In case you were out drinking away the memories of all the birthday parties you didn't get to have as a child because you were born on February 29, here's what you missed in sports on Thursday.
- College basketball's topsy-turvy season continued as Virginia beat Duke in Charlottesville, 73-68. While this might have appeared to be a massive upset based on the AP rankings, Las Vegas actually had the game as a virtual pick 'em, due to Virginia's recent form at home and the continued absence of Duke's Ryan Kelly. In unrelated news, this weekend's foam party at the Duke PIKE house has been canceled due to lack of funds after a "shockingly big loss on what should've been a sure thing," according to fraternity treasurer Charles 'Chip' Willoughby Jr.
- Gonzaga beat BYU on the road, 70-65, to stake a claim for their first-ever no. 1 ranking. Kamloops, British Columbia, native Kelly Olynyk had 19 points for the Zags. "I'm still no Mark Recchi," a humble Olynyk said in reference to the Stanley Cup winner and fellow Kamloops native. "But, eh, who is a Mark Recchi? Well, excepting, of course, Mark Recchi. Oh, I hope Mark Recchi doesn't hear I made a fool of myself talking about him. That's the problem with all this winning; you get on the TV, and you never know when you're gonna embarrass yourself in front of Mark Recchi."
- The Philadelphia 76ers' tailspin continued as they lost in Chicago, 93-82. Joakim Noah had a monster game for the Bulls, getting 23 points, 21 rebounds, 11 blocks, and three high-fives from teammate Kirk Hinrich, who's known for being stingy with his praise. "It means so much when you get Kirk going," Noah said after the game. "Almost as much as the triple-double meant in the first place." When told that Noah was appreciative of his support, Hinrich explained, "Oh, well, he seemed like he was going to hit me. It was just a defensive reflex; I meant nothing by it."
- The Los Angeles Lakers beat the Minnesota Timberwolves, 116-94, at Staples Center. The Lakers have gotten themselves back into playoff contention, winning 12 of their last 17 games, or as San Antonio Spurs coach Gregg Popovich would call it, "a cataclysmic spate of losing that would cause to one to question the very nature of existence."
- The Los Angeles Clippers picked up an excellent road win as they outmuscled an Indiana Pacers team playing without Roy Hibbert, 99-91. Hibbert, suspended for his role in an altercation with David Lee earlier in the week, was forced to sit by as Blake Griffin pulled down 14 rebounds. "Watching him made me so mad," Hibbert said after the game. "I just wanted to push him so bad." Hibbert then took a series of deep breaths as he counted backward from 10 in his mind. "I mean, I wanted to get out there and compete against him in a civil and honorable way."
- The Chicago Blackhawks ran their point streak to 20 consecutive games, as they shut out the St. Louis Blues, 3-0, on the road. The Blackhawks opened the scoring a mere 12 seconds into the game as Jonathan Toews kicked the puck into the net. "It's getting kind of spooky," Toews said after the game when asked to explain the run the Blackhawks are on. "It's like God himself wants us to win all these games. But the Flyers once went 35 in a row unbeaten, and, clearly, God has no home in Philadelphia, so I'm at a total loss."
- Patrice Bergeron scored an overtime winner as the Boston Bruins beat the Ottawa Senators at home, 2-1. "Winning just isn't the same now that Mark Recchi doesn't play here," Bergeron said after the game in reference to former winger Mark Recchi, who ended his career with the Boston Bruins. "I mean, we've got great guys here, but none of them is a Mark Recchi. Who is a Mark Recchi, though? Excepting, of course, Mark Recchi. Eh? Oh, jeez, I hope Mark Recchi isn't watching this interview; I still fancy him a friend, and so I don't need to go gushing about the guy on TV like this. Mark Recchi is such a sweet guy, though; he wouldn't let me feel embarrassed. Oh, Mark Recchi."
- Texas Rangers shortstop Elvis Andrus was a scratch from yesterday's spring training game with "tattoo related arm soreness." Now, this is exactly the sort of ailment I know lots about because of all of my sweet arm tats (don't check; just trust me on this one). Here then are 10 helpful tips you can use to avoid missing work due to tattoo-related arm soreness:
Tip 1: If your job involves throwing stuff with your arm, and your job also has a four-month annual break (say, like if you're a teacher, or a lifeguard, or a Major League Baseball player), get all of your arm tattoos at the start of the break.
Tip 2: Seriously, just follow Tip 1.
Tip 3: Really, you're going to get a tattoo now? Why?
Tip 4: Ugh, fine, you can miss spring training. Whatever.
Tip 5: Wait, did you really have tattoo-related arm soreness? Or were you just trying to get out of a spring training game?
Tip 6: Show me the damn tattoo.
Tip 7: Don't go get the tattoo right now to prove me wrong.
Tip 8: Damn it, you're getting the tattoo right now, aren't you?
Tip 9: That's actually a pretty sweet sentiment for a tattoo.
Tip 10: Take a picture of yourself and throw that bad boy on Instagram 'cause you're lookin' good!