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Monday, February 21, 2011
Turmoil at the top


Men's college basketball: It was a weekend of upsets galore in college basketball as No. 2, No. 3. and No. 4 teams lost.

Saturday, which turned into Upset-urday in college basketball, saw two top five teams fall. Nebraska's Brandon Richardson nailed a pair of free throws with 7.2 seconds left to seal the game against No. 2 Texas, giving the Cornhuskers their first victory over a top three team since beating Missouri in 1994. The Cornhuskers' 70-67 win also snapped the Longhorn's school-record 11-game Big 12 winning streak.

For the fifth time this season, unranked St. John's beat a Top 25 team. No. 4 Pitt was its latest victim Saturday, as the Red Storm beat the Panthers 60-59 at Madison Square Garden. While Pitt's record fell to 24-3, St. John's improved to 17-9. Come Monday, the Red Storm will most likely be ranked for the first time since Nov. 28, 2000.

Just over a week ago, Ohio State was undefeated. Now the No. 3 Buckeyes have two losses on the season, as they fell to No. 11 Purdue on Sunday 76-63. Purdue was led by E'Twaun Moore, who scored a career-high 38 points.

Women's college basketball: The women weren't exempt from Upset-urday, as No. 1 Baylor fell to unranked Texas Tech 56-45. The Lady Bears, who suffered only their second loss of the season, watched their 21-game winning streak come to an end, as the Lady Raiders celebrated their second consecutive victory over a Top 25 team. Baylor's last loss was on Nov. 16, when it fell to UConn.

2011 NBA All-Star Weekend: Kobe Bryant scored 37 points in the All-Star Game on Sunday to help lead the West to a 148-143 victory over the East. Bryant won his record-tying fourth All-Star Game MVP award in front of his hometown fans. In a losing effort, Amare Stoudemire and LeBron James, who finished the night with a triple-double, were the leading scorers for the East with 29 a piece.

Fans in LA are used to being wowed by Blake Griffin on a nightly basis, but his dunk in the final round of Saturday's slam dunk contest to beat out JaVale McGee of the Washington Wizards was something even they hadn't seen before. With a gospel choir singing "I Believe I Can Fly" in the background, Griffin jumped over the hood of a Kia Optima to dunk the ball on his first try. We're not sure what would've happened if he didn't make it over the car, but nonetheless, McGee couldn't top that performance and had to settle for second place.

After Friday night, Justin Bieber's trophy case now includes one NBA All-Star trophy and zero Grammys. He was named the MVP of Friday's NBA All-Star celebrity game, in which he had eight points, four assists and two rebounds for the West. The East, who was led by Hall of Famer Scottie Pippen's 17 points, won the game 54-49.

College baseball: In Florida International's season opener on Friday, star Garrett Wittels had his 56-game hitting streak snapped as FIU fell to Southeastern Louisiana 10-2. Wittels, who went 0-4 on the night, was just two hits shy of tying Robin Ventura's NCAA Division I record of 58 consecutive games with a hit, set in 1987. Wittels' streak marks the third longest in the history of college baseball. Damian Constantino of Division III Salve Regina had a 60-game hitting streak from 2001-2003.

Daytona 500: Trevor Bayne won the 53rd edition of the Daytona 500 on Sunday, becoming the youngest driver ever to win the race. Just a day after turning 20 and in only his second Sprint Cup start ever, Bayne was able to hold off Carl Edwards to win the title and pull into Victory Lane. Sunday also marked the 10th anniversary of Dale Earnhardt's fatal accident at the 2001 Daytona 500. His son, Dale Earnhardt, Jr., finished 24th in this year's race.