The 'Cuse Falls As No. 1, The Bears Play Monopoly, And Ron Artest Goes Rodman On Us

Julius_Peppers
Julius Peppers "Passed GO" and collected $91.5 million.

It was our first Olympic-free weekend in nearly a month and while it pains us to be without the high drama of curling, the sports world must go on.

Syracuse basketball became the latest No. 1 ranked team unable to hold the crown. For the second time this season, the Orangemen lost to the Louisville Cardinals and will give up their top spot when the rankings come out Monday. The Cards 78-68 win over the Cuse was the 823rd and final game played at Freedom Hall. Kyle Kuric, a sophomore averaging just 3.5 ppg, erupted for 22 points, which was 22 more than he scored in his last performance at Freedom Hall. The performance was so surprising that if Pitino were wearing his patented white suit that day, it most certainly would have changed colors.

And speaking of NCAA basketball, a couple of David's have already punched their tickets to the Big Dance to take on the Goliath's. Northern Iowa, Cornell, Murray State, Winthrop and East Tennessee State have all secured automatic bids by winning their league title (the Ivy League does not hold a tourney) or conference tournament. It should be noted that Murray State has not one, but two mascots: Dunker and Air Dunker so whichever team's mascot draws their number next weekend better get ready to dance with a couple partners.

Meanwhile, the NFL free agency period began March 5th, and the Bears were ready to feast. Chicago inked Julius Peppers to a six-year deal worth $91.5 million with a league-record $42 million guaranteed. However, the Bears shopping spree did not stop there. With the uncapped year approaching, the Bears used their Monopoly money to sign former Vikings running back Chester Taylor and tight end Brandon Manumaleuna. The last place Lions answered Chicago with a pair of signings of their own: Kyle Vanden Bosch signed a four-year, $26 million contract, while wideout Nate Burleson agreed to a five-year, $25 million deal with Detroit. We're sure Lions fans have already started camping out for the arrival of those jerseys.

For those of you getting ready for your fantasy baseball drafts, you should take a look a second look at some of the top draft picks at their positions. Stud closer Joe Nathan is flying back to Minnesota to have his surgically-repaired elbow checked out; Dodgers catcher Russell Martin is likely to miss the start of the season with a pulled groin and Mets shortstop Jose Reyes, who hasn't played a regular season game since May 20th, 2009, now suffers from a thyroid issue. Unless you really have faith in the Mets 2010 slogan, "We Believe In Comebacks," you may want to look elsewhere for your steals this season.

Of course, we save the best for last. In an effort to motivate his team and end the Lakers recent two-game skid, Ron Artest dyed his hair yellow and had the word "defense" etched into his head in three different languages (Japanese, Hebrew and Hindu) in purple writing. The Lakers were so mesmerized by Artest's new hairdo they forgot to practice what Artest preached and lost to the Magic 96-94.