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🏈Buccaneers, Chiefs, and 22,000 Fans Are Going to the Super Bowl

January 25, 2021
Source: Stacy Revere/Getty Images
Source: Stacy Revere/Getty Images

NFC Champions: It was the best of times, it was the worst of times for quarterback (QB) Tom Brady yesterday. Sure, he threw three touchdowns (TDs) in the Bucs 31–26 win over the Green Bay Packers and he’s going to the Super Bowl again...

  • But Brady also threw three straight interceptions to end the game on a bit of a sour note. Luckily for him, his defense picked up the slack to stave off the Packers’ second half comeback. 
  • The Bucs will become the first team to ever have home field advantage at the Super Bowl. Because of course Tom Brady broke the curse

AFC Champions: It was only the best of times for Kansas City’s QB Patrick Mahomes, who threw three TDs and zero interceptions in KC’s 38–24 win over the Buffalo Bills. If there was any worry of lingering effects from the concussion he suffered last week, Mahomes quickly put those fears to bed.

  • Like Brady, Mahomes had a solid defense to propel the win. Unlike Brady, Mahomes relied heavily on his tight end, Travis Kelce (pronounced KEL-SEE), who tied a record for most receptions in a conference championship with 13. 
  • With the win, KC now has a chance to win back-to-back Super Bowls, the first team to do so since...sarcastic drum roll...Tom Brady’s New England Patriots in 2005. 

Up next: Before we can get to the biggest football game of the year, we have to first endure the most boring game of the year: next Sunday’s Pro Bowl. Once described as “a pillow fight,” the NFL’s version of an All-Star game will take place virtually this year, with the chosen rosters competing via Madden NFL 21. Fire up the PS5.

🏀Rankings Don't Seem to Matter in Women's College Basketball

January 25, 2021
Source: Clemson WBB/Twitter
Source: Clemson WBB/Twitter

No. 1 Louisville nearly falls: Newly crowned No. 1 Louisville needed some last minute heroics from star guard Dana Evans to fend off unranked Wake Forest (yes, the alma mater of Bachelor star Matt James) and earn the way too close for comfort 65–63 win yesterday. How are your nails doing, Cardinals faithful?

  • A loss would’ve surely cost undefeated Louisville their No. 1 ranking, but the near-loss will instead be a wake-up call for their upcoming matchup against No. 2 North Carolina State, who overcame their own near-upset in a come-from-behind 89–87 victory over unranked Virginia Tech yesterday. 

Upset alert: Coming off a hard-fought 67–61 loss to No. 3 UConn on Thursday, No. 25 Tennessee turned things around yesterday, handily defeating No. 12 Kentucky, 70–53. Watch for the Lady Vols to climb when the new top 25 rankings are released later today.  

  • In other upset news, despite being down two starters, unranked Clemson survived a comeback attempt from No. 23 Syracuse to earn the 86–77 OT win. Talk about an underdog story.   

Why it matters: While rankings typically clue us in to who is most likely to win, college basketball is known for its madness (had to). With so many top 25 shake-ups and upsets this season, each week proves that anything is possible on any given Sunday gameday. Wouldn’t want it any other way. 

🏒🏂

The GIST's Bits & Bites - Megan Rapinoe, Chloe Kim, and the NWHL Bubble

January 25, 2021
Source: Douglas Defelice/Getty Images
Source: Douglas Defelice/Getty Images

⚽️Soccer: Megan Rapinoe is back, baby. The international superstar scored twice, including this penalty (a given), in the USWNT’s friendly match against Colombia on Friday night.

  • The 6–0 win was just a teaser of what we can expect from the World Cup champs in next month’s SheBelieves Cup. The USWNT will play their first match of the tournament against Canada on February 18th. 

🏂Snowboarding: In the past 22 months, Chloe Kim attended Princeton, sang on The Masked Singer and recovered from a broken ankle, but she hadn’t competed in a single snowboard event, so there wasn’t much pressure on her to have a big showing this weekend.

  • But in typical Chloe Kim fashion, she won anyway. In her first competition since March 2019, Kim won the Laax Open on Saturday, the kickoff event in the run-up to the 2022 Beijing Winter Olympics. Gnarly.

🏒Hockey: As you most definitely read in yesterday’s Sunday Scroll, the NWHL’s super-condensed two-week season in the “N-Dubble” started this weekend, and the most recent champs are already leading the show.

The 2018 Isobel Cup winners, the Metropolitan Riveters, and the reigning champs, the Minnesota Whitecaps, are tied at the top of the standings with two wins apiece. We’ll see who the better team is when they face off tomorrow at 5:30 p.m. ET.

🏒

Chicago: Havin’ dreams is what makes life tolerable

January 25, 2021
Source: Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images
Source: Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images

🏒NHL: Chicago earned their first two wins of the season against the Detroit Red Wings this weekend. Even though Detroit is expected to be one of the worst teams in the division, it still felt good to snag some points. 

  • Goalie Kevin Lankinen had two solid games, making over 50 saves in his first wins in the NHL. And yesterday, center Pius Suter scored his first career goal...and then two more to make it a hat trick. We’re suddenly feeling cautiously optimistic about the rest of this season. 

⚽️NWSL: The Red Stars selected five exciting prospects in the NWSL draft on Thursday. Only forward Alissa Gorzak of the University of Virginia will join the team this season, but Chicago will retain the rights for the rest of the group after they complete their collegiate careers. 

  • Gorzak was selected 35th overall and will opt out of her final collegiate season to join the Red Stars for training camp in February. Time to get physical. 

Meanwhile, the Red Stars’ top pick at No. 7 overall, forward Madison Haley, will stay at Stanford for her last season, where she’ll likely add to her 18 career goals and look to take home a third National Championship. Damn, girl!

🏈🏐

Philadelphia: Stepping up

January 25, 2021
Source: Zach Bolinger/Getty Images
Source: Zach Bolinger/Getty Images

🏈Eagles: Yesterday, the Eagles announced that Indianapolis Colts offensive coordinator Nick Sirianni will replace Doug Pederson. A New Jersey native and rom-com fan, 39-year-old Sirianni will take the title of head coach for the first time in his 11 years in the NFL. And get this: he’s bringing Indy’s defensive coordinator, Jonathan Gannon, with him to Philly. 

  • With Sirianni at the helm, it’s looking more and more likely that the Eagles’ starting QB next season will be Carson Wentz. Yeah, we’re not sure how to feel about that either. 

🏐Nittany Lions: After the entire season was pushed to the spring due to COVID-19, the PSU women’s volleyball team has postponed their opening matches yet again. The preseason No. 9-ranked team is led by right side Jonni Parker and setter Gabby Blossom, who are just two of four players on the team with All-American honors. 

While we’re bummed to keep waiting for more Kaitlyn Hord kills, with head coach Russ Rose leading the charge, we know the Lions’ first serve will be worth the wait.