lakers!!) NBA commissioner Adam Silver has been reportedly under pressure to interfere, as team owners contend the 76ers are causing economic problems for the rest of the league (I mean really, would you pay the high ticket prices to go see this team?). Rumors have team ownership group, led by billionaires Josh Harris and David Blitzer, interested in selling the franchise. According to Forbes Magazine, Harris and Blitzer—who own the NHL’s New Jersey Devils—have their sights set on selling the Sixers and bringing an NFL expansion team to London. Whaaaat? And once the rumor of a sale starts, the topic of possible team relocation always follows. #staytuned

Former USC football coach Steve Sarkisian filed suit against the university for circumstances surrounding his dismissal on Oct. 11. Sarkisian alleges that stress from his job and pending divorce led to depression and a dependence on alcohol. In California, alcohol is recognized as a disability, and therefore Sarkisian cannot be fired for incidents that may or may not have involved him being under the influence. USC contends Sarkisian resisted attempts to get treatment and never asked for time off to get help. The lawsuit also states USC violated Sarkisian’s contract by refusing to pay him the rest of the money owed — $12.6 million — under the terms of his deal.

Let’s end on a feel good story, shall we? Have you heard of the Teddy Bear Toss? I hadn’t until it popped up on my Facebook feed. It’s a Christmas time promotion that takes place at many minor and junior hockey arenas throughout North America. Fans are asked to bring stuffed bears and throw them out on the ice after the home team scores its first goal. The bears are then collected and distributed to hospitals and charities in the area, often by the players themselves. If this doesn’t put you in the holiday spirit, nothing will. Take a look.

That’s it for this Monday’s #SportBits. Have a calm and quiet week friends. Rest up for all the holiday activities that are sure to come this weekend. Follow me on Twitter for daily scores and updates. And leave me a comment about what sports you’re watching and talking about – I’d love to hear.  #SportBits….out.

M. Coyne

Mary is a 30yr Angeleno who has somehow survived the ups and downs of the Los Angeles sports scene. She encourages her kids and friends to watch the games because she feels everyone should know alittle bit about what is going on in the sports world. #SportBits ... a little bit of info is all you need. Find her at mcsportbits.com