Top 5 Games of Last Week (2/24/14 – 3/2/14)
Quite a week. We saw LeBron try out every color in the rainbow for his face mask, witnessed perfection in the college ranks, and caught a hockey game more exciting than anything in basketball.
#5. Missouri State Bears at Wichita State Shockers
Sure, not the greatest game, but fans had the right idea: the average ticket price of $155.31 is worth it for a chance to witness perfection. And Shockers fans weren’t disappointed, Wichita State winning decisively, 68-45. The first undefeated team in 10 years, the Shockers deserved to celebrate, even if the nation rightly balks at calling them the top team in the country. While 31-0 is impressive, the Shockers haven’t exactly faced a grueling schedule. Rightly or wrongly, many question if the Shockers can even win the upcoming Missouri Valley tournament, let alone the NCAA tournament.
#4. Houston Rockets at Los Angeles Clippers
Two up-and-coming teams with impressive records. Coming into the matchup, Houston had won 16 of 20, causing people to question whether L.A. could handle the Howard/Harden one-two punch. Turns out, the Clippers had a one-two punch of their own, but maybe not from the two guys you’d expect. Darren Collison came up big to bolster Griffin’s 23 points and 16 rebounds with a seven-point fourth quarter flourish that capped his 19-point night off the bench. Chris Paul played well too, scoring 14 and adding nine assists, but it was Collison’s fourth quarter that proved to be the dagger for the Rockets. No question, this game was your bang-for-your-buck winner this week, with tickets selling for just $85.63.
#3. Kansas Jayhawks at Oklahoma State Cowboys
Okay, so I refrained from making jokes about the Shockers earlier. I was good. But Marcus Smart leading the Cowboys to a win over the fifth ranked Jayhawks? Ugh, I’ll try. Smart scored 20 of his 21 points in the second half, challenging and (often) besting Kansas’ 7-foot behemoth, Joel Embiid. Embiid, one of the nation’s most intimidating players and shot blockers, got in foul trouble early in the second half, sending (Smarty McSmart) Smart to the line two times. Sorry, couldn’t resist. Despite the 72-65 final score, this game was worth every penny of the $108.43 ticket.
#2. Cleveland Cavaliers at Oklahoma City Thunder
Oh look, Kevin Durant fell one assist short of recording a triple double. Ho hum, no surprise there. But the paltry Cavaliers going into the Thunder’s home court and coming out with the win – um, WHAT?! Yeah, that’s definitely a big surprise. And not only did Durant have a big night – Westbrook did too, putting up 24 points and nine assists. So what gives? Nothing gives, actually. Kyrie Irving just takes, putting the team on his back in the fourth quarter, scoring 14 of his 31 points. Did Irving look like his All-Star self? You betcha. Is there something more to the Thunder’s 0-3 record since Westbrook’s return? Nah. The Thunder are better with him on the court. Period.
#1. Philadelphia Flyers at Washington Capitals
Hockey had taken a leave of absence from the list for a couple weeks, but the Flyers spectacular(ly unexpected) comeback against the Capitals brought hockey back, and in the top spot no less. Leading 4-2 entering the third period, it was the Capitals flying high in the lead, a frustrated Flyers team looking on in frustration. Dmitry Orlov, enjoying his first two-goal day, quickly went from MVP to LVP when he committed a major five minute penalty, setting up the Flyers’ comeback. From frustrated to fearless, the Flyers stormed back, tying up the game with less than two minutes left before scoring again in OT. And that, ladies and gentlemen, is how you put together the top game of the week.