The Knicks Are Thinking Championship; Unexpected Help Gets Ohio State To The Final Four

There’s a photo of the NBA championship trophy above the locker of every Knick. Too much? Probably. But at least they can dream. Last week at this time they were closer to filming a horror movie. The Knicks destroyed the Pistons at home last night, 101-79, pushing their run to six of seven since Mike D’Antoni was pushed overboard. Carmelo Anthony was on the court a solid 90 minutes before tip trying to find his touch again, and while he only had 15, everybody else picked up the slack … Dirk Nowitzki scored 31 and Dallas won in Houston despite leaving Chase Budinger wide open for three at the buzzer that would’ve won it… probably because they paid off the refs in crunch time … Luol Deng (23 points, 10 rebounds) tipped in a shot at the buzzer to beat Toronto, 102-101, and in turn, set off a barrage of Stacey King ridiculousness … George Hill scored 24 off the bench as the Pacers rolled over Milwaukee, 125-104 … We don’t know whether to congratulate Washington or hate on them. That’s two games in a row they’ve dominated for one half against a playoff team – first Indiana and then Atlanta last night – only to fall apart in the third quarter and lose. Last night, Joe Johnson hit a go-ahead triple, and John Wall missed a three at the buzzer as the Hawks rallied from 16 down to win, 95-92. At least since they got Nene (21 points, 11 rebounds), the Wizards have actually looked like a semi-decent basketball team. At times … The Spurs survived a late run from the Hornets and a Marco Belinelli triple at the buzzer that was right on line and just a foot short. We also survived a healthy dose of Sean ElliottJarrett Jack was never a starting-caliber guard in our minds, but he’s doing a pretty good job lately of telling us off. He had 27 points and seven rebounds last night while being surrounded by these four in the starting lineup: Belinelli, Lance Thomas, Gustavo Ayon and Greivis Vasquez … The Spurs were short-handed themselves, and before the game Gregg Popovich told reporters: “I thought about calling Gervin, but he’s busy.” … Behind 31 from Klay Thompson, the Warriors survived against the Kings, 111-108 … If we were the Clippers, we would’ve made sure we lost yesterday afternoon to the Grizzlies if it meant canning Vinny Del Negro. It seems they don’t want the league’s lamest duck of a coach out just yet, dominating Memphis by 16 in what could be a future playoff matchup. Chris Paul led the way with 19 points and 13 assists, and had a couple of highlights that’ll surely make their way onto YouTube. First, he caught an early switch with Marc Gasol and had the big man jumping in the air doing the superman while CP3 drove by him. Then, he threw a crazy behind-the-back, backwards cuff pass out to an open teammate for a triple … We don’t want to start anything because we think the whole “trade one of your best players to get less talented” is something an idiot doing lines would do, but Zach Randolph (14 points, eight rebounds) has been back for five games and the Grizzlies have won just one of them. The one team they beat was the Wizards, and it was a struggle (and beating Clown U doesn’t really count anyways) … Charlotte is the only team in the league where the head coach would let someone else run the team for a night. For the third time this season, Paul Silas, who’s probably one ugly Bad Porn shot away from finding the fishing poles and packing up his office, allowed his son, Stephen, to coach. And he did a fabulous job with the Bobcats only losing by 13 to the Nets. Kris Humphries (20 points, 16 rebounds) and Deron Williams (19 points, 14 assists) did the most damage, with Williams nearly coming to blows with Maggette after the Bobcat elbowed him in the face. Ornery isn’t a strong enough word to describe Williams lately. But at least he’s still balling … Keep reading to hear about the dudes on the court who weren’t in uniform who helped the Buckeyes made it to New Orleans …

So this is how it ends. After everything they made it through this season – Bernie Fine, Bernie Fine’s wife getting down, Fab Melo deciding he didn’t need to go to class – Syracuse was putting together a run of destiny. But against Ohio State, they got destroyed on the glass, and they got beat by a soft-shooting, hard-charging, balanced Buckeye team, 77-70. The refs sucked too (another reason why NBA > NCAA). They might’ve been the unexpected difference. Jared Sullinger tried quieting the Sean May shouts by rumbling for 19 points, and Lenzelle Smith, Jr. (18 points) had a number of huge deep shots in the second half. Dion Waiters picked the wrong night to have one of his worst games of the season: Nine points, and a bunch of Aaron Craft all up in his jersey. But Scoop Jardine caught the majority of Craft’s defensive wrath, and while he had 14, Cuse’s offense was off all night in part because of the little gnat … You could’ve stared at Patric Young‘s face in the final seconds of Louisville’s come-from-behind 72-68 win and it would’ve told you everything. He looked shocked. Discombobulated. Mentally destroyed. The Gators’ tournament run came to a crashing and disastrous end, losing an 11-point lead late in the second half in seemingly the blink of an eye. One minute, they were throwing lobs and Young was eating the rim. The next, they were going home after Kenny Boynton‘s triple attempt came up short. Russ Smith, the brother of J.R. Smith, was huge off the Cardinal bench with 19 points as Rick Pitino stayed undefeated all time against Billy Donovan. Louisville’s comeback came out of nowhere, but that’s what happens when you rely on the three (the Gators) and don’t make a single one of them in the final 20 minutes (0-for-9) … We’re out like NCAA refs.

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