Top 5 Games of Last Week (2/10/14 – 2/17/14)
Swoosh. It’s an onomatopoeia used in basketball, and a much prettier one than anything I can think of in football. Hey, maybe basketball’s doing something right. It also might as well be the word of the week, since this week was clearly all about hoops.
#5. Arizona Wildcats at Arizona State Sun Devils
A rivalry’s a rivalry – don’t bother telling the underdog they’re outclassed. Statements like that tend to fall on deaf ears. Such was the case with Arizona State, the impressive, yet unappreciated team that also happens to hail from Arizona. Squaring off against the heavily favored second ranked team, the Arizona Wildcats, State showed they deserve some of the spotlight, topping the Wildcats in double overtime, 69-66, and handing them just their second loss of the season. State fans, I’m betting you knew it might happen, and I’m guessing your $98.92 ticket was worth every penny.
#4. Oklahoma City Thunder at Los Angeles Lakers
Kevin Durant: 43 points, 12 rebounds, seven assists, three steals. Yawn. Doesn’t he do that every night? Oooo here’s a fun stat: Durant scored 19 of this 43 in the fourth quarter, leading an improbable comeback against the suddenly sloppy Lakers, winning 107-103. Now there’s something you don’t see every day. Speaking of anomalies, what’s with the Lakers sucking? Their epic meltdown against the Thunder sent them to a record seventh straight home loss. Thunder fans who paid the $137.85 for this game, be honest: How close were you to walking out?
#3. North Carolina State Wolfpack at Syracuse Orange
Syracuse, you cray. If cats have nine lives, you must be lions – maybe that’s where the Orange comes from? Any other week, this win puts you at the top of the list, numero uno in the top five. This week? Eh, not gonna cut it. You lost out to LeBron James and, let me see – oh yeah! – yourselves. Still, at an average cost of just $95.84, C.J. Fair’s layup with 6.7 seconds left makes this my clear bang-for-your-buck pick of the week. Props.
#2. Miami Heat at Golden State Warriors
LeBron, LeBron, always in someone’s shadow. Can’t catch a break. On the night that he buried a 27-foot three-pointer to win the game vs the Warriors, he was overshadowed yet again. Not by MJ, not even by Durant – this time, it was a college kid. Dude’s gotta be pissed. Sure, his nickname’s King James, but the guy’s been a prince more often than he’d like to admit. It’s still a big win for the Heat, no doubt, but I suspect James’ recent trend of speaking up about his talent and ability will continue after Wednesday’s performance received underwhelming acclaim.
#1. Syracuse Orange at Pittsburgh Panthers
King James? Take a knee. I see your 27-foot, game-winning shot, and raise you a 35-foot, game-winning shot to stay unbeaten. Who made the shot? A college freshman. Yep, sucks to suck, Jamesy-boy. With 4.4 seconds left, Tyler Ennis took the inbounds pass, dribbled and weaved through defenders, and took an unbalanced shot at the buzzer. Swoosh. Game over, the Orange winning, 58-56. James pulled it off away from home, and so did Ennis and the Orange. If you’d asked me on Wednesday morning which game I would’ve preferred to see, I would’ve said Heat at the Warriors, hands down. In retrospect? The Orange at the Panthers is looking mighty enticing, not to mention the 70-some dollars you save on the $113.36 ticket.