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Oklahoma softball would like, nay, DEMANDS everyone’s attention right now

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Thirty-six wins, zero losses. That’s what the Oklahoma softball team’s record is right now, breaking the all-time Division I record previously set in 1999 by UCLA at 35-0. Now, with a streak this absurd, this dominant, you’d think there have been hiccups. Perhaps there were a few games where Oklahoma barely squeaked by. After all, a streak of this magnitude has to require a lot of luck, right? Not really though. Luck has nothing to do with it. There was one game against Tennessee where the Sooners needed ten innings to outlast the Volunteers. Aside from that though, Oklahoma has just outclassed almost everybody they’ve come across. They’ve made other collegiate teams look like high school JV squads.

In their 36 games this year, how large do you believe their average margin of victory could be? Three runs a game? Five runs a game? How about seven? That’d be a lot, right? Try nine. They have outscored their opponents 354 to 27 and that margin could be much worse if the Sooners’ defense hadn’t allowed 10 unearned runs this year. They’ve had just five games end within five runs of the opposition. The Sooners have won every other game by at least eight, and that doesn’t even tell the whole story.

A collegiate softball game is supposed to last seven innings. However, the mercy rule, or “run rule,” as it’s officially called, can be invoked if one team is leading their opponents by or eight runs after five innings. Thirty of Oklahoma’s games have ended due to the eight run rule, meaning that Oklahoma didn’t even get the chance to continue racking up runs for the full seven innings in five out of every six games they’ve played this year. Let me say that again. The NCAA has a rule in place to limit the metaphorical bloodshed in an absolute blowout and Oklahoma has hit that threshold THIRTY TIMES!

Obviously, their offense is insanely good. They have four players with at least 10 home runs this season, including Jocelyn Alo, the all-time DI leader in home runs. But if every home run the Sooners hit this year was just a solo shot, they still would’ve recorded more than three times as many runs as their opponents this season. Hell, they have more home runs (100) this year than their opponents have hits (90).

That’s a testament to the team’s pitching. The Sooners’ lead all Division I programs in ERA at 0.6. They’ve thrown a jaw-dropping six no-hitters this year. That’s tied for the most in program history in a single season, and the team still has 14 games left in the regular season. They throw a no-hitter almost once a week. It’s like a casual Friday to them, just a normal happenstance that they go through once every two series. They’ve only allowed more than one run four times.

It’s just astonishing what Oklahoma has been able to accomplish and we’re not even done with the season. There isn’t another team anywhere in their stratosphere. The Sooners’ team slugging percentage currently sits at .814. That’s 164 points higher than the number two team in the nation, Arizona State (.650). That 164 point difference is larger than the difference between Arizona State and No. 45 Clemson. As great as South Carolina’s basketball team was this year, they didn’t go undefeated. I know the season isn’t over, but these Sooners are dominating at an unprecedented rate, and it wouldn’t be shocking if they invoke the mercy rule during every game of the college world series as well.



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Pep Guardiola jokes he’s ‘sorry’ that he stopped Mikel Arteta from becoming Manchester City manager

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Arsenal will face City at the Etihad Stadium tonight, with Guardiola’s former assistant back on his old North West stomping ground in the FA Cup fourth round.

The Gunners head north leading rivals City by five points with a game in hand atop the Premier League, but acutely aware of the challenging taking on the frustrated Guardiola and company.

Arteta left Guardiola’s City setup in December 2019 to take the Arsenal helm, transforming the Gunners in remarkable fashion since.

“I am pretty sure if I would have left here before, he would be here [at City] and he would be the best, absolutely,” said Guardiola, of Arteta.

“But I extended my contract, I am sorry, and he didn’t wait, so it could not happen. But definitely it could have.”

Arteta joined Manchester City’s coaching ranks on retiring as a player in 2016, learning his craft under master tactician and serial winner Guardiola.

City’s former Barcelona boss revealed how Arteta would never celebrate goals against the Gunners, the team he represented more than 100 times between 2011 and 2016.

“He loves the club; I remember when we were together here and we scored goals, he jumped a lot and celebrated – except with one team,” said Guardiola.

“One team, every time we score a goal, I jump, look back and he was sitting there. It was Arsenal.”



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R Madrid 3 – 1 A Madrid

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Karim Benzema and Vinicius Junior scored in extra-time as Real Madrid fought back to beat local rivals Atletico 3-1 on Thursday and reach the Copa del Rey semi-finals.

On a freezing night at a sold-out Santiago Bernabeu hosting its first game for 77 days due to the World Cup break, Real started slowly and Atletico had many dangerous counter-attacks.

Atletico Madrid's Alvaro Morata, right, celebrates with teammate Antoine Griezmann after scoring the opening goal during the Spanish Copa del Rey quarter final soccer match between Real Madrid and Atletico Madrid at Santiago Bernabeu stadium in Madrid, Thursday, Jan. 26, 2023. (AP Photo/Bernat Armangue)
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Atletico Madrid took the lead against their rivals

Atletico captain Koke delivered a brilliant through ball to Nahuel Molina who ghosting in behind Reals defence and the full back set up Alvaro Morata, a former Real academy player, to tap the ball into an empty net in the 19th minute.

Eder Militao wasted a golden chance to equalise in the 32nd minute after Toni Kroos had delivered a perfect cross.

Atletico Madrid's Alvaro Morata celebrates scoring
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Alvaro Morata celebrates scoring the opener

It was not only until Dani Ceballos came off the bench to replace the injured Ferland Mendy late in the first half that Real started to play better.

The 26-year-old midfielder injected a new dynamic into the team who were far more aggressive after the break.

Benzema wasted two good opportunities and Federico Valverde also sent a shot wide from just outside the box.

Real Madrid's Rodrygo celebrates with team-mates
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Real Madrid’s Rodrygo celebrates with team-mates

Substitute Rodrygo equalised in the 79th with a delightful goal, dribbling past three defenders before finishing well.

With Real Madrid in full control, Atletico played most of extra time with 10 men after defender Stefan Savic was shown his second yellow card for chopping down Eduardo Camavinga in the 99th minute.

Five minutes later, Real substitute Marco Asensio sent a low cross into the box and Vinicius’s deflected shot reached Benzema who unleashed an unstoppable strike into the net.

Real Madrid's Karim Benzema, left, celebrates with teammates after scoring his side's second goal during the Spanish Copa del Rey quarter final soccer match between Real Madrid and Atletico Madrid at Santiago Bernabeu stadium in Madrid, Thursday, Jan. 26, 2023. (AP Photo/Bernat Armangue)
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Karim Benzema’s goal made it 2-1 in extra time

Vinicius secured Real’s win in the dying seconds with a brilliant individual goal, running half the length of the pitch before scoring with a low shot.

“We got behind very early and after Mendy’s injury the whole team had to be rebuilt. But we woke up and played really well after the break,” Ceballos told TVE.

“They played better in the first half, but the coach corrected things in the second; we took control of the ball and found the goal. Then, after the red card, everything was easier.”

Real Madrid joined Barcelona, Osasuna and Athletic Bilbao in the semi-finals.



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Everything we know about Chiefs’ QB Patrick Mahomes’ ankle

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Patrick Mahomes examines his ankle last Sunday against the Jaguars.

Patrick Mahomes examines his ankle last Sunday against the Jaguars.
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It’s conference championship week. With only four teams on the NFL schedule this week — the Kansas City Chiefs, Philadelphia Eagles, San Francisco 49ers, and Cincinnati Bengals — one interesting storyline can dominate the entire conversation leading up to the games. This time, it’s QB Patrick Mahomes’ ankle.

The fact that this storyline is the dominant one heading into the weekend makes sense. He’s the best player in the league, and his team is hosting the AFC Championship Game against the Bengals who are one of the hottest teams in the NFL. Also, the game is taking place one week after he suffered a high-ankle sprain and was still able to hobble the Chiefs to victory — aided of course by a timely 98-yard touchdown drive that was led by backup quarterback Chad Henne.

How mobile does Mahomes look right now?

Since his right ankle got rolled against the Jacksonville Jaguars, no leg in America has had as much attention on it as his. Not even Brent Maher’s as he overcame his kicking yips during the Dallas Cowboys’ loss on Sunday to the Eagles. Mahomes’ ankle has so much attention on it that Fox 4 KC’s Harold R. Kuntz has been filming him walking down from the press conference podium the last two days. And by filming Mahomes, I mean only his legs.

Thursday update: Mahomes didn’t even need to use the stairs.

Knox’s assessment: Don’t be a hero… until Sunday.

Kuntz isn’t the only reporter on the scene sharing video footage of Mahomes’ mobility. During the portion of practice that was open to the media, many videos were sent out of Mahomes moving around. As the Chiefs were warming up, Mahomes actually jogged and spun as he headed toward his next station. He is certainly running better than he was on Sunday.

In their comments to the media, Andy Reid said that Mahomes “did a nice job and was “comfortable with what we did.” Mahomes said that he believed his Wednesday practice went, “better than I expected.”

For Chiefs fans — and those of us who want to see a well-played AFC Championship Game — this news out of Kansas City is the best we could’ve received. On the Chiefs’ most active days of practice, Mahomes was seen moving very well. Also, he and the head coach both gave positive updates about the health of the most important leg in sports this weekend.

Will the ankle affect Mahomes’ play on Sunday?

There is no possible way that Mahomes will be 100 percent against the Bengals. They are going to test that ankle by trying to apply the same type of pressure that disrupted the Buffalo Bills during the Bengals’ Divisional Round win on Sunday. However, if he can move around all game as well as he has been in practice, he will be able to play well enough for the Chiefs to have a chance at victory.

We’ve received the closeup and overhead views of Mahomes’ health. All that is left is the view at Arrowhead Stadium from the CBS cameras at 6:30 p.m. EST on Jan. 29, 2023.





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