1. The Gift of the Magi(c) The Heat’s first stop on its four-game road trip is a
puddle Lake Okeechobee-jumper upstate to Orlando, who own the league’s second-worst record. Miami went on a 20-2 run late in the third and coasted to its 27th straight win, 108-94 . Of course, this was the second-most important game between two Florida-based teams this week (FGCU vs. UF in NCAAs later on). Meanwhile in New Orleans, Denver’s 15-game win streak was truncated by Brian Roberts (WHO???) and the New Orleans Not-Yet-Pelicans. Roberts, a rookie from Dayton making his second start, had 18 assists as the NONYP Gulf-coasted, 110-86.
2. He’s baaaaaaaaaaack. Tiger Woods wins the Arnold Palmer Invitational (our invitation never arrived, either) and more importantly, returns to his rightful No. 1 ranking for the first time since October, 2010 (you know what happened the following month). Tiger went some 2 1/2 years without a victory. He has now won six times in his past 20 starts and three times in 2013. It’s actually going to be a surprise if he does not win at Augusta next month.
3. Hey, JW, is there any connection between Florida Gulf Coast basketball and Notre Dame? Why, as a matter of fact there is. The NCAAs may be the Big Dance, but the world’s largest annual outdoor basketball tournament, Bookstore Basketball, is just commencing in South Bend. More than 600 teams participate. Last year’s champion, Hoops We Did It Again, was led by Beau Bauer, a Notre Dame athletic department employee who also happens to be a former captain of the FGCU basketball squad. Bauer hit the game-winning/tourney-winning shot in a driving rain storm (big thanks to @SIDandtheScribe for this info).
4. In sportswriter transaction news, Will Leitch announces that he is leaving New York magazine to join Sports on Earth, the USA Today site. So SoE loses Joe Posnanski, picks up Leitch (and a copy editor to be named later). In related news, and I am not making this up, Will’s old pal Buzz Bissinger announces that he is a…shopaholic. Term I want to use more often: shopaholism. (I think all three of these men suffer from an advanced case of megalomania, but that’s another item for another day).
5. Don’t look now, but it appears as if Geno Auriemma may have gotten the message through to his Huskies after they lost the Big East Championship game to Notre Dame earlier this month. UConn, playing the first two games of the Women’s NCAA Tournament on campus, won by margins of 68 (Idaho) and 33 (Vanderbilt) points. Now Geno’s Traveling Show must trek a full 78 miles southwest to Bridgeport for rounds 3 and 4. A potential Elite Eight matchup would pit UConn against Delaware and former Husky recruit Elena Delle Donne, a six-foot-five senior who is second in the nation in scoring (25.5 points per game). For those of us who are actually interested in women’s hoops, this is the matchup we’re dying to see. Delle Donne has never played UConn.
In music and physical science news, My Chemical Romance is
breaking up dissolving. The solvent? It would seem that lead singer Gerard Way, as this letter attests, had an epiphany while performing in Asbury Park, N.J., last May. So, despite what their most popular tune promises, MCR will not in fact “carry on.”
In replay news, Costa Rica demands a do-over with USA in soccer and Italian prosecutors want to retry Amanda Knox for murder. Double jeopardy is not a principle of the Italian criminal justice system. Extraditing Knox from Seattle to Italy may prove difficult.
That moment, later this week, when NBA fans realize that the epic Miami Heat at San Antonio Spurs game can only be seen on NBA TV.
This is no way to fight for an 8th seed. The Loss Angeles Lakers (36-35) drop their third straight (although, on the bright side, at least this time it was to a playoff-bound squad) at Golden State. The Warriors (41-31) led by 23 at halftime. Warrior coach Mark Jackson was blunt: “We are the better basketball team. They are in the rear view mirror and I have not checked it and I will not.” Stephen Curry (25 points) and Klay Thompson (22) are fast becoming the most dynamic backcourt in the NBA. And Jarrett Jack (19 points) is a super third guard to have around.
This seems, well, unnatural, but somehow the U.S. men’s cross-country squad finished ahead of Kenya in the World Cross Country Championships in Poland this weekend. Ethiopia took gold, the U.S. silver, Kenya bronze.
Chicago native Tom Zbikowski, who was released after one season with the Indianapolis Colts, signs a one-year contract with the Chicago Bears. He always belonged there. Best Chicago native/ND alum to become a Bear since Chris Zorich.
Time magazine puts out its annual Twitter 140. Jim Rome made this list over Bill Simmons, Cecil Hurt and Steve Rushin, meaning that Time did not follow its own standard of finding “the very best wit and wisdom that Twitter has to offer.”
Cyprus banks remain closed until Thursday, or until George Bailey can convince the Russians not to pull all of their money out.
As Flock of Seagulls once sang, “Aurora Borealis comes in view, Aurora comes in vi-eeeeewww.” The Northern Lights, as seen from Iceland last week (doesn’t this deserve an Enya soundtrack?)
When you were 15 and alone in your bedroom, chances are that you were not using your time as productively as Nick D’Aloisio. He taught himself to write computer software and devised a free newsreading app that he sold to Yahoo! yesterday for $30 million. D’Aloisio, who is now 17, will work for Yahoo! out of its London office. No word yet on whether Marissa Mayer will allow him to work from home, even though he seems to do all of his best work there.
Walking Dead marathon
AMC 8 p.m. to 2 a.m.
Taking you from the Season One finale far into Season 2, as Rick and the refugees flee Atlanta. Zombies? No, Freaknic. (I kid, I kid.)
We note that both “Splash” and “Smash” (What rhymes with “trash”?) are on TV tonight. Apparently, the latter is a decent show.