WATERCOOLER CHAT: ST JOHN LOSING COOL, HEAT NOT LOOKING HOT, AJ HAWK BACK

BASKETBALL

In college basketball, #15 St. Johns has been wreaking havoc on the Big East Conference.  The top teams don’t want to play them for fear of upset.  For a long time, St. Johns wasn’t even ranked, but they’ve rattled off 6 impressive wins in a row.  Much of this is due to the vision of their new coach, former UCLA captain Steve Lavin.  So, of course, they would handle unranked Seton Hall.  Right?  Well, Seton Hall came out shooting, nailing 12 3-pointers and frustrating the Redmen to an extreme extent.  And when St. Johns loses their cool, they can melt down.  Seton Hall’s Jeremy Hazell had 31 points in the rout.  When picking your brackets in 2 weeks, it will be tough to decide how far to advance St. Johns.  They could win it all or lose in the first round.  Seton Hall 84, St. Johns 70.

In the NBA, a marquee match-up between the Orlando Magic and the Miami Heat.  The Heat were now with their new point-guard Mike Bibby to give them a new style and dimension at the top of the key.  In a preview of a possible 2nd round playoff match-up, LeBron/Wade and the Heat came out blazing.  They were up 63-45 at the half and were poised to run away with the game.  But, the Magic came surging back, and even found themselves up by 6 late in the 4th quarter.  Wow!  How did this happen?  The Heat tried, but they just couldn’t even up the game, and the Magic rolled to a victory.  Howard had 14 points and 18 rebounds.  The Heat simply just can’t seem to hang on to leads against big teams.  On Sunday they blew a big late lead to the Knicks.  This team does NOT look championship caliber right now.  Orlando 99, Miami 96.

FOOTBALL

In the NFL, the Green Bay Packers released their all-pro defensive back AJ Hawk.  They said it was a financial decision because Hawk was poised to make $10million in the upcoming season.  They couldn’t afford to do that and make other deals.  But, after just 24 hours without a job, the Packers signed Hawk back to the squad for a 5-year deal.  Hawk agreed to take slightly less money to play with the Pack, and it appears the trade-off was a 5-year security blanket.  This is a huge relief to Green Bay fans as Hawk is one of the signature players on the team.  A tough-as-nails guy who had a spectacular 2010 season.  Can the Packers repeat?

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