SP3s Wednesday Sports Recap: Colts sever ties with Peyton Manning, Heat win 11th straight at home, Messi scores five in Champion’s League, NFLPA will conduct its own bounty probe. Lehigh, Long Island, and Montana are going dancing.
In one of the most awkward news conferences in sports history, the Colts said goodbye to Peyton Manning. While both parties were quick to point out that money was never a factor in the decision, the four-time MVP was due a $28 million dollar roster bonus today. Instead, Manning is free to sign with whoever he wants. Arizona and Seattle have already made contact. Miami and Seattle are considered the front runners for his services. The Colts will continue to rebuild their franchise from the bottom up and draft Andrew Luck as Manning’s successor.
College basketball was in full swing on Wednesday. In tournament action, Long Island won the Northeast, Lehigh the Patriot, and Montana the Big Sky tournament to lock up bids in the Big Dance. In the Big East tournament, UConn moved on with an OT win over West Virginia and Louisville beat Seton Hall. The Mountaineers and Pirates will be holding their breaths watching the selection show on Sunday. South Florida took a big step forward with an easy win over Villanova. Oregon State, UCLA, Stanford, and Colorado all advanced in the first round of the Pac Ten tournament.
The Miami Heat won their 11th straight home game with an 89-86 win over the Hawks. OKC improved their home record to 16-1 with a 115-104 win over the Phoenix Suns. The Nets beat the Cippers, the Cavs beat Nuggets, and the Bulls beat the Bucks … all on buzzer beaters. The Wiz came from 21 points down to beat the Lakers 106-101 as LA continues to struggle on the road. Philly whacked Boston by 32, Toronto spanked Houston 116-98, Utah sent Charlotte to 5-32, and Minnesota rolled Portland 106-94. San Antonio, Sacramento, and Memphis all recorded wins.
Linonal Messi continued his scoring rampage with five goals vs Bayern Leverkusen becoming the first player to score five times in a Champion’s League game. Barcelona won 7-1 and advanced to the quarter-finals on a 10-2 aggregate. Messi has 48 goals this year for Barcelona including seven hat-tricks. He’s scored 14 goals in his last five games and has 228 career goals for Barca, just seven goals from the frachise record held by Cesar Rodriguez.
The NFL Players Association will do its own investigation of the New Orleans Saints’ bounty system and asked the league to help set up interviews with the team’s coaches and front-office staff. The NFLPA has pledged to vigorusly defend players rights and and to work with in league in setting up safeguards so that the situation will not happen again.
In spring training baseball news, Texas big money signing Yu Darvish threw two scoreless innings in his Ranger debut. The ex-Japanese League star gave up two hits and struck out three. The Orioles are reportedly interested in Johnny Damon. The 38-year-old designated hitter is still looking for work after hitting .261 with 16 HRs last year with Tampa Bay. Damon has 2732 career hits. The Cubs are working on a deal to sign 19-year-old Cuban power-hitting outfielder Jorge Soler to a contract. The A’s signed the more ballyhooed five-tooled Cuba outfielder Yoenis Cespedas earlier in the winter.
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(CBB) Idaho -5 over Hawaii (Please note that this is a 3:00 PM EST tip)
(CBB) Northwestern -2 over Minnesota (Please note that this is a 5:30 PM EST tip)
(CBB) Miami Fla -6.5 over Georgia Tech
(CBB) UNLV -9 over Wyoming
(NHL) Nashville -154 over Colorado