Another No.1 bites the dust as Indiana falls at Illinois + Thursday Recap: Friday, February 8th, 2013

Hoosier loss means sixth straight new NCAAB No.1

For the fifth straight week, the team that entered the week at No.1 has lost. Illinois came from ten down in the final five minutes to beat Indiana 74-72 on a layup at the buzzer. Indiana, off Saturday’s win over then No.1 Michigan, didn’t come in flat or play poorly ….. they just couldn’t hold off a fired up Illinois team that was languishing at the bottom of the Big Ten.

Celtics and Nuggets win TNT beat downs

There were just two games on the Thursday night NBA schedule and both games resulted in blowouts for the home teams. On the front-end of the TNT double header, Boston crushed the road weary Lakers 116-95 in a game they led by 32 midway through the fourth quarter. Paul Pierce had 24-7-6 for the winners despite sitting out most of the final quarter. In the late show, the Denver Nuggets boatraced Chicago 128-96. Wilson Chandler led six Nuggets in double figures with 24 points off the bench. Denver shot a white hot 58% (50-86) for the game.

King Felix set to break the bank with mega-extension

By playing with the Seattle Mariners, Felix Hernandez probably has l30-40 less career wins (98 now at 26 and counting) than he would with the Yankees or Rangers. Now at least he’ll get paid. Hernandez is set to sign a seven-year $175 million dollar deal that will make him the highest paid pitcher in baseball and keep him a Mariner through 2019. Hernandez, 26, was scheduled to earn $19.5 million in 2013 and $20 million in 2014 under the terms of the five-year, $78 million contract he signed prior to 2010. The new contract wipes those two years out and takes effect immediately. Hernandez will earn an average of $25 million annually through 2019. It’s good to be King !!!

Mahan leads at Pebble Beach after one round

Hunter Mahan and Russell Knox both shot rounds of six-under to share the one round lead of the Pebble Beach Pro Am. The event, played over three courses, will sort itself out on Saturday after each golfer has played each course. Mahan shot his 66 on the Pebble Beach Course while Know shot his 64 at Monterrey Peninsula, The days best round may have come from South Korean Seung-yul Noh who shot a 67 at Spyglass, the toughest course in the evnt. He’s one shot back.

The Bruins deal Tim Thomas to the Islanders

The Boston Bruins have dealt enigmatic goalie Tim Thomas to the NY Islanders for a conditional second-round draft pick in 2014 or 2015. the 38-year-old Thomas decided to take the lockout shortened season off to spend more time with his family but planned to play next year. The deal helps the Islanders in that they acquire a potentially valuable asset between the pipes and will avoid possible problems with the league for falling below the salary cap. Thomas brings with a him, a $5 million dollar cap hit when he decides to play.

Lindsey Vonn seriously hurt in super-G wipeout

Lindsey Vonn, the most decorated woman in US skiing history, was badly hurt this week while participating in the super-G at Sclamding, Austria. Vonn tore her ACL and MCL and fractured her tibia in the crash and needed to be airlifted to the hospital for treatment. While not expected to be career threatening, the timing couldn’t have been worse with the 2014 Winter Olympics in Sochi, Russia starting exactly one year from yesterday. Vonn’s recovery time is expected to be about one year.

Free Play

(NBA) Brooklyn -1 over Washington (Friday, February 8, 7:00 PM EST)

Free Pick record in February: 2-5