Two teams that most wouldn’t have expected to be in the discussion this last in the season back in August continued their unbeaten seasons on Saturday in college football, and as a result they remain part of the conversation for yet another week. Notre Dame came into the weekend ranked third in the CFP, and they faced their biggest task left in the form of #12 Syracuse, whom they steamrolled at Yankee Stadium 36-3. The now 8-3 Orange only got the three points in the final quarter when the game had long been locked up. Fighting Irish QB Ian Book was impressive, throwing for 292 yards and two TD’s in a game that will definitely be boosting their notoriety all over the nation.
Another team that got the national spotlight for the day was the UCF Knights. Playing host to one-loss Cincinnati on ABC in primetime, it was gut-check time for the team that finished undefeated last season and came into the game 9-0 this season. And things didn’t start very well for them, going behind 6-0 early on. However, they would rally and score 35 unanswered points before eventually winning 38-13 on the night. They were led by quarterback McKenzie Milton, who despite only completing 13 of 25 passes still had 268 yards and touch TD’s as the No.11 team in the country remained unbeaten. They now just hope they will be considered for one of the four places this time around.
Elsewhere, much of the top teams held serve. Alabama went into half-time (somehow) tied at ten with the Citadel but ended up blowing their doors off 50-17. Georgia also dominated, while Ohio State had to fight to remain in the playoff hunt with a wild 52-51 OT win over Maryland. Michigan also remained in the hunt with their win over Indiana, while Oklahoma State played spoiler to West Virginia with a 45-41 win in a typically offensive showdown.
In NBA action, the Charlotte Hornets got one of the best performances you will see this season from Kemba Walker, but they still came up just short of a ‘W.’ Walker scored an incredible 60 points- over half of the team’s total when it was all said and done- on 21/34 from the field and 12/12 from the free throw line on the night. However, Joel Embiid’s 33 points and Jimmy Butler’s last-second three at the buzzer handed the Philadelphia 76ers a 122-119 win in overtime to dull the party just a little for Walker’s career night.