Yahoo Sports AM: Cuban sells Mavs


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๐Ÿšจ HEADLINES

โšพ๏ธ From A’s to B’s: With the A’s set to move to Las Vegas, a group of fans have formed the Oakland Ballers (Oakland B’s). The team will play in the independent Pioneer League and wear the familiar green and gold colors.

โ›ณ๏ธ He’s back: Tiger Woods makes his return tomorrow in The Bahamas. The 47-year-old says he can “absolutely” still win and that he hopes to play every month in 2024. Giddy up.

๐Ÿ’ Chicago cuts Corey: The Blackhawks are terminating Corey Perry’s contract for “unacceptable conduct.” The circumstances surrounding his strange, highly-publicized absence from the team remain a mystery.

๐Ÿˆ Next stop, Canton? Antonio Gates and Julius Peppers headline the 25 semifinalists for the Pro Football Hall of Fame Class of 2024.

๐Ÿ’ Kane to Detroit: The Patrick Kane sweepstakes have finally come to an end, with the three-time Stanley Cup champion signing a one-year deal with the Red Wings.

๐Ÿ€ CUBAN SELLS MAVERICKS TO CASINO BILLIONAIRE

(Tim Heitman/Getty Images)

(Tim Heitman/Getty Images)

23 years ago, Mark Cuban bought the Mavericks for $285 million. Now, he’s reportedly selling a majority stake at a $3.5 billion valuation.

Details: Casino billionaire Miriam Adelson is set to buy the stake from Cuban, per longtime NBA reporter Marc Stein and The Athletic’s Shams Charania. In an unprecedented move, Cuban will keep shares in the team and maintain full control of basketball operations.

  • Adelson is the fifth-richest woman in the world, per Forbes. She inherited about 56% of Las Vegas Sands Corp. when her husband and founder of the company, Sheldon, died in 2021.

  • Las Vegas Sands is the largest casino company in the world, and Adelson sold about $2 billion in stock on Tuesday to help fund this purchase, per CNBC.

By the numbers: Adelson ($32.3 billion net worth) would become the third-richest owner in major U.S. sports, trailing only Clippers owner Steve Ballmer ($114 billion) and Broncos owner Rob Walton ($65.8 billion).

The big picture: Cuban has a Vegas-like vision for Dallas, saying last year that he wanted to move the Mavericks to a new arena “in the middle of a resort and casino” and that he hoped to partner with Las Vegas Sands to do so.

  • Cuban believes casino resorts could make Texas the No. 1 tourism destination in the nation. There’s just one slight problem: Sports betting and casinos are illegal in the Lone Star State.

  • There was a high-profile push to bring casinos to Texas during the 2023 legislative session and Las Vegas Sands was heavily involved, hiring 63 lobbyists (more than any other company) to curry favor with politicians.

  • Those efforts failed, but this issue isn’t going away. And now that Adelson owns the Mavs, Las Vegas Sands will have more leverage as it tries to open a massive market opportunity in America’s second biggest state.

Perspective: “Is the Adelson family buying the Mavs the most expensive and clever lobbying play in history? Eventually dangle a fully private funded new arena in a top 5 U.S. city in exchange for the legalization of casino gaming in Texas and build an integrated casino resort within the same complex.” โ€” Dave VanEgmond, managing partner at Bettor Capital and former FanDuel executive

What we’re watching… Over the last 72 hours, Mark Cuban has sold the Mavericks and announced that he’s stepping away from “Shark Tank.” What’s he got cooking?

Yahoo Sports’ Ryan Young contributed to this report.

๐Ÿˆ THE PENULTIMATE CFP RANKINGS

(Yahoo Sports)

(Yahoo Sports)

The penultimate College Football Playoff Rankings were unveiled Tuesday night, setting the stage for conference championship weekend.

Top four:

  1. Georgia

  2. Michigan

  3. Washington

  4. FSU

The other contenders: Oregon sits at No. 5, Ohio State fell four spots to No. 6, and Texas and Alabama stayed at No. 7 and No. 8, respectively.

Looking ahead: Each of the top four teams should make the playoff with a win this weekend. But if any of them lose, chaos could ensue.

We can dream: Using these rankings, here’s what a 12-team playoff would look like based on the approved 6+6 format*.

(Yahoo Sports)

(Yahoo Sports)

*Format rules: Six auto bids to the highest-ranked conference champions and six at-large bids to the next highest-ranked teams. The top four champs get byes, and the 5-8 seeds host on-campus first-round games.

๐Ÿ€ IN-SEASON TOURNAMENT: 30 TEAMS ENTERED, EIGHT REMAIN

(Yahoo Sports)

(Yahoo Sports)

The NBA’s inaugural In-Season Tournament has reached the knockout round, with eight teams advancing out of group play, Jeff writes.

What’s next: The Pacers host the Celtics, the Kings host the Pelicans, the Bucks host the Knicks and the Lakers host the Suns in next week’s quarterfinals (Dec. 4-5).

All-Tournament Team: The NBA will name an All-Tournament Team based on performance in the group stage and knockouts. Our picks so farโ€ฆ

  • LeBron James (Lakers): 25 pts, 8 reb, 7.5 ast, 60% FG (58% 3PT) in 4 games

  • Tyrese Haliburton (Pacers): 28.5 pts, 4 reb, 13.5 ast, 49% FG (47% 3PT) in 4 games

  • Damian Lillard (Bucks): 30 pts, 4.8 reb, 7 ast, 52% FG (48% 3PT) in 4 games

  • Kevin Durant (Suns): 35.7 pts, 7.3 reb, 7.7 ast, 59% FG (75% 3PT) in 3 games

  • De’Aaron Fox (Kings): 36 pts, 8 reb, 8.7 ast, 49% FG (39% 3PT) in 3 games

Honorable mention: Devin Booker (Suns), Domantas Sabonis (Kings), Jalen Brunson (Knicks), Brandon Ingram (Pelicans), Alperen ลžengรผn (Rockets).

What they’re saying: The tournament has gotten mostly positive reviews from players and coaches, even if “some of the courts look a little funky,” as LeBron has said.

  • “But I think it’s great โ€ฆ to spice things up,” James added, mentioning that numerous players have likened it to a playoff atmosphere.

  • Pacers coach Rick Carlisle agrees: “This is a real thing. Hats off to the people in New York for coming up with something that, at least to this point, is strong.”

Fans are tuning in: Entering Tuesday, ESPN’s tournament broadcasts were drawing 55% more viewers than comparable windows last year, AP reports.

๐Ÿ€ FRAN DUNPHY: 600 WINS, 8.5 MILES

(Grant Halverson/Getty Images)

(Grant Halverson/Getty Images)

Fran Dunphy won his 600th career game on Sunday in La Salle’s 81-62 victory over Coppin State, becoming the 43rd Division I coach to reach that milestone.

How he got here: Dunphy, 75, has won all 600 of those games at three Philadelphia schools located within an 8.5-mile radius.

  • Penn: 310-163 (1989-2006)

  • Temple: 270-162 (2006-2019)

  • La Salle: 20-19 (2022-present)

Philly legend: Dunphy, a Philadelphia native who played at La Salle, has been synonymous with Philly hoops since winning his first game 34 years ago at The Palestra (Penn 69, Lehigh 64).

  • Jay Wright may have more career wins (642), but only 520 of those came at Villanova. Fellow “Big 5” legend John Chaney won 516 games at Temple.

  • Dunphy earned the title of “Mr. Big 5” for a reason: He played and coached at La Salle, coached and taught at Penn, coached at Temple, and got his master’s degree from Villanova.

An undeniable impact: Dunphy’s “good guy” persona has often overshadowed just how darn good he is at his job. As The Athletic’s Brendan Quinn notes, his presence (and absence) have been felt at every stop.

  • Penn made the NCAA Tournament in nine of Dunphy’s 17 seasons and Temple made eight trips during his 13 years at the helm. Since then? Penn: Two trips in 16 seasons. Temple: 0 trips in four seasons.

  • Now, Dunphy is hoping to pull his alma mater out of the gutter: He was named Big 5 Coach of the Year last year after leading La Salle to an unexpected 15 wins, and the Explorers are off to a 5-1 start this season.

The Battle for Philadelphia: Since 1954, the Big 5 schools โ€” Penn, Temple, La Salle, Villanova and Saint Joseph’s โ€” have played for annual bragging rights. This year, Drexel has been added to form the “Philly Six,” a new-look series that replaces round-robin play with a more traditional tournament.

  • La Salle takes on Temple tonight (7pm ET, ESPN+), with the winner advancing to Saturday’s “Philly Six” championship.

  • It’s an away game for Dunphy, but as has been the case for much of his life, he won’t be far from home.

Good read: A day in the life of Fran Dunphy (Daily Pennsylvanian)

๐Ÿˆ NFL POWER RANKINGS: BRONCOS CRASH THE PARTY

(Yahoo Sports)

(Yahoo Sports)

Two-thirds of the way through the season, the top of our NFL power rankings โ€” courtesy of Frank Schwab โ€” are beginning to crystallize, Jeff writes.

Top 10: There was very little movement at the top this week, with six teams holding their same spot. The surging Broncos are the only newcomer, replacing the Browns at No. 9 after beating Cleveland for their fifth straight win.

  1. Eagles: 10-1 (โ€“)

  2. 49ers: 8-3 (โ€“)

  3. Chiefs: 8-3 (up 1)

  4. Ravens: 9-3 (up 1)

  5. Lions: 8-3 (down 2)

  6. Dolphins: 8-3 (โ€“)

  7. Cowboys: 8-3 (โ€“)

  8. Jaguars: 8-3 (โ€“)

  9. Broncos: 6-5 (up 4)

  10. Bills: 6-6 (โ€“)

Playoff picture: Denver may have leapfrogged Cleveland in our rankings, but the Browns are the ones currently in playoff position. Here’s what the field would look like if the season ended today.

  • AFC: 1. Ravens (bye), 2. Chiefs, 3. Jaguars, 4. Dolphins, 5. Steelers, 6. Browns, 7. Colts โ€ฆ The Texans, Broncos, Bills, Bengals and Raiders are all within 1.5 games of a playoff spot.

  • NFC: 1. Eagles (bye), 2. 49ers, 3. Lions, 4. Falcons, 5. Cowboys, 6. Seahawks, 7. Vikings โ€ฆ The Packers, Rams, Saints and Buccaneers are all within 1 game of a playoff spot.

This week’s primetime slate: The Cowboys host the Seahawks on Thursday night, the Packers host the Chiefs on Sunday night, and the Jaguars host the Bengals on Monday night.

๐Ÿ“† NOV. 29, 1890: ARMY VS. NAVY

Cadets pictured at the 1997 Army-Navy game. (David Seelig/Allsport/Getty Images)

Cadets pictured at the 1997 Army-Navy game. (David Seelig/Allsport/Getty Images)

133 years ago today, one of the greatest traditions in sports began when Army and Navy met on the gridiron for the first time, Jeff writes.

Head-to-head: Navy won that first game, 24-0, and the Midshipmen own a narrow 62-54-7 edge in the all-time series, which is almost always played at a neutral site. This year’s game will be played in New England for the first time (Gillette Stadium in Foxborough, Mass.).

More on this day:

  • โšพ๏ธ 1962: After four years of playing two All-Star games per season, MLB decided to revert back to a single Midsummer Classic.

  • ๐Ÿˆ 1998: Dan Marino threw his 400th touchdown pass, becoming the first NFL player to reach that milestone. Seven other players* have since joined him.

*The 400 club: Tom Brady (649 TD), Drew Brees (571), Peyton Manning (539), Brett Favre (508), Aaron Rodgers (475), Philip Rivers (421), Marino (420), Ben Roethlisberger (418).

๐Ÿ“บ WATCHLIST: ACC/SEC CHALLENGE

Kentucky beat Miami in Tuesday's ACC/SEC Challenge headliner. (Andy Lyons/Getty Images)

Kentucky beat Miami in Tuesday’s ACC/SEC Challenge headliner. (Andy Lyons/Getty Images)

The inaugural ACC/SEC Challenge takes center stage tonight as the men’s slate concludes and the women’s slate begins. The best three matchups for both:

  • Men: No. 10 Tennessee at No. 17 UNC (7:15pm ET, ESPN); No. 14 Texas A&M at Virginia (7:15pm, ESPN2); No. 7 Duke at Arkansas (9:15pm, ESPN)

  • Women: No. 18 Notre Dame at No. 20 Tennessee (5pm, ESPN2); Vanderbilt at No. 5 NC State (7:15pm, ACC); No. 22 Louisville at No. 19 Ole Miss (9:15pm, ESPNU)

More to watch:

  • โšฝ๏ธ Champions League: Matchday 5* (12:45-3pm, Paramount+) โ€ฆ Eight games.

  • ๐Ÿ€ NBA: Lakers at Pistons (7pm, NBA); Clippers at Kings (10pm, NBA)

  • ๐Ÿ’ NHL: Red Wings at Rangers (7:30pm, TNT/Max)

*Where it stands: Today’s games are in Groups A-D, where Bayern Munich, Real Madrid, Real Sociedad and Inter Milan have already clinched spots in the knockout round. Still up for grabs: One spot in Groups A and C, and two spots in Group B.

๐Ÿˆ CFB TRIVIA

(Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images)

(Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images)

Head coach Rick Stockstill is out at Middle Tennessee after 18 seasons, ending the fourth-longest active tenure among FBS head coaches.

  • Question: Which three coaches have longer active tenures?

  • Hint: Big Ten, Pac-12, Big 12.

Answer at the bottom.

๐ŸŽถ CHRISTMAS DUET: “FAIRYTALE OF PHILADELPHIA”

(Vera Y Records)

(Vera Y Records)

Travis and Jason Kelce currently have the No. 1 song on two separate Billboard charts (“Holiday” and “Rock”) thanks to their Christmas-themed duet, “Fairytale of Philadelphia.”

  • The song is on Jason’s upcoming album, “A Philly Special: Christmas Special,” which features his Eagles teammates and the likes of Patti LaBelle and The War on Drugs.

  • The limited edition vinyl album drops this Friday, with all proceeds benefitting local Philadelphia charities.

My take: Taylor Swift could never. In all seriousness, it’s remarkable how high the Kelce brothers’ stock has risen this year. Travis is in the world’s most-discussed relationship, Jason has Prime Video’s most-watched documentary ever, and together they have the No. 1 sports podcast. Can you imagine how many Super Bowl commercials they’re going to be in when the NFL scriptwriters put the Eagles (best title odds) and Chiefs (third-best odds) in the Super Bowl again?

___

Trivia answer: Iowa’s Kirk Ferentz (25 seasons); Utah’s Kyle Whittingham (20); Oklahoma State’s Mike Gundy (19)

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