In case you were out living a life of leisure, here's what you missed in sports on Thursday.
- Syracuse got a huge scare from 16-seed UNC-Asheville in the NCAA tournament on Thursday. The Orange only escaped with a 72-65 win after receiving several favorable calls in the second half. "Guess I just had some good karma coming!" said Jim Boeheim, who, for some reason, was lighting a cigar with a $100 bill. In a related story, the last mystical gnome died from pollution yesterday at 5 p.m., and his last words were: "Magic is gone from the world."
- Knicks interim head coach Mike Woodson, taking over from Mike D'Antoni, made sure to note that the Knicks offense will run through his two stars, Amare Stoudemire and Carmelo Anthony. This means a diminished role for Jeremy Lin, and perhaps the end of Linsanity. In a related story, the last mystical gnome briefly regained consciousness, whispered, "love is a myth," and died again.
- Madness was largely absent from the tournament yesterday, and there were only two upsets. The 11-seed Colorado Buffaloes kept the Pac-12 tournament presence alive with a 68-64 win over UNLV, and 12-seed VCU rode a hot start to a narrow 62-59 win over Wichita State. In a related story, the last mystical gnome awoke on his death bed again, saw the news, and was all like: "Oh, hooray, our two upsets had a fucking Pac-12 team winning and a team from last year's Final Four advancing? Great." He then ripped out the IVs from his life support system and died for good.
- In other notable results, a new champion will be crowned in 2012. Iowa State, an 8-seed, used 20 points from Chris Allen to notch an easy 77-64 win over UConn. Too bad it happened in a late game, because I think the gnome would have liked that. Or maybe not. Truth be told, he was kind of a miserable dick.
- Mark Sanchez fired back at the unnamed Jets who criticized him in the New York papers, calling them "gutless." If he's right, that completely rules out Rex Ryan as the anonymous source.
- In NBA news, the Portland Trail Blazers waived former no. 1 overall pick Greg Oden, who will soon be undergoing his third microfracture knee surgery. As of press time, Oden was still gingerly working his way down the stairs outside the Blazers training facility.
- Lakers GM Mitch Kupchak was busy on Thursday, trading Jason Kapono, Luke Walton, and Derek Fisher to get Ramon Sessions, Jordan Hill, and Christian Eyenga in two separate deals. Bill Walton, Luke's father, called it: "The most preposterous, ignominious, pusillanimous double-dealing since the pigeon-hearted Sumerians roamed the fertile crescent."
- Shannon Brown scored 21 points as the Phoenix Suns ended a four-game road losing streak with a 91-87 win over the Clippers. L.A. has now lost six of its last nine, forcing the Clippers to change their old nickname, "Lob City," into a more appropriate anagram, "Icy Blot." Luckily, they're still a few losses away from the super-embarrassing third anagram, where the first word is "Boy" and where you can just go ahead and figure that second word out on your own.
- Sidney Crosby returned to action in the NHL, and was on the ice for three of his team's goals as the red-hot Penguins topped the Rangers, 5-2. Unfortunately, due to his repeated head injuries, Crosby is no longer able to do his hilarious penguin celebration dance, where he waddles around for a few minutes and then falls face-first on the ice.
So, for those who missed it, Participation Friday is now called "Reader's Revenge," and it has its own post! This week, I'm asking for your Most Fireable Offense. Mine was probably when my workmates and I, all "environmental technicians" (janitors) at a private university, organized a nap system that let us sleep til noon in empty dorms.
As usual, your story can be about you, your friend, someone you know, etc. I have a feeling a lot of folks will be choosing to go anonymous on this one, which is totally allowed. Send your best stories to email@example.com, and perhaps you'll experience a moment of pure elation when you see your name in print come Monday. Have a great weekend.