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Brandeis University’s Independent Student Newspaper Since 1949 | Waltham, MA

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Cavs slumping, but title hopes remain high

(01/23/18 11:02am)

The Cleveland Cavaliers have been categorically abysmal these past two weeks. In that stretch, the Cavs have beaten only one team — the Orlando Magic, the worst team in the entire league. In those two contests against the Magic, the Cavs won by a combined five points. They barely squeezed by in a 104-103 win on Jan. 18 and allowed 127 points on Jan. 6. The following weekend, the Cavs outdid themselves once again, pathetically giving up 148 points to the Oklahoma City Thunder. The Cavs were also handed their biggest loss of the season, a 34-point blowout, by their now conference rival, the Toronto Raptors. 

Super Bowl LII preview: The Patriots and Eagles will meet in a matchup of dynasty vs. dark horse

(01/23/18 3:46am)

The connections run rampant — 15 years ago the New England Patriots faced off against the Philadelphia Eagles to decide who would be the champion of the National Football League. The location? EverBank Field, home of the Patriots’ opponent in the American Football Conference Champion game, the Jacksonville Jaguars. This year’s Super Bowl is hosted by the Minnesota Vikings who the Eagles beat in the title game. For two of the Northeast’s most storied franchises, a chance at validation. The Eagles have the most regular season wins without a Super Bowl title of any NFL team. This rabid fanbase has been starved of a title, and the most unlikely of situations has led to a glimpse at salvation. Quarterback Carson Wentz, the long awaited savior of Philadelphia football, ran roughshod over the rest of the NFL until a torn ACL in week 13 sent his season, and the collective hopes of Philadelphia, crashing down. Enter backup quarterback Nick Foles, the pro bowl and single game passing touchdown record holder was thrust into leading this team and a city. After his fantastic 2013 season in Philadelphia, Foles’ career had hit a standstill and he was later traded. Two weeks after Foles reascended to the starting role, a disastrous performance against the Dallas Cowboys ensued, culminating in Foles’ benching. Even with the one seed in tow, hope had run out before the divisional round game against last year’s runner up, the Atlanta Falcons. In a defensive battle, Foles played turnover free football and led the Eagles to a berth in the National Football Conference title game. On Sunday evening, the only obstacle standing in the Eagles’ way of a long awaited Super Bowl appearance was the Minnesota Vikings, who had overcome their own quarterback injury nightmare in the semifinals. Experts’ predictions of a defensive grudge match could not have been proven more incorrect. The Eagles launched an assault on the Vikings to the tune of 38 points, especially impressive against this Vikings team that led the NFL in scoring defense at a measly 15.8 points allowed per game. Foles was superb, and the defense was outstanding, especially considering the Goliath awaiting them in Minnesota. Never before in the history of the NFL has Super Bowl appearances become such a regularity for a team than these New England Patriots, appearing in eight championship games in the last 17 years. No other team has more than three in that timeframe. Head coach Bill Belichick is going for his eighth Super Bowl title as a coach and quarterback Tom Brady his sixth as a player, both unprecedented feats. Validation is hard to come by for a team like this, and nobody beats father time, yet Belichick and Brady have their team in position to do just that. As for the game at hand, the Eagles proved their mettle with the domination dealt to the Vikings. Foles’ ability to beat zone coverage and tough man to man coverage will be imperative in order to open up the run game against the Patriots. Early on, the Patriots sold out to stop the Jaguars powerful running attack, putting the game squarely on quarterback Blake Bortles’ shoulder. The Patriots are known for making teams uncomfortable by taking away their top option, but with the Eagles that top option is not clear. The passing game has worked wonders recently, but Foles is still inexperienced and not far from his days playing turnover prone football. On the flip side, the Patriots came out flat against the Jaguars defense, getting back to their core of quick passes, screens, and occasional shots down the field will be important in order to quickly find their rhythm. If the Patriots come out flat and don’t hit their stride until late again, they may not have enough time to recover. But if anyone knows what works in the big game, it’s the guy on the sideline with the ragged, cut-off hoodie.

Team looks to continue winning

(01/16/18 11:04am)

The Judges have had mixed results in the past week of play, splitting the games 2-2. The Judges defeated Washington University in St. Louis and Regis College, but fell to the University of Chicago and New York University. The team looks ahead to their next game, a home game against University Athletic Association competitor University of Rochester on Friday. The rest of the season is conference play, which will determine playoff seeding.

The Ball family could be legends or losers

(01/16/18 11:02am)

One of the more interesting stories to come out of the sports world this past year was the story of the Ball family. The family first gained notoriety when its oldest son, Lonzo, started gaining national attention as a high school prospect at Chino Hills High School, in California. He committed to the University of California, Los Angeles, and it was soon clear that he would be one of the top talents in his draft class. During Lonzo’s freshman year, his younger brothers LiAngelo and LaMelo made headlines of their own as they dominated opponents as a senior and sophomore at Chino Hills. As the word of the family’s talent spread, and Lonzo’s future in the National Basketball Association became more cemented, the patriarch of the family began to make his presence known. 

The trade of Gerrit Cole capped an offseason that strengthened the defending champion Astros

(01/16/18 11:00am)

Just a few short months ago, Los Angeles Dodgers shortstop Corey Seager grounded out to Houston Astros second baseman Jose Altuve to clinch the Astros’ first World Series title in franchise history. Yet the Astros continue to build up their stockpile, with the latest addition being Pittsburgh Pirates starting pitcher Gerrit Cole. On Saturday afternoon, the deal was announced with Houston sending over starting pitcher Joe Musgrove, third baseman Colin Moran, relief pitcher Michael Feliz and outfielder Jason Martin. For a seemingly lackluster Major League Baseball offseason, the trade offers some respite. Cole, a former number one overall pick in 2011, has seen his numbers decline recently. This past season, Cole finished 12-12 with a 4.26 ERA. While that statline is far from remarkable, any durability concerns were answered through all 203 innings pitched in 2017. Additionally, Cole has two years of team control left, at a cap hit around $7 million. 

MEN'S BASKETBALL: Team still looking to hit its stride

(12/05/17 11:03am)

The Brandeis men’s basketball team has not started the season the way it intended. While the team has kept most of its games close, it has not had much luck finding the win column, starting off 1-5, including three straight losses. The season is still young, so the team still has time to put the pieces together, but the schedule is not going to get any easier as the team enters conference play in the coming months.

TRACK: Runners look great in first meet of the year

(12/05/17 11:02am)

The Brandeis University track and field teams competed in their first event of the year at the University of Massachusetts-Boston Invitational on Saturday. Led by a rookie in her first college competition and a graduate student in his final year of National Collegiate Athletic Association eligibility, the teams put together great performances, with major contributions coming from up and down the rosters. 

MEN'S SOCCER: Season concludes with a heartbreaking loss

(12/05/17 11:01am)

The men’s soccer season ended in heartbreaking fashion on Friday night, as the squad fell to Messiah College in the Final Four of the National Collegiate Athletic Association tournament for the second consecutive year. The loss caps yet another tremendous campaign for the Judges, who will return a talented crop of players next fall. In the final press conference of his first season at the helm, head coach Gabe Margolis summed up the Judges’ emotional season perfectly: “Soccer is a funny game, and a cruel game, and it’s also a great game. Today we were on the wrong end of it, but I can’t say enough about how well our team represented Brandeis University and Brandeis Soccer.”