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Tuesday, January 25, 2011
The Eagles have landed ... with a thud

By Sarah Spain

Tuesday Night Football -- Vikings 24, Eagles 14: The Eagles were playing for a potential first-round bye and their quarterback, Michael Vick, had just been named the NFC Pro Bowl starter. The eliminated Vikings had nothing to play for and were forced to send out a rookie quarterback making his first-ever NFL start. An Eagles victory was a foregone conclusion, right? But as the old cliché goes, that's why you play the game. Minnesota signal-caller Joe Webb threw for 195 yards and rushed for a touchdown, while running back Adrian Peterson put up 118 yards and a score. Vick couldn't reprise the late-game heroics he showed last week against the Giants, as the NFC East champion Eagles lost their chance for a bye and sunk to guaranteed No. 3 seed. Philly's loss was Chicago's gain, however, as the Vikings' win gave the Bears a playoff bye.

College football -- North Carolina State 23, West Virginia 7: Wolfpack quarterback Russell Wilson threw for 275 yards and two touchdowns to lead his unranked team to win over No. 22 West Virginia in the Florida Citrus Bowl. Wilson, a middle infielder in the Colorado Rockies minor league system, hit a home run in what may have been his last football game, earning Bowl MVP honors and giving NC State its first nine-win season since 2002.

Iowa 27, Missouri 24: Tigers quarterback Blaine Gabbert passed for 434 yards and a touchdown, but also threw two costly interceptions, as No. 12-ranked Missouri fell in Tuesday night's Insight Bowl. Iowa cornerback Micah Hyde sealed the deal for the Hawkeyes, returning the second Gabbert pick 72 yards for the winning score with just over five minutes to play in the game.

NCAA men's basketball -- Wisconsin 68, Minnesota 60: The No. 24 Badgers won their eighth straight conference opener, upsetting the No. 13 Gophers. Junior guard Jordan Taylor led the way with 22 points and teammate Jon Leuer added 16 to lead the Badgers over the Gophers in their only regular-season meeting of the year. The Badgers continue to impress at home: Playing under coach Bo Ryan at the Kohl Center, Wisconsin is 70-6 against Big Ten opponents.

NCAA women's basketball -- Stanford 89, Xavier 52: When you beat a higher-ranked team by 37 points, it's not just an upset, it's a full-on rout. Stanford's Nnemkadi Ogwumike had 23 points and 11 rebounds to lead the No. 8 Cardinal over the fourth-ranked Musketeers. The win was Stanford's 51st straight at Maples Pavilion, where it will host unbeaten Connecticut on Thursday night.

UConn 85, Pacific 42: As for the Huskies, they easily handled the unranked Tigers to earn their 90th straight victory. That unbeaten streak will surely be challenged on Thursday night.

NBA -- Spurs 97, Lakers 82: Behind 23 points from Tony Parker, the Spurs defeated the sluggish Lakers to improve to 27-4. Kobe Bryant had 21 points on 8-of-27 shooting, going 0-for-13 from the field during one particularly bad stretch, as L.A. lost for the third straight game. Tim Duncan and Manu Ginobili were a combined 1 for 13 in the first half, but Parker and a strong supporting cast helped the Spurs confirm their status as the current team to beat in the West.

Heat 106, Knicks 98: Meanwhile, in South Florida, the team that had dealt the Lakers their Christmas Day loss got another big win. Dwyane Wade put up 40 points to lead Miami to its 15th win in 16 games, and seventh straight over the Knicks.

NHL -- Penguins 6, Thrashers 3: Sidney Crosby scored twice to lead Pittsburgh to a win over Atlanta in what was the Penguins' last home game before they take on the Capitals in the Winter Classic. Crosby stretched his consecutive-games-with-a-point streak to 25, and is nearing the longest such streak by a player in 20 years (Mats Sundin scored a point in 30 straight games in the early '90s).