Eagles Hold Off Falcons, Advance To NFC Championship Game
(Philadelphia, PA) — The Eagles are going to the NFC Championship Game. Philly stopped the Falcons on fourth-and-goal with just over a minute left to preserve a 15-10 win at Lincoln Financial Field. Matt Ryan’s pass sailed through Julio Jones’ hands to effectively end the game. LeGarrette Blount rushed for a score and Jake Elliott nailed three field goals in the victory. Nick Foles threw for 246 yards as the Eagles advance to their sixth NFC title game since the 2001 season. Ryan threw for 210 yards and a touchdown in defeat for Atlanta, and Jones caught nine passes for 101 yards. The Falcons’ bid for a return trip to the Super Bowl is over.
Patriots Clobber Titans, Advance To AFC Championship Game
(Foxboro, MA) — The Patriots are heading to their seventh-straight AFC Championship Game. Tom Brady tossed three touchdowns and the defense dominated as New England cruised past Tennessee 35-14 at Gillette Stadium. Brady hit Rob Gronkowski, James White, and Chris Hogan for scores. White and Brandon Bolden added rushing touchdowns and Dion Lewis had 141 total yards from scrimmage for New England. The Pats defense collected eight sacks and allowed just seven points over the final three quarters to secure the victory. Marcus Mariota connected with Corey Davis for both Titans’ scores. Mariota finished with 254 passing yards and had a team high 37 rushing yards in defeat. Tennessee is winless at New England in six games since 1998 including 0-and-2 in the postseason.
Bulls Clip Pistons In LaVine’s Debut
(Chicago, IL) — Lauri Markkanen scored 19 points and nailed the go-ahead jumper with just over a minute left in the fourth quarter to give the Bulls a 107-105 win against the Pistons in Chicago. Kris Dunn chipped in with 18 points, while Zach LaVine added 14 points in his season-debut the Bulls after recovering from a torn ACL suffered last season. Chicago has won two straight to improve to 16-and-27. Reggie Bullock missed the potential game-tying layup for Detroit as time expired. Avery Bradley poured in 26 points for the Pistons, who have lost four of their last six to fall to 22-and-19 on the season.
Young, Oklahoma Nips TCU
(Norman, OK) — Freshman Trae Young led the charge with 43 points as ninth-ranked Oklahoma nipped number-16 TCU, 102-97, in overtime from Norman. Young added 11 rebounds and seven assists for the Sooners. Brady Manek added 22 points for Oklahoma, which never trailed in overtime and made a school-record 19 three-pointers. Jaylen Fisher scored a career-high 22 points for TCU. The Horned Frogs are 13-and-4, with all of their losses coming in conference play.
Texas Tech Knocks Off West Virginia
(Lubbock, TX) — Keenan Evans led the charge with 20 points as eighth-ranked Texas Tech knocked off number-two West Virginia, 72-71, in Lubbock. Evans made a jumper with 42 seconds left to put the Red Raiders up by four. Brandone Francis added 17 points off the bench as Texas Tech improved to 15-and-2. Jevon Carter scored a game-high 28 points for West Virginia in defeat. Esa Ahmed scored 18 for the Moutaineers, whose 15-game win streak is over.
Michigan Upsets Michigan State
(East Lansing, MI) — Moritz Wagner finished with a career-high 27 points as Michigan upset fourth-ranked Michigan State, 82-72, in East Lansing. With the game tied at 54 in the second half, the Wolverines went on an 11-3 run that proved to be the difference. Zavier Simpson added 16 points for Michigan, which has won eight of its past nine games. Miles Bridges and Jaren Jackson scored 19 points each for the Spartans. They dropped to 16-and-3.
Xavier Blasts Creighton
(Cincinnati, OH) — Number-10 Xavier ended a two-game slide as it blasted 22nd-ranked Creighton, 92-70, in Cincinnati. Trevon Bluiett nailed five of his seven three-point attempts on his way to 24 points. Kaiser Gates put up 16 points as the Musketeers claimed a 14-point halftime lead and never looked back. Xavier moved to 16-and-3. Marcus Foster and Mitch Ballock each scored 16 points for the Bluejays in defeat. Creighton fell to 14-and-4.
Clemson Holds Off Miami
(Clemson, SC) — Donte Grantham led the way with 18 points as number-17 Clemson topped 19th-ranked Miami 72-63 in Clemson. Grantham made all four of his three-point attempts and the Tigers drilled a season-high 12 treys as a team. Marcquise Reed pitched in 16 points and Mark Donnal scored 12 in the winning effort. Clemson improved to 4-and-1 in ACC play and 15-and-2 overall. Anthony Lawrence the Second and Lonnie Walker the Fourth paced the Hurricanes with 16 points apiece. Miami has dropped two-of-three and fell to 13-and-3 overall and 2-and-2 in conference.
Tar Heels Survive To Knock Off Notre Dame
(South Bend, IN) — Senior guard Joel Berry the Second sank a pair of free throws with six seconds left in the game to lift 18th-ranked North Carolina to a 69-68 win over number-25 Notre Dame in South Bend. Luke Maye led the Tar Heels with 18 points and 11 boards, while Berry chipped in with 15 points. North Carolina has won two straight to improve to 14-and-4 overall and 3-and-2 in ACC play. Sophomore guard TJ Gibbs fell short on two go-ahead shot attempts in the closing seconds for Notre Dame, which dropped its second straight game to fall to 13-and-5 overall and 3-and-2 in the ACC. Gibbs led the Fighting Irish with 19 points and six assists.