The Sixers can basically kill the Washington Wizards' season tonight

The Sixers can basically kill the Washington Wizards' season tonight

Now that their miraculous season-beginning three-game winning streak has come to an end in thudding fashion, we should be able to get back to our normal ways of expecting the worst from this Philadelphia 76ers team at just about every opportunity. Their first opportunity to once again live down to expectations comes tonight against the Washington Wizards, already in their second matchup this year, with the Sixers taking the surprise 109-102 victory five days ago in Washington.

While the Sixers have already exceeded fan hopes for their entire season in the space of three games, the Wizards are in the unfortunate spot of their results thusfar being well, well below expectation, as their franchise and its young core was expected to take the next step towards playoff contention this season, but has instead started 0-3, with injuries (veteran bigs Emeka Okafor and Nene, highly touted rookie forward Otto Porter) and a surprise pre-season deal many dubbed a panic trade (swapping the expiring contract of the injured Okafor with a future draft pick for offensive-minded center Marcin Gortat) further adding to the team's desperation.

If the Sixers win tonight, bringing the Washington record to 0-4, it could be a fairly deadly blow to the team's post-season aspirations, even this early on. After Philly, Washington has the championship-aspirant Nets at home, then goes on a three-game West Coast swing against the Oklahoma City Thunder, Dallas Mavericks and San Antonio Spurs (combined record: 8-3). It's been suggested that if the Wizards lose tonight, Washington coach Randy Wittman might not survive the trip out West.

As in the teams' matchup last week the question for this game is two-fold: Can we contain their explosive young backcourt of John Wall and Bradley Beal, and can their depleted frontlines handle the post play of our Thaddeus Young and Spencer Hawes? The answers last week were both "Yes for one half, no for the other," with Thad and Spence just getting the last word, but tonight, in a do-or-die matchup with the Sixers' momentum finally slowed a little, it'll be tough to get the edge a second time.

7:00 tip from the WFC. Will the tanking officially commence tonight, or is this team not done playing over their heads? Do we even know which one we're rooting for? Guess we'll find out tonight.

Union midfielder Alejandro Bedoya's 1st MLS goal not enough in draw with Toronto FC

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Union midfielder Alejandro Bedoya's 1st MLS goal not enough in draw with Toronto FC

TORONTO -- Justin Morrow scored in the 70th minute and Toronto FC salvaged a point with a 1-1 draw with the Union on Saturday night.

Morrow made a run from his left back position, and midfielder Jonathan Osorio laid the ball off to Morrow for a tight-angle shot. Toronto (13-8-9) had its second straight home tie,

Alejandro Bedoya scored for Philadelphia (11-11-9) in the 25th minute. Bedoya took a pass from Fabian Herbers with his back to the Toronto goal, quickly spun past the Toronto back line and chipped a shot that looped over goalkeeper Clint Irwin.

Penn State routed by No. 4 Michigan at The Big House

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Penn State routed by No. 4 Michigan at The Big House

BOX SCORE

ANN ARBOR, Mich. -- De'Veon Smith led an overwhelming ground game with 107 yards rushing and a touchdown and Karan Higdon ran for two scores and No. 4 Michigan routed Penn State 49-10 on Saturday in both teams' Big Ten opener.

The Wolverines scored six touchdowns on the ground as they finished with 326 yards rushing. Wilton Speight threw one touchdown pass.

Michigan (4-0) dominated both sides of the ball. Penn State (2-2) has lost three straight to the Wolverines.

Jabrill Peppers gave the fans an early thrill by returning Penn State's first punt to the 9, although a bench-interference penalty moved the ball to the Nittany Lions 24. Seven plays later, Khalid Hill dove in on 4th-and-goal from the 1.

The Wolverines also scored touchdowns on their next two drives. Penn State finally got a couple stops, but the Wolverines took a 28-0 halftime lead on Higdon's 2-yard run.

The Nittany Lions got on the board with a field goal early in the third, but Chris Evans made it 35-3 with a 3-yard run and the Wolverines cruised to the win.

The takeaway
Penn State: The Nittany Lions came into the Big House without any of their starting linebackers then lost Brandon Smith to a second-quarter targeting penalty. That left the Penn State defense helpless against Michigan's running game and short passes. The offense was even worse, putting up 50 yards in the first half. Saquon Barkley had 19 yards rushing and caught two passes for 47 yards, but the rest of the team combined for minus-16.

Michigan: The Wolverines dominated in the trenches, with their defensive line continuously overrunning Penn State's offensive line. They registered five sacks while building their first-half lead and Speight had all the time he needed.

Poll implications
Michigan: The Wolverines came in at No. 4 and there seems little chance that will change much with No. 1 Alabama winning earlier in the day in a blowout and No. 2 Ohio State on a bye.

Up next
Penn State: Returns to Happy Valley for the first of three straight home games. The Nittany Lions face Minnesota next Saturday in the Golden Gophers' first trip to Penn State since 2009.

Michigan: Plays its fifth-straight game at the Big House to open the season, but will have a tougher test against Wisconsin. The 11th-ranked Badgers routed No. 8 Michigan State 30-6 in East Lansing.