In case you were too busy scouring for Easter Eggs or immersing yourself in the return of Game of Thrones, here is what you missed this past week in the world of sports …
NCAA BASKETBALL— The horror! The Elite 8 matchup between the Duke Blue Devils and the Louisville Cardinals turned into a gruesome scene Sunday, when Cardinals guard Kevin Ware went up to block a three point attempt. Landing awkwardly, Ware tumbled into his bench, snapping both bones of his lower right leg in the process. The break was so significant that it protruded from his leg and required immediate surgery, causing several players from both sides to collapse in tears. Apparently, his only thought after the injury was that the team stay focused on winning the game, which puts him as a firm frontrunner for ‘Best Guy’ 2013. His message, and a strong 23-point performance from Midwest MVP Russ Smith, paid off as the team advanced to the National semi-final with an 85-63 win.
In the other Elite 8 showdowns, 9th seed Wichita State continued their Cinderella story, toppling Ohio State 70-66. The Shockers will take on Louisville, while on the other side of the draw, 4th-seeded Michigan will take on the smothering defence of the 4th-ranked Syracuse Orange. The Final 4 begins on Apr. 6.
HOCKEY— Déjà vu! A similarly disturbing injury overshadowed another week of hockey, as Sidney Crosby took a puck to mouth, which splintered his jaw. The puck came off a ricochet shot from teammate Brooks Orpik. With his regular season most definitely over—although the Pens are hopeful he will return for the playoffs—it is becoming unclear which is more tantamount: Crosby’s prophetic talent, or his unworldly bad luck. Crippling concussions, and now a broken jaw, have caused the Penguins star to miss extensive time, which hurts not only his team, but also the league as a whole. Additionally, his injury really throws a wrench into all fantasy hockey pools, which is roughly equal in magnitude.
In other news, Jarome Iginla made his debut for the Penguins, helping the team secure its league-leading 56th point and 15th straight victory. Calgary fans are definitely ecstatic that Iggy has found success after being dealt by the abysmal Flames … right, guys? Finally, the Leafs are on a three-game wining streak, which has put them in a dead heat with the Sens, and a handful of other hopefuls for the last three or four playoff spots in the East.
NBA BASKETBALL — Devastating inj … just kidding. NBA basketball avoided the catastrophic injury bug, while Easter came a little early for Heat Haters. Miami finally dropped a game last Wednesday against Chicago to halt their ridiculous 27-game winning streak (a third of their schedule!). The team was threatening one of the all-time great records in league history, when Jerry West and the Lakers won 33 straight in 1971-1972. The loss did not derail the Heat for long, however, as they started right up again, stringing together two quick wins, including a last second three ball by Chris Bosh, to ice the San Antonio Spurs 88-86.
On Saturday night, Kobe Bryant surpassed Wilt Chamberlain for fourth on the all-time NBA scoring list, as he continues to live up to his self-proclaimed nickname “Vino”—because, you know, he gets better with age. Very clever, Kobe.
The playoff picture is shaping up nicely too, with about ten games left to play. Some teams like the Thunder are eager to get back to the NBA Finals, while others, like the Toronto Raptors, have all but given up and bought into Blue Jays fever.