"The Stack" is here on this Wednesday and we have a slightly shorter post today as there wasn't a whole lot going on in the world of sports yesterday. But we still have good things to talk about today so let's get right to it and see what made "the stack" for today, Wednesday, May 23:
1. Heat crush Pacers, one win away from eastern conference finals
The Indiana Pacers it appears had their chance to win this series in game four when they had a ten point lead in the third quarter. However, Dwayne Wade and LeBron James took over that game and stole the momentum of the series. They kept that momentum in game five, pummeling the Pacers 115-83. Wade had 28 points while James had a ho-hum 30 points, ten rebounds and eight assists. Just another day at the office for James. What's worse news for the Pacers is that both Danny Granger and David West both suffered injuries. Granger suffered a sprained ankle and left the arena in a walking boot. His status for game six looks to be very much in doubt. If he can't go, no way can the Pacers win the game. Even if he does play, I don't think the Pacers will win the game. The Heat have stolen all momentum and mojo and the Pacers just can't answer. They had their chance and blew it. The Heat will be in the eastern conference finals.
Wednesday's NBA playoff game:
Boston Celtics @ Philadelphia 76ers 8:00 PM ET (Celtics lead series 3-2)
2. Kings advance to Stanley Cup Finals
What a game this turned out to be. The Phoenix Coyotes came out with a lot of energy and Los Angeles had to weather the storm early. The Coyotes scored a power play goal less than five minutes in and had another power play opportunity six minutes later. With a chance to go up 2-0 and put the Kings on their heels, Anze Kopitar scored shorthanded to tie game up1-1 for the Kings. The second period saw a lot of scoring with Phoenix scoring first to take the lead 2-1, but the Kings scored two goals in a span of two-and-a-half minutes to take a 3-2 lead. Keith Yandle would score later for the Coyotes to tie game 3-3 through two periods. A third period that saw a combined five power plays yielded no goals and an overtime would decide the fate of the Coyotes. Score a goal and force a game six or your season is over. Well in overtime, the Kings had plenty of chances, including one where Coyotes goalie Mike Smith lost his glove, but could not get one in the net. Finally with just over two minutes to go in overtime, Dustin Penner got one by Smith to send the Kings to their first Stanley Cup Finals since 1993. There were a ton of shots in this game. 51 for the Kings, 41 for the Coyotes. Neither goalie was a brick wall like we've seen at times in this series, but they each played really good. The Kings, an eight seed are 8-0 on the road this postseason. According to the Elias Sports Bureau, it is the first time a team has gone undefeated in route to a Stanley Cup Final appearance. The Kings should be feared by either the New Jersey Devils or New York Rangers, whoever wins their series. The play tonight at 8:00 PM ET, NBC Sports Network.
3. College basketball news and notes
A couple of rivalries will continue, but at neutral courts last year. Cincinnati and Xavier will play at U.S. Bank Arena in Cincinnati the next two years. It's a good move after what transpired last year in the brawl that was the black eye of the college basketball season. No bad blood will be lost in the rivalry, but by not playing it in an opposing gym, perhaps things won't get quite so heated. Fans from each team will still show up to support their schools and watch the game, but it should be under a more watchful eye.
Meanwhile in the state of Indiana, a rivalry that has not seen any ugly moments in a while will continue as the Crossroads Classic will be extended through 2014. The four big basketball schools in Indiana, Butler, Indiana, Notre Dame and Purdue will play in the Indiana classic that fans all across the basketball state love. Butler will play Indiana this year and Notre Dame will play Purdue. People live and breath basketball in Indiana and these four universities have huge followings and are all really good. This will be a good tournament.
4. Indianapolis Colts 2012-13 NFL schedule highlights
It's the dawn of a new era for the Indianapolis Colts. No Peyton Manning under center or patroling the sidelines. This is Andrew Luck's team. A lot has changed in Indy. New general manager, new coach. New optimism? Sure. Their full schedule can be found here. Here's some intersting tidbits on the upcoming season:
- The Colts have been in the primetime spotlight for years. This year, not so much. One primetime game, Thursday night week 10 @ Jacksonville on NFL Network.
- Fifteen of the sixteen Colts games are at 1:00 PM ET.
- It may be a rough start to the Colts season. Three of their first four games are against the NFC North (Chicago, Minnesota and Green Bay).
- The Colts will be at home for five of their first eight games, including three in a row weeks 2-5 (bye week 4).
Thursday's team: Jacksonville Jaguars
Coming up Thursday: NBA and NHL playoff reaction plus other top stories in sports
Comments and suggestions on what to write about are always welcomed and appreciated.