Tar Heels tumble, RedHawks (who?) soar
College football: Yesterday I quizzed my Twitter peeps to see who was fired up for the GoDaddy.com Bowl, a game featuring a 6-6 school I've never heard of (Middle Tennessee) and a 9-4 school (Miami of Ohio) that's most famous for not being the real Miami. A quick and completely unscientific poll indicated that GoDaddy spokeswoman Danica Patrick, Jets cornerback Antonio Cromartie (whose illegitimate kids yell "Go Daddy" at the TV every Sunday) and the parents of the participating players would be the only people in the country watching.
Well, they were the smart ones, 'cause they got a great game. With the score knotted at 21, Miami busted things open at the end of the third quarter and scored 14 unanswered points en route to a 35-21 win. Talk about a turnaround: the RedHawks went from a 1-11 season last year to a bowl win this year, and they're the first FBS team in history to win 10 games the season after losing 10.
Women's college basketball: No. 3 Duke remained unbeaten on the year with a 71-64 victory over No. 15 Maryland. The Blue Devils went on an 11-2 run late in the game to run their home winning streak to 17 straight. Duke and Maryland are now a remarkable 37-37 all-time in 74 meetings.
Meanwhile, down in Hotlanta, Georgia Tech opened up their ACC schedule by upsetting No. 8 North Carolina in a 71-70 thriller. Tech's Metra Walthour hit the go-ahead 3-pointer with less than 30 seconds left in the game to give the Tar Heels their first defeat of the year. UNC couldn't stop Yellow Jackets freshman Tyaunna Marshall, who notched 24 points and seven boards in the 71-70 win. Marshall has already been named ACC Rookie of the Week four times this season, so Georgia Tech has some years of fun ahead of it with this young star.
NBA: Kevin Durant put up 28 points to lead the Thunder to a 99-95 win over the Mavs in Dallas. Earlier this week, Dallas had learned they had lost Caron Butler for the year with a knee injury, and last night Dirk Nowitzki sat out a sixth straight game with knee troubles of his own. Oklahoma City took advantage of the Mavs' injury woes to get its first win over Dallas this season.
In Sacramento, Tyreke Evans put up 27 points and 12 assists to lead the Kings to a 20-point upset of the Nuggets, who got 26 from Carmelo Anthony. The Kings had won just seven games all year heading into Thursday night's game, but they put together a dominant performance to give Paul Westphal his 300th career win.