What Happened Last Night: Duke Holds Off UNC, UConn Upsets Syracuse
Missed what happened in sports last night? Eh, don’t worry about it. You only missed a huge college basketball upset and one of the ugliest NBA games of the season. Of course Joakim Noah and Kevin Garnett were involved.
UConn upset No. 6 Syracuse.
The retirement of the legendary Jim Calhoun has not slowed down the UConn basketball program. New head coach Kevin Ollie has the team playing hard despite the postseason ban, and the Huskies now sport an impressive 17-6 record on the season after upsetting No. 6 Syracuse at home. Syracuse, meanwhile, with championship aspirations, definitely shouldn’t have dropped this one. Even worse, this marks the last conference game between the two teams, because Syracuse will depart for the ACC after this season.
A 13-4 four run late in the second half, capped off by UConn’s Omar Calhoun hitting two three-pointers, gave the Huskies a 55-46 lead with 6:14 left. Connecticut eventually closed at the game 66-58, but the story of the game was their defense. Syracuse shot 35 percent from the floor and 4-23 from deep.
Duke barely held off a bad North Carolina team.
This one was particularly shocking because Duke, the No. 2 team in the country, was at home. But the two teams always seem to bring out the best in each other, or really the most cutthroat enthusiasm, so maybe it wasn’t such a shocker. It took some key buckets down stretch for Duke to pull this one out 73-68, because North Carolina lead the game for the first 26 minutes. UNC’s P.J. Hairston finished with a season-high 23 points, and the Tar Heels only trailed 65-61 with a minute to go when they forced a Duke miss. But a loose ball foul on the rebound put the Blue Devils on the line, and two free throws later and the game was seemingly out of reach. Also: Coach K turned 66! He does not look 66, by the way.
Boston Celtics beat the Chicago Bulls because somebody had to win.
71-69. No no, this wasn’t college, or a particularly high scoring Oregon football game. This was two professional basketball teams, the Boston Celtics and the Chicago Bulls, throwing up brick after brick and handing each other the game until Boston just so happened to come out on top. A few numbers:
Boston Celtics field goal percentage: 36.8
Chicago Bulls field goal percentage: 36.5
Paul Pierce: 2-12
Avery Bradley: 4-12
Jeff Green: 2-8
Carlos Boozer: 5-14
Richard Hamilton: 1-6
Jimmy Butler: 4-11