>And here’s your top 5 stories from the world of sports; at least, the world of sports as I see it, for the week of 1/15-1/21.

#5 – #1 Texas loses to #9 Kansas State, and it’s no upset.
College basketball’s #1 ranked team brought it’s 17-0 record into Manhattan, Kansas to face the K-State Wildcats, and left with its longhorns a little shorter. But here’s the thing, Kansas State reacted to the win like they expected to win. And, of course, maybe that’s not so far-fetched. Kansas State was 15-2 entering the game, and had only lost one game at home this year. In fact, I haven’t seen anything to verify this, but I heard that K-State was actually favored in this game. This loss by Texas left Kentucky as the sole unbeaten in college basketball, so euphoria is setting in in Lexington… at least until Calipari leaves for a better job and Kentucky ends up getting investigated and placed on sanctions.
#4 – Memphis loses its first conference game
Speaking of Calipari, the now Calipari-less Memphis Tigers lost to UTEP to snap its 64 game conference winning streak. In the game recap, it mentions that Memphis senior Pierre Henderson-Niles has never lost a conference game. Wait a minute, Memphis has a guy that stuck around for his senior season? Regardless, a 64 game conference win streak is pretty impressive, even if you do play in Conference USA, known for such college basketball powers as Rice, SMU, and Tulane… Wait, what?
#3 – Kobe v. LeBron II
Now, it’s not very often that I’m going to have a lot to say about the NBA, and this is the reason. The Laker-Cavs game had been billed as Kobe v. LeBron all week. It was supposed to be the matchup of the year with two of the best players in the game today. But here’s the thing: basketball is a team sport. It wasn’t like Kobe and LeBron were going to go one-on-one for a full 48 minutes. There are always going to be another 8 guys on the floor. Are these two of the most exciting individuals in the game right now? Yes, but they aren’t the only ones. Oh, by the way, Kobe became the youngest to 25,000 career points, LeBron dropped 37 points and the Cavs won.
#2 – Young pitchers making big news
I couldn’t pick between the two stories, so I thought I’d join them into one story instead. Mariner’s pitcher Felix Hernandez signed an extension to stay with the Mariners for at least another 5 seasons. The deal is reportedly worth $78 million and will keep Felix in Seattle until 2014. The Mariners, with their offseason moves, have apparently put themselves in a position to be the favorites in the AL West. And the second young pitcher making waves is the pot-smoking, Cy Young-stealing, phenom Tim Lincecum, who filed for a record $13 million in arbitration. I don’t know much about the arbitration process, but I know that the player submits a figure, the team submits a figure and the arbitration wizard decides how much the player will be making next season. The Giants countered with an $8 million figure. I think Lincecum has a pretty good chance of getting his money, seeing as he has won two Cy Young awards in his young career.
#1 – NFL Playoffs
In case you didn’t know, the Divisional round has happened since last week’s Friday Five. The Vikings embarrassed the Cowboys, the Saints sent Kurt Warner off into the sunset, the Colts looked refreshed against the Ravens, and the Chargers managed to blow their shot at shutting up Rex Ryan and the Jets when All-Pro kicker Ned Kaeding missed three field goals and they lost by 3 at home. It does set up some good match-ups for the Conference Championship games. The NFC’s top 2 teams get to decide who is really the best, and the Colts have a chance to prove that they could have easily beat the Jets had they not pulled their starters in the 3rd quarter of their Week 16 game.
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