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(1) Biggest day in the history of Northwestern basketball: A win later today vs. Minnesota in the 1st round of the Big Ten Tournament all but assures NU of its first-ever NCAA Tournament appearance. A loss? All but assures NU will miss the Dance. As big of a game as there is in college hoops today.
(2) Peyton-Colts Break-Up: Points for emotion, points for sincerity, points for handling it with maturity. You can respect Peyton's career and still recognize two important things:
*The Colts HAD to do this. Not only did it save them a ton of money on a questionable player but Manning -- for all his greatness -- was made obsolete by the chance to draft Andrew Luck to replace Manning immediately.
*I am baffled by the attention Manning is getting from other teams. I wouldn't touch him. He's expensive. He's a stop-gap -- at best. And, most of all, there is absolutely no guarantee that he will be "All-Pro Peyton." Hell, there's no guarantee he would be "Just OK Peyton." And there is no guarantee that even if he regains most/all of his arm strength, he'll even be able to play a full season, once defenses start hitting him.
The only team in a position to benefit from Peyton's upside while mitigating his downside is the Jets, who seem pretty ready to jettison Mark Sanchez after the 2012 season anyway, when Sanchise inevitably fails them. (Why wouldn't the Jets go big for Peyton, then try to trade Sanchez to a QB-starved team like the Redskins?)
(3) Congrats to LIU, Montana and Lehigh.
(4) Wizards inexplicably beat the Lakers: I was at the Wizards' win over the Thunder, and last night's Wiz win over the Lakers was arguably even more improbable (and just as satisfying), given the Wiz were down 20 in the 2nd half. Say this for the Wiz strategy: Good teams tend to get lulled into complacency while playing them.
(5) Two words: Lionel. Messi.