Weekend In Review – NFL Playoff Pictures Comes Into Sharper Focus With One Week Left, Plus College Basketball

Recapping everything you may have missed from the top games and matchups With one week remaining in the regular season, the NFL playoff picture has begun to solidify. And...

(Photo Credit: Winslow Townson, USA TODAY Sports)

Recapping everything you may have missed from the top games and matchups

With one week remaining in the regular season, the NFL playoff picture has begun to solidify. And yet much is left to be settled.

In the AFC: The Baltimore Ravens (13-2) clinched the No. 1 seed and overall homefield advantage, while the New England Patriots (12-3) won the AFC East for the 11th consecutive season. The Houston Texans won the AFC South for the second straight year.

In the NFC: The San Francisco 49ers (12-3) and Seattle Seahawks (11-4) meet in the season’s finale for the NFC West title and more advantageous playoff seeding. The Philadelphia Eagles (8-7) can clinch the NFC East by beating the New York Giants (4-11). The Minnesota Vikings (10-4), who play the Green Bay Packers (11-3) Monday night, earned a playoff berth on Saturday when the Los Angeles Rams lost to the 49ers and were eliminated from contention.

College basketball: Being No. 1 is a short-lived privilege. Kansas, atop the poll last week, lost to Villanova. It’s the fifth time this season the No. 1 team has been defeated. Expect Gonzaga to be No. 1. South Carolina dumped No. 9 Virginia 70-59 Sunday. No. 5 Ohio State topped No. 6 Kentucky while No. 13 Dayton and No. 16 Arizona were beaten Saturday. … On the women’s side, unranked Texas knocked off No. 1 Stanford 69-64.

Baseball: The Toronto Blue Jays agreed to a four-year, $80 million contract with former Los Angeles Dodgers pitcher Hyun-Jin Ru. The Jays also signed Travis Shaw (ex-Milwaukee Brewers) to a one-year deal. … The Chicago White Sox added pitcher Dallas Keuchel (ex-Atlanta Braves).

NBA: The Toronto Raptors enjoyed the largest comeback in their history against the Dallas Mavericks. Down by 30 in the third quarter, the injury-plagued Raptors turned to Kyle Lowry, who scored 20 of his 32 points in the fourth quarter in a 110-107 victory Sunday.

Isaiah Thomas of the Washington Wizards was suspended two games without pay for entering the stands during a game last week to confront a fan. Two fans involved in the incident in Philadelphia have also been banned from the arena.

 
 
Post By: Larry Weisman, a longtime sportswriter for USA TODAY, blogs for Twistity.com. Follow him on Twitter @MrLarryWeisman

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