See my article on the Lakers/Spurs game.
The biggest piece of news I woke up to Monday morning was that Ohio State Football Head Coach Jim Tressel was informed back in April 2010 that some of his players were selling gear and memorabilia in exchange for free tattoos which lead to five Buckeyes (quarterback Terrelle Pryor, tailback Dan “Boom” Herron, wide receiver DeVier Posey, left tackle Mike Adams, and defensive end Solomon Thomas) being suspended for the first five games of the 2011 season. The suspension was handed down on December 23rd of that year. What really caused controversy was the fact the five players were allowed to play in the Sugar Bowl against Arkansas, which they won 31-26. There was no doubt in my mind (and the minds of thousands of other fans) that if the players had not played in the bowl, Ohio State would have surely lost (considering that Pryor accounted for 336 total yards, Herron was the second leading rusher and had a TD, Posey was the leading receiver, and Thomas made the game ending interception). With this new information, everything seems worse. Tressel knew about the infractions and yet chose to do nothing about it (which in itself is a major NCAA violation), citing that he “didn’t know who to go to” and that he didn’t want to risk the “confidentiality” of the source. I’m calling bullshit. Ohio State handed down a self-imposed two game suspension. They also “contemplated” handing down a more severe punishment. If they think that these self-imposed sanctions will appease the NCAA, they’re wrong. I hope the NCAA brings the hammer down on them. Then again, I wouldn’t be surprised if the NCAA did nothing, seeing as they have embarrassed themselves with the handling of the aforementioned suspensions and (s)Cam Newton. Mark Schlabach of ESPN.com has a good piece on this matter.
I was extremely surprised to learn that Tiki Barber announced that he was coming out of retirement. As a Giants fan, I was glad that this clown retired; the guy couldn’t hold on to a football to save his life. Not to mention he threw Tom Coughlin and Eli Manning under the bus. But I guess it isn’t all that bad; after all, the year after he retired we won the Super Bowl. Karma’s a bitch ain’t it? And to top it all off, he was booed by Giants fans at the Ring of Honor induction ceremony on October 4th, 2010 against the Chicago Bears at halftime. Although I didn’t like him as a player, Antonio Pierce, former linebacker for the Giants, was fully committed to the Giants. He was a leader. Tiki Barber was not. Here’s Pierce’s thoughts on Barber.
Congratulations to Kevin Love, who on this day broke the record for consecutive games with adouble-double since the ABA-NBA merger in 1976 by recording his 52nd. Moses Malone held the previous record with 51; however, this is in reality, not really a record. It’s the longest streak since the merger but not all time. Wilt Chamberlain currently holds the longest streak of games with a double-double with 227; he also holds the second most with 220 and third most with 133. I will say though that Chamberlain had an easier time recording his streak of double-doubles; there was not nearly as much talent back then and the average height of an NBA player was roughly 6’2 (did the math on my own). Still very impressive nonetheless and still one of the top three centers of all time.
See my article on the Lakers/Heat game.
The University of Connecticut defeated the Syracuse University in the Big East Tournament semifinals 76-71 in overtime. This game was reminiscent of the 6 OT thriller the two had two years ago in the quarterfinals of the Big East Tournament. Kemba Walker was the man as usual, scoring 33 points and grabbing 12 rebounds.
The NFL Players Association decertified after failing to reach an agreement with the NFL over a new collective bargaining agreement. The players then filed an anti-trust suit against the owners. Thus the lockout begins and we the fans are left wondering whether or not one of the most popular past times in America will play any games this upcoming season. Howard Bryant of ESPN.com has a great article regarding the fans. Lester Munson who is ESPN’s legal analyst also has some great articles explaining the details surrounding the lockout. They can be found here and here.
Also happening on Saturday were the Finals of the Big East Tournament. The University of Connecticut defeated the University of Louisville 69-66. UConn did something no other team in NCAA Basketball history had done–win five games in five nights to clinch a conference championship. Kemba Walker, the tourney MVP and Player of the Year candidate, was spectacular scoring 19 points and making play after play. He also set a Big East Tournament record by scoring 130 total points. Congrats to the Huskies. Hopefully my Georgetwon Hoyas will have a better showing the NCAA Tourney.