What Ebs’ Learned: Syracuse Hoops, Atlanta Hawks, NFL Playoffs, College Football Playoffs

19 Comments

WILKES-BARRE, PA – Without the Buffalo Bills playing this weekend, I didn’t quite know what to do.

The Wild Card round was cool and all, but I had a pretty good hunch each one of the four games was going to be a blowout. And the game I was looking forward to most – the New York Giants at Green Bay Packers – was the most-disappointing game of all. I don’t blame the loss on that trip to Miami, but Odell Beckham Jr. and the rest of the wide receiving corps didn’t do themselves any favors. Except for that Tavarres King fella. Three catches for 73 yards and a touchdown. Nice day.

However, without having to dedicate myself to watching the Bills play once again, I did get to take in a few different games across a few different sports this past weekend.

Here’s what I learned:

The Syracuse men’s basketball is making some strides. I have this group text on my phone with a couple friends from back home that mostly centers around the Syracuse men’s basketball team.

Rich Barnes-USA TODAY Sports

A few weeks ago, after Syracuse fell to St. John’s by 33 points at home, I started to have my doubts about this team. My friends were alarmed much sooner than I, but I had been holding my ground. But then there was the St. John’s loss and a loss to Boston College on the road.

You know me, I’m over-confident with my teams. That wasn’t the case for the Orange as they stood heading into the new year.

However, after a couple of impressive wins against a pair of credible opponents – Miami and Pitt – the Orange look like they’re on the right path. ‘CUSE had a 31-8 lead against Pitt at one point on Saturday after all.

The move of John Gillon into the starting lineup, which I thought should have happened weeks ago, is significant and there’s a lot of talent on this team.

Will they be a NCAA Tournament team this year? We’ll find out soon enough.

I think they’re on their way.

I don’t understand the NBA anymore. Okay, so in the offseason the Atlanta Hawks signed Dwight Howard to contend with the Cleveland Cavaliers. And in one try this season it worked. Atlanta beat the Cavs 110-106 in Cleveland on Nov. 8.

Then Thursday rolls along. And amidst a winning streak that has propelled the Hawks back into the top four of the Eastern Conference, Atlanta goes and trades Kyle Korver to the Cavs. And for peanuts no less. A 2019 first-round pick, Mike Dunleavy, who hasn’t even reported to Atlanta, yet, and wants a buyout, and Mo Williams, who is basically retired.

Now look, I’m not upset that Atlanta traded Korver. Yeah, I loved the guy as much as the next Hawks fan, but he comes off the bench now, and he’s having a down season. But to Cleveland? Come on. And it’s not like they brought back a big haul. They hardly brought in a haul at all.

That is what irks me.

And now Paul Millsap might get traded to Toronto? What’s next?

Oh, and did I already that say Atlanta sits fourth in the Eastern Conference? Jeez.

I still feel confident in my Pittsburgh Steelers-Green Bay Packers Super Bowl pick. I just don’t think anyone can stop the Killer B’s, and the Packers are just as talented as any of the teams left in the NFC.

The New England Patriots, the Pittsburgh Steelers’ biggest threat, and Bill Belichick have one philosophy on defense. Take away your best player and see if the other 10 men can beat you.

Okay, so do you take away Antonio Brown, who hauled in 124 yards and two touchdowns on Sunday, or Le’Veon Bell, who rushed for 167 yards and a pair of touchdowns? Exactly.

I also don’t think New England’s offense is talented enough to keep up with the Steelers, either.

Green Bay will certainly be tested this week, especially if Jordy Nelson, but the Packers are the hottest team in football right now. And that Green Bay defense is clicking!

Clemson’s about to upset Alabama in the College Football Playoff National Championship. This isn’t something I learned over the weekend, but I wanted to tag this in here, too.

The SEC was down this year and Clemson has the best offense the Crimson Tide will have seen all season. While Alabama might have the best defense we have ever seen, the Tigers have the weapons to score just enough points to pull it out this time.

Come back tomorrow for Ben Whitney and please follow us on Twitter at @ByDJEberle & @MeetTheMatts Instagram @MeetTheMatts and like our Facebook page, Meet The Matts.

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About the Author ()

DJ Eberle: The youngest of our team, DJ is also the largest. Offensive Tackle Large. In fact, this Albany native used OT for Western New England University - until he graduated in May of 2014. Like Junoir Blaber, he's a regular on Rugby Wrap Up - his dad played rugby with The Matts. His cross to bear, however, is his love for the Buffalo Bills and Buffalo Sabres. As for baseball and basketball, it's the Yanks and Atlanta Hawks. Follow him on Twitter: @ByDJEberle.
  • jgclancy

    Giants did their best Buffo Bills imitation in the 2nd half though! Ignore the NBA-I do.
    Hoping Clemson beats Bama but the playoff system still stinks and I’ll probably be watching a rerun of something/anything instead. College basketball?-I watch it in March/April . Now where is my coffee and maybe a nice piece of crumb cake.

    • The Giants were undone by dropped balls, young/unprepared players asleep at wheel & asset Eli being hung out to dry.

  • Junoir Blaber

    I am also hoping that Clemson wins.

  • Cheesybruin

    I like Clemson tonight as well DJ, the Tigers defensive speed didn’t allow the Buckeyes to ever get to the edge and if they do the same tonight it will be a certain victory. As for the Packers, the only way to beat them is to slow the pace down and the Cowboys could do that with their running game. Should be a good game.

    • DJ Eberle

      Their win against Ohio State really stood out to me. Unlike many, I very much thought Ohio State deserved to be in the College Football Playoff, so for the way Clemson won was really impressive to me. I’m excited to see what happens tonight. Heck, I could be watching future Buffalo Bills QB Deshaun Watson play after all.

      • As per our skull session with DJ Eberle, who knows more about College Football than all of us combined, the breakdown is this: Clemson’s QB accounted for 478 total yards in last year’s 45-40 Tide win… He was a sophomore. Now he’s a year better. BUT… Alabama has three number picks up front on defense. In other words, their defense is better than that of Rex Ryan and the Buffalo Bills. Throw in the Lane Kiffin dysfunction in the ‘Bama hallways, and you have all the makings of a Clemson win.

        • Dude

          college football is still a thing? zzzzzzzzzz

          • jgclancy

            Like I said-there’s rerun of something else on somewhere

  • Dude

    just dont let it be a dallas- patriots super bowl. social media sucks, Giant loss had nothing to do with a boat trip. but beckham has proven he isn’t clutch until he shows otherwise. draft some o-linemen and a tight end and bring mcadoo to the barber and lets ee how nect year looks.

    • Dude

      NEXT

    • DJ Eberle

      That’s what I’ve been saying! Odell Beckham Jr. is overrated!

      • Dude

        losing rogers-cromartie was a big blow too.

        • DJ Eberle

          Oh, no doubt. That was huge.

        • benwhit

          Yeah but it was balanced out by Jordy

      • Beckham was freezing. It’s hard to be cool in the cold when you prep for it by going to Miami.

    • Beckham: “This Miami boat @JuistinBiebir & bad #NYGvsGB game thing is all post hoc ergo propter hoc!”

      https://twitter.com/MeetTheMatts/status/818445939471949824

  • AngryWard

    The Giants O line looked as good as they have all year in the first half and for much of the game. The drops killed them. They could have had GB on the ropes early but let them stick around, and then the Hail Mary. That was unforgivable.

  • benwhit

    I think Chefs have a good shot

  • GrindingAx

    The Big East is a stronger conference than it was with Cuse, Pitt, Rutgers etc. Villanova is going to be a tough out once the Madness begins as are Creighton and Butler.
    Cowboys will win in a ball control win. They are still playing with a House money.

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