Happy Monday everyone, here's my Top 5 for March 26, 2012 from Len Berman at www.ThatsSports.com.
1. Quick Hits
- The Final Four next weekend will feature Kentucky vs. Louisville and Ohio State vs. Kansas.
- The Jets today will hold the biggest news conference ever held for a backup quarterback, Tim Tebow. Owner Woody Johnson says Tebow was a "football decision." Oh.
- Tiger Woods wins the Arnold Palmer Invitational by five shots, his first tour win since September of 2009.
- Game of the night: Atlanta beat Utah 139-133 in four overtimes. It was the first quadruple overtime in the NBA since 1997.
- One of the great sports characters of our time, boxing writer and historian Bert Sugar is dead at the age of 74.
2. Final Four
Can Kentucky be beaten? The Wildcats, the only #1 seed to make it to the Final Four, look awfully tough and their matchup with Louisville not only pits two schools from the same state but the coaching matchup is pretty juicy, John Calipari against Rick Pitino. Back in the '80s schools like Georgetown and Houston looked unbeatable and both got upset. Can it happen again? Of course more important is how you're doing in my Top 5 NCAA contest for "valuable prizes," here's how many of you are still alive.
Ohio State: 11
3. Making a Statement
Miami Heat players are making a statement. LeBron James tweeted this picture of the team wearing hoodies with their heads bowed. It's in tribute to slain Florida teenager Trayvon Martin who was shot and killed by a neighborhood crime-watch volunteer in Sanford, Florida. Trayvon was wearing a hoodie at the time of the shooting. Some of the Heat players had messages on their sneakers during last Friday's game in Detroit. James wrote "RIP Trayvon Martin" and Chris Bosh had "We Want Justice" on his. I'm sure there are those who believe in separation of sports and provocative issues, maybe players shouldn't have messages on their uniforms, but in this social media world, players, fans and everyone else will be heard.
4. Joba Chamberlain
Yankees pitcher Joba Chamberlain burst on the scene like a comet. In 2007 he was unhittable. The Yankees devised "Joba Rules" to limit his pitches and protect their valuable property. Too bad they couldn't place him in a bubble. Nothing has replicated 2007. He went from reliever to starter and back again like a yo-yo. He had very public arrest for DUI. He underwent Tommy John reconstructive elbow surgery and now he's suffered a horrible ankle injury while playing on a trampoline with his 5-year-old son. His career may be in jeopardy at the tender age of 26. The future seemed limitless for Joba just five short seasons ago.
Kazakhstan's Maria Dmitrienko won a gold medal last week at the Arab Shooting Championships in Kuwait. But when it came time for the national anthem, they played a spoof anthem by mistake from the movie Borat: Cultural Learnings of America for Make Benefit Glorious Nation of Kazakhstan. Part of the lyrics of the fake anthem: "Kazakhstan's prostitutes cleanest in the region. Except of course for Turkmenistans." Kuwait has apologized for the gaffe. And credit Maria Dmitrienko for being a trooper. When the "anthem" stopped playing, she warmly smiled. I guess it would be politically incorrect to say it was kind of funny, so I won't.
Happy Birthday: Former Utah Jazz star John Stockton. 50.
Bonus Birthday: The Supreme's Diana Ross. 68.
Today in Sports: They blew up the Kingdome in Seattle. Literally. 2000.
Bonus Event: Dr. Jonas Salk announces a vaccine that prevents polio. 1953.
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