TGIF everyone here's my Top 5 for March 22, 2013 from Len Berman at www.ThatsSports.com.
1. Quick Hits
- Who had Harvard? Sure you did. The Crimson win their first ever NCAA playoff game (only their third tournament) 68-62 over New Mexico. Harvard grad Jeremy Lin tweeted "YYYYYEEEEESSSSSSSSS!!! HARVARD winssss!!! hahahahhah i told you." Clearly spelling wasn't taught at Harvard.
- #16 Southern put a scare into #1 Gonzaga, but Gonzaga prevailed 64-58. Still a 16th seed has never beaten a #1. There are 16 more games today.
- When the Denver Nuggets beat Philly for their 14th straight win, it clinched a playoff spot for the Brooklyn Nets.
- Arnold Palmer Invitational: Justin Rose is the first round leader by two shots at seven under par. Tiger Woods trails by four.
- Congratulations to Top 5 subscriber Rob R. He was the first to lose in the Top 5 NCAA contest (Pick the final two teams). He had Pittsburgh reaching the championship game. The Panthers got blown out by Wichita State in the first round 73-55. And seven of you had New Mexico in the final. Bye-bye now.
2. Cause and Effect?
So is the World Baseball Classic dangerous to the health of its players? Dodgers shortstop Hanley Ramirez will miss two months after thumb surgery. David Wright of the Mets and Mark Teixeira of the Yankees also went home from the Classic with injuries. Who's to say they all wouldn't have been injured anyway? But you can bet owners will remember the walking wounded when the next Classic comes around in 2017.
3. The NHL trade deadline comes up April 3. The Buffalo Sabres aren't the worst team in the league, but they're close. That prompted one fan to come up with this rather amusing video promoting a "Sabres Fire Sale." The Florida Panthers are the worst team in hockey. Maybe no one in South Florida cares enough to be creative.
4. Friday eMailbag
When I asked on Facebook at "Len Berman's Top 5 if "USA baseball should go all in like Olympic basketball to beat up the rest of the planet in the World Baseball Classic?" W.C. responded "An all USA team may not be the power house we think. In 2012 MLB reported that nearly 30 percent of the players are born outside the U.S." And R.M. seems to agree: "Wouldn't matter, we would get killed by Caribbean nations."
As for the increased prize money at the U.S Open reaching $50 million in 2017, G.A. asks a rhetorical question. "If the prize money is zooming... what does that mean for the ticket prices?''
When I mentioned an Illinois Little League raffling off an assault rifle, I wrote "Nothing says the America's Pastime for kids like hot dogs, Cracker Jack and assault weaponry." W.W. responded, "I wonder if the local rifle club raffles off baseball equipment.''
And congrats to each of you who thought you were being original in writing now that Lindsey Vonn is dating Tiger Woods "It's all downhill from here."
5. Spanning the World
This week's Spanning the World highlight is a guy jumping over a speeding car in Australia. I have nothing more to add.
Spanning the World airs monthly on NBC's Today Show. Next up: Friday March 29th.
Happy Birthday: Houston Texans star defensive end J.J. Watt. 24.
Bonus Birthday: Oscar winning actress Reese Witherspoon. 37.
Today in Sports: The first Stanley Cup is awarded to Montreal. 1894.
Bonus Event: The UCLA Bruins become the first time to win three consecutive NCAA basketball titles. They'd go on to win 7 straight. 1969.
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