HOT: OFF TO THE RACES
Led by PG Isaiah Canaan, No. 9 Murray State (30--1)—boasting DI's sixth-best three-point-shooting rate (40.6)—is headed back to the NCAA tournament after clipping Tennessee State 54--52 for the Racers' third straight Ohio Valley crown.
NOT: METS MESS
Ike Davis is sick (it might be valley fever!), David Wright (below), denounced the team's new Underdog theme, and on Monday owner Fred Wilpon et al. were ordered to pay $83.3 million as part of the Bernie Madoff scandal.
HOT: MASKED ASSASSIN
Kobe Bryant, visage shielded after a broken nose, hit for 33 points in the Lakers' 93--83 win over the Heat on Sunday. The NBA's leading scorer (28.9 ppg) also has his face out there in a series of Nike ads riffing on Italian B movies of the '70s.
HOT: WILTING LEAFS
Toronto (30-28-7) sacked coach Ron Wilson last Friday after its 10th loss in 11 games dropped the Leafs outside the playoff fold for what would be the seventh straight year. Blame the D: The team's 3.05 goals per game is third worst in the NHL.
HOT: BABY-BLUE STREAKS
In beating Duke 88--70 for its seventh straight victory, North Carolina wrapped up its second consecutive ACC regular-season title. PG Kendall Marshall, who hasn't had a traveling or carrying call all season, contributed 20 points and 10 assists.