NCAA Talk

Thursday on CSN: UIC hosts Youngstown State

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Thursday on CSN: UIC hosts Youngstown State

Two teams fighting to get out of the middle of the Horizon League meet on Thursday on CSN. UIC will host Youngstown State live on CSN at 7 p.m.

The Flames (12-12, 5-6) won on the road in Milwaukee last weekend to help snap a four-game losing streak. Junior big man Tai Odiase, a Homewood-Flossmoor product, has stepped up his play as he's the team's leading scorer now that Dikembe Dixson is out for the season with a torn ACL. Freshman guard Tarkus Ferguson, who won a state title with Belleville Althoff last season, has also played well recently for the Flames.

Youngstown State (10-15, 4-8) has dropped two consecutive games as they've struggled in conference play. The Penguins are getting a strong junior season out of junior guard Cameron Morse as he's putting up 22.0 points per game.

UIC is looking for the season sweep in this one as they won the first matchup on the road, 92-89, on Jan. 14. 

Notre Dame among the four teams chosen for College Football Playoff

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USA Today

Notre Dame among the four teams chosen for College Football Playoff

Notre Dame's going to get their chance, after all. 

The final College Football Playoff rankings were released this morning, and there weren't too many surprises. 

Alabama, Clemson, Notre Dame and Oklahoma are your Top-4, in that order. Georgia just missed out at #5, and Ohio State came in behind them at #6. 

For the semifinals, Alabama and Okalahoma will square off in the Orange Bowl, while Clemson and ND will square off in the Cotton Bowl. 

And now, we wait a month. 

Northwestern comes up short in bid for Big Ten title, falls to Ohio State 45-24

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USA TODAY

Northwestern comes up short in bid for Big Ten title, falls to Ohio State 45-24

Northwestern undoubtedly has a good football team this season. Unfortunately for them, they ran into an even better team on Saturday.

The Wildcats hung close against No. 6 Ohio State in Saturday's Big Ten Championship Game before ultimately failling to the Buckeyes 45-24. However, Chicago's Big Ten Team deserves credit for not going down quietly.

Trailing Ohio State 24-7 at halftime, Northwestern came out firing on all cylinders in the third quarter. Quarterback Clayton Thorson led the Wildcats to two quick touchdown drives in less than seven minutes, cutting Ohio State's lead to 24-21. 

Northwestern never took the lead away from Ohio State, though. After the Buckeyes' lead was cut to three points, Dwayne Haskins went on to throw three more touchdown passes, single-handedly burying Northwestern.

Haskins, the Big Ten Offensive Player of the Year, finished the night 34-of-41 with 499 passing yards, five touchdowns and one interception. Haskins earned the game's MVP award for his efforts. Thorson finished the night 26-of-43 with 265 yards, one touchdown and two interceptions. 

Ohio State likely is headed to the Rose Bowl; as good as their performance was, it is unlikely they will leap No. 5 Oklahoma (winners of Saturday's Big 12 Championship Game).

No. 1 Alabama beat No. 4 Georgia in Saturday's SEC Championship Game, so Ohio State likely will rise to No. 5 in the College Football Playoff rankings.

Northwestern finishes the 2018 season 8-5 (8-1 in conference play). Despite the loss, they certainly will be awarded with a top bowl game as winners of the Big Ten West Division.