The Stack returns on this Thursday still slightly upset that Team USA lost to Team Canada in women's hockey. We'll get to that shortly. A new day has arrived though. Maybe the US men can return the favor today. We'll get to that anad more so let's get right to it and see what's in "the stack" for today, Friday, February 21:
UNC takes down Duke
Anytime UNC and Duke meet in basketball, (mainly men, but women have competitive games as well), it's hotly contested and the arena is filled with energy. Last night was no different. The Tar Heels rallied from 11 points down in the second half to take down Duke 74-66 and win their eighth straight game. Duke's Rodney Hood was playing great early on in the game, but cooled off a bit as the game wore on. He finished with 16 points. If you were watching the game, it felt like he had more. Jabari Parker also had a good game posting a double-double with 17 points and 11 rebounds. As for North Carolina, it seemed as though they couldn't make a free throw to save their lives, but later in the second half they finally started to knock them down. They are one of the worst free throw shooting teams in the country, but came up clutch when they had to. Overall, they finished 20 of 31 from the stripe. I thought if they lost a close game they only would have to look at their free throw shooting to know how they lost the game. Fortunately for them, that turned out not to be the case. The two teams meet in the final regular season game March 8th at Cameron Indoor.
And in other college basketball news, what got into Michigan State? They were knocking down threes left and right against Purdue in the first half. Thirteen of them as a matter of fact. Thirteen threes, one two-pointer. That's right! Can you believe that? They finished with seventeen threes and won 94-79. Don't know if we'll see them ever shoot that good again this season. If that happens in the tournament, Sparty is looking good.
LeBron, Heat throttle Thunder
It was supposed to be about Russell Westbrook's return. In the end it was all about LeBron James. He scored the first 12 points of the game for the Miami Heat with 33 points as the Heat laid a beatdown on the Oklahoma City Thunder 103-81. Russell Westbrook had 16 points on 4 of 12 shooting while Kevin Durant poured in 28 points for the Thunder. The prisoners of the moment will lash out now and say that the Thunder are a better team without Westbrook in the lineup. He ruins their mojo. They were playing so much better without him in the lineup. Let's end that talk right now. It's Westbrook's first game back since his injury. Of course it is going to take a little bit of time for him to get back in the game and for the Thunder to re-formulate the chemistry with both him and Durant on the court together. Westbrook played just 24 minutes. This was more about James and the Heat's dominance over the Thunder since Durant has been there. What are they, 15-4? The Heat have thrived on their west coast trip and they're putting a lot of pressure on the Indiana Pacers to keep winning and be the number one seed in the eastern conference.
Wednesday's Winter Olympic headlines
Top headline has to be Canada coming back from a 2-0 third period deficit with under four minutes to go to force overtime and beat the USA 3-2 to win gold in women's ice hockey. It looked so good for Team USA to finally knock off Canada and win Olympic gold. Canada had won gold the last three Olympics. Yet somehow it all fell apart late in the third period. Marie-Philip Poulin scored with under a minute to go and the goalie pulled to tie the game 2-2 for Canada. This only after the US hit the post that could have iced the game and the gold medal. They may have never hit the post however if the linesman hadn't gotten in the way of the Canadian player. Had the US scored, Canada would have been irate. Poulin wound up scoring the game winner on a 5-on-3 power play in overtime too. She is her country's hero, at least for a day. Heartbreaking loss for the USA. Devestating. They looked like they had this in the bag. Hopefully this makes them hungrier for the next Olympics. The US would like to seek revenge and hope that the men will serve that up when they play Canada in the men's ice hockey semi-finals today.
In women's curling, Great Britain knocked off Switzerland 6-5 for the bronze medal and Canada knocked off Sweden 6-3 for the gold. The men will decide the medals today.
In honor of the sport that the late Sarah Burke helped bring to the Winter Olympics, American Maddie Bowden won gold in the inaugural women's ski halfpipe. Burke was a pioneer and helped pushed the event and get it into the Olympics, but she died before ever seeing her dream fulfilled. This one was for her.
And in ladies's figure skating short program, it was a Russian who took home gold, but it wasn't 15-year old Yulia Lipnitskaya who everyone thought would do it. Instead, it was Adelina Sotnikova who stole the show and won gold followed by the best in the sport Yuna Kim of South Korea. Carolina Kostner took the bronze while American Gracie Gold finished fourth. It is the first time since 1936 the US has failed to medal in either men's or ladie's singles figure skating. Great program to watch.
Coming up Monday: Final Winter Olympic thoughts and reaction
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