With a month to go until WrestleMania, the plans for many wrestlers are still unclear. The Greek God of Wrestling also tells you who won the EVOLVE title, why Diamond Dallas Page is an excellent choice for the Hall of Fame, and who will challenge for the TNA World Championship this week on Impact Wrestling.
A quick look at 10 sports stories in the news…
1. Penguins double up reeling Flyers Penguins keep Flyers at bay all night during 4-2 victory at Heinz Field as part of NHL’s Stadium Series. Penguins build 2-0 lead, never let Flyers even score. Flyers pull within 1 goal on Shayne Gostisbehere’s power play goal 6:48 into 3rd period, but Michal Neuvirth allows bad goal from point 14:06 into 3rd period. Neuvirth also slow to react on Matt Cullen’s goal early in 3rd period. Gostisbehere hadn’t scored since Nov. 25, a span of 34 games. Jakub Voracek scores Flyers’ other goal. Flyers to host Avalanche on Tuesday (7 p.m.). NHL trade deadline is Wednesday. GM Ron Hextall says Flyers “won’t be buyers.”
2. Anthony, Knicks nip Sixers Carmelo Anthony pours in 37 points, including game-winning jumper with .3 seconds remaining, to lift Knicks to 110-109 victory over visiting Sixers, who overcome double-digit deficit to take 1-point lead on Jahlil Okafor’s basket with 9 seconds remaining. Okafor paces Sixers with season-high 28 points, 10 rebounds. Dario Saric contributes 19 points, 15 rebounds, 5 assists. Robert Covington adds 20 points, 10 rebounds. Sixers to host Warriors on Monday (7 p.m.). Warriors, without Kevin Durant (finger), clinch playoff berth with Saturday’s win over Nets.
3. Wildcats clinch Big East title Eric Paschall scores 19 points, Josh Hart adds 15 as 2nd-ranked Villanova overtakes 23rd-ranked Creighton during second half, pulls away for 79-63 victory that clinches Big East title. In today’s other games, Shizz Alston Jr. scores 25 points, including the tying basket in regulation, as Temple defeats visiting Tulane, 86-76, in double overtime; Saint Joseph’s sees 2nd-half lead disappear in heartbreaking 61-60 loss to host St. Louis, which hands Hawks 7th straight defeat; Drexel drops regular-season finale to host Charleston, 80-67; and Columbia defeats visiting Penn, 70-67, ending Quakers’ 5-game winning streak and tying Penn for 4th place in Ivy League. On Friday, Ryan Betley scores 21 points and makes 5 steals, Penn scores 8 straight points in final minutes to secure 69-66 triumph over host Cornell.
4. Simmons out rest of season Bone scan on Ben Simmons’ right foot shows Jones fracture of fifth metatarsal not fully healed. He will mist rest of season, according to Sixers president of basketball operations Bryan Colangelo, Colangelo says Simmons will have another bone scan in 1 month. In other injury news, Joel Embiid, who has missed last 12 games, will miss at least next 3 games due to bone bruise in left knee, according to Sixers. Embiid express displeasure with Sixers saying he was day-to-day after he says he was told he would miss 2-3 weeks. President of basketball operations Bryan Colangelo accepts responsibility for lack of public clarity on injuries.
5. Sixers trade Noel, not Okafor Jahlil Okafor remains a Sixer, but Sixers trade center Nerlens Noel to Mavericks for center Andrew Bogut, swingman Justin Anderson and top-18 protected first-round draft pick, which means it is likely to be 2 second-round picks, 1 this year and 1 in 2018. Noel scheduled to be restricted free agent after this season. On Wednesday, Sixers trade forward Ersan Ilyasova to Hawks for center Tiago Splitter, 2nd-round draft pick. Sixers also have option to switch 2nd-round picks with Hawks. Ilyasova, who can become free agent after this season, averaged 14.3 points for Sixers in 56 games.
6. Franco, Phillies edge Yankees Maikel Franco hit 2 home runs, including inside-the-park homer when ball gets stuck under outfield fence, as Phillies edge Yankees, 6-5, in Grapefruit League game. Brock Stassi, who hit homer on Friday, singles home winning run in 9th inning. Rhys Hoskins homers, doubles, scores winning run. Adam Morgan pitches 2 scoreless innings. Jeremy Hellickson makes spring debut today (1 p.m.) at Phillies visit Blue Jays.
7. Report: No pay cut for Peters Left tackle Jason Peters will remain an Eagle without taking pay cut or restructuring his contract, according to NFL Network’s Ian Rapoport. Eagles also receive one of Browns’ compensatory picks at end of 4th round (No. 139 overall) as part of trade in which Eagles moved up to No. 2 overall draft position to select Carson Wentz.
8. Daytona 500 kicks off season NASCAR’s season officially begins today with Daytona 500. Hendrick Motorsports earned both spots in the front row, with Chase Elliott edging Dale Earnhardt Jr. by .002 seconds to earn his 2nd consecutive Daytona 500 pole.
9. Pelicans acquire Cousins Pelicans, reportedly interested in Sixers center Jahlil Okafor, instead acquire DeMarcus Cousins from Kings, according to multiple reports. Trade reportedly sends Cousins, Omar Casspi to Pelicans in exchange for guard Tyreke Evans, rookie guard Buddy Hield, former St. Joseph’s guard Langston Galloway and first and second-round selections in this year’s NBA Draft. Cousins is averaging 27.8 points, 10.6 rebounds this season. Sixers have right to swap first-round picks with Kings this season. Thunder acquire forwards Taj Gibson, Doug McDermott from Bulls for 3 players, including 22-year-old point guard Cameron Payne. Wizards acquire forwards Bojan Bogdanovic, Chris McCullough from Nets for guard Marcus Thornton, forward Andrew Nicholson and 1st-round pick this year. Lakers trade former Sixers guard Lou Williams to Rockets.
10. Coaching legend Pettine dies Mike Pettine, the legendary football coach at Central Bucks West High School in Doylestown, dies of heart attack at age 76. Pettine compiled 326-42-4 record at CB West, winning his final 45 games and closing out his coaching career with 3 straight state championships. CB West also had a 55-game winning streak during the 1980s.
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Sixers 120, Wizards 112
Yankees 9, Phillies 4
Penn 69, Cornell 66
Knicks 110, Sixers 109
Pittsburgh 4, Flyers 2
(at Heinz Field)
Phillies 6, Yankees 5
Temple 86, Tulane 76 (2 OTs)
Villanova 79, Creighton 63
St. Louis 61, St. Joseph’s 60
Charleston 80, Drexel 67
Columbia 70, Penn 67
Phillies at Blue Jays, 1 p.m.
La Salle at Massachuesetts, 1 p.m.
Warriors at Sixers, 7 p.m.
Rays at Phillies, 1 p.m.
Avalanche at Flyers, 7 p.m.
Orioles at Phillies, 1 p.m.
Sixers at Miami, 7:30 p.m.
Phillies at Rays, 1 p.m.
R.Island at St. Joseph’s, 7 p.m.
La Salle at St. Louis, 8 p.m.
Panthers at Flyers, 7 p.m.
Phillies at Blue Jays, 1 p.m.
Knicks at Sixers, 7 p.m.
Twins at Phillies, 1 p.m.
Dartmouth at Penn, 7 p.m.
Colonial Athletic Association Tournament
Drexel vs. TBD
Pistons at Sixers, 6 p.m.
Flyers at Washington, 7:30 p.m.
Braves at Phillies, 1 p.m.
Villanova at Georgetown, noon
Fordham at La Salle, 2 p.m.
St. Joseph’s at Duquesne, 2 p.m.
Harvard at Penn, 7 p.m.
Union at Vancouver, 9:30 p.m.
Tigers at Phillies, 1 p.m.
Phillies at Orioles, 1 p.m.
(Spring training, split squad)
Temple at S.Florida, 2 p.m.
FOR LEAGUE-WIDE SCORES AND STANDINGS, CLICK ON THE LINKS UNDER THE “STANDINGS” HEADING IN THE SIDEBAR TO THE RIGHT, OR IN THE HEADING AT THE UPPER-RIGHT OF THIS PAGE
The Flyers should be sellers before next week’s NHL trade deadline, and high-profile players such as captain Claude Giroux and center Brayden Schenn should be made available for the right price. Eric Fisher evaluates the trade options, praises Brandon Manning and checks in on the Flyers Alumni.
Younger drivers should take a more prominent role in this season of change for NASCAR, but a familiar face, Jimmie Johnson, should be in the thick of the race for the overall title, which would be his record-setting eighth championship.
The Greek God of Wrestling pats himself on the pack for the remarkable number of his 2017 predictions that have already come true. Achilles Heel also explains the implications of Bray Wyatt winning the WWE Championship, praises the execution of the Chris Jericho-Kevin Owens breakup, and reflects on the loss of George Steele, Ivan Koloff and Chavo Guerrero Sr.
Eric Fisher’s weekly column about a variety of topics. This week Eric serves up opinions on the declining interest in outdoor hockey games, the Phillies’ pitching depth and what should happen to Bryan Colangelo if a particular news report is accurate.
Regardless of whether the scan of Ben Simmons’ right foot on Thursday shows that his fracture has healed, he should sit out the rest of this season, according to Eric Fisher. Eric also says the Sixers should trade Jahlil Okafor for the best offer, and praises Dario Saric and T.J. McConnell.