Only Nick Saban and the Alabama Crimson Tide can switch out quarterbacks at halftime of a championship game and comeback to win the game in overtime. That's exactly what they did on Monday night, as Tua Tagovailoa found DeVonta Smith for the game-winning 41-yard touchdown for a 26-23 overtime win over the Georgia Bulldogs for the College Football Playoff National Championship. The title is the fifth for Saban's Tide in the past nine seasons, as they rallied from a 20-7 deficit and a scoreless first half to overcome their conference rival. Tagovailoa took over for Jalen Hurts after the starter was just 3-of-8 for 21 yards in the first half. The true freshman backup took over and threw for 166 yards and three touchdowns in what was Bama's third straight National Title appearance, as they split the first two games with the Clemson Tigers. The Tide evened the game up late, but failed to win it as time expired when Andy Pappanastos missed a 36-yard field goal badly wide left. The Bulldogs took the lead in overtime with a 51-yard field goal from Rodrigo Blankenship, and seemed to be in good position after sacking Tagovailoa for a 16-yard loss. Saban was infuriated after that play, but that quickly turned to celebratory feelings with the game-winner coming on the very next play, making him look like a genius for the crucial quarterback switch at the break. That gives the Hall of Fame coach six national titles overall, including one with the LSU Tigers, tying former Bama head man Paul Bear Bryant for most in program history.
LeBron Struggles as Cavs Fall to T'Wolves
LeBron James was unable to correctly name all of the Minnesota Timberwolves' roster before Monday's game, but he may be able to do it a little better now after Monday's tough outing. James was held to just 10 points as his Cleveland Cavaliers fell to the T'Wolves, 127-99, to snap a 12-game home losing streak against the Cavs. Andrew Wiggins had 25 points in three quarters of play, while Jimmy Butler added 21 for Minnesota, who shot 52 percent from the floor. Double-doubles by Karl-Anthony Towns and Taj Gibson gave the Timberwolves even more of an advantage, as they out-rebounded Cleveland, 56-37, as well as outscored them in the paint, 60-42. James finished just 4-of-8 from the floor and lost in Minnesota for the first time in 13 games, which spans back to February 17th, 2005. He also finished with a career-worst -39 plus-minus rating, which he did not care to focus on during a postgame interview. When asked about the mark, James responded by saying "I don't give a damn about no damn plus/minus." The Cavaliers trailed by as many as 41 points and their schedule gets no easier when they visit the Toronto Raptors on Thursday night. The Timberwolves continue their five-game homestand on Wednesday when they play host to Russell Westbrook's Oklahoma City Thunder.
Bears Bring in Nagy as New Head Coach
The Chicago Bears let go of an experienced head coach who failed to find success in three seasons with them, so why not move to the other side and someone with not as much head coaching experience to lead the young team. Chicago named former Kansas City Chiefs offensive coordinator, Matt Nagy, as their new head coach on Monday afternoon, exactly one week after letting John Fox go. The former Denver Broncos coach, Fox, had a dismal record of 14-34 with the struggling Bears. The 39-year-old Nagy has spent the last 10 seasons under Andy Reid with the Philadelphia Eagles and Chiefs. He became the Chiefs' co-offensive coordinator in 2016, but relinquished play-calling duties late this past season. The team went on to win four in a row after that change. Chicago interviewed five candidates, including Nagy on Sunday, a day after the Chiefs were eliminated by the Tennessee Titans in the Wild Card round. Nagy joins Marc Trestman as the only Bears head coaches to previously be offensive coordinators. That is exactly what the team is looking for to lead young quarterback, Mitchell Trubisky, as they rank 30th with 18.3 points per game since the 2015 season.