WATERCOOLER CHAT: COLLEGE BBALL, NFC/AFC CHAMPIONSHIP GAMES

COLLEGE BASKETBALL

Some news out of the college basketball circuit on Saturday, as the #1 ranked Pitt Panthers lost their first game of the season to the surging #20 Louisville Cardinals.  It was a close game throughout, but Louisville’s Edgar Sosa took over and led his team in the game’s final minutes.  And Louisville’s Earl Clark, on his 21st birthday put up 16 points and grabbed 11 rebounds.  And Pitt’s first time atop the rankings has finally come to an end.  Louisville 69, Pitt 63.

Elsewhere in college basketball, it was another battle of unbeatens between #3 Wake Forest and #9 Clemson.  And this, friends, is a big rivalry down south.  Wake Forest’s point guard Jeff Teague led the charge with 24 points, and Clemson just couldn’t keep up with the Demon Deacons.  With Pitt’s loss, there’s a chance that Wake Forest could be #1 come Monday.  We’ll see.  Wake Forest 78, Clemson 68.

NFL

And today, if you’re a football fan, you’re watching the conference championship games.  First up, at 3:00 ET on FOX, it’s the Arizona Cardinals playing hosts to the Philadelphia Eagles in the NFC Championship.  Both these teams are in the zone right now, with two veteran quarterbacks leading the charge.  Arizona’s Kurt Warner is 37, but playing better than ever.  For Philly, Donovan McNabb has been in superhero mode for the last 5 weeks of the season and into the playoffs.  After Philly lost the Super Bowl to New England in 2004, Philly fans probably never thought Donovan would be back to the promised land.  But now he’s just one game away.

Next up, it’s the AFC Championship with the Pittsburgh Steelers hosting the Baltimore Ravens.  This is a face-off of the NFL’s top two defenses.  Scoring on either team will be quite the challenge, and this game will come down to which offense can get hot.  Baltimore has never been known for its offense, but under rookie QB Joe Flacco, they’re getting some nice traction in the passing game.  However, Big Ben Roethlisberger and his solid running attack led by Willie Parker have their sights set on another Super Bowl.

Now, wouldn’t it be an interesting game if Philly took on Pittsburgh in the Super Bowl.  That’s an in-state rivalry, sure, but it’s also two industrial cities — very fitting with blue-collar Bruce Springsteen playing the halftime show.

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