In case you were busy trying to pass off a quiche as an acceptable offering at a Pi Day party, here’s what you missed in sports on Thursday.
- Damian Lillard and the Portland Trail Blazers handed the New York Knicks their third straight defeat, winning at home, 105-90. Lillard, the leading candidate for Rookie of the Year, has already established himself as a fan favorite in Portland, where he’s respected both for his efficient offensive play and his ability to remind people how much they liked Matthew Lillard in SLC Punk.
- San Antonio completed a season-series sweep of their instate rivals, beating the Dallas Mavericks, 92-91, at home after Vince Carter’s game-winning shot attempt rimmed out. After the game, Carter was seen slapping himself across the face; when asked why, Carter responded, “Must. Wake. From. Nightmare.”
- Rafa Nadal smoked Roger Federer in the Indian Wells quarterfinals, dispatching the Swiss legend, 6-4, 6-2. The matchup was the earliest the two men had met in a tournament since their first professional match in 2004 in the third round of the Nasdaq-100 Open. “Oh, I remember it well,” said Federer. “We were both bummed because John Edwards had just dropped out of the presidential race, and Rafa told me I had to hear this song, because it spoke to exactly what we were both feeling. So he hands me his headphones, and wouldn’t you know, it was “This Love” by Maroon 5. And to this day, it’s still our song.”
- Syracuse turned around their poor performance of late to advance to the Big East semifinals, holding off a late charge from a determined Pittsburgh team in a 62-59 win. “We did what we came here to do,” said Pittsburgh head coach Jamie Dixon, “convince a handful of people that we’re gritty enough to make a solid run in the NCAA tournament. Now, the next step is destroying their brackets by losing to some SEC team that they wrote off without thinking. I’m hoping for Alabama, but we’ll see what the committee decides.”
- Pat Connaughton led Notre Dame with 18 points on six 3-pointers as the Irish upset Marquette, 73-65, to advance to the Big East semifinals at Madison Square Garden. After the game, when asked what inspired him to up his game at Madison Square Garden, Connaughton replied, “My girlfriend. My very real girlfriend. Here’s a picture of us together. Here is a Phiten necklace that she bought me before baseball season because she knows how much I like magnets. Here are the headphones I wore when we met for the first time. Note both the short and long hair that’s on the ear cups. This is from when I was rocking out to “This Love” by Maroon 5, and then gave her the headphones so that I could share with her the experience of listening to that song. Here is genetic testing done on the hair.” When asked if it wouldn’t just be easier to have her fly to New York, Connaughton explained that she lived “far from the airport. Faaaar from it.”
- Craig Kimbrel gave up two late runs as the Dominican Republic staged a ninth-inning rally to top the United States, 3-1, in the World Baseball Classic. The Americans now face a do-or-die game today against Puerto Rico to qualify for the semifinals. This is another suspicious result in the WBC, and not just because Craig Kimbrel gave up two runs exactly zero times last season. No, no. In the wake of an injury to Mets third baseman David Wright, American manager Joe Torre started Willie Bloomquist at third base. Willie Bloomquist.
- A woeful Tottenham Hotspur side, playing without Gareth Bale, almost blew their 3-0 advantage to Inter Milan at the San Siro, before getting a key extra time away goal from Emmanuel Adebayor to move them into the quarterfinals of the Europa League with a 4-4 aggregate result. Bale, who was suspended for the match due to yellow card accumulation, spent his time off practicing his remorseful headshake for when he’s asked about his “former team Spurs’ declining form” next September, as well as his Spanish.
- Texas is likely going to miss the NCAA tournament for the first time in 15 years after getting eliminated from the Big 12 tournament, 66-49, by Kansas State. The Longhorns finished the season with a losing record of 16-17, which means it’s time for our regular season finale of everybody’s sixth favorite About Last Night recurring segment, in which we remind America that Rick Barnes did not make the Sweet 16 with Kevin Durant on his team, “America, Rick Barnes Did Not Make the Sweet 16 With Kevin Durant on His Team.” America, Rick Barnes did not make the Sweet 16 with Kevin Durant on his team — oh, look! A special guest! Blazers All-Star and former Longhorn LaMarcus Aldridge! What’s that you say, LaMarcus? You made the Elite Eight with Rick Barnes? Interesting. What happened next? Oh, you lost? To Big Baby Davis and the LSU Tigers? Because Rick Barnes couldn’t scheme to stop Tyrus Thomas or Davis in spite of the fact that you, LaMarcus Aldridge, were on his team? Huh. Thus concludes the shocking cliffhanger season finale of “America, Rick Barnes Did Not Make the Sweet 16 With Kevin Durant on His Team.” Will there be another season? Tweet #savebarnes to @UTAustin to make your voice heard.