Saturday college hoop showdowns, Blackhawks streak stopped at 24, Tiger rolling at Doral + Friday Recap: Saturday, March 9, 2013

Duke at North Carolina, Syracuse at Georgetown head final Saturday card

This weekend marks the final Saturday and Sunday of the college basketball regular season and we have several key feature matchups on tap to close show. At 12:00 Noon EST on Saturday, Syracuse travels to Georgetown in that storied rivalries final regularly scheduled Big East meeting. The Hoyas are -2 and with the high/low steady at 121. Also at noon, the Kentucky Wildcats are in a must win situation in their home game with Florida. The gators have been installed as six-point favorites. On the 9:00 PM EST ESPN late show, we have Duke traveling to Chapel Hill and a date with red-hot North Carolina. The Tar Heels are -1.5 with the over/under locked at 152. Sunday’s card features Indiana trying to claim the outright Big Ten title with a road win at Michigan. At this writing, there is no line on that game.

NBA News and Notes

Lebron James scored 25 points and added 10 rebounds while Dwayne wade chipped in with 22 points and the Miami Heat extended late to beat the Philadelphia 76ers 102-93. It was a keystone win for Miami who became the first team in the NBA to clinch a playoff spot. It was also the Heat’s franchise record 17th straight victory, their 13th straight home victory and their 16th straight regular season victory over Philadelphia. Miami is also closing in on the NBA record of 19 consecutive wins by a defending world champion currently held by the 2008-2009 Boston Celtics.

Also Friday night in “The Association” ….. Deron Williams broke the NBA record with nine three-pointer in the first half of the Nets 95-78 win over the Washington Wizards. Williams finished the game with 11 treys and 42 points.

Colorado ices Chicago 6-2, streaks over at 11 and 24

The Chicago Blackhawks streak of 24 games with a point to start the season finally came to an end when the Hawks were beaten 6-2 by the Colorado Avalanche. Matt Duchene led the way for the Avs with a goal and three assists. Semyon Varlamov was solid between the pipes for Colorado stopping 31 shots.

Tiger with a two-shot lead after 36 at Doral

After 36 holes at the WGC-Cadillac Championship at Doral, Tiger Woods holds a two-shot lead over Graeme McDowell. Tiger followed up Thursday’s 66 with a 7-under 65 to sit 13-under for the tournament. Phil Mickelson and Steve Stricker are tied for third just three shots back. Bubba Watson and Charl Schwartzel are also with five shots of the lead.

Tim Howard and Hope Solo both out with injuries

It wasn’t a good week for US soccer goalies. Men’s netminder Tim Howard fractured two vertebrae in his back playing with his club team Everton and will likely miss this month’s World Cup qualifying matches vs Costa Rica and Mexico. The Americans are already behind the eightball after losing their opener against Honduras. On the women’s side, Hope Solo’s wrist injury was more serious than originally thought and required surgery that will keep her out 3-4 months.

Free Play

(NCAAB) Duke +2 over North Carolina (Saturday, March 9, 9:00 PM EST )