The New Orleans Saints are back in the NFC title game following a ten-year absence and will host the Los Angeles Rams next Sunday. The Saints trailed 14-0 until Drew Brees engineered scoring drives of 92, 79 and 67 yards in their 20-14 victory over the Philadelphia Eagles. Michael Thomas had twelve receptions for 171 yards, including a two-yard scoring grab that put the Saints ahead late in the third quarter.
The New England Patriots will be making their eighth consecutive appearance in the AFC title game when they visit the Chiefs in Kansas City next Sunday. Sony Michel scored three touchdowns and gained most of his 129 yards while the Patriots were building a 35-7 halftime lead in a 41-28 trouncing of the Los Angeles Chargers. James White tied Darren Sproles' NFL postseason record with 15 catches, and Julian Edelman contributed nine receptions for 151 yards.
Phil Booth scored 19 of his 28 points after halftime to ignite Villanova's surge as the Wildcats came from behind again to beat Creighton 90-78 yesterday afternoon. Booth made all four of his three-pointers in the second half and scored eight straight points early in a 26-6 spurt that turned Villanova's 47-38 deficit into a 64-53 lead with 9 ½ minutes left. The Bluejays had two scoring droughts of more than four minutes as Villanova pulled away. Booth, who also had seven assists and two steals, led four players in double figures for the Wildcats. Ty-Shon Alexander led four players in double figures for Creighton with 22 points and three steals. Teammate Martin Krampelj recorded a double-double with 14 points and ten rebounds. Villanova led at halftime 42-38. They improve to 13-4 overall and 4-0 in the BIG EAST while the Bluejays drop to 10-7 overall and 1-3 in the conference.
The Omaha World Herald has updated its high school boys basketball rankings. Bellevue West remains first in the ‘Nebraska Top 10’ & Class ‘A’ while Lincoln Pius X stays at number one in Class ‘B’. In Class ‘C-1’, Wahoo High is once again first. In Class ‘C-2’, Bancroft/Rosalie/Lyons/Decatur remains first, Laurel/Concord/Coleridge jumps from third to second, Ponca moves up from ninth to eighth, Wakefield slips from seventh to ninth, and Wisner/Pilger drops out of the rankings. In Class ‘D-1’, Paxton is the new number one, Fullerton stays at number three, and Humphrey/Lindsay Holy Family moves up from sixth to fifth. In Class ‘D-2’, Falls City Sacred Heart is the new number one, Osmond remains fourth, Humphrey St. Francis is once again fifth, Wausa stays at number nine, and Wynot drops out of the rankings.
The Wisner/Pilger boys basketball squad is 9-4 on the season after splitting two games last weekend. They lost at Howells/Dodge 55-46 last Friday before beating Logan View/Scribner-Snyder 52-34 at home last Saturday. This season the Gators have beaten West Point Guardian Angels Central Catholic, Tekemah/Herman, Oakland/Craig, Arlington, Stanton, Battle Creek, Ponca, West Point-Beemer, and Logan View/Scribner-Snyder. They are outscoring their opponents on average through 13 contests 55.6-46.7. Recently, head coach Duane Mendlik became the all-time winningest basketball coach in Nebraska with his 671st victory on January 4th. Mendlik, who is in his 47th year, was inducted into the Nebraska High School Sports Hall of Fame in 2018. Wisner/Pilger returns to action on Tuesday when they visit Class ‘C-1’ 7-7 Twin River.
The Pierce wrestling team is coming off a second place performance last Saturday at the Battle Creek Invite. The host team was the champion with a 214 team score while the Blue Jays were second with 184.5. Champions for Pierce included Brock Bolling (106) & Ryder Fuchs (220). Jeremiah Kruntorad (132) finished second. Carter Jensen (126), Michael Kruntorad (138), Brett Tinker (160), & Dylan Kuehler (195) were third. Isaiah Adams (113) & Ashton Schweitzer (145) was fourth. Devin Graae (113) & Nick Erickson (285) took fifth. This year, the Blue Jays who are 3-2 in duals, have also earned two first place finishes and two fourth place finishes in tournaments. The Bluejays return to action on Thursday when they host a triangular with Norfolk Catholic & Battle Creek involved.
Local Schedule: Nebraska at Indiana at Bloomington, IN (MBB-5:30).
Local Scores: Rutgers 62 Nebraska 56 (WBB); Creighton 65 St. John’s 63 (WBB).
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NATIONAL BASKETBALL ASSOCIATION
Final Philadelphia 108 N-Y Knicks 105
Final 2OT Toronto 140 Washington 138
Final Milwaukee 133 Atlanta 114
Final Orlando 116 Houston 109
Final Golden State 119 Dallas 114
Final Denver 116 Portland 113
Final Cleveland 101 L.A. Lakers 95
NATIONAL HOCKEY LEAGUE
Final Carolina 6 Nashville 3
Final Columbus 7 N-Y Rangers 5
Final OT Winnipeg 4 Anaheim 3
Final Vancouver 5 Florida 1
Final N-Y Islanders 5 Tampa Bay 1
Final Calgary 7 Arizona 1
NATIONAL FOOTBALL LEAGUE PLAYOFFS
Final New England 41 L.A. Chargers 28
Final New Orleans 20 Philadelphia 14
TOP-25 COLLEGE BASKETBALL
Final (2) Michigan 80 Northwestern 60
Final (6) Michigan St. 71 Penn St. 56