Things That Caught My Eye
There have been 885 NBA teams who trailed by 5 or more points in the final 20 seconds of a game this season so far. Of those, 884 of them went on to lose that game. On Tuesday, the Boston Celtics became the first team this season to pull off a win in that scenario, beating a 5 point deficit with 16.8 seconds to go. [FiveThirtyEight]
Jim Boeheim of Syracuse has edged out Tom Izzo of Michigan State to take the top sport when it comes to wins over expected in the NCAA men’s basketball tournament. Boeheim has 54 wins and 25 losses when we’d only expect his teams to get 44.3 wins, giving him a 9.7 wins over expected in the tourney. [FiveThirtyEight]
Try out our interactive, Which World Cup Team Should You Root For?
Frank Gore, an immortal, has signed a one year deal with the Miami Dolphins. In 2017 he rushed 961 yards for the Indianapolis Colts, 39 yards shy of a tenth career 1,000 yard season. Frank Gore will be 35 years old. [ESPN]
Phil Mickelson has finished in the top 15 in 6 out of 8 tournaments this year with a season average finish position just under 20. This makes this season one of the best of his career so far. [FiveThirtyEight]
In addition to Vince McMahon’s attempt to revive the XFL, a competitor to the NFL, this past week documentary filmmaker Charlie Ebersol announced the Alliance of American Football will debut in February, 2019 and will run for 10 weeks. Reality is, there are 28,000 Division I NCAA football players and at any given time only 1,700 NFL jobs, so they’ll certainly have players. The competitive advantage of the league would be 60 percent fewer commercials and no TV timeouts. [ESPN]
A poll of 104 current Major League Soccer players across 22 of the league’s 23 clubs found rising but still middling support for promotion and relegation. In 2017, 54 percent of players favored the introduction of promotion and relegation — where the worst teams in a league are relegated to a lesser league while the best teams in that lesser league are elevated to the majors — but that figure’s since risen to 63 percent. The main concerns are that a viable second division doesn’t yet exist and that ownership groups would be destabilized. [ESPN]
30 quick time outs
Gregg Popovich, the coach of the San Antonio Spurs, has no qualms about calling a time out in the early moments of a game. As of Monday, Popovich had called 30 time outs in the first two minutes of a game since 2009, head and shoulders above the rest of the league. [FiveThirtyEight]
Leaks from Slack
chris.herring [9:51 PM, Wednesday]
Pop just called timeout 2 mins into their game on national TV
@chris.herring I’ll tweet that from the main account!
chris.herring [9:51 PM, Wednesday]:
In fairness to Pop, Spurs missed their first 7 or 8 shots. I would’ve called timeout, too :joy: