In case you were busy drinking all of the soda in New York, here’s what you missed in sports on Monday.
- Top-ranked Gonzaga completed its perfect run through West Coast Conference play, winning the WCC tournament final, 65-51, over St. Mary’s. In a particularly touching postgame moment, Gonzaga alum John Stockton handed down to his son, current Gonzaga reserve guard David Stockton, a pair of his trademark shorts. “Look at the waistband,” the elder Stockton said to his son with a wink, as he had written, “now, you are a man,” inside them. When asked if he would wear the shorts in the upcoming NCAA tournament, David Stockton responded, “yeaaaaaaaaaaaaaah.”
- In a showdown of Western Conference titans, the San Antonio Spurs topped the Oklahoma City Thunder, 105-93, at home to maintain a two-game advantage in the race for the top seed. The win was the Spurs sixth straight win over the Thunder in San Antonio. “I know I should keep a tighter leash on my guys when we get down here,” Thunder coach Scott Brooks explained after the game. “But I also know that K.D. went to school in the area, and he loves SeaWorld San Antonio. No more, though; we have important non-Orca-related business to attend to here. Next time, I promise you, we won’t be all hopped up on elephant ears and the thrill of watching Shamu.” Brooks then looked over his shoulder at a disappointed Durant, before adding, “well, probably.”
- The Boston Bruins beat the Ottawa Senators, 3-2, in a shootout, in a game most notable for its cordiality. I mean sure, Chris Neil was brutally checked into the boards by Bruins defenseman Adam McQuaid, but it was a cordial boarding. And yes, 22-year-old defenseman Patrick Wiercioch unleashed a felonious level of violence upon McQuaid in retaliation for the hit, but those were dignified fisticuffs, meant to say, “Good sir, I respect you and your team, and I must communicate that to you thusly with my closed fists rubbing ever so sweetly against your jawbone.” I guess what I’m saying is, it was nice to watch a game the Flyers weren’t involved in.
- The Golden State Warriors routed the New York Knicks, 92-63, in Carmelo Anthony’s return to action after a three-game layoff. “Don’t. Say. Anything,” Anthony said after the game to a slavering New York press corp. “It’s fine. It’s just one game. They’re very good. This isn’t about me; sometimes you don’t win. It’s OK. Just. Let’s. All. Be. Very. Quiet.” Anthony took a deep breath, and said, “Ah, that’s nice, isn’t it?” But the silence in the room would not last, as a glowering older man cleared his throat and said, “Scott Fenton, New York Post headline writer here. What do you think of, ‘CarmelNO WINthony,’ for tomorrow’s back page? Or ‘Golden State, Silver Carmelo?’ Or ‘Snicker at Carmelo?’ You know, because Snickers has caramel. Or–” but before Fenton could say “Carmelblows,” Anthony was already in the hall outside the locker room texting Denver Nuggets head coach George Karl: “Trade backsies?”
- In NFL news, sources have reported the Minnesota Vikings traded star wide receiver Percy Harvin to the Seattle Seahawks for a package of three draft picks that includes the Seahawks’ first-round pick in this year’s draft. As a Seahawks fan let me just calmly say, HAHAHAHAHA! Yes! We’re coming for you San Francisco. And there’s nothing you can do to stop us! There’s no way you’ll get better value at the wide receiver position. I mean, sure, a first-rounder is a lot to give up, but Harvin is a perfect fit! Shawk the world! Ahem
- In other NFL news, the San Francisco 49ers acquired wide receiver Anquan Boldin from the Baltimore Ravens for a sixth-round pick. Wait, really? Is that right? A sixth-round pick? That’s great value. That’s even better value than what the Seahawks got. As a Seahawks fan, let me just calmly say, that’s terrible news. Maybe we can be stopped. I mean, I’d still rather have Harvin all things being equal, but Boldin for a sixth? That’s a good trade.
- Davidson is back in the NCAA tournament after its 74-55 win over the College of Charleston gave it the Southern Conference championship. The Wildcats led the game wire to wire, which is a little ironic given that the game was contested at Asheville’s U.S. Cellular Center. That irony lies mostly in the idea that anyone still uses U.S. Cellular for their phone service, as I’m pretty sure they have existed exclusively as a sponsor for sporting arenas for the past eight years.
- Western Kentucky booked a return trip to the big dance with a 65-63 win over Florida International to win the Sun Belt title. As is the case whenever Western Kentucky makes the tournament, the Hilltopper faithful engaged in their “Topping of the Hill” ritual, which involves fans stacking themselves on top of each other until they form a mound of people “as large as a hill.” Then the Hilltoppers’ head coach walks on top of the pile. Usually the hill is composed of only a handful of students keeping the tradition alive, but this was the most successful year ever with more than 3,000 participants; unfortunately, there were no survivors.
- The Netherlands’ cinderella run in the World Baseball Classic continued as it upset Cuba, 7-6, to advance to the semifinals against Japan. In other WBC news, the United States team started Derek “Dutch” Holland in its de facto elimination game against Canada during the weekend, a game in which Holland promptly gave up a home run to Mariners outfielder Michael Saunders. I don’t know about you guys, but Holland seems like a pretty obvious double agent who should not be entrusted with something as important as a World Baseball Classic start. No one gives up an accidental home run to a Seattle Mariner. And who would allow this to happen? Certainly not American manager Joe Torre, who is one of three men to have managed both the New York Yankees and the New York Mets. The other two? Yogi Berra and Casey “Dutch” Stengel. Uh huh, yeah, nothing suspicious going on here at all.