For the second consecutive season, the Rose Bowl gave us the most exciting bowl game of the holiday season, but this year, there was much more at stake. The third-ranked Georgia Bulldogs outlasted the third-ranked Oklahoma Sooners, 54-48, in double overtime to advance to the College Football Playoff National Championship Game. Sony Michel ran in for a 27-yard touchdown run in the second overtime to give Georgia the win in the highest-scoring Rose Bowl in history. Michel's game-winning score was his third of the day, as he also had 181 yards on the ground in this back and forth affair. The Sooner led by as many as 17 in this one, as Baker Mayfield threw for 287 yards and two touchdowns, while also catching a touchdown pass in his final game with Oklahoma. He had a chance to end the game in the first overtime, but was unable to get into the end zone to advance. The 104th Rose Bowl was also the first to go into overtime, as its scoring record surpassed last year's 52-49 USC win over Penn State. The Bulldogs were participating in their first Rose Bowl since 1943, and will now compete for their first National Championship since 1980 on January 8th in Atlanta.
Bama Take Round 3 From Clemson
The Alabama Crimson Tide and Clemson Tigers find themselves matched up for the third straight season in the College Football Playoffs, but for the first time in the semifinals. It looked like a different matchup without Deshaun Watson wearing the white and orange on Monday night, as the Tide advance to their third straight title game with a 24-6 win in the Sugar Bowl. Jalen Hurts threw for 120 yards and two touchdowns, and Alabama used two touchdowns just 13 seconds apart in the third quarter to pull away for good. Kelly Bryant struggled in his first postseason start as Clemson quarterback, throwing for just 124 yards and two interceptions, as he failed to lead his team into the end zone in this one. The Tigers as an offense finished the night at 188 total yards, which is 266 yards below their season average, and that included just 64 yards on the ground. You can thank the Tide's defense for these low numbers, as they hounded Bryant all night long and sacked him five times in the win. Alabama will now face off with Georgia in an all-SEC CFP Title Game on January 8th in Atlanta. Head coach Nick Saban will be looking for his fifth title in nine years, and sixth overall if you include his BCS Title with LSU in 2003. The coach admitted after the game that this year's matchup with Clemson was "a little personal for us."
DeRozan Powers Raptors Over Bucks in Overtime
The Toronto Raptors and Milwaukee Bucks matched up in a battle of expected playoff teams in the Eastern Conference on Monday, and the Raptors' star overpowered the Bucks' star north of the border. DeMar DeRozan went off for 52 points to lead the Raptors over the Bucks, 131-127, in overtime. His performance was the highest point total in franchise history, while the team also set a franchise record with their 12th straight win at home. DeRozan is the third player in Raptors history to reach 50 points in a game, joining Vince Carter and Terrence Ross. He scored the first nine points of the game on Monday and had 21 in the first quarter alone, which was a season high for any Raptors player in a single quarter. He finished 17-of-29 from the floor and a perfect 13-for-13 at the free throw line, while his five three-pointers was one short of a personal career high. He got plenty of help from his teammates, as Kyle Lowry had 26 points and Serge Ibaka put up 11, helping the Raptors improve to an NBA-best 14-1 at home. The Bucks did make it interesting with Eric Bledsoe putting up 29 points and Giannis Antetokounmpo adding 26, but they were outscored, 17-13, in the extra period. These two teams went at it in the first round in last year's playoffs, a series that the Raptors won in six games. Toronto will hit the road to face the Chicago Bulls on Wednesday night, while the Bucks return home to host the Indiana Pacers that same night.