What we're watching (all times EST):: Villanova at South Florida (ESPN2) and Rutgers at Notre Dame (ESPNU) in men's college basketball at 7. Memphis at New Jersey (NBATV) in NBA basketball at 7:30. Boston at Montreal (NBCSN) in NHL Hockey at 7:30. North Carolina at Miami (Fla.) (ESPN) in men's college basketball at 8. Arsenal at AC Milan (tape delay) (Fox Sports Net) in UEFA Champions League Soccer at 8. Oklahoma State at Missouri (ESPN2) and Providence at Cincinnati (ESPNU) in men's college basketball at 9. Portland at Golden State (ESPN) in NBA basketball at 10.
When a high school basketball player's heart just stops beating: "Later, when Gary and Jocelyn searched their memories for some outward sign of their son's declining health, they could find none. He never missed a game or complained about shortness of breath. In at least two games that winter, he had flulike symptoms but still played well. Even toward the end of the season he came home after every game to lift weights and jump rope. If there was pain in his heart, he kept it to himself. He had a cough and a sore throat the first week of March. But on the day of the Bridgman game he felt well enough to take on his friend and teammate DeMarcus McGee in a dunk contest, during which he bounced the ball off the backboard and jammed it home. If Wes's normal appearance was an illusion made possible by his supreme tolerance for pain, one might conclude he was too tough for his own good. Pain, after all, is the body's alarm system. But it's also possible that he felt just fine. His illness could have remained asymptomatic until the moment it became catastrophic." [Sports Illustrated]
Feb 15, 2010: Shaq, Dwight Howard Resolve Nerdiest Beef Ever
Yeah, it's nothing like your situation, Shaq: "Shaquille O'Neal said Tuesday it would be a "travesty" if Dwight Howard leaves the Orlando Magic. O'Neal also said Howard's situation is not like his was when he left for the Lakers in 1996, because he said he wanted to stay with the Magic but had a better option. That's no longer possible, since the collective bargaining agreement allows the home team to offer the largest contract. So O'Neal thinks there may be an "underlying problem" that makes Howard reluctant to sign a contract extension there. 'I think they have to be a little bit worried that he hasn't committed to signing, so there may be an underlying problem of what's really going on,' O'Neal said. 'I don't know if he doesn't like the organization, I don't know if he wants to go to a bigger city where he can get more endorsement deals, he can do movies. No one really knows the problem.'" [ESPN]
Jared Sullinger and Aaron Craft are so cute: "Ohio State basketball fans know Aaron Craft is smooth on the court and Jared Sullinger's got game, but what about off the court and in their love lives? Is Craft the smooth-talking boyfriend who serenades his girl with Miley Cyrus tunes? Does Sullinger take his woman on romantic dates? And how do their girlfriends handle the female fans? Amber Petersen, a second-year in medical dietetics, is Craft's high school sweetheart and has been with him for more than three years. 'Actually, we dated in eighth grade … our first kiss was after a movie,' Petersen said. DeAnn Smith is a fourth-year in sports and leisure studies and has been Sullinger's girlfriend for eight months. She said their love started at MarketPlace. 'I tore my ACL playing rugby, and (Sullinger) always used to help me when I was on crutches at Younkin (Success Center),' Smith said. 'But we didn't officially meet until we were both at MarketPlace hanging out.' Of all of Sullinger's attributes, she said she loves the big kid inside the man who wears the No. 0 jersey. 'He's humble, down to earth and goofy,' Smith said of Sullinger. 'My favorite quality about him would definitely be his personality.'" [The Lantern]
Your Dutch Commercial Interlude:
Nerdiest recruiting scandal ever?: "Imagine if a university without a basketball program recruited Mike Krzyzewski, the legendary coach at Duke University, and not only managed to hire him but also persuaded most of his team to switch with him. In essence, that is what Webster University in St. Louis has done by hiring Susan Polgar, the head of the Texas Tech chess program. Susan Polgar will soon leave to be the coach at Webster University. Ms. Polgar, a grandmaster and a former women's world champion, was hired by Texas Tech University in 2007 to create an elite chess program. The university even named the program after her, calling it the Susan Polgar Institute for Chess Excellence, or Spice. Last April, Texas Tech won the Final Four of Chess, a competition in Herndon, Va., among the top collegiate teams in the country. It was Texas Tech's first championship since Ms. Polgar arrived at the university. Now Ms. Polgar and her husband, Paul Truong, the manager of the chess team, are leaving Texas Tech, which is spread over more than 1,800 acres in Lubbock and has more than 32,000 students. They are heading to Webster, a university mostly geared toward postgraduate students around the world, whose main campus in St. Louis is 47 acres. The chess program at Webster will be called Spice." [New York Times]
Forty years ago, a fight for the ages: "It all began with Ohio State holding a 50-44 lead in those waning seconds, when the Gophers' Clyde Turner committed a flagrant foul on Buckeyes center Luke Witte as he was attempting a layup. Turner was thrown out of the game, but teammate Corky Taylor – seemingly with a gesture of sportsmanship – offered a hand to help up Witte. Taylor instead kneed Witte in the groin and punched him in the head, after which a stomp by the Gophers' Ron Behagen knocked Witte unconscious. Future baseball Hall of Famer Dave Winfield, then a Minnesota basketball player, even got in on the action by landing punches on Ohio State's Mark Wagar. Fans rushed the court, not to celebrate a big win but to ignite an already flammable scene." [Lost Lettermen]
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