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Big Night in College Hoops

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Garett Fisbeck/Associated Press

If you’re like me, your favorite time of the year is March. The snow is starting to melt, flowers are starting to bloom and, most importantly, March Madness begins. I may be biased because I have been an avid college basketball fan my entire life but I truly believe the NCAA Tournament is the best event in all of sports. Continuous great college basketball games between some of the best teams in the country; what more could you want? Thankfully, we have midseason hoops to hold us over until March and that is exactly what last night was all about. 12 of the Top 25 teams in the country were in action and although only two of them lost, it still made for an exciting night of college basketball.

Leading the headlines was a top 10 matchup between #8 Texas Tech and #9 Oklahoma. The main storyline coming into this game was Oklahoma freshman phenom Trae Young. Could he maintain his rapid pace in a season where he is averaging 29.2 points and 10.1 assists per game? In short, yes he could. Texas Tech was able to shut down Young in the first half, holding him to just 5 points on 1-12 shooting. However, the game is 40 minutes long for a reason and Young took advantage of all 40, finishing the game with 27 points, 9 assists and leading his team to a 75-65 victory over a tough Texas Tech team. Keenan Evans led the Red Raiders with 19 points.

Last night was a night that finally saw North Carolina come back into form after losing 3 out of their last 5 games. This was due in large part to Luke Maye, who finished the game with 32 points and 18 rebounds to lead the Tar Heels to a 96-66 victory over Boston College. This is the same Luke Maye that averaged a lowly 5.5 points last year in his sophomore season. “The basket was pretty big tonight,” Maye said after the win. “It was really fun.” It just goes to show what work in the offseason and trust from your coach will get you.

Last night was almost a very exciting night with three missed buzzer beaters that if made, would have resulted in three top 25 upsets, two of which would have been top 5 upsets. Texas A&M, Baylor and Michigan all had last second possessions that could have resulted in three huge upsets. However, it was not to be and #21 Kentucky, #2 West Virginia and #5 Purdue could breathe a sigh of relief as they escaped with victories against their respective opponents. Despite the lack of upsets, Tuesday night was a great night for college basketball and we can only hope that it is a sign of things to come.

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Jayson Tatum Leads Celtics To Blow Out Win Against The 76ers

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Jason Tatum spent most of the summer putting in the work. It showed on opening night when he led the Celtics to 105-87 win over the 76ers.

The Celtics took the floor with Kyrie Irving and Gordan Hayward returning to the starting line up. But it was the second-year scoring machine Jayson Tatum who stole the show with a team-high 23 points. Hayward scored 10 points on 4-of-12 shooting, Marcus Morris had 16 points, and Terry Rozier added 11 points off the bench.

Kyrie Irving struggled with on 7 points on 2-of-14 shooting. Irving is still recovering from his knee surgery and showed on the court.

Jaylen Brown already has the dunk of the year. With a little under seven minutes left in the 4th quarter, Brown dunked on Joel Embiid with no mercy.

Ben Simmons dropped 19 points, 15 rebounds, eight assists and Joel Embiid 23 points, 10 rebounds led the way for the Sixers.

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Rumor: Kawhi Leonard And Jimmy Butler Don’t Want To Join Lebron

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Kawhi Leonard and Jimmy Butler will both be the top NBA free agents in the summer of 2019.

Both players have been linked to possible joining Lebron James and the Lakers in 2019. Now according to The Ringers Kevin O’Connor both players are not interested in wearing the Purple and Gold.

“There are whispers around the league that neither Jimmy Butler nor Kawhi Leonard wants to play with LeBron, and sources I’ve talked to would be shocked if Klay Thompson left Golden State,” wrote Conner.

Leonard has expressed the possibility of him resigning with the Raptors. Before he was traded to the Raptors, Leonard was rumored to want to join one of the LA teams.

“I want to play here,” Leonard said. “I came in with an open mind. I want to do great things … focus on this year. If you’re looking toward the future, you’re going to trip over the present.”

Butler on the other hand clear wants out of Minnesota. He wants to sign with a team that has enough cap space to sign another big named free agent.

If the Lakers can not add Butler or Leonard is would be a setback for the Lakers. The team has the cap space to add one more big named free agent to join James. Magic Johnson wanted to sign Paul George in the offseason but he decided to re-sign with the Oklahoma City Thunder.

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Klay Thompson: We Want To Three Peat

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The Golden State Warriors are spending their last year in Oakland before moving to San Franciso.

The Dubs have won 3 of the last 4 championships. Warriors guard Klay Thompson wants the Warriors to win a three peat before the team leaves the Bay.

“We want to do it for the fans of Oakland. Been so loyal to us for 40-plus years, whatever it’s been since they’ve been in Oracle. So that definitely helps with this season.” said Thompson “It’s leaving a big legacy behind in Oakland because people might not get to see us as much in San Francisco. And just enjoying this every night.”

“We have such a special group. We play in front of such amazing fans. And every game is so much fun because it’s such an amazing atmosphere. It’s not like we’re playing in front of six or seven thousand people a night. It’s sold out. It doesn’t matter who we play, preseason, Finals. It’s easy to come to work when you’ve got a fan base like we have.”

History also figures to be a motivating factor since the 2000-02 Los Angeles Lakers with Shaquille O’Neal and Kobe Bryant was the only team to accomplish the feat since Michael Jordan’s Chicago Bulls did so twice in the 1990s.

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