Saturday, February 9, 2008

SATURDAY HOOP

BOSTON COLLEGE @ DUKE (-19.5), 1:00 PM, Durham, N.C., TV: CBS (XM 190)

MIAMI @ VIRGINIA TECH (-4), 2:00 PM, Blacksburg, Va., TV: (XM 191)

VIRGINIA @ WAKE FOREST (-4), 3:30 PM, Winston-Salem, N.C., TV: ABC (XM 192)

GEORGIA TECH @ CONNECTICUT (-8.5), 4:00 PM, Storrs, Conn., TV: ESPN (XM 190)


NC STATE @ MARYLAND (-8.5), 8:00 PM, College Park, Md., TV: RAYCOM (XM 191)

FOOTBALL RECRUITING REPORT CARD, PART 1

By By Billy Tucker/ESPN.com

MIAMI: A
12 ESPN 150 prospects - Coach Randy Shannon did an outstanding job landing top-tier defensive talent in his first full recruiting class. The Canes boast five of the top seven outside linebackers, led by the top three -- Arthur Brown (Wichita, Kan./East), Sean Spence (Miami/Northwestern) and signing day recommit Ramon Buchanan (Melbourne, Fla./Palm Bay). The talent continues up front with Marcus Fortson (Miami/ Northwestern), the country's No. 1-rated defensive tackle. Taylor Cook (Eagle Lake, Texas/Rice) and Jacory Harris (Miami/Northwestern) have different types of games but are both quality quarterback prospects. ESPN 150 receivers Aldarius Johnson (Miami/Northwestern) and Davon Johnson (Miami/Booker T. Washington) both project to haul in a bunch of balls in their careers. Wichita Eagle Photo

CLEMSON: A
10 ESPN 150 prospects - This year's surprise class closed with a bang down the stretch on signing day with signatures from No. 6 offensive tackle Antoine McClain (Anniston, Ala.), No. 3 tight end Dwayne Allen (Fayetteville, S.C./Terry Sanford) and No. 3 running back Jamie Harper (Jacksonville, Fla./Trinity Christian). This was all while ESPN's No. 1-rated overall prospect, DaQuan Bowers (Bamberg, S.C./Bamberg-Ehrhardt), was already hitting the books on Clemson's campus with No. 4-rated quarterback Kyle Parker (Jacksonville, Fla./Bartram Trail).
Photo by Gary Bogdon for ESPN.com

FLORIDA STATE: B+
Five ESPN 150 prospects - Offensive tackle Zebrie Sanders (Clayton, Ohio/North Clayton) was a nice pickup down the stretch, but Bobby Bowden did not close as strong in 2008 as he usually does. FSU did sign four top-50 overall prospects and got off to an unusually fast start. ESPN's No. 5-rated corner Terrance Parks (Fairburn, Ga./Creekside) fits perfectly in legendary defensive coordinator Mickey Andrews 4-3/Cover 2 scheme and could challenge for early playing time; he is already on campus this spring. Help is on the way at quarterback with E.J. Manuel (Virginia Beach, Va./Bayside) (THE NEXT MICHAEL VICK??), which may have Jimbo Fisher thinking back to his days of grooming JaMarcus Russell at LSU.
Photo Tom Hauck for ESPN.com

PICTURE(S) OF THE DAY

OK, WE KNOW IT'S OUT OF ORDER...1,400 posts and we were bound to screw it up eventually.

None the less, how about those Redskins?

Or how about the Swedish Rally...

Petter Solberg of Norway takes a corner during the fifth stage of the Swedish Rally, 08 February, 2008


French rally team Citroen support crew are hard at work on World champion Sebastien Loeb's car after a crash on the fourth stage of the Swedish Rally (Photo credit should read Micke Fransson/AFP/Getty Images)


Swedish rally fans relax in front of a log fire on the 3/6th stage of the Swedish Rally. Unseasonally mild weather has brought spectators from all over Scandinavia to the forest roads around Karlstad.


(Photos by Micke Fransson/AFP/Getty Images)

THE IMPOSSIBLE DREAM

The prep football player who had claimed he was duped into believing he was recruited to play at a Pac-10 school admitted this week that he made up the story.

Kevin Hart, a 6-foot-5, 290-pound offensive lineman for Fernley High School, offered a broad apology in a statement he issued through the Lyon County School District. Hart said he had wanted to play football at a Division I school "more than anything."

"When I realized that wasn't going to happen, I made up what I wanted to be reality. I am sorry for disappointing and embarrassing my family, coaches, Fernley High School, the involved universities and reporters covering the story," Hart said.

A week ago, in front of television cameras and a packed high school gymnasium, the 6-5, 290-pound offensive guard placed two baseball caps on a table -- a Cal Bears cap on his right, an Oregon Ducks cap on his left -- and then, after a dramatic pause, put the blue-and-gold Cal hat on his head.

"They really won me over," Hart told reporters. "Coach [Jeff] Tedford and I talked a lot, and the fact that the head coach did most of the recruiting of me kind of gave me the real personal experience."

Actually, the Cal head coach barely knew he existed. That's because there was no scholarship offer. Not from Cal. Not from Oregon. Not from anywhere. Hart made it up. He made everything up.

What began six months ago as a small, ego-driven lie, somehow gained weight and strength and grew into an uncontrollable hoax. It enveloped a school, a town, a family and maybe a future.


"I wanted to play D-I ball more than anything," Hart said in the statement. "When I realized that wasn't going to happen, I made up what I wanted to be reality."

Not long after Hart received a standing ovation at the school assembly, word of his decision made its way to the recruiting chat rooms. A sampling from The Bear Insider.com:

"1st DI player to come out of that high school? He must be a superstar at the school." … "I think this qualifies as a KABOOM." … "Yes, I have seen him play. He's pretty good. Has college size, good skills. Good addition for Cal." … "Sounds like a great young man with size and attitude!" … "I think Kevin Hart will be one hell of a sleeper recruit for Cal."

(So much for believing what you read on the internet. Sorry to spoil it for you.)

Except that Cal never recruited him. And even though Hart attended football camps at Oregon and the nearby University of Nevada, he wasn't on either program's list of approximately 300 potential recruits.

"We knew of the kid," said a sympathetic Chris Ault, head coach at Nevada. "He was in our camp, but he's not a scholarship athlete."

PICTURE OF THE DAY 2

SOCCER MAKES PEOPLE CRAZY...Need we say more? Check this out...

Saudi policeman stands guard as his comrades keep watch while sitting between fans of al-Nasr club (L) and fans of al-Hilal (R) during their soccer match for the Saudi Crown Prince Sultan bin Abdul Aziz al-Saud Championship at King Fahd stadium in Riyadh on February 8, 2008.

Makes the Duke/UNC rivalry look rather mild.

(Photo credit Hasab Ammar/Getty Images)

PICTURE OF THE DAY 3

NEVER MIND THE UGLY PRO-BOWL UNIS..Check out the shirt. Friends don't let friends wear mumus. Even enemies wouldn't let them tie it off with a utility belt.


Jeez.

(Photo by Paul Spinelli/Getty Images)

PICTURE OF THE DAY 4

DON'T GET THROWN UNDER THE BRIDGE...No one's sure how they came up with the name, but we're sure glad they did.

Banana Slugs, Cobbers, Geoducks…the craziest college team nicknames of which you have never heard...Check 'em out...


Friday, February 8, 2008

MUTINY ON THE S.S. LEITAO?

CLEMSON 82, VIRGINIA 51

K.C. “Take Me To The” Rivers hit eight 3-pointers and scored a career-high 32 points Thursday night and, for all intents and purposes, the Wahoos stood around and watched him do it.

Clearly a Big Chill has settled over the JPJA where just a year ago, fans declared it “The New Hotness” during a run to the regular season Championship. Last night the arena was only half-full at tip-off, two-thirds full by half time and rapidly emptying with 10 minutes left to play.

UVa’s primary offensive weapon, Sean Singletary looked to be making every attempt to involve his disinterested teammates in the scoring to no avail. Adrian Joseph did manage 22, while Singletary scored 14 extending his double-figures scoring run to 43 games.

Word on the C’ville street is that task master Dave “Stairway to Heaven My Way or The Highway” Leitao may be losing his players a la Matt Dougherty a few years back. A lot of yelling, and not enough off-camera love seems to have left the Cavs virtually lifeless.

In his post-game press-con, Leitao was asked what he thought of his team’s effort: “I didn’t see a lot, and I didn’t much care for it” was the clipped response. Leitao put a good face on going back to work and fixing the problem, but, in basketball technical terms, Virginia is in “deep doo doo.”

"It's like a virus right now," said senior forward Adrian Joseph, who was the only Cavalier to score for the first 10 minutes of the game. "We're on the court and it seems like nobody wants to be out there. Other teams realize that and they take advantage of it."

The Tigers (17-5, 5-3 ACC) took command quickly with sizzling shooting that lasted all game. They outscored Virginia 27-5 over a span of about 7 minutes in the first half, connecting on 10 of 13 shots overall and seven 3-pointers.

Don't be confused, the Tigers played very well while the Hoos were sleep walking. They shot 61% from behind the arc, while amassing more rebounds, blocks and steals than the Cavs. Of course, Clemson had fewer turnovers as well.

Rivers had three 3s, Cliff Hammonds and Terrence Oglesby two 3s each in the opening run which gave that Tigers a 36-14 lead. The Cavaliers never got closer than 14 as Clemson gained its biggest road victory in ACC play.

The Hoos (11-10, 1-7) trailed by 16 at halftime and by as many as 38 thereafter. Co-champions with North Carolina in the ACC just a year ago, the Cavaliers lost their fifth straight, for the eighth time in nine games and matched their worst start in the league since the 2004-05 season. That's also the last time they lost five in a row.

Props to Dr. A.G. Wahoo for 1) providing the tix and PARKING, and 2) for having the wisdom to avoid this Wahoo of a stinker!

LIFE’S TOUGH QUESTIONS MADE EASY

Q: Why won’t tattoo artists work on you if it’s clear you’ve been drinking?

A: Because nobody wants to be that closely associated with the definition of the word “stupid.” See below for details.


By GEOFF CUNNINGHAM Jr. – The Laconia Citizen

If Victor Thompson had hair covering his Patriots-emblazoned skull, he admits he probably would have been pulling it out Sunday evening as New England went down to defeat in Super Bowl XLII.

For the New York Giants, the 17-14 win was the realization of one of the biggest upsets in NFL history.

But the man who tattooed his head like Patriots quarterback Tom Brady's helmet is definitely in the dumps.
"The minute the Giants got that (last second) touchdown I knew it was done ... it killed me," said Thompson.

Thompson, 39, of Laconia, Massachusetts has gained both local and national attention for a stunt that saw him getting the Patriots logo tattooed on both sides of his shaved head and Brady's number 12 on the back along with the American flag.

The longtime fan grew up in Lowell, Mass., and was determined to support his team and its then-perfect season by making his skull a shrine to its season by transforming it into a replica of Brady's helmet.

He went into Sunday night's big game hoping for another Patriots Super Bowl victory — an achievement that had him thinking of tattooing the Vince Lombardi Trophy on the top of his head.

Thompson said he awoke this morning hoping it was a nightmare. "After the game ended I started (partying) ... I woke up drunk. It was a good thing I had my helmet on," said Thompson with a laugh.

However, don't think Thompson regrets getting his Patriots ink done to celebrate what was a remarkable season.

"I did it for myself and for the season. I am just supporting my team," said Thompson.

He noted that he still has plans to get New England's other championship Super Bowl years tattooed on his head.

Until then Thompson has tentative plans to get his entire head tattooed silver like the real helmet and he is still working on getting Brady himself to sign his skull with a tattoo gun to make it official.

Any questions?

(Brady photo by Andy Lyons/Getty Images) (Laconia Citizen Photo/Geoff Cunningham Jr.)

PICTURE(S) OF THE DAY

ICE, ICE, CRAZY PEOPLE...They're everywhere those crazy people! Sports Illustrated photographer Bob Martin traveled to Inzell, Germany recently and took these stunning images at the Ice Speedway World Championships.

PICTURE OF THE DAY 2

HAPPY WEATHER BEAGLE DAY! The Weather Beagle of Clifton Forge, VA has come out to check her shadow, and she says the Ground Hog is full of it.

Bust out the Coronas!

Six more weeks of global warming impacted (?) warm winter weather!

Woo hoo!

Nice shades.

(Photo by Brandon and/or Gail Nicely)

PICTURE OF THE DAY 3

GETTY IMAGES HATES COACH K…Here are two of the images Getty released of head coach Mike Krzyhklw3wski of the Duke Blue Devils as he yells at the officials during the Duke v. UNC game.

These are just two, mind you...

Your real anti-Duke folks will remind you that the Chinese New Year was just celebrated, and this is the year of the rat.

But, of course, in the spirit of decorum, we won't say such a thing 'cause we don't want Coach K mad at us.

Look below, that's a little scary...

(Photos by Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images and by Streeter Lecka/Getty Images)

PICTURE OF THE DAY 4

I CAN FLY!...Nolan Smith #2 of the Duke Blue Devils jumps over Marcus Ginyard #1 of the North Carolina Tar Heels during their game at the Dean E. Smith Center on February 6, 2008 in Chapel Hill, North Carolina.

(Photo by Streeter Lecka/Getty Images)

PICTURE OF THE DAY 5

SHAQ’S GONNA LOVE THIS…Who wouldn’t give up the beautiful people of South Beach for this guy and his buddies?

A Phoenix Suns is looking forward to Shaquille O'Neal on the court as the Suns host New Orleans. The Heat traded Shaq to the Suns in exchange for two prospects, a toaster and two tickets (and back stage passes) to the upcoming Led Zeppelin tour.

If you understand this trade, you must be a Van Gundy.

(Photo by Andrew D. Bernstein/NBAE via Getty Images)

Thursday, February 7, 2008

HEAL HEELS, HEAL

#2DUKE 89, #3 NORTH CAROLINA 78

Don’t look now, but Duke is good again.

After a sub-par year, the Blue Devils are running and shooting like...well...Duke.

In spite of obvious shortcomings, primarily size, they have dismantled all their recent opponents including the one’s they trailed at halftime. It was all an injury-depleted UNC could do to stay close while posting some frightening offensive stats themselves.

Was anybody surprised that UNC was not the same team without Ty Lawson? Probably not. The explosive point guard (13.2 points, 2 turnovers, 6 assists) that drives Roy Williams’ Ferrariesque offense was clearly missed.

To make matter worse for the Heels, Duke scored 39 points from behind the arc with six players scoring in double figures while the Lawson-less Heels (21-2, 6-2 ACC) struggled to score from half-court sets.

Greg Paulus scored 18 points (all 3’s) and Jon "Crazy Face" Scheyer added 17 points for Duke (20-1, 8-0) which ran its spread-the-floor offense almost to perfection, repeatedly knocking down threes. Evidently, it’s easy to say you have to guard the Duke shooters all over the court, but it’s hard to actually do it. The Blue Devils connected on 13 of 29 (44.8%) from three-point land.

We hate to agree with Billy Packer, but when Greg Paulus drives the lane you have to know he’s gonna flop or dish it off. Since he’s been called out recently on the flop, the Carolina defenders should not have collapsed to the ball as much as they did. Mind you, that’s the normal thing to do, but Duke’s three-point shooting percentage wasn’t normal. Paulus made them pay.

While Quinton Thomas did a serviceable job at point, the Heels typical high-octane transition game wasn’t a factor, and their half court offense never got going as Wayne Ellington (16.2 points per game) and Danny Green (12.1 point per game) scored a total of 11 points on 4 of 24 shooting. Ellington wore the rim out, but the shots just wouldn’t fall. Also injured Marcus Ginyard added 16 much-needed points to the Heels' tally.

Can’t fault Thomas’ effort. Although he was inconsistent at times (6 turnovers, 7 assists), he is, in reality, the third string point guard behind Lawson and also-injured Bobby Frasor. With that in mind, he did all he could do…He even scored 10 points. Thomas didn’t make Ellington and Green go ice cold all game.

Carolina also suffered from 20 turnovers, and an uncharacteristically bad night from the charity stripe where they made just 19 of 30 free throws for 63%. Oddly, Duke was worse, making just 16 of 27 from the line (59.3%). Hansbrough (28 points, 18 rebounds), who is normally an 82% free throw shooter missed five freebies while carrying a heavy load. Fatigue was probably a factor there.

Bottom line: Every time Carolina fought their way back into the game they either couldn’t stop Duke, or couldn’t convert key baskets on their end of the floor.

Once it became a fouling contest late, fates were sealed. You're not gonna catch-up to the Blue Devils in a foul shooting contest...

Score this one for Coach K and the boys. Near the end of the game, Krzydkghvbbn5ski told his players "no celebrating, just walk off the court."

Some would call that a class move, while others would say it's classic gamesmanship of the "you are not our rival" type. You decide.

Nobody got in a fight. Nobody bled.

Duke’s win ended a three game losing streak to their arch rival.

Gerald Henderson (15) ACTUALLY GOES FOR THE BALL as he tries to block North Carolina's Tyler Hansbrough (50) during the second half . (AP Photo/Sara D. Davis)

Kyle Singler #12 of the Duke Blue Devils battles for a rebound with Tyler Hansbrough. (Photo by Streeter Lecka/Getty Images)

Quentin Thomas #11 of the North Carolina Tar Heels looses the ball as he drives against Greg Paulus. (Photo by Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images)

Jon”Crazy Face” Scheyer doesn’t make a “crazy face” while passing the ball over Wayne Ellington. (Photo by Streeter Lecka/Getty Images)

GEORGIA TECH 89, WAKE FOREST 83

Anthony Morrow scored 21 of his 23 points in the second half and Georgia Tech rallied to snap Wake Forest's 16-game home winning streak 89-83 on Wednesday night.


The Yellow Jackets, who trailed by 12 points early in the second half, took the lead for good on Morrow's 3-pointer with 1:48 left. Morrow's two free throws with 50.3 seconds left put Georgia Tech ahead 86-83, and he hit two more with 29.9 seconds left to put the game away.

Zack Peacock added 15 points Georgia Tech (11-10, 4-4 ACC), which has won three of four since starting league play 0-3.

Jeff Teague scored 19 points, Harvey Hale had 18 and James Johnson 13 for Wake Forest (13-8, 3-5), which hadn't lost at home since Feb. 3, 2007 to Maryland.

Georgia Tech's Alade Aminu (44) dunks as Wake Forest players James Johnson (23) and Chas McFarland, right, defend during the second half. (AP Photo/Chuck Burton)
MARYLAND 70, BOSTON COLLEGE 65

Maryland coach Gary Williams collected his 600th career win on Wednesday night after his team defeated Boston College 70-65.


Greivis Vasquez scored eight of his 25 points during a key second-half, giving Williams his milestone victory.

Williams, in his 30th season overall and his 19th at Maryland, improved to 600-336. He is the Terrapins' all-time winningest coach, and eighth among active coaches

It was the fifth win in six games for the surging Terrapins (15-8 overall, 5-3 ACC).


Maryland's Greivis Vasquez (21) drives past Boston College's John Oates (32) during the first half. (AP Photo/Greg M. Cooper)


(Williams - AP Photo/Greg M. Cooper)
FLORIDA STATE 62, MIAMI 55

Toney Douglas scored 28 points to lead Florida State past Miami 62-55 on Wednesday night, the Seminoles' fourth straight win in the series.


Jason Rich added 14 points and Uche Echefu scored 10 for the Seminoles (14-10, 3-6 ACC), which used an 11-0 second-half run to take the lead for good.

Jack McClinton scored 16 points for Miami (15-7, 2-6), which has dropped seven of its last 10 games.


Florida State's Jason Rich (25) shoots as Miami's James Dews (23) defends in the second half. (AP Photo/Alan Diaz)

TIME TO PAY UP THOSE SUPER BOWL BETS

Egotastic asks will we soon see Supermodel Gisele Bundchen naked, running down Broadway in New York?

According to various reports, Bundchen said, "If the Pats lose, I’ll run naked though Mid-Town Manhattan."

Naturally, Gisele tried to take back her promise, but it was more about logistics, than a fear of running naked through Times Square, reports CBS Sports.

"It was a mistake and I'm sorry I said it. I don't know what I could have been thinking -- Midtown Manhattan is a parking lot any time of day or night. It'd take 30 minutes just to make it from the Theater District to 34th Street. And what if I ran into the Naked Cowboy and had to pose for pictures with every out-of-town Tom, Dick and Harry? Tack on another 30 minutes, easily. How 'bout I simply flashed my breasts from a billboard in Times Square and call it a day ... will that work?"

Evidently, she's still a little cranky about Brady throwing the game to get out of his marriage/family promise.

PICTURE OF THE DAY

WANTED...Fans heckle Gerald Henderson #15 of the Duke Blue Devils about an incident with Tyler Hansbrough from a game a year ago when Henderson punched Hansbrough in the nose.

The fine print says Henderson is wanted for assault, battery and public douchebaggery.


(Photo by Streeter Lecka/Getty Images)

PICTURE OF THE DAY 2

DICKIE V...Fans support ESPN sports commentator Dick Vitale as he looks over statistics with Mike Patrick before the start of the Duke Blue Devils versus North Carolina Tar Heels in his first game back from surgery during their game at the Dean E. Smith Center on February 6, 2008 in Chapel Hill, North Carolina.

(Photo by Streeter Lecka/Getty Images)

PICTURE(S) OF THE DAY 3

WHAT YOU LOOKIN' AT, FOOL?...Hopefully, not the same thing or somebody's all cockeyed...

Kyle Singler #12 of the Duke Blue Devils looks on during a free throw with Tyler Hansbrough #50.



(Photo by Streeter Lecka/Getty Images)

PICTURE OF THE DAY 4

PADDY CAKE, PADDY CAKE, I HATE YOUR GUTS...Tyler Hansbrough and Greg Paulus play a nice game of paddy-cake.



(Photo by Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images)

Wednesday, February 6, 2008

CAROLINA CRUSHES DUKE

In its largest loss to North Carolina at home since 1993, #9 Duke fell to the high-powered Tar Heels 93-76 Monday night in Cameron Indoor Stadium.

The Blue Devils (16-6, 5-2 in the ACC) had not given up more than 90 points to their rivals since 1995.

#3 UNC (20-2, 7-0) entered the game leading the nation in scoring and the Blue Devil defense did little to halt the prolific attack. Senior LaToya Pringle and freshman Cetera DeGraffenreid torched Duke for 18 points each, and Pringle added 11 rebounds and four blocks to finish off her dominant performance.

North Carolina's Jessica Breland, center, is pressured by Duke's Abby Waner, left, and Keturah Jackson (31) in the second half . (AP Photo/Sara D. Davis)

SUPER TUESDAY HOOP

N.C. STATE 73, VIRGINIA TECH 63

Freshman J.J. "Who You Callin' A" Hickson scored 21 points to lead North Carolina State past Virginia Tech 73-63 on Tuesday night.

Courtney "Love, When She Drinks Down She Always" Fells finished with 14 points and freshman point guard Javier "Speedy" Gonzalez added a season-high 11 for the Wolfpack (15-7, 4-4 ACC), who never trailed, blew much of a 19-point lead and then pulled away to deny the Hokies their first victory over N.C. State in Raleigh in the modern era.

A.D. "El Es Un Caballo" Vassallo scored 16 points and Jeff "George" Allen added 15 to lead Virginia Tech (14-9, 5-4), which entered in third place in the conference but had its three-game winning streak snapped.

Head coach Sidney Lowe directs Ben McCauley #34 of the North Carolina State Wolfpack during the second half against the Virginia Tech Hokies at RBC Center on February 5, 2008 in Raleigh, North Carolina. (Photo by Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images)

Virginia Tech's Cheick Diakite, right, tries to block the shot of North Carolina State's Gavin Grant (11) during the first half. (AP Photo/Karl DeBlaker)

WEDNESDAY HOOP

GEORGIA TECH at WAKE FOREST (-2.5), 7:00 PM, Winston-Salem, N.C., (XM 190)

MARYLAND at BOSTON COLLEGE (-1), 7:00 PM, Chestnut Hill, Mass., ESPNU (XM 191)

FLORIDA STATE at MIAMI (-5.5), 7:30 PM, coral Gables, Fla., (XM 192)

#2DUKE at #3 NORTH CAROLINA (-4), 9:00 PM, Chapel Hill, N.C., RAYCOM / ESPN (XM 190/191)*

*Note two XM broadcasts…one from UNC, one from Duke so neither side has to be subjected to the other guy’s homer announcers!

Nice, XM, NICE!

LAWSON DOUBTFUL

Roy Williams went to the training room Tuesday morning to see how point guard Ty Lawson was recovering from a sprained left ankle. The answer was enough to give the North Carolina coach reason for concern.

"He walked in the trainer's room on crutches," Williams said, "and I think it's awfully difficult to go from crutches one day to playing against Duke the next day."

Lawson's status has become the biggest variable in the latest matchup of college basketball's most intense rivalry. With a healthy Lawson, the third-ranked Tar Heels can run with their typical zeal and better handle the second-ranked Blue Devils' perimeter pressure. If the speedy sophomore is limited or can't play at all, North Carolina Tar Heels will be a different team.

Lawson missed practice Monday and was unavailable for comment before Tuesday's practice because he was receiving treatment. Afterward, team spokesman Steve Kirschner said Lawson was unable to participate in team drills and managed only some light shooting on his own while wearing an air cast, though he has not been ruled out.

That leaves the Tar Heels with senior Quentin “Q” Thomas, the only active player remaining from the 2005 NCAA championship team, with the job of running the show. He would likely inherit the starting role if Lawson is out with junior swingman Marcus Ginyard also to see time at point against the Blue Devils (19-1, 7-0).

(Photo by Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images)

TAH VIDEO OF THE MONTH

SHE’S (BLEEPING) MATT DAMON!

Yep, we know there are 29 days in February in the year of our Lord 2008. And, somewhat surprisingly, we also know what day it is today.

None the less, with 23 days left in the month, we give you the TAH Video of The Month – February.

Watch it, and then tell us you think anybody is gonna come up with something funnier in the next 23 days?

No way.

Can’t be done.

Enjoy, and big kudos to TAH Pop Culture Editor Young A.T!

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4KUowJzpgxs

TAH VIDEO OF THE MONTH RUNNER-UP

You know the drill. See above.

It’s a distant second, but it’s still pretty damn funny.

It’s even funnier when there is a five-year-old dancing along with it…

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pdi48oUdZP0

WHOOPS – PERFORMING ENHACING DRUGS IN COCK FIGHTING

What next?

Oh yeah, it’s illegal so you can’t really cheat. Bring on the juice!

Having said that, according to the Charlotte Observer, more than 32 people were arrested Sunday as more than $4,000 in cash (that’s a WHOLE LOTTA DOUGH for rural South Carolina) plus about 30 roosters were seized in northwest York County in a multijurisdictional raid that officers called "Coop Bowl."

Approximately 30 officers began the operation at about 5 a.m. Sunday, according to York County Sheriff's Capt. Stanley Wells. State Law Enforcement Division officers participated with helicopters, the S.C. Department of Natural Resources with aircraft, and the Drug Enforcement Unit and York Police Department on the ground, Wells said.

Officers believe they raided the fight during the second or third fight at about 11 a.m. They found one dead rooster and two injured. The roosters had spurs fixed to their talons and had been injected with a stimulant to enhance their aggression, Wells said.

Roger Clemens was unavailable for comment.

(For the record, the University of South Carolina, it's faculty/staff nor it's students had anything to do with Coop Bowl as far as we know.)

PICTURE OF (A HORRIFIC) DAY

UNBELIEVABLY CRUEL…Today is National Signing Day for football recruits, and this story demonstrates a rather extreme example of the downside of how major colleges go about their biz in hot pursuit of America’s best young athletes, and the scholarship obsession that major college sports has created.

Accompanied by Coach Mark Hodges, Fernley High football player Kevin Hart reaches for a Cal ball cap, signifying his choice of colleges. Problem is the 6’ 5” 290 lbs Hart wasn’t recruited by either school. He wasn’t even in their recruiting data bases.

It what has to be one of the cruelest hoaxes of all time, some prankster went to elaborate ends to dupe the Nevada high school student. The story didn’t come out until local papers picked up the story, and Cal representatives were caught off guard when contacted.

Unbelievable.

(Photo by Tim Dunn/Reno Gazette-journal Photo)

PICTURE OF THE DAY 2

LOOK CLOSELY...You know we love Marquette's uni...Check out the “AL” under the v-neck.

It’s there to honor the late Al McGuire who won an NCAA Championship for them (then the Warriors, now the Golden Eagles) in 1977. The tribute has been going on since 2001 the year of McGuire's death.

A nice touch, yes?

McGuire also enjoyed a lengthy career as a broadcaster, and was know for his distinctive speech now called "McGuireisms." Some of which are now regularly used sport's vocabulary.

Go barefoot in the wet grass (enjoy the moment),
congratulate the temporary (live for the moment),
carnival gates are closed (game's over), salt and pepper coach (X's and O's coach), cupcakes (easy opponents), white knuckler (close game ), French pastry (a showy move), cracked sidewalks (bad part of town), sand fights (hard-fought games), yellow ribbons and medals (success in recruiting ), tailenders (walk-ons or complementary players), Dunkirk (an extremely poor performance), dance hall player (short on talent, but long on effort )
memos and pipes (university administrators and professors), seashells and balloons (victory and happiness), curtains (game's over), tap city (game's over ), aircraft carrier (big center ), cloud piercer (player who jumps well) and ballerina in the sky (player who jumps well).

(Photo by Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images)

PICTURE OF THE DAY 3

C’MON SUGAR PIE, THIS OLD DUDE’S BORIN’ ME SOMETHIN’ FIERCE…U.S. President George W. Bush (C), meets NASCAR Nextel Cup Champion, Jimmie Johnson and his wife, Chandra, at The White House.

Either Johnson is really bored or he voted for Gore and Kerry.

What does the autograph on the helmet say: "I hate neck ties, Republicans and photo ops. Love, JJ?"

(You know they took a bunch of pictures of this very moment, and this is the best one...?)

(Photo by Andrew Councill-Pool/Getty Images)

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