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

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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.

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