The NetWorks Sports Two-Minute Drill: Top 5 Moments This Week in Sports (12/11/11)


Log on to the NetWorks Sports blog every Sunday as we succinctly recap our Top 5 list of events that occurred during the week in sports in The NetWorks Sports Two-Minute Drill.  Take two minutes out of your day to get our view on what’s going on both on the field (or court) and in the front-offices!

Top 5 Moments from the Week of December 5, 2011

With NBA executives rushing to get ready for training camps, Baylor winning its first Heisman Trophy, and the BCS Championship game set, this week was a fairly active one across the sports world.  But at the end of the day, the week will forever be remembered for another act of God from David Stern and a brawl that filled Twitter timelines.  Here are the 5 moments that topped our list this week:

5.  While there could be an argument for Novak Djokovic being the Sportsperson of the Year, Sports Illustrated certainly selected two very deserving individuals for the honor when they named Mike Krzyzewski and Pat Summitt Sportsman and Sportswoman of the Year.  Two of the winningest basketball coaches in NCAA Division I history and two of the classiest individuals in the industry. The respect that they have from their current & former players is a strong indication of why they deserve the honor.

4.  In a weekend with a heavy focus on hoops, Indiana Men’s Basketball (under the leadership) of Coach Tom Crean) has restored balance to MBB.  Since Bob Knight’s departure, there hasn’t been this much excitement about the program in Bloomington and after the amazing buzzer-beater on Saturday evening, basketball purists around the country couldn’t be happier to see this program back in the national spotlight.  What a scene it was at Assembly Hall as students, alumni, and fans stormed the floor to celebrate an improbable victory.  In all honesty, something just wasn’t right about not having the Hoosiers competing for an NCAA title, and while this may not be THE year for this team to return to the Final Four…a return to the Championship conversation is surely imminent!

3.  The unfortunate events of the crosstown rivalry between Xavier and Cincinnati will certainly be one of the events that will be remembered this week.  One of the best things about college athletics (or athletics in general) is the great rivalries that have been created over the years and this hoops match-up is certainly one of the best rivalries around.  Unfortunately, over the years it seems as if the rivalry has extended beyond the court and outside of the 48 minutes of quality basketball that fans have come to enjoy.  Early this week on Twitter (yes, social media plays a bit part in this) apparently some UC players made comments that incited the Xavier players, so before the jump ball, tensions were high.  In what ended up to be a less than competitive game on the court escalated into a brawl that is an embarrassment to all involved in sports.  In the end, the two coaches seemed to handle it very well in their press conferences.  Both letting out their raw emotions and feelings of disappointment in the behavior of their players.  Mick Cronin was lauded for his strong words in fact.  Unfortunately, as of Sunday afternoon, the discipline that had been determined was less than many thought it would be with some players receiving 6 game suspensions (which would allow them to play the majority of the conference season). We’re still not sure of what the conferences and/or NCAA will do, but something has to be done as college athletics seems to be getting out of control.

2.  After months of hype and hoopla surrounding Andrew Luck (everyone’s frontrunner for the 2011 Heisman Trophy), Baylor’s Robert Griffin III proved that it does pay dividends to play on the final Saturday of the regular season in college football.  There were at least 7 or 8 legitimate candidates for the Heisman this year including Boise State’s Kellen Moore, USC’s Matt Barkley, and Houston’s Case Keenum, but in the end RGIII’s incredible statistical display, capped off by a win over the rival Texas Longhorns was too much for heavy favorites Trent Richardson and Andrew Luck to overcome as they and their teams were left to watch the SEC & Pac-12 Championship games on television on the final weekend.  Luck had an incredible career as he led the resurgence of a Stanford program that few believed would ever be in the national championship conversation and would certainly have been the perfect individual to represent the proud Heisman Trust.  As would Richardson who help to lead his Alabama team back to the BCS Championship Game.  Instead, Griffin took his Superman socks and the entire Baylor Nation to Broadway & stole the show with a very touching speech…”…an unbelievable believable moment!”

1.  David Stern set off a domino effect that could alter the course of the upcoming NBA season when he (“independently” and without influence from owners around the league) decided to nix a 3-team trade (between New Orleans, Houston, and the Lakers) that would have sent Chris Paul to the Los Angeles Lakers.  That singular move not only handcuffed the Hornets brass & General Manager Dell Demps, but it also put several other significant trades and free-agent moves on hold (most likely eventually canceling the moves).  As a result, all heck has broken loose.  Players like Deron Williams and Danny Granger have denounced Stern for being a bully, a revised trade between the Lakers & Hornets feel apart late Saturday night, and several NBA rosters are still in flux with only two-weeks to go before the lockout shortened season starts on Christmas Day.

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