Happy Tuesday everyone, here's my Top 5 for April 5, 2011 from Len Berman at www.ThatsSports.com.
1. Quick Hits
* U-Conn won its third NCAA men's basketball championship last night, beating Butler 53-41.
* The women's championship is tonight in Indianapolis between Notre Dame and Texas A&M.
* NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell wants HGH testing in the new labor deal with players.
* In baseball, Baltimore and Texas are off to 4-0 starts.
* Manchester United's Wayne Rooney has been suspended two games for dropping the F-bomb on TV after he scored a goal the other day.
* Cameron Diaz says "It's absolutely not true" that she's going to make a baseball movie with her boyfriend Alex Rodriguez. Bummer.
2. That Championship Season
Last night's championship game will long be remembered for what it didn't have: made baskets. Butler set the all-time record for futility in a championship game, shooting just 18.8 per cent. Their two top dogs, Matt Howard and Shelvin Mack, shot a combined five for 28.
It was ugly. But not for U-Conn, whose defense has to get some of the credit. And congratulations to Top 5 subscriber Kenny V. He won our NCAA contest by correctly picking U-Conn to win it all before the tournament began. He guessed a final score of 67-62, which was the closest of the four correct entries. Why did Kenny pick U-Conn? He goes to school there. Party on, Kenny. When he's done celebrating he'll have his choice of a Magic Johnson autographed basketball, or a $250 gift certificate, both courtesy of our friends at Steiner Sports. I'll announce the winner of the mini-contest tomorrow for a That's Sports hat.
3. Hall of Famers
That's some class that's been elected to the Basketball Hall of Fame. Dennis Rodman heads the list. Say what you want about all the lunacy that surrounded him, he was one helluva basketball player. Chris Mullin also made it. I've mentioned in the Top 5 that I announced his Big East games on TV. What I haven't mentioned is the first time I interviewed him. He was in high school, and I started the interview by calling him "John Mullin" by mistake. Chris said, "Cut." Heck, he was heading to St. John's. Anyway, a terrific talent. And one of the others who made it is Satch Sanders, the old Boston Celtic. The first Celtics game I ever announced, Satch was my sidekick. You will never meet a finer gentleman in all of sports. Congrats to all the new Hall of Famers.
4. False Accusations
Often times when wild accusations are made, they make huge headlines. When the charges get dropped, the story gets buried. Then there's the Duke lacrosse case. When a woman claimed rape, news organizations were quick to paint the story as white vs. black, rich kids vs. poor. One problem. The story was all made up. The woman who started it all five years ago has now been arrested for stabbing her boyfriend. A reminder of how reputations were nearly ruined by this woman. And how the Duke lacrosse coach unfairly lost his job over it.
5. The Gloved One
So where should a Michael Jackson statue be unveiled? Right. Outside a soccer stadium in London. It's the idea of Fulham team owner Mohamed Al Fayed. He wanted to erect it at Harrods Department Store, but when he sold the store, the soccer stadium won out. Al Fayed was a friend of Jackson's, in fact, Michael even attended one of their games. Some fans think the statue is an abomination. But Al Fayed could care less. He said, "If some stupid fans don't understand and appreciate such a gift, they can go to hell." Nice.
Happy Birthday: Can't he keep a job? Now with his fourth team, the White Sox, former Met, National and Pirate Lastings Milledge. 26.
Bonus Birthday: What is it about April 5th and actors? Spencer Tracy (1900), Bette Davis (1908) and Gregory Peck (1916) were all born on this date.
Today in Sports: Jess Willard knocked out Jack Johnson in the 26th round in Havana to win the heavyweight championship. 1915.
Bonus Event: The FOX TV network is born. 1987.
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