Around the Dorm 2/17: Super Bowl 50, NBA Playoffs and FedEx Cup

In this week’s edition of Around the Dorm, the “Ref,” George Tatoris, asks our panel of experts three questions: What was the best play in Super Bowl 50? Which NBA team outside the top 10 can make the playoffs this season and which golfer has the best chance to win the FedEx Cup?

1. What was the most impressive play of the Super Bowl?

(AP Photo)
(AP Photo)

Colleen: Without a doubt the best play of the game was Denver Broncos linebacker Von Miller’s sack of Carolina Panthers quarterback Cam Newton that forced a fumble. The fumble was recovered for a touchdown and was really the first (and one of the few) impact play of the game. Miller went on to win MVP and his team the Super Bowl, and this clutch play early on in the game definitely had some influence on both of those things. It also set the defensive tone of the game. However, I think the best play of the Super Bowl in general would have to be the infant’s quick moves out of the womb in the Doritos commercial. That baby had, arguably, more speed than Miller when he got around the Panthers’s offensive line to make the sack. The newborn undoubtedly deserves the crown for best play of the game (If you got that crown/birthing reference, thank you).

Michael: The most impressive play of the Super Bowl was ColdPLAY. The band rocked that stadium with its set and the addition of Beyoncé and Bruno Mars was awesome. All right, all right! In all seriousness, Miller breaking Carolina’s defense and making Newton fumble not once, but twice, was very impressive. Miller, along with the rest of his MVP caliber defensive unit, sacked Newton seven times throughout the game and made him go 18 for 41 in passing attempts (just under 50 percent efficiency). But it all started and ended with Miller’s pressure on the quarterback as he helped the Broncos reach “Paradise.”

Matthew: In a game dominated by defense, there were plenty of interceptions and sacks across the board, including a strip-sack fumble by Miller that would lead to a touchdown. It was a game-changer that stuck out in the minds of many as the defining play of the game. However, the Super Bowl’s most impressive play occurred after the game clock struck zero. Future Hall of Famer Peyton Manning, a five-time MVP relegated to a game manager in 2015 because of the pains of old age, refrained from making the game about himself by refusing to announce his retirement at the end of the game, despite the media’s multiple pleas. Manning is sure to formally declare his departure sometime in the coming months, but in denying a concrete answer for the retirement question, he was able to keep himself out of the spotlight and instead let the dominant Denver defense deservedly have its day.

Colleen gets 3 points for birth-punning. Michael gets 2 points for Coldplaying and Matthew gets 1 point for Peyton Manninging.

2. Now that the NBA season is half over, which teams outside of the top ten have a chance at making the playoffs?

(AP Photo)
(AP Photo)

Colleen: With the recent firing of head coach Derek Fisher, the New York Knicks can be that team that has enough new fire to make its way into the playoffs. If the transition to their interim coach is a smooth and fruitful one, you can expect to see the Knickerbockers start their ascent to the playoffs. Staying healthy and making some important trades will also be a key factor in the Knicks making it to the playoffs. And rookie Kristaps Porzingis can only become more dominant as the season moves forward. With increased play time comes better ability and Porzingis can definitely be a huge part in the Knicks moving on. 

Michael: You’re asking me to scrape the bottom of a pretty empty barrel. If I had to pick a team, I would go with the Denver Nuggets. While they play in the bloodbath that is the Western Conference, they might be able to squeak in enough wins to get an eighth seed instead of Utah Jazz or Portland Trail Blazers. Players like Danilo Gallinari, who is leading the team in points per game at 19.7, and Kenneth Faried, who is leading the team in rebounding at 8.9, can make this team compete with the lower standing Western teams and at least half of the Eastern Conference. As for how they’d do in the playoffs, going up against the Golden State Warriors… yeah, no.

Matthew: Outside of the top 10 teams in the Eastern and Western conferences, there really isn’t much to be excited about. Most of these lowly NBA teams have little present ambitions, instead choosing to tank and stack young talent for future success. In the East, the only team outside the top 10 with a playoff chance are the New York Knicks, who have a somewhat formidable starting lineup headlined by All-Star Carmelo Anthony and Latvian rookie sensation Porzingis. The only thing keeping the Knicks from being competitive is a solid point guard, and if they can make a move for Jeff Teague before the trade deadline (as has been rumored), then they may have some hope. In the ultra-competitive West, no 11th or worse placed team has a ghost of a chance. Keep tanking, Timberwolves.

Matthew gets 3 points for Knickin’ it in da bud. Colleen gets 2 points for Porzingis and Michael gets 1 point for not believing in underdogs

3. Who has the best chance of winning the FedEx Cup?

(AP Photo)
(AP Photo)

Colleen: Jordan Spieth. The guy had a commanding season last year, placing either first or second in all of his majors. With a year of big boy play under his belt, Spieth has even more experience than last year, so we can expect even bigger things from him in the FedEx Cup. Jason Day is a frontrunner along with Spieth, but don’t sleep on Rickie Fowler who is up to No. 4 on the Official Golf World Rankings. While these other golfers will give Spieth a run for his money, it will still be Spieth all the way.

Michael: I’m not the biggest golf fan in the world, I’ll admit that right away. But I have to say the odds on favorite is Spieth. The guy had an amazing 2015, winning five times, four second place finishes and earning the title of FedEx Cup champ last year. That isn’t to say the rest of the field is any laughing matter. Day, who had a better second half last year, finishing 12th or better in his last nine tournament starts, and Rory Mcllroy, who won the European Tour Final in Dubai, both have opportunities to catch up to Spieth after his breakout year. While it will be hard to redo that success, I think his younger age means he can keep up his success going forward without father time affecting him too much. Let’s just hope that Dustin Johnson’s son doesn’t swipe Spieth’s putter again.

Matthew: Golf is a game of experience, so I’m going to go with a guy who has been there before and say Spieth has the best chance at winning the FedEx Cup. At just 22 years old, Spieth won last year’s FedEx Cup, along with the 2015 Masters and U.S. Open. That’s quite a résumé for a kid who had his first legal drink less than two years ago. The sport needs a young superstar to grab viewers’ attention, so perhaps the golf gods will be generous and let Spieth win this one as he continues his ascent to becoming water cooler talking material. As for a dark horse candidate, I like Smylie Kaufman. A guy with a name like that is going places.

Matthew gets 3 points for Spieth’s accolades. Michael gets 2 points for honesty and Colleen gets 1 point for Spieth.

Matthew wins Around the Dorm 7-6-5.