1. 1001? No, 20-2
After last night’s 77-73 defeat of No. 4 Duke in South Bend, the Fighting Irish are 20-2. The last time a Notre Dame football team won 20 of 22 games was during the 1992 and 1993 football seasons under Lou Holtz. It’s the hoops team’s best start since 1973-74, when they finished 26-3.
Notre Dame trailed by 10 in the second half. They trailed by 18 at North Carolina State on Sunday (and won)…by 12 in the second half to Miami (and won)…and by 12 at Georgia Tech (and won)–all in the past two weeks.
Coach K is going to have to wait at least until Saturday for his next palindromic win (1001) if not longer: Duke will visit No. 2 Virginia, the nation’s top scoring defense team. The Blue Devils get the Irish back home at Cameron a week from Saturday (Feb. 7).
2. Make Him an Offer
This is Easton Bruyere. He carries a 3,75 GPA, stands 6-3 and weighs a little more than 200 pounds, and led his team to a 13-0 record and a state championship in the largest division while throwing 49 touchdown passes.
Where’s he headed to college? He’ll tell you as soon as some school, any school, offers him a scholarship. Terrific find by Sanjay Kirpalani of Bleacher Report on how this gem has fallen through the cracks.
The popular argument is that Bruyere, who attends Rio Rancho H.S. in New Mexico, is a victim of the Land of Enchantment’s sparse population and unimpressive football reputation. I think it’s because he sounds like something you’d purchase at Murray’s Cheese Shop.
3. Ave Maria!
Where would Maria Sharapova be without the Williams sisters, Serena and Venus? Consider that the siblings, ages 33 and 34, respectively, have between them won 25 Grand Slam singles titles. In third place among current tennis players: Sharapova, who could gain her sixth when she plays in the women’s final at the Australian Open tomorrow.
Although Sharapova is, like, in a nine-way tie for 22nd-most Grand Slam titles (she’d move into a six-way tie for 17th spot with a win), there are only eight other women who, like her, have won at least one Grand Slam at all four tournaments, and that list is pretty impressive: Court, Graf, Evert, Navratilova, Serena, King, Mo Connolly, and Doris Hart.
The 6-2 Russian will never catch Serena (18), but since she is only 27 she still has a good chance of passing Venus (7). And she’ll always wonder where she’d rank all-time if Richard Williams hadn’t been such a well-meaning martinet of a dad.
4. Another Local Phoenix Kid With Talent…
Remember when I told you about that dude from the band The Format who turned out to be Nate Ruess, who went on to become the lead singer of fun.? You don’t? Well, I swear I did. And remember how I always drone on and on about Roger Clyne? Oh, yes, that you remember.
Anyway, this is the band Jared & The Mill, and they’ll open for Darrius Rucker at the Bird’s Nest on Friday night. This is the concert that accompanies the Waste Management Phoenix Open. You’ll like him/them. I like to think of him/them as “Son of Mumford and Sons.”
5. Roam, If You Want To…
\In 1997 your author ran a marathon in Antarctica. I had a good time even if I did not particularly run a good time. What I do remember was meeting a coterie of humans I came to refer to as “The Been There, Done That Honor Society.”
Why? “If you think the Mount Everest Marathon is good, you should try the Kilimanjaro Marathon…” or “Yes, I’ve run two marathons in one day,” etc. Anyway, someone finally figured out how to corral these types for an even greater pay day: seven marathons on seven continents in seven days. Can you imagine the jet lag, much less the wear-and-tear on the body?
In case you were wondering: 10 runners each paid $36,000. The flight plan was Antarctica, Chile, Florida, Madrid, Marrakech, Dubai, Sydney.
NBC 10 p.m.
It’s the series finale of the most beloved hate-watched show of Medium Happy’s own Katie McCollow. Will Lorelia marry Everybody Loves Raymond? Will Hayden Fox finally tell the wife from “Presumed Innocent” that he knows she did it? Will Dax Shepard pull off his wig to reveal that he’s Zach Braff? Will everyone wonder how many more seasons this show might have had if they’d just had an adorable gay couple and a Latina with a spicy rack?