It was just NBA All-Star weekend in New Orleans and after last year's debacle on the Las Vegas strip where crime was rampant and people literally were fearing for their lives, we here at MTAC were convinced that New Orleans was not exactly the smartest idea for a follow-up city. The good news is that by all accounts, it was an overwhelming success, lots of money was pumped into the New Orleans economy and no major incidents were reported. More Highlights from the weekend:
Dwight Howard put on a show and the Dunk Contest was possibly reborn.
Our boy Lebron James proved once again why he is "The King," winning the all-star MVP for the second time in three years as the East took down the West 134-128.
The Indy Star's Bob Kravitz continued his assault on Kelvin Sampson, and gives all the glory for Saturday's big win to the IU players.
Have you seen Aretha Franklin's feet lately? Neither has she. Holy crap is she large.
I despise LC. This is a classic bitter rant from her about why Valentine's Day sucks. The answer is because when you are a total c-rag bitch and are alone, life isn't very fair.
Sam Smith, the best NBA writer in the biz, with solid NBA rumors including more on that fraud Larry Brown wanting to return to the NBA.
Some 45 year old dude claims he is JFK's illegitimate son.
The shooter in the NIU tragedy had a girlfriend who saw no signs that this was coming. She finally broker her silence. It's an interesting read.
Clear Channel Communications, otherwise know as "Cheap Channel" is at it again.
Wake Forest 86 #2 Duke 73 - Didn't we say Duke was due for a loss? The picture above is something you should all take a look at, because something like this will never happen again. Ever. All five Duke starters fouled out thanks to a 17-2 second half run in which Wake pulled away with nine minutes left. The Devils then went into fouling mode to try to catch up via the free throw line. Wake's James Johnson and Jeff Teague took it right at the Duke post players as Wake wrote the script on how to beat Coach K's club. Pound the post with your best big man (Johnson had 24 and 16), opening up good looks for your wing players (Teague had 26). Defensively, full court pressure the Duke guards so they are prone to turn the ball over (21 turnovers) and make them rush their threes (8-28 for the game). It's easier said then done, but that is what Wake did. They are a tough team to beat at home and are now 14-1. Nolan Smith led Duke with 21.
"Teague did a great job on defense, but I think it was just us not being as aggressive as we've been all year, taking the right shots, and just passing up a lot of shots that we should have taken, and second-guessing ourselves early," Smith said. "Lackadaiscial turnovers, out of bounds, that's what happens." "Tonight, we played like we've already done something, and the team that had to win won," Coach K said. "We have to always play like we have to win. That's the sign of a champion. That's a part of learning. We have some young guys who haven't been champions before, and they're trying to learn how to be that. Sometimes the best lessons are ones that are taught in defeat."
#6 UCLA 56 USC 46 - Seriously, is there any more over-hyped player in the college game than USC's O.J. Mayo? He is the classic case of a player who's game doesn't fit the more "team first" college game, and will be much better on the pro level. Mayo was completely locked down by UCLA's Russell Westbrook and scored a career-low four points, while turning it ball over a whopping 10 times. Meanwhile, the Bruins weren't pretty, but they methodically took apart their rival and got their revenge for the earlier stunning loss at Pauley. Darren Collison led the way with 14. Kevin Love worked extremely hard to get his 13 (5-14 from the field) and grabbed 11 boards. Returning form an ankle injury, Luc Richard Mbah a Moute added a double-double of his own with 10 and 10. "Luc was a huge boost for us even though he's not at full strength," UCLA coach Ben Howland said. "Russell did a great job on Mayo, one of the best players in the country." The stat of the night: Four of USC's five starters played all 40 minutes and they usedonly six players and Keith Wilkinson played only eight minutes off the bench. All five UCLA starters played at least 30 minutes and the Bruin bench only played a total of 26 minutes.
#18 Notre Dame 71 Rutgers 68 - There are no easy road games in the Big East. Just ask UConn after their escape job in Tampa Saturday. Or the Irish after surviving in Piscataway yesterday. Star Center Luke Harangody struggled most of the day, shooting just 5-16 from the floor, but guards Tory Jackson and Kyle McAlarney stepped in and picked up the slack. The starting Irish guards combined for 33 points while Jackson dished out 10 dimes. PF Rob Kurz chipped in 11 points and 14 rebounds and the Irish kept pace with Big East leaders Georgetown, Louisville, and UConn. All four teams sit with three losses. Rutgers had two golden opportunities but were snake bitten. Trailing by one, Harangody missed the front end of a one and one with 13.1 seconds left, and two Scarlet Knights went for the ball and lost it out of bounds with nobody guarding them. A three point try by Corey Chandler fell short at the buzzer. "It wasn't the prettiest game we could have played, but we grinded it out," said Harangody. "The important thing is, we're 9-3 now, that's what we're looking for."
West Virginia 89 Seton Hall 68 - Bob Huggins' club is now 7-5 in the Big East and moving closer to an NCAA bid with another solid win over the Pirates. Many nights, the Mountaineers have a hard time scoring, but not on this one. They shot 53% from the field and nailed 11 threes. Alex Ruoff and Da'Sean Butler each had 15 to pace WVU.