- Jerry Buss, long-time owner of the Los Angeles Lakers, passed away at age 80 yesterday. Buss was regarded as one of the best owners in the history of North American sports, and his teams won 10 titles during his tenure as owner. He had been hospitalized for the better part of 18 months, but his death still surprised many (myself included) who didn't know the severity. For more in-depth analysis, click here for a great piece by Bill Simmons on Buss, but for now, just know that the NBA lost a big piece on Monday.
- Chicago Bulls PG Derrick Rose took part in his first 5-on-5 drills since his ACL tear during last season's playoffs. This is a huge story as the "will he or won't he?" heats up surrounding a possible return. In my opinion, a Rose-led Chicago team would be the most difficult match-up in the Eastern conference for Miami, and his status should be monitored closely.
- In college hoops on Monday, Notre Dame went on the road and got an impressive, but grinding, win over Pittsburgh by a 51-42 final. Neither team cracked even 40% from the floor (yikes), but the Irish dominated the glass (36-22), and were able to convert six threes against zero for the Panthers. Nothing is exciting about a game where the teams score 93 total points, but this is a really nice win for ND. In the late game, Kansas State cruised to a 71-61 home win over West Virginia. The Wildcats had 5 players in double figures and shot 50% in the home win. Ho-hum.
What to watch for on Tuesday...
- 7:00 - NCAAB - #1 Indiana @ #4 Michigan State (ESPN) - This is probably the best game of the entire week in sports. Two top-5 teams facing off in a hostile environment in East Lansing, and this is the type of March "preview" that college hoops fans love. Sparty doesn't have the star power, but they can certainly win here at home.
- 9:00 - NCAAB - #5 Florida @ Missouri (ESPN) - It's still very weird to think that this is a conference game. Missouri is 14-0 at home on the season, and while they are a brutal road team (1-6), this game is in the friendly confines of Columbia. I'll fall short of predicting an outright win for Missou, but this is a really nice game.
- 9:00 - NBA - Celtics @ Nuggets (NBATV) - The NBA is back! After several days off, the league picks back up and this is the first national TV game. Denver is a gauntlet at home, and Boston will be in rough shape on the road in this spot against a rested Nuggets team.