Who doesn’t love a good rivalry? Especially when your team wins. We told you we bleed blue…but here’s something that both UNC and Duke fans and really everyone can be in awe of…the strength and courage of Andre Dawkins.
With March Madness just around the corner, we pulled together a sports 101 post to break down the ins and outs of the process that leads to the Conference Champions. To shore up your college basketball knowledge, visit our Championship Week 101 post.
QUIPS FOR THIS WEEK
There’s a reason they call it the best rivalry in sports. In a game that was closer than what the final score shows, #5 Duke beat #14 UNC 93-81 in a fast-paced, highly entertaining game at Cameron Indoor Stadium. Jabari Parker was unstoppable for most of the night and led Duke with 30 points and 11 rebounds, while Carolina’s Marcus Paige willed Carolina back to a close game with his great play. This was UNC’s first loss in 12 games, and a much needed win for Duke, which was coming off a loss to Wake Forest this past week. Now it’s onward to the ACC Tournament, which kicks off later this week where Duke will be the 3-seed and Carolina will be the 4-seed.
In the battle of best individual performances of the weekend, Andrew Wiggins and Doug McDermott both put on quite a show. Wiggins, a star freshman out of #8 Kansas, led the Jawhawks with 41 points and 8 rebounds, 5 steals and 4 blocks in a loss to West Virginia on the road. Of note, is that Kansas was missing their other star freshman Joel Embiid, who’s out with a back injury until the Big 12 tournament. Player of the year candidate Doug McDermott of #13 Creighton dropped 45 points in a win over Providence. The high-scoring performance put the senior over the 3000 point mark, making him the 8th player in Division 1 hoops history to do so. In other news, #3 Arizona lost to Oregon on Saturday while #5 Virginia fell to Maryland in overtime in the Terrapin’s last home game as a member of the ACC on Sunday.
For being the #1 team in the country, very few people are talking about Florida. Well, it seems like the Gators are just fine without your attention. In a big win, #1 Florida became the first team in the SEC to go 18-0 with a win over #25 Kentucky. This win pretty much ensures that they will be overall #1 seed in the NCAA tournament even if they lose in the SEC Tournament next week. And it really shouldn’t be that surprising, the Gators are led by a group of seniors who know how to win. Maybe we should start talking about them…
In Women’s hoops, the weekend was full of conference tournaments. In the Big East, undefeated and #1 Connecticut crushed #24 Rutgers for the championship title. In the SEC, #6 Tennessee topped #12 Kentucky in a big victory for their conference championship. As for the ACC, after defeating #13 UNC in the semis, #10 Duke would fall to undefeated #2 Notre Dame in the championship final Sunday night.
What’s coming up this week? It’s officially Conference Championship week for men’s college basketball! #2 Wichita State won the MVC championship on Sunday and is now going into to the NCAA Tournament at an amazing 34-0), but the major conferences all kick off their championship tournaments this week.
And stay tuned for our March Madness Primer that will be hitting your inbox soon!
You can’t think of excellence in the NBA without thinking about Phil Jackson. Thus, it’s no surprise that the struggling New York Knicks have reached out to Jackson, one of the best coaches in the history of the game. The Knicks have reportedly offered him the President of Basketball Operations position. Why would the Knicks do this? Let’s start with the resume: 11 championships as a coach (6 with the Chicago Bulls, 5 with the LA Lakers) and 2 as a player (with the New York Knicks). Expect a decision this week.
Don’t say LeBron James doesn’t appreciate his teammates. On Saturday, the NBA’s best player charted a private jet to Cleveland to attend the jersey retirement ceremony for his former teammate Zydrunas Illgauskas. James credits his friend Illgauskas as someone who mentored and guided him when he arrived as 18 year old rookie straight out of high school. After the celebration, LeBron jetted to Chicago to meet up with his teammates on the Miami Heat which would end in a loss to the Joakim Noah and the Chicago Bulls in overtime on Sunday.
Let’s talk standings. With roughly a month and a half until the NBA playoffs, records are starting to matter more than ever. Currently, in the East, the Miami Heat are closing in on the Indiana Pacers for the #1 spot. Why does this matter? It’s all about home court advantage and both teams want it. In the NBA playoffs, you play a best of 7, with the higher seed getting the opportunity to start and end at home. The rest of the East is a tier below. As for the West, after losing to the LA Lakers on Sunday, the Oklahoma City Thunder fell behind the San Antonio Spurs, who are on top of the standings for now. The best of the West rolls deep, as the Houston Rockets, LA Clippers, Portland Trail Blazers and Golden State Warriors are all looking to make their moves to a top spot in the playoffs.
What’s on deck this week? The Houston Rockets host the Oklahoma City Thunder Tuesday, the Portland Trail Blazers head to San Antonio to take on the Spurs while the Golden State Warriors take on the LA Clippers in LA on Wednesday.
William Clay Ford Sr. the owner of the Detroit Lions passed away from pneumonia at the age of 88 this past Sunday. William Clay Ford Sr. and the Ford family have meant so much to the city of Detroit both on and off the football field. We send our thoughts to his family, may he rest in peace.
And just like that Tiger Woods played himself back in and then out of contention. After a strong round in golf at Doral on Saturday, Woods overcame a rocky start to propel himself back into a chance to win in the WGC-Cadillac Championship only to fall back behind on Sunday. 23 year old American golfer Patrick Reed would go on to win the championship.
Why doesn’t SQ ever talk about the NHL? Good point, let’s. On Saturday night, the Dallas Stars retired the jersey of former player Mike Modano. Modano played 21 years in NHL and is one of the best players in the history of the Dallas Stars franchise. He is also remembered as one of the greatest American goal scorers of all time.
Oh yeah and we are officially 20 days away from Opening Day in Major League Baseball which kicks off March 30th, 2014. Bring on the hot diggity dogs!
Finally, the Paralympic Winter Games kicked off Saturday in Sochi. Athletes will compete until March 17th in five events including Alpine skiing, biathlon, cross-country skiing, ice sledge hockey and wheelchair curling.
JUST FOR FUN
STORIES FOR INSIGHTS, COOL FACTOR + DEBATE
A True Hero
The impact of Coach Dean Smith
Reflecting on his legendary career helps us to recognize all that Coach Smith has done for the game on and off the court
Tommy Amaker has transformed the Harvard Crimson
Coach Tommy Amaker hasn’t looked back since he arrived in Cambridge and Harvard’s men’s basketball team is looking stronger than ever.
This Rookie can play
Get to know Giannis Antetokounmpo
19 year-old Giannis Antetokounmpo of Greece is the future of the Milwaukee Bucks and one of the best rookies in the league. Oh and he’s 6’9″ and still growing.
Runners pause their 408K race to thank a WWII vet
Joe Bell (age 95) was cheering them on when they stopped to shake his hand
The road less traveled
Take a look at the seniors that have made the Florida Gators No. 1
Instead of being “one-and-dones,” these guys have stayed the course
Reflections on Sochi
We share two perspectives on Sochi from two friends of ours. One is from Lani Seelinger, an American living in Prague and the other is from Suzanne Smith, an American was at Sochi.