The ACC showed Wednesday why it’s the best conference in college basketball, with several exciting games that had major implications for the conference standings.
Meanwhile, the NBA trade deadline is upon us, and general managers are making their best offers. It’s time to take it or leave it.
Welcome to the Cheat Sheet.
Syracuse’s beats the buzzer against No. 10 Duke; No. 8 UNC beats No. 7 Louisville
Syracuse has had a super odd season. The Orange began 11-9 and looked to have no shot at an the NCAA Tournament bid. Then they ran off five straight wins, including wins over No. 6 Florida State and No. 9 Virginia and got back into the conversation. Then they lost three in a row and fell back off the bubble.
Then came Wednesday night, when Syracuse took on No. 10 Duke at the Carrier Dome. The Blue Devils led 33-25 at halftime, but the Orange stormed back and found themselves tied with only second to play.
Then senior John Gillon stepped up and did this:
Here’s another angle, plus some footage of Syracuse fans’ enthusiastic court-storming:
Gillon finished with 26 points on 9-of-14 shooting, delivering Syracuse a huge victory that keeps the Orange in the NCAA Tournament conversation.
Elsewhere in the ACC, which has clearly put to rest any debate about what is the best conference in America, No. 8 North Carolina beat No. 7 Louisville, 74-63. That game wasn’t quite as dramatic as the Syracuse-Duke contest, but did feature a heated confrontation between Rick Pitino and a Tar Heels fan.
Plus, Wednesday night’s game was crucially important to the ACC standings. Had the Cardinals won, they would have pulled into a first-place tie with the Tar Heels. Instead, North Carolina has a two-game lead over four teams.
Here’s how the top half of the conference stands right now:
North Carolina – 12-3
Louisville – 10-5
Duke – 10-5
Florida State – 10-5
Notre Dame – 10-5
Miami – 9-6
Syracuse – 9-7
NBA trade deadline gets interesting
There was no NBA trade Wednesday that even approached the magnitude of the DeMarcus Cousins deal we saw on Sunday, but several swaps were interesting nonetheless.
- The Wizards acquired Nets forwards Bojan Bogdanovic and Chris McCullough in exchange for Andrew Nicholson, Marcus Thornton and a 2017 first round draft pick. This deal seems to make sense for both sides, with Washington adding some frontcourt depth and a good scorer off the bench in Bogdanovic and the Nets snagging a first-round pick.
- The Atlanta Hawks picked up Ersan Ilyasova from the Sixers for Tiago Splitter and two second-round picks.
And, of course, there were loads of rumors Wednesday as well.
- The Lakers and Pacers are reportedly discussing a deal involving Paul George, per Ramona Shelburne. That’s right, Magic Johnson and Larry Bird are looking to make something happen.
- According to Marc Stein, The Pistons are listening to offers for Andre Drummond, who could be one of the biggest names traded at the deadline.
- The Chicago Bulls could go after embattled Sixers forward Jahlil Okafor, according to Woj.
- The Rockets are reportedly interested in the Cavs’ Iman Shumpert but don’t want to give up Patrick Beverly to get him.
- Carmelo Anthony does not expect to be traded.
The deadline is Thursday, so we should see some more trades and a whole lot more rumors over the coming hours.
– Oregon’s Dillon Brooks hit another last-second 3-pointer to lead No. 6 Oregon over California.
– Ole Miss’ football program self-imposed a one-year postseason ban as punishment for recruiting violations.
– Jay Cutler is reportedly thinking about retiring from the NFL. That seems… drastic.
– Cavaliers forward Richard Jefferson teased teammate and conspiracy theorist Kyrie Irving with a “Flat World Champions” T-shirt.
For those wondering how the Cavs are taking Kyrie's comments about Earth being flat, here's RJ's shirt during Road Trippin's live IG video: pic.twitter.com/JqngnY86Z8
— Josh Poloha (@JorshP) February 22, 2017
– Wizards rookie Sheldon McClellan has legally changed his name to Sheldon Mac, which is pretty badass.
– The Cubs will apparently not reunite with Sammy Sosa anytime soon, which feels kind of sad.
– Speaking of 1990s star baseball players, Mike Piazza explained that he bought a soccer team in Italy and not, say, St. Louis because of the cured meats.
– Nationals shortstop Trea Turner was late to camp Wednesday because he was caught up in jury duty, thus proving that athletes are people too.
Justice has been served! Back to work! #GuiltyOrNotGuilty
— Trea Turner (@treavturner) February 22, 2017
– Twins pitcher Ryan O’Rourke says he barfs before every outing. Yes, you read that right.
– The National Baseball Hall of Fame will open an exhibit for the “Homer at the Bat” Simpsons episode and also hold an unofficial induction ceremony for Homer.
– Nick Saban spent some time with Mark Zuckerberg, whom the coach knows as “the Facebook guy.”
– Budapest dropped its bid for the 2024 Summer Olympics, improving the odds for Los Angeles.
– An ex-NFL player was fired as a high school head coach, allegedly due to a picture of his wife and him holding alcohol.
– Did Jimmy Kimmel just announce his retirement?
One last moment of procrastination
In honor of the NBA trade deadline, let’s remember the time two movie stars were super pumped to acquire Ricardo Rincon.