Good morning to everyone but especially to...


Super Bowl weekend is finally here. Let's party -- starting with picks. Most people are expecting a close one, and that includes our very own Pete Prisco:

  • Prisco: "If Patrick Mahomes has time — even with a bum ankle that he says has improved greatly since he hurt it three weeks ago — he will pick apart the Eagles secondary. So it basically comes down to the Chiefs offensive line. Can they hold up? ... On the other side of the ball, the Eagles offensive line has a huge edge. ... Give me the best quarterback in the league on the biggest stage. Mahomes will close out the season with the award trifecta: League MVP, Super Bowl MVP and another ring to add to his first one. Pick: Chiefs 33, Eagles 30"

We also have picks from: John Breech | Jordan Dajani | Tyler Sullivan

As for best bets, Jordan has 57(!!!) of them, and here's two worth stringing together, in my opinion (show the tight ends some love!)

  • Dajani: "Travis Kelce total receptions: Over 6.5 (-184). Kelce has crossed this line in each postseason game, and likely will again on Sunday. That's why it's so juicy. Throw it in a same-game parlay. ... Dallas Goedert anytime TD (+170). Jalen Hurts' security blanket could score in the red zone. He caught a touchdown in the divisional round."

I also recommend checking out this massive Super Bowl props guide, which features more than 500 picks from our friends at SportsLine.

Finally, I think we haven't fully appreciated just how great this quarterback battle is -- just the seventh Super Bowl between the two All-Pro quarterbacks. Here's where our Bryan DeArdo says it ranks among the all-time Super Bowl quarterback matchups.

And now, time for a super link dump fit for the Super Bowl. Our NFL team has been outstanding all season, and they've taken it to another level over the past few weeks:

And most important... Rihanna halftime show predictions!

Honorable mentions

Not so honorable mentions

Texas, Oklahoma will officially leave Big 12 for SEC in 2024 😲

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Longhorns. Sooners. SEC. We knew it was coming. Now, it's coming sooner than expected.

Texas and Oklahoma reached an exit agreement with the Big 12 that will see them leave after the 2023-24 season -- a full year earlier than the previous date of June 30, 2025. Both schools will pay early withdrawal fees of a combined $100 million. Up next for the SEC? Finalizing the new scheduling format, writes our David Cobb.

As for what's next for the Big 12, the conference is eying further expansion, reports our Dennis Dodd. Here are the key details:

  • The Big 12 has expressed interest in Arizona, Arizona State, Colorado and Utah. Commissioner Brett Yormark has also advocated for Gonzaga joining as a basketball-only member.
  • The Big 12 is adding BYU, UCF, Cincinnati and Houston to get to 14 teams this coming season. In 2024, following Texas and Oklahoma exiting, there will be 12 teams in the Big 12 for the first time since 2010.
  • The Big 12 may look West in its next expansion. One school to keep an eye on? San Diego State.

Dennis has a ton of great information here.

A hectic NBA trade deadline includes both LA teams getting help 🏀

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One of the most riveting NBA trade deadlines we've ever seen has come and gone, and for clarity's sake, it might be best if we divide things into pre-Kevin Durant trade (which went down late Wednesday/very early Thursday) and post-Durant trade. By the way, sorry, Nets fans.

The post-Durant trade era -- all of 14 hours or so before the 3 p.m. deadline -- proved to be even more hectic, with 11 different trades going down. You can see them all here. Two of those trades involved the Lakers, who had already traded Russell Westbrook on Wednesday.

As for the "other" Los Angeles team, the Clippers also made two trades, netting...

Up in San Francisco, the Warriors kicked the bucket on the James Wiseman experiment, sending the 2020 No. 2 pick to Detroit and bringing back Gary Payton II from Portland in a three-team deal. Our Jack Maloney graded this trade using two aspects.

  • Maloney: "Payton is a proven playoff performer, knows the organization and will improve a defense that has been porous at times this season... However, if you zoom out, the move is an indictment on the front office's strategy over the past few years. Wiseman was always going to be a long-term project who didn't make sense on the present-day version of the team, but they were obsessed with the idea that they could compete on two timelines and took him anyway. Grade: A (on-court impact this season) / C (overall strategy and asset management)"

In the Eastern Conference, the Bucks acquired Jae Crowder, who initially was part of the Durant trade. Crowder hasn't played this season after he and the Suns were unable to come to a contract extension. As for a team not as involved as we thought, the Raptors missed an opportunity to turn over a roster in need of change, writes our Sam Quinn.

Our NBA team absolutely crushed it, and I encourage you to read their work as you (and I) try to catch up from a whirlwind last few days.

NFL Honors: Mahomes joins historic company with second MVP 🏈

Kansas City Chiefs v Tampa Bay Buccaneers
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Patrick Mahomes is the MVP once again, and this time it was in even more dominant fashion than his first one. Mahomes received 48 of a possible 50 first-place votes (Jalen Hurts got the other two) after setting a new NFL record for offensive yards in a season (5,614). He joins Brett Favre as the only quarterbacks with multiple MVPs by the age of 27.

Here were the other award winners...

In a cool moment, Bills assistant athletic trainer Denny Kellington -- a key member in Damar Hamlin's on-field care after he collapsed -- received an MVP vote.

Before the night was over, the NFL unveiled the 2023 Pro Football Hall of Fame class. Here are the eight members:

Revis and Thomas were first-year selections.

The 2024 class will be loaded with players in their first year of eligibility, too, notes our Bryan DeArdo. Among the biggest names are Julius Peppers, Antonio Gates and Andrew Luck. Yes, next season will mark five seasons since Luck retired. My, how time flies.

Rangers acquire star winger Vladimir Tarasenko from Blues 🏒

St Louis Blues v Winnipeg Jets
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Speaking of huge trades, the NBA didn't have all of the fun Thursday. With the NHL trade deadline still nearly a month away, the Rangers made a statement move, acquiring Vladimir Tarasenko from the Blues. Here are the full details:

Rangers receive:

  • RW Vladimir Tarasenko
  • D Niko Mikkola

Blues receive:

  • LW Samuel Blais
  • D Hunter Skinner
  • Conditional 2023 first-round pick
  • Conditional 2024 fourth-round pick

Tarasenko has battled injuries this season and three of the past four overall, but when healthy, he's a points machine who can fit anywhere, writes our Austin Nivison.

  • Nivison: "It's not hard to see where Tarasenko could slot into the Rangers' top-six forward group. There's a chance he could team up with fellow countryman Artemi Panarin on the top line with Mika Zibanejad at center. Rangers head coach Gerard Gallant could also try to form a lethal scoring line by putting Tarasenko on the opposite side of Chris Kreider with Vincent Trocheck in the middle."

What we're watching this weekend 📺


🏀 Hornets at Celtics, 7:30 p.m. on ESPN
🏀 Cavaliers at Pelicans, 10 p.m. on ESPN


🏀 No. 3 Alabama at Auburn, 2 p.m. on ESPN
🏀 No. 21 UConn at No. 23 Creighton, 2 p.m. on FOX
🏀 No. 14 Baylor at No. 17 TCU, 4 p.m. on ESPN2
🏀 76ers at Nets, 6 p.m. on NBA TV
🏀 Lakers at Warriors, 8:30 p.m. on ABC


🏀 Grizzlies at Celtics, 2 p.m. on ABC
🏀 No. 3 LSU at No. 1 South Carolina, 2 p.m. on ESPN
🏈 Super Bowl LVII: Chiefs vs. Eagles, 6:30 p.m. on FOX