So, did you survive ESPN’s 24 Hour College Basketball Orgy 2008? For the most part, it was a Marathon of Blowouts - nothing gets me pumped up for the season like watching a quality team like Baylor blow out some scrubs like Centenary. Or, like watching a powerhouse like North Carolina destroy an obviously outmatched and undermanned opponent like Kentucky.
Ah yes, the Wildcats - first another embarrassing loss to a non-conference minnow (VMI in 2008 replacing Gardner-Webb from 2007) and now a shellacking on national TV against North Carolina without the services of Tyler Hansbrough. Maybe it’s not enough for Kentucky fans to be sending “We’re Sorry We Ran You Out Of Town” cards to Tubby Smith, but head coach Billy Gillispie has got to be feeling more and more heat every day.
The game of the night was on opposite the Wildcats’ mauling, and featured a pair of preseason All-Americans in Davidson’s Stephen Curry and Oklahoma’s Blake Griffin. And for once the game and the key players lived up to the hype: Curry scored a career-high 44 to (almost) lead the Wildcats back from a 21-point hole, but Griffin’s 25 points and 21 rebounds were enough for the Sooners to survive, 82-78.
Meanwhile, in the world where they pay you to play basketball (up front), the Lakers kept their dream of 81-1 alive by turning back the Bulls 116-109. The hero? For once, it wasn’t Kobe Bryant but Pau Gasol, who had an impressive 34 points on 14 of 21 shooting.
Other sports news that happened last night as you recovered from the shock of hearing a hoax that Miley Cyrus, like, had totally been killed in a car crash, and OMG you just had to go on MySpace with your friends to see if that had happened. LOL.
- The MMA EXPERTS BLOG reports that after years of claiming that he would never allow women to fight in UFC, Dana White is ready to bring in ex-Elite XC sensation/Gladator/party girl Gina Carano into the fold. Finally, someone Tito Ortiz can get a win against (probably).
- Sandanista! SI says that Hall of Famer & American Public Diplomacy Envoy Cal Ripken Jr. is forced to abandon his final planned baseball clinic in Nicaragua after the State Department issues a warning about post-election violence. Thus ending his “Iron Man” streak of three straight baseball clinics at three.
- Brian Cuban posts on his THE CUBAN REVOLUTION blog that his brother Mark is not Martha Stewart. I could have told you that: the fudge Mark made me for Christmas last year was dry and bland.
- The good news for you retro gamers: Tecmo Bowl: Kickoff for the Nintendo DS is available today. The bad news: GAME INFORMER says it’s not very good. No NFL licenses? No QB Eagles?!?
- THE WORLD OF ISAAC enlists the help of Rosie Perez to explain the NFL overtime rule to Donovan McNabb.
- Hines Ward tells the AP that he’s not worried about the Bengals seeking revenge tomorrow night for the hit that broke Cincinnati LB Keith Rivers’ jaw.
- Houston Mitchell of the LOS ANGELES TIMES’ FABULOUS FORUM thinks newly-crowned AL MVP Dustin Pedroia might be a future Hall of Famer, based on his pedigree as a former Rookie of the Year and MVP. Yeah, but Thurman Munson was on that list, too, and look how his career turned out. (Too soon?)
- Speaking of MVPs, Cardinals slugger Albert Pujols is throwing his star power behind St. Louis’ bid to get an MLS expansion team, according to the ST. LOUIS BUSINESS JOURNAL. Let’s see that little twerp Pedroia do THAT! Even if a writer for the MILWAUKEE JOURNAL-SENTINEL did put Pujols 7th on his NL MVP ballot. The writer’s name is Tom Haudricourt, in case you wanted to know just who could be that stupid.
- Rod Benson blogs on BALL DON’T LIE that he’s quite impressed with the ballhandling skills of Milan Tuttle: a five-year-old girl. See her moves for yourself:
- Michael Troy Lewis, the man accused of robbing three North Carolina football players at gunpoint along with two female accomplices, was convicted and sentenced to 23 years in prison, says THE RALEIGH NEWS & OBSERVER.