What a night in basketball, specifically in college basketball. The Stack is here with all of that and more so let's get right to it and see what made "the stack" for today, Friday, February 8:
#1 goes down
For the fifth straight week, the number one ranked team in college basketball has lost. This week it is Indiana following a buzzer beater layup Illinois forward Tyler Griffey to beat the Hoosiers 74-72. Indiana will be kicking themselves over this loss for a little bit. They let a double digit lead get away from them in the final minutes and then to let Griffey get that wide open for the layup with under a second to go is not something you would expect from the number one team in the country. This is a huge win for Illinois. They were one of the best teams through December, but have really struggled in Big Ten play...2-7 in conference play entering the night. But against the number one team and in desperate need of a win to help boost their tournament resume, they found a way to come through and get a big W.
They weren't the only ranked team to go down. #19 Oregon lost 48-47 at home to Colorado. The Ducks have now lost three in a row and they are not loooking like the team to beat in the Pac 12. That would seem to be Arizona.
And #21 Missouri lost to Texas A&M in an SEC battle that had a Big 12 feel to it because these two teams were in the Big 12 last year. Missouri has lost every true road game they've played this year. That's not good. The team has a vastly different flavor this year than they did last year.
Nate Wolters goes off
If you are unfamiliar with a) Nate Wolters and b) the phrase Naters Gonna Nate, time to educate yourself on one of the best players in college basketball. The point guard from South Dakota State (which ESPN consistently calls San Diego State, yep high quality journalism there) went off last night against IPFW, scoring 53 points in the Jackrabbits 80-74 road win. The Jacks were trailing most of the game, by as much as eleven in the second half before Wolters went off. The 53 points is the most scored by a player in college basketball this year. Wolters surpassed fellow Summit Leaguer in Oakland Golden Grizzlies guard Travis Bader who scored 47 points last month. Wolters stat line is awfully impressive. He was 17 of 28 from the field including 9 of 14 from three. He also had four rebounds and three assists and only three turnovers. And he did this on the same day he was named a finalist for the Cousy Award, awarded to the nation's top point guard. Yeah, I'd say he made a statement. Expect to see Wolters get drafted into the NBA in June and make sure you watch when South Dakota State makes it to March Madness. Before that though, you can see Nate Wolters take on fellow premier point guard Isaiah Canaan and Murray State in a BracketBusters showdown February 23 at 8 PM ET on ESPN2.
Kevin Garnett reaches 25,000 points
In the middle of the Boston Celtics 116-95 beatdown of the Los Angeles Lakers, Celtics forward Kevin Garnett made history by becoming the sixteenth player in NBA history to surpass 25,000 points. He did so on a bucket in the second quarter, two of his 15 points. Congrats to Garnett on reaching the mark. It is quite an accomplishment. Sadly, he is overshadowed a bit by Dwight Howard and his playing through a shoulder injury after what some are perceiving being called out by Kobe Bryant. Yeah, how did that work out for the Lakers last night? They were trounced.
King Felix gets paid
Seattle Mariners pitcher Felix Hernandez is an even more rich man today following his 5-year $135 million extension he signed yesterday. All in all, he has a 7-year deal worth $175 million. The Mariners are clearly making him the centerpiece of the team. He has been one of the best pitchers in sports and he deserved to get paid. But this much money? Um, not so sure. One thing is for sure though and that is that Detroit Tigers pitcher Justin Verlander is one happy man. The best pitcher in baseball is going to get paid more than what Hernandez signed for, but Verlander hasn't signed an extension yet. When he does, the bar has been set at $175 million. That's good news for Verlander.
Coming up Monday: Reaction to top stories in sports from the weekend