by John Walters
1. All Fall Down
For only the fourth time in 20 years, a trio of Top 5 teams fall on the same night: No. 3 Oklahoma loses at Texas Tech, No. 4 Iowa loses at Penn State and No. 5 North Carolina loses at home to—hate to say it but it’s true—gritty Duke. Not a single timeout was called in the final 3:52 of the Boo Devils-Tar Heels game. It was a thing of beauty as Duke wins, 74-73.
Top 5 teams have now lost 33 times this season. Enjoy your brackets next month.
2. Bill Is Back! (Sorta)
Everyone’s favorite 2016 star who went into exile (after David Letterman and Jon Stewart), Bill Simmons, announced yesterday that he is starting a new sports and pop culture website called The Ringer. He was going to call it “Die, Roger Goodell, Die” but that URL was taken. I don’t if the The Ringer will launch early enough for 5,000-word recaps on the new Gilmore Girls series, but a boy can dream.
3. “Clutch” Interview
You either love Derek Jeter, loathe Derek Jeter (because his Advanced Stats are so poor) or are dating Derek Jeter. Anyway, he did this interview with Joe Buck yesterday on DirecTV that isn’t going to help the haters hate him less. We true believers know they’re all just jealous (I’d read this explanation as to why if I were you; it’s “The Ringer”-worthy).
I’ve told this story before but for those of you who have not heard it: Early February, 2008. I’m at a restaurant in Hollywood, sort of a locals-only spot, that has just four seats at the bar. I’m seated there waiting for my table. And lo and behold, Ryan Reynolds walks in and sits at the bar with some girl. I don’t even notice her because RR is a rather dashing figure.
Later on my friend Moose joins me and I whisper to her, “Pssst, Ryan Reynolds.” And Moose replies, and I’m paraphrasing here, “Look at who’s with him, dumbass. The woman sitting next to you. It’s Scarlett Johansson.”
We need a judges’ ruling on whether this is “Flori-Duh” or not. An 18 year-old in Fort Lauderdale who may have watched Catch Me If You Can too many times poses as a doctor twice in a 12-month period, posing as “Dr. Robinson” and giving gynecological exams at a holistic health clinic. I admire both the moxie and the ambition.
Why did the young man, Malachi Love-Robinson, pose as a doctor twice? I’m guessing because his patients were seeking a second opinion. And if that’s his real name, why didn’t he pose as Dr. Love? He’d have his own theme song.
Kate Bock in SI (just because)
Cover Me Up
I don’t know too much about Jason Isbell except that he used to be in Drive By Truckers and that a lot of folks who live below the Mason-Dixon Line, love college football and are on my Twitter timeline would lay down their lives for him. So here is the Green Hill, Alabama, native performing on Austin City Limits.
Wisconsin at Michigan State
9 p.m. ESPN
Sparty (21-5) is ranked 8th but three of their five losses are by one point and the other two were to Iowa. Wisconsin has a better conference record but the Badgers are only 16-9 and unranked. Bucky really needs this win. A pair of studs in Denzel Valentine and Nigel Hayes on a pair of teams that advanced to the Final Four last April.