7:12pm PT by Jackie Strause
Ted Cruz Beats Jimmy Kimmel in Basketball Showdown
Sen. Ted Cruz (R-Texas) on Saturday emerged victorious after facing off against his opponent, late-night host Jimmy Kimmel, on the basketball court. The final score was 11 to 9.
After promoting the match-up dubbed "The Blobfish Basketball Classic" all week long, Kimmel and Cruz competed in the one-on-one game at Texas Southern University.
The Jimmy Kimmel Live! host had talked a big game ahead of the event, promising to deliver "Ted Cruz's second most-embarrassing loss to a TV host in recent memory" when they squared off. Cruz responded with a practice video.
The idea originated when Kimmel likened Cruz to a "blobfish" after the Texas senator attended game seven during the NBA's Western Conference Finals. Cruz responded on Twitter by challenging the TV host to a battle on the court, and Kimmel accepted.
The contest initially was set as the first to 15, with each basket counting as a single point, but the game got cut short because it was reportedly running too long. Kimmel and Cruz played for two Houston charities — Generation One and Texas Children's Hospital, respectively — with the loser set to donate $5,000 to the winner's pick. Attendees were invited to donate to any cause of their choosing.
Heading into the game, Cruz (with home state advantage) was favored to win at 5-11, while Kimmel was listed at 8-5, according to online betting site Bovada.
Agreed. Two great charities run by great people. https://t.co/VBDhB8YNso— Jimmy Kimmel (@jimmykimmel) June 17, 2018
The showdown aired on Monday night's Jimmy Kimmel Live!, with the defeated host explaining that the game was "ugly, sloppy and within moments, we were gasping for air" like a blobfish. The ABC late-night host joked that it took almost one hour to get to six points.
"The game was very rough, there were nothing but fouls the whole game long. I have bruises all over my body — he kept poking me with his hooves," Kimmel joked about playing the "least popular member of the U.S. Senate."
Watch the full "Blobfish Basketball Classic" segment, including Kimmel's courtside smack-talking with Cruz, below.
Lauren Huff contributed to this report.
June 19, 6:15 a.m. Updated with Kimmel segment