03/16/2012 10:30 am ET Updated May 16, 2012

Top 5 Sports Stories

TGIF everyone here's my Top 5 for March 16, 2012 from Len Berman at

1. Quick Hits

  • #1 seed Syracuse survived against #16 UNC Asheville 72-65. A couple of questionable calls down the stretch helped the Orange. #12 seed VCU pulls the biggest upset (again) beating #5 Wichita State 62-59.
  • There are 16 more games today to complete the second round.
  • The NBA trade deadline has come and gone. Dwight Howard will stay in Orlando through next season. Derek Fisher heads from the Lakers to Houston.
  • Portland waives their former #1 overall pick Greg Oden. Thanks to knee injuries he appeared in just 82 games over five seasons.
  • Look out for the Pittsburgh Penguins. Sidney Crosby returns and the Penguins beat the Rangers 5-2 for their 10th straight win.
  • The Buffalo Bills sign free agent defensive end Mario Williams to a record setting $100-million deal. Williams played six seasons in Houston.
  • He's got game. President Obama was 14-2 on his NCAA bracket yesterday. LeBron James was 11-5.

2. War of Words

Don't you love the catfight between Orlando and Miami? Orlando Magic star Dwight Howard decides to stay put. He hints at the lack of loyalty from other players like LeBron James who jump from place to place. Miami star Dwyane Wade tweets, "Loyalty hahahahaha." (He denied he was referring to Howard.) Since when did Florida become the "Funshine State?"

3. St. Paddy's Day

In honor of tomorrow, the top 5 appropriate sports names of the day.

1. Notre Dame Fighting Irish
2. Patrick Ewing
3. Danica Patrick
4. New Orleans Saints
5. Any sports team from Bowling Green

4. Friday eMailbag

In response to sagging NCAA basketball attendance, Top 5 subscriber P.D. writes, "It used to be that TV was invited to broadcast a game attended by fans. Now fans are invited to sit in and watch the filming of a TV show."

As for the Knicks swoon, J.B. writes, "Is this The End of the LINocence? Are we hearing the Sounds of SiLINce?"
And from C.C. "The Iditarod is wrapping up this week. It's more interesting than the Knicks no?"
Editor's Note: I will not be sucked into dog references.

When I tweeted @LenBermanSports that Jets owner Woody Johnson claimed they "passed" on Peyton Manning, which might be news to Peyton, M.H. replied, "With the exception of Mara/Tisch the ownership groups of this town tend to gather in the Delusional Cafe."
And M.M. tweeted, "I passed on winning the lottery; decided to work into my 80's instead."

The Yankees have a new perfume, and when I asked what other team's fragrances would smell like:
D.L. on Facebook at "Len Berman's Top 5," "The Jets, talk is cheap, so is our perfume."
P.D. Red Sox "Popeyes Chicken and Bud Light."
R.T. "The Mets perfume would smell like Ben Gay!"

5. Spanning the World

This week's Spanning the World highlight is a commercial for the Seattle Mariners. Certainly makes an impression, no?
Spanning the World airs monthly on NBC's Today Show. Next up: Thursday March 29 in the 8:30am half hour.

Happy Birthday: Clippers star Blake Griffin. 23.
Bonus Birthday: "Hey, Laaaaady!" Jerry Lewis. 86.

Today in Sports: Paul Hornung and Alex Karras were reinstated by the NFL after a year suspension for betting on football games. 1964.
Bonus Event: 100 years ago today, the wife of President William Howard Taft plants the first cherry tree in Washington D.C. 1912.

Fun Fact: Among other places, the Top 5 was read this week in Venezuela, China, the Czech Republic and the United Arab Emirates. But nyet, still no Russia.

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