About Last Weekend: Here Comes the Madness

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In case you were murdered on the steps of some forum or another Friday, here’s what you missed in sports this weekend:

  • The NCAA tournament field is set with Kansas, Indiana, Louisville, and Gonzaga your four top seeds for March Madness. Expect upsets this year, as Louisville, despite being named the top overall seed, was drawn into the presumptive “group of death,” featuring such dangerous teams as Duke, St. Louis, and Michigan State. Also, Gonzaga faces a potentially tough early round game against Pittsburgh … oh, god, I’m talking myself into it … who, based on advanced statistics, could actually be a slight favorite over the Zags … DON’T DO IT; DON’T PICK PITTSBURGH … making Pittsburgh my upset special of the tournament … NOOOOOOOOOOOOO.
  • Surprisingly omitted from the top line of the NCAA Tournament were the Miami Heat, who won their 22nd consecutive game Sunday, beating the Toronto Raptors, 108-91. “Who needs this NCAA crap,” Miami forward LeBron James said after the game, before teammate Shane Battier handed him an economic study on the long-term earning effects of college educations that he had co-authored during the offseason with Duke economics professor Arnaud Maurel.
  • Ohio State used a stout defensive effort to take home the Big Ten Championship, beating Wisconsin, 50-43. Badgers head coach Bo Ryan, whose team went without a field goal for the final seven minutes of the game, chalked up the Badgers’ offensive frailty to “offensive frailty? We scored 43 points!”
  • The Los Angeles Clippers beat the injury-ravaged New York Knicks, 93-80, at the Staples Center. The Knicks played without All-Stars Carmelo Anthony and Tyson Chandler. “See,” said Anthony after the game, “we don’t just lose when I play. We can lose all the time. So that should get you off our backs, New York media.”
  • After failing to file paperwork punctually and getting cut by the Denver Broncos, defensive lineman Elvis Dumervil has fired his agent and will seek a new deal in free agency with the CAA. The agency, which also represents Helen Mirren and Julianne Moore, hopes to get Dumervil signed with Focus Pictures so that he can get cast in a period picture to up his “artistic cred,” before targeting the action segment, perhaps lining him up alongside fellow CAA clients Bruce Willis and Jerry Bruckheimer to get Dumervil back on the A-List.
  • In a matchup of top Eastern Conference foes, the Pittsburgh Penguins, led by Sidney Crosby, downed the Boston Bruins, 2-1, at home to with their ninth straight game. The win, which vaulted the Penguins into the top spot in the Eastern Conference, had nothing to do with Boston’s desire to avoid a shootout so as to get home before the city’s St. Patrick’s Day celebration got into full swing. “Whaaaaaat?” said Bruins center Patrice Bergeron. “You’re crazy. You’re so crazy. But seriously, we have to go now.”
  • Kasey Kahne held off Kyle Busch and defending series champion Brad Keselowski to win his first career NASCAR Sprint Cup race at Bristol. Keselowski, who had the fastest car for much of the day, was stymied by a slow final restart and time spent behind Busch, who gained a psychological edge by putting on his right turn signal and occasionally feigning as if he was going to turn into the wall. “AHHHHHHHH, I have the right of way! What the hell is this?” Keselowski yelled into his headset, as his troubles were exacerbated by a family of five running into a crosswalk set up precariously close to turn three, despite the fact that the “Don’t Walk” sign was already blinking.
  • New York Yankees first baseman Mark Teixeira’s wrist injury is worse than initially diagnosed, and he reportedly stands to miss 8-10 weeks with a partially torn tendon sheath. “I’m really shocked by the lack of sympathy we’re getting right now,” said Yankees Manager Joe Girardi. “We’re going to start the season with more money on the DL than most teams have in payroll; why don’t people understand how hard it is to be the Yankees?”
  • In MLS action, the Portland Timbers got a late equalizer from Rodney Wallace to squeak out a 1-1 draw against the Seattle Sounders at CenturyLink Field. The always chippy rivalry was overshadowed by a first-half incident in which the stadium announcer informed the crowd that a Subaru Outback with the bumper sticker “My other car is a bike” had left its lights on in the parking lot. Hundreds of supporters of both teams immediately emptied the stadium, and the scene quickly descended into chaos. “People were making passive-aggressive comments, stealing fleece jackets, and even tugging each other’s beards,” said Seattle native and Amazon brand consultant Matthew Armstrong. “It was basically as intense as any European soccer brawl.”

Filed Under: About Last Weekend, Boston Bruins, Indiana, Kansas, Los Angeles Clippers, Louisville, Miami Heat, NCAA tournament, New York Knicks, New York Yankees, Ohio State, Pittsburgh Penguins, Toronto Raptors

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

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