- Normally, I'm very impartial in this space. Today, at least for one bullet point, is not that day. Hail to the victors, valiant! #3 Michigan defeated #10 Ohio State in overtime last night by a final score of 76-74. Trey Burke (16 points, 8 assists) and Tim Hardaway, Jr. (23 points, 6-9 3-pt) led the way for Michigan, but it was another tremendous game from freshman Mitch McGary up front as he scored 14 points, grabbed 6 boards, and actually made 4 steals in the win. The offense stalled for much of the second half, settling for late-shot-clock jumpers and not really running much of anything (personified by the final possession of regulation, yikes), but it was a gritty performance on the defensive end. For Ohio State, it's always difficult to say nice things, but this one is undeniable. Aaron Craft is one of the best on-ball defenders I've ever seen at any level. He completely took penetration out of Trey Burke's (who happens to be a leading National POY candidate) game, and beat him up all night. What a performance. This was one of the best college hoops game of the season... and the right team won.
- Elsewhere in college hoops, #2 Florida took it on the chin at Arkansas by a 80-69 tally. I mentioned yesterday that Arkansas was unbeaten at home and that it would be a test for the Gators, but it was that and more. The Hogs committed just 8 turnovers (to 16 for Florida) and shot nearly 50% on the night. It's a small blip for Florida, but it, once again, shows the difficulty of winning on the road in college hoops.
- ESPN's Keith Law released his Top 100 prospects column yesterday, and while it's only available on Insider (click here), it is Christmas for baseball diehards. For anyone without Insider, the Braves' placed only two guys on the list, as Julio Teheran came in at #28 (down from #18 last year) and JR Graham hit the list at #94. Really a great read.
- In the NBA, Indiana knocked off Atlanta 114-103 to take their home winning streak to an impressive 15 games. Paul George led the scoring with 29 points, and Indiana had seven players score in double-digits. For the Hawks, it was a woeful Josh Smith performance (4-12 FG, 9 points, 4 turnovers), Al Horford fouled out in just 28 minutes (despite playing well), and Kyle Korver shot 3 for 13. On the bright side, Atlanta still managed to score 103 points against one of the league's best defenses (thanks to Jeff Teague and John Jenkins, mostly), but allowing 114 to Indiana is an abject disaster. Elsewhere, Kobe Bryant threw down a monster 4th-quarter dunk and led LA to a 92-83 road win in Brooklyn. #24 led the way with 21 points and 8 rebounds, but it was a total team effort in the absence of Dwight and Metta World Peace, as Earl Clark (14 and 12), and Steve Nash (17 points, 8 assists) picked up the slack. Memphis lost at home 96-90... to the Suns!? The early returns on the Gay trade are wayyyy too early to come in, but allowing Phoenix to shoot 51% from the field and win the rebounding battle is a bit scary. Finally, Houston scored 140 points in regulation last night. That's not a misprint. The Rockets tied an NBA record with 23 three-pointers made against the Warriors, and shot 51% from the field to go along with 58% from three. They had a staggering 8 players in double-figures, led by Jeremy Lin's best game of the year with 28 points and 9 assists. Just an absolutely dominant offensive performance.
- St. Louis Cardinals' pitcher Chris Carpenter will likely miss the 2013 season, and may be forced to retire after a setback having to do with an old nerve injury in his throwing arm. This is a big blow to the Cards' chance to repeat, as Carpenter would've provided some steady innings if healthy, but it's a shame if it ends like this. The guy was a beast in his prime, and I hope he gets back on the mound before it's all over.
- Merril Hoge actually went on television and proclaimed (with a serious, straight face) that Joe Flacco was "clearly" the best quarterback in the NFL. This actually happened. I have no words.
What to watch for on Wednesday...
- All Day - College Football National Signing Day (ESPN/ESPNU) - This is becoming more of a spectacle every year. I'm not the biggest recruiting guy, but there's certainly viability to it, and it can be entertaining to see where these kids are headed. Go Blue.
- 7:00 - NCAAB - #18 Minnesota @ #12 Michigan State (BTN) - Another ho-hum battle of Top 20 teams in the Big 10. This one will be a slugfest.
- 7:00 - NCAAB - Baylor @ #22 Oklahoma State (ESPN) - The Cowboys were wildly effective in knocking off KU last week on the road, and this is their defense of that game.
- 7:30 - NBA - Grizzlies @ Hawks (SportSouth) - Memphis is very, very good, but Atlanta did beat them on the road earlier in the year, and this is a team that won't punish the under-manned Hawks on the perimeter.
- 9:00 - NBA - Spurs @ T-Wolves (ESPN) - Ricky Rubio played his best game of the year on Monday, so that gives hope to Minnesota... but nothing is as important as Tim Duncan's health for San Antonio, and he's going to most likely miss this one.
- 9:00 - NCAAB - Stanford @ #7 Arizona (ESPNews) - This is so random. First, Bill Walton is the color man (awesome, but ridiculous), and secondly, this game is live on ESPNews. I don't get it, but it's happening.