About Last Weekend: Big East Memories

C.J. FairIn case you were busy celebrating your big Oscars win by drunk-dialing Matt Damon and yelling, “How ’bout dem apples!” here’s what you missed in sports last weekend.

  • Georgetown and Syracuse played their penultimate rivalry game as members of the Big East, with Georgetown getting the win at the Carrier Dome, 57-46. While they won’t be members of the same conference much longer, the two schools both suggested the possibility of future games against each other. But let’s get real; we all know how this ends up. For a month or two, they’ll call each other every night. But slowly, Georgetown will find itself getting very close with Marquette, as they share a faith and a set of values. Syracuse, meanwhile, will plan to come down for a game in D.C., but they won’t be able to make it due to a prior commitment in New York with Duke. And as things will get serious with Georgetown and Marquette (they had been saving themselves, after all), Syracuse will drunk-dial Georgetown and say things they don’t mean about Allen Iverson, and Georgetown will throw the whole Gerry McNamara thing in Syracuse’s face. The two schools won’t be on speaking terms for years, as Syracuse, abandoned again, will wind up in a co-dependent and destructive relationship with UConn.
  • Miami had its 14-game winning streak and perfect start to the ACC season snapped by Wake Forest, 80-65, in Winston-Salem. The upset was even more shocking, as Wake Forest coach Jeff Bzdelik used a ragtag group of little-known reserves and walk-ons to pull off the upset: Cliff Paul, Cliff Duncan, Cliff Howard, Cliff Teague, and Cliff Larkin, who cryptically admitted he was only enrolled at the school to “teach my son a Hall-of-Fame style lesson.”
  • Jimmie Johnson broke his six-year slump at the Daytona 500, holding off Dale Earnhardt Jr. to collect the first title of the NASCAR Sprint Cup season. Johnson, who flew under the radar all week as Danica Patrick became the first woman to earn a pole at the Sprint Cup level, displayed his trademark flow and wordplay after the race, saying, “Five times a champ might not get y’all Amped, and the Go Daddy girl neither won, placed, or showed, but Lowe’s and behold, how the race did unfold, Johnson on top, all y’all young punks been told,” before dropping the mic and leaving his press conference. When told of what Johnson said, Patrick and Earnhardt responded by saying that while they didn’t want this rhyme to blow up into some sort of East Coast/West Coast racing feud, they would be dropping a joint mixtape shortly, where they would both lyrically imply that they had sex with Johnson’s wife.
  • The Daytona 500 was overshadowed by a violent crash at the end of the DRIVE4COPD 300 NASCAR Nationwide race that preceded it, which injured dozens in attendance. “Seriously? This is the worst,” said COPD foundation Director of Community Outreach Bill Clark. “You get a job trying to raise awareness of the causes of and treatments for Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease, and this happens. “I’m making a difference in people’s lives; what’s the worst that could happen?” For Pete’s sake. COPD awareness is really important, and if you have symptoms, you should get it checked out before it manifests itself as something worse.” Clark went on to ask, “Why couldn’t this have happened at the Sam’s Town 300 in Las Vegas? Or, um, not at all. Preferably not at all.”
  • LeBron James and the Miami Heat topped the Cleveland Cavaliers, 109-105, in Miami, but the Cavaliers let James know they’re really doing well. They’re no longer fooling around with Antawn Jamison, and they’ve gotten themselves back into shape and are seeing this great new guy named Kyrie. And, yeah, you know, maybe they can be friends again. Time does heal all wounds, and it would be nice, you know, to maybe get a cup of coffee and catch up. And if it turned into more than that, well, there’s always an opt-out clause, but no pressure, and that isn’t what this was about at all. Just checking in. As friends. Just friends.
  • The Golden State Warriors had themselves a winning weekend, getting a hard-fought victory over the San Antonio Spurs, 107-101, in overtime, before going on the road, where they held off a late charge from the Minnesota Timberwolves, winning, 100-99. Rumors of the team, which now sits in sixth place in the Western Conference, no longer being the Golden State Warriors were quickly quashed, as word came out that Andrew Bogut is out indefinitely with back spasms.
  • The Ultimate Fighting Championship staged its first bout between female fighters as Ronda Rousey won the main event at UFC 157 with a submission win over Liz Carmouche. Rousey used her patented armbar hold after Carmouche’s attempt to land a rear-naked choke was shrugged off by the champion, the same rear-naked choke used by former bantamweight champion Urijah Faber to secure a win in his undercard match over Ivan Menjivar. “But, awww,” said MMA aficionado Steve Pastor when he realized he could no longer just use “rear-naked choke” as a punchline in and of itself, as the juxtaposition of these two results had scrambled his sense of irony.
  • The Yankees’ preseason injury woes continued, as outfielder Curtis Granderson fractured his forearm after being hit by a pitch in his first at-bat of spring training. The emotion those of you outside of New York are feeling upon reading this has no English word to describe it, although the Dutch do have a term for it: Steinbrennenwaardig, the deep and raw pleasure of watching a Yankees team that has little chance of contending for a World Series. Note: Appropriate usage for this word includes reacting to images of an out-of-shape Derek Jeter, Carl Pavano giving an interview, or Alex Rodriguez doing anything. Inappropriate times to use this word are in relation to Mariano Rivera’s recovery from knee surgery, or anytime you’re in the presence of Don Mattingly.
  • Matt Kuchar held off fellow American Hunter Mahan to win the Accenture Match Play Championship in Tucson, Arizona. And those were boos you heard, not fans yelling “Kooch,” as Kuchar played the heel in his final round, goading the crowd with taunts and obscene gestures between shots. “I’m the Kooch, and I do as I please,” he yelled before taking a mulligan on the fifth hole after distracting course officials. Mahan has demanded a cage-fight rematch, which, in PGA parlance, refers to a match in which the competitors drive Golf Ball Pickers into each other until one of them is declared the winner.

  • This article has been updated to correct a reference that Georgetown and Syracuse played their last game as Big East opponents.

Filed Under: About Last Weekend, Big East, Cleveland Cavaliers, Georgetown, Golden State Warriors, Miami, Miami Heat, Minnesota Timberwolves, New York Yankees, San Antonio Spurs, Syracuse

spikeheadshot

Spike Friedman is a contributing writer for Grantland and makes theater with the Satori Group in Seattle, Washington.

Archive @ SpikeFriedman