WATERCOOLER CHAT: MIAMI STREAK STILL HOT, NUGGETS LOOK FLAT, UNIV OF MINNESOTA AND UCLA FIRE COACHES

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In the NBA, the Miami Heat’s 26 game win streak was on the line, and they were going for #27 against Orlando IN Orlando.  Orlando may be the second worst team in the Eastern Conference, but every team steps their game up when trying to snap this incredible streak.  Plus, the Heat were WITHOUT Dwayne Wade  Even Orlando was able to keep it semi-close in the first half, as this game was a real test for their young team.  But in the second half, LeBron and company took off on a 20-2 run.  There was no looking back.  With the win, the Heat extend their streak to an incredible 27 games.  Now, they have  to play San Antonio IN San Antonio on Game 30.  Miami 108, Orlando 94.

Meanwhile, there was another streak on the line, as the Denver Nuggets are the second hottest team in the NBA right now with an amazing 16-game winning streak.  They had to take on a lowly Hornets team in New Orleans.  But, unlike the Heat, the Nuggets looked completely flat.  They were traveling, making all kinds of bad passes, and just didn’t look like the Nuggets we’ve seen lately.  That’s what makes these streaks so impressive — the fact that these teams basically can NEVER have an off night.  The Nuggets had one, and hopefully this sloppy loss doesn’t kill all their momentum.  New Orleans 110, Denver 86.

And in college basketball, two universities have parted ways with their head coaches after the first weekend of March Madness.  And they were both peculiar.  First, the University of Minnesota ousted coach Tubby Smith after 6 years.  Smith was responsible for reigniting basketball at Minnesota, and even got the Gophers to the second round this year.  Then, after 10 years, UCLA has parted ways with coach Ben Howland.  This one is a shocker, because Howland brought the Bruins to three straight Final Fours just 6 years ago.  Sure, UCLA is an elite program, but not many coaches can say they’ve done that.  But, UCLA wants to maintain it’s reputation as the King of the West, and first round outs as a #6 seed is simply not what they’re looking for.  Apparently, their #1 choice to fill the spot is VCU Coach Shaka Smart.  But will he leave?

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