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February 2nd, 2016

It was fun to watch two of the top PTP'ers in America, Oklahoma's Buddy Hield and LSU's Ben Simmons.These two young men are outstanding athletes and quality kids off the court. They are special to their teammates, and they were part of a great game last weekend. Oklahoma found a way to get to the winner's circle, never losing their poise despite trailing by 14 points.

I love the way Hield has elevated his game. Last year, he was told he would be a second round draft pick, and he decided to return to school. He has worked hard on his game and his stock has climbed dramatically.Hield has improved so much, becoming one of the best three-point shooters in America, He is so versatile, capable of scoring in so many ways. Besides being great at shooting the trifecta, he can explode to the basket. Hield is now ready for the next level. I also love his desire to win. His passion rubs off on his teammates.

Simmons is also well-liked by his teammates. Part of that is due to his tremendous passing skills. Some people have compared his handling of the basketball to the Magic Man, Ervin "Magic" Johnson. The LSU standout has great vision, but he is so unselfish, it is almost to a fault. His presence draws so much attention, so he often finds the open teammate for jump shots. It allows others to score.

I feel he is too passive looking for his own shot at times. He has to be even more aggressive. Simmons has the skills to go to the basket but he has to make moves and look to score. There is some pressure for Simmons to put the team on his back in big games. He did not look for his opportunities to score against Oklahoma. He has to want the basketball on the big stage. He is a rebounding machine, among the nation's leaders on the boards. He has adjusted nicely from high school to the rigors of college life in the spotlight.
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January 25th, 2016

The Super Bowl 50 match-up is set. The Denver Broncos and Carolina Panthers will square off for the championship.

There will be a lot of attention paid to the quarterbacks, Peyton Manning and Cam Newton. My friends, these two teams go after it on defense too. Denver has a great pass rush with DeMarcus Ware and company. Von Miller is an outstanding linebacker.

Carolina linebacker Luke Kuechly is one of the best in the game.

Both teams have outstanding members of the secondary. Then there is Ron Rivera and Gary Kubiak on the sidelines. It should be a great showdown. Let the hype begin.
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January 18th, 2016

The NFL's version of the Final Four is set. Peyton Manning vs. Tom Brady as the Patriots visit Denver. Carolina and Arizona had super seasons and now meet in the NFC title game. Each is one game away from getting to the Super Bowl.

Last week, all four road teams won playoff games. This week, all four home teams won. What will happen in the two games ahead? It should provide excitement galore.
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January 11th, 2016

The first weekend of the NFL playoffs certainly brought drama.

The twists and turns of the Steelers-Bengals game will be talked about for years. Ben Roethlisberger came back despite injury and led Pittsburgh to a win. Jeremy Hill will be remembered for his fumble and Vontez Burfict and Adam Jones for their penalties. What about the job AJ McCarron did in rallying his team from a 15-0 deficit?

Blair Walsh will be remembered for missing a short field goal as the Vikings lost at home to Seattle.

Kansas City looked great in shutting out Houston. Green Bay fell behind early and rallied to beat the Redskins. All four road teams got to the winner's circle.

It will be tougher next weekend with New England, Denver, Arizona and Carolina hosting games.
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January 5th, 2016

What an incredible night in Lawrence, Kansas. Oklahoma and Kansas went three overtimes in the battle for number one. It was a sporting event that truly lived up to its hype and went well beyond.

They went at it like a championship fight. They each deserve a standing ovation for the performance that they put on. They gave it everything they had, playing with so much passion, energy, spirit and emotion.

In the end, Kansas won its 32nd straight game at Phog Allen Fieldhouse and Oklahoma still left without a win; the last victory there was 1993.

That was the loudest I have heard an arena get in my 37 years of calling games on television. The atmosphere was absolutely electric and both teams played so hard for 55 minutes. It was the best game I have called in my career.

The stars really shined. Buddy Hield set a record for points for an opponent at Allen Field House, scoring 46 points while playing all but one minute. He showed that he could score in so many ways. He performed as well s anyone could on such a big stage.

Perry Ellis showed why he is an inside-outside threat. He was especially tough in the low blocks against Ryan Spangler. He's a solid interior player who put on a show at times. Ellis finished with 27 points and the Jayhawks needed every one of them.
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Quote of the Week

"It is super to be a 'Canes fans a la A Rod. and J. Lo after Miami beat Notre Dame."

  -Dick Vitale