Sunday

Number 42 to be Retired by Golden Eagles





Life, the Universe, and Everything Texture... or in other words, 42
photo credit:  Patrick Hoesly

According to tulsaworld.com, Oral Roberts University will retire basketball jersey number 42 in honor of Mark Acres.  It will be the fourth Golden Eagles basketball jersey number to be retired.

Acres played for ORU between the years 1981-85, averaging a hefty 18.5 points per game during his career with the Golden Eagles. His zenith came in his junior year when he scored 20.8 points per game. He also pulled down 10.5 boards per game that season.

Acres notably reached the 2,000 point and 1,000 rebound mark during his college basketball career.


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Monday

Number of the Day - 48

According to espn.com, Drew Brees has set an NFL record with 48 consecutive games in which he's thrown a TD pass.  He passed Johnny Unitas to become the all-time record holder in this category.


It should be noted that this is the regular season record.  Brees though, also holds the regular season / postseason combined record with 37 consecutive games in which he's thrown a TD pass.

The last regular season game in which Brees did not throw a TD pass was on October 4, 2009.  It was a game which the Saints nevertheless won, 24-10 over the New York Jets.  

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Friday

Losing to 90 Plus Wins

The Elias Sports bureau reports, via espn.com that four MLB teams went from losing records in 2011 to 90 wins or more in 2012.  This is the first time that four teams have done this.  The turn-around MLB franchises were:  Oakland, Washington, Baltimore and Cincinnati.

Of these four teams, Baltimore had the biggest one season turn-around.  In 2011, the Orioles won a mere 69 regular season games with a .426 winning percentage.  Turn the calendar ahead one year and Baltimore has won 93 regular season games (fully swapped their win and loss columns by the way:  69-93 to 93-69) for a .574 winning percentage.

Only the Orioles and Reds had the same manager for these two full seasons (2011, 2012).  Washington and Oakland had managerial changes in 2011, with that new 2011 manager (Davey Johnson and Bob Melvin respectively) leading these two squads in 2012 also.  

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Number of the Day - 1,350

Despite the New Orleans Saints winless record to date, Drew Brees leads all NFL passers with 1,350 passing yards.  And yet, the bias against relatively "short" quarterbacks remains.  Drew Brees has proven many a critic wrong. 

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Thursday

Number of the Day - 17

Miguel Cabrera won the 17th MLB batting triple crown ever.  Although there have been 17 triple crowns, there have been just 15 winners as both Ted Williams and Rogers Hornsby won the title twice.

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Wednesday

Number of the Day - 1

1 game will decide the AL West, as Oakland beat Texas last night to move into a tie for first place.  Travis Blackley let up one run over six innings to lead the A's to a 3-1 win over the Rangers.  A.J. Griffin will face Ryan Dempster to determine the division champion on Wednesday.

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Tuesday

Number of the Day - 47

Fernando Rodney, number 56 for the Tampa Bay Rays, earned a career single season high 47 saves with a Rays victory over AL East foe Baltimore.  His previous high for a season was 37 saves in 2009 for the Detroit Tigers.

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Monday

Number of the Day - 4

4 wins and no losses is the record of the Arizona Cardinals.  The last time the Cardinals franchise started an NFL season 4-0 was on 1974.

That team, coached by Don Coryell, would finish the season with 10 wins and 4 losses in first place in the NFC East.  They would not lose until the eighth game of the season.

They bowed out in the first round of the playoffs however, to the Vikings, losing 30-14.

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Friday

Number of the Day - 20

R.A. Dickey put up his 20th win of the 2012 MLB season today, becoming the first Mets since Frank Viola in 1990 to win 20.

Dickey's previous season high for wins was 11 games, also with the New York Mets.

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Wednesday

Number of the Day - 10

A 10 game lead over the next closest team is the current gap between the San Francisco Giants and the Los Angeles Dodgers on the NL West, the largest in the majors currently.

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Tuesday

Number of the Day - 98

98 yards rushing, is what Marshawn Lynch garnered against the Packers on Monday night.  That is two yards shy of his Monday night game average of 100 yards per game.

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Monday

Number of the Day - 233

Jamaal Charles ran for 233 yards against the Saints yesterday, on 33 carries.  That is the most yards run in one game for Charles since the 2009 season (actual game was Jan 3 of 2010) when he put up 259 against the Broncos.

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Saturday

Yards Per Pass Attempt Trivia

Who has more yards per pass attempt, for their career, than the following quarterbacks?

Tom Brady
Joe Montana
Peyton Manning
Roger Staubach
Dan Fouts
Johnny Unitas
Bart Starr
Steve Young
Kurt Warner

The answer is…………….here

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Number of the Day - 1275

The Tampa Bay Rays have set a new American League record for team pitching strikeouts with 1275.    The major league record is 1404 set by the Cubs in 2003.

Source: ESPN.cok

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Friday

Number of the Day - 200

That's right.  Derek Jeter has hit another milestone.  This time he has tied Lou Gehrig for the most 200 hit seasons in Yankee history.  Both Jeter and Gehrig have eight 200 hit seasons under their belts.

While you may have been gearing up with the NFL season, you might have missed the fact that Derek Jetsr leads all of MLB in hits this season with 202.  That is 11 more than the next closest player, Miguel Cabrera.  Can anyone argue that Jeter isn't one of the greatest MLB athletes of our time, not to mention, ever?  

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Thursday

Packers vs Seahawks By The Numbers

The Packers get to work in the Emerald City in a matchup with Seattle, who just drubbed America's Team.  Will Rodgers and crew take to the air and bring the rain against the Seahawks?  Or will Marshawn Lynch and the blue and green pound the ball on the ground for a repeat performance of last week?  Time to look at the Packers and Seahawks By The Numbers.

148.3 - Passing yards per game by Aaron Rodgers against the Seahawks


100 - Rushing yards per game by Marshawn Lynch on Monday night (in 3 games)


64 - Rushing yards against the Packers defense by Marshawn Lynch in 17 rushing attempts

13 - Regular Season Games all-time between the Packers and Seahawks

8 - Wins (Regular Season) by the Packers against Seattle

6 - Wins by the Packers in the last 7 games against Seattle

3 - Wins by Aaron Rodgers against Seattle in 3 games

2 - Playoff wins by the Packers against Seattle

source: pro-football-reference.com

Did you know...........that although Mike Holmgren had great success as a Green Bay Packers coach, he is the all-time winningest head coach for the Seattle Seahawks with 86 victories?


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Wednesday

Number of the Day – 14

The Baltimore Orioles have won 14 straight extra inning games.

Source:  ESPN radio

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Monday

Number of the Day - 510

Eli Manning passed for a career high 510 yards in a barn-burner of a game against Tampa Bay.  According to pro-football-reference.com, that is 90 yards more than Manning has ever thrown before.

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Sunday

Broncos vs Falcons By The Numbers

Denver stampedes into the ATL for a Monday night matchup of these AFC and NFC foes.  Despite being in different conferences, these two teams have played a surprising number of times:  12 regular season games and one playoff game through 2011.   Time to look at the head-to-head matchup of the Broncos and Falcons By The Numbers.

72.09 - Peyton Manning's Career Winning Percentage in September

57.14 - Matt Ryan's Career Winning Percentage in September

34 - Wins by Peyton Manning against the NFC 

13 - Wins by Matt Ryan against the AFC

8 - Wins by the Broncos in the 12 regular season meetings

5 - Meetings in Atlanta through 2011

4 - Times that Manning has faced the Falcons (winning 3)

3 - Wins by the Broncos in Atlanta

1 - Super Bowl win by the Broncos over Atlanta (Super Bowl 33)

0 - Wins by Matt Ryan against the Broncos

Did you know..............John Elway played his last NFL game against the Falcons?  

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Saturday

Jets vs Steelers By the Numbers

With the New York Jets set to invade Pittsburgh tomorrow for an AFC clash with the Steelers, it's time to take a look at the all-time statistics for the Jets and Steelers.


21 - All-time Meetings

17 - Wins by the Steelers

4 - Wins by the Jets

1970 - First meeting, won by the Steelers, 21-17

1 - Win by the Jets in Pittsburgh

8 - Losses by the Jets in Pittsburgh

12, 13, 28, 73, 90 - Numbers retired by the Jets

70 - Number retired by the Steelers




Sources: cbssports.com
pro-football-reference.com
wikipedia.com

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Friday

Number of the Day - 3,283

Derek Jeter tied Willie Mays for 10th on the all-time hit list last night with 3,283 hits.  It seems like, at this point in his career, Mr. November continues to move up into notable positions on the all-time MLB records lists on a regular basis.  He is certainly one of the most consistent players ever.  His leadership and production in the field and at the plate are admirable.  He is a top 5 Yankee all-time in my humble opinion.

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Thursday

Bears and Packers By The Numbers

54 - Largest margin of victory - by the Bears over the Packers in a 61-7 rout in 1980

10 - Longest win streak by one team over the other - by Green Bay over Chicago between 1994 and 1998

1921 - Year that the Packers and Bears first played

7 - Days after Pearl Harbor was attacked in 1941 that the Bears and Packers first met in the playoffs

22 - NFL Championships between the two teams

48 - Hall of Famers between the two teams

49 - Points the Packers scored to the Bears' 0 in a September 1962 game

Stats courtesy of  Wikipedia 

Bears on Best by the Numbers

Packers on Best by the Numbers

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Number of the Day - 21

21 is the number of times that instant replay has been used to judge a home run call at Fenway Park.  That is six more times than at any other ballpark in Major League Baseball.  This tells me two things: 1) it is harder to judge homers in an irregular park like Fenway and 2) the guys at retrosheet.org are really, really good at what they do!

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Tuesday

Number of the Day - 83

Joe Flacco passed for 83 yards more than his career yards per game average last night in a rout of the Bengals.  Flacco connected with his targets for 299 yards while his career average is 216 yards roughly.  Is this an indication of things to come for jersey number 5?

Well with receivers like Torrey Smith and Anquan Boldin, and a new favorite tight end target in Dennis Pitta, Flacco may be piling up more yardage this year than ever before.


Stats courtesy ofpro-football-reference.com

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Monday

Number of the Day - 6

Mark Sanchez deserves to be honored for the number of the day, with his jersey number 6 after silencing the large amount of critics he had prior to Sunday's game.

Sanchez completed more than 70% of his passes for three touchdowns and a resounding win over AFC East foe Buffalo.

Source: usatoday.com.

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Sunday

Romo vs Giants and Eli vs Cowboys - By The Numbers - Against Their Rival Team

The career split numbers below represent Romo vs. the Giants and Eli vs. the Cowboys, not necessarily head-to-head because Eli has played 3 more games against the 'Boys than Romo has against the Jints.

Romo
Record vs Giants - 6-7
Completion percentage vs Giants - 66.9%
Passing yardage vs Giants - 2795, 215 yards per game
TDs vs Giants - 26, 2.00 per game
INTs vs Giants - 12, 0.92 per game
QB rating vs Giants - 104.4
Rushing TDs vs Giants - 2

Eli
Record vs Cowboys - 9-7
Completion percentage vs Cowboys - 60.8%
Passing yardage vs Cowboys - 4065, 254.1 yards per game
TDs vs Cowboys - 32, 2.0 per game
INTs vs Cowboys - 18, 1.13 per game
QB rating vs Cowboys - 89.7
Rushing TDs vs Cowboys - 0

All stats above are courtesy of pro-football-reference.com

Looking at the stats above can you tell who is best against their rival?  

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Wednesday

Number of the Day - 85

85 is the jersey number of Kevin Ogletree, wide receiver for the Dallas Cowboys, who had 8 receptions for 114 yards and two touchdowns in Dallas' 24-17 victory over the New York Giants.  Ogletree, who is in his third NFL season had not yet scored a regular season NFL touchdown until this game.   


source: ESPN

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Number 54 Assigned in New England

Jersey number 54 will be worn by a new face in New England according to a report on nfl.com.  Rookie Dont'a Hightower will don 54, which was worn previously by 2011 Pro Bowl guard Brian Waters and future Hall of Famer Teddy Bruschi.  I'm surprised that the Patriots are still allowing athletes to wear number 54.  It's destined for retirement in honor of Bruschi in the not too distant future, in my humble opinion. 

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Number of the Day - 403

403 homers have been hit by Adam Dunn, who leads the AL this year with 38.  Dunn is currently 32 years old, leaving him plenty of time to bash through the 500 homer mark.  Through age 42 Hank Aaron averaged 37 homers for a 162 game season.  Dunn is averaging 38 homers for a 162 game season through age 32.  Not a direct comparison but impressive still.

Sources:  Cbssports.com,
Baseball-reference.com

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Tuesday

Number of the Day - 15

15 years have passed since the Baltimore Orioles have won their division.  The Orioles who are currently in second place in the AL East, one game behind the Yanks, last won their division in 1997.

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Monday

Number of the Day - 1

1 at-bat is all it took for Jurickson Profar to hit a home run for the Texas Rangers in his first Major League appearance, at 19 years old.

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Sunday

Number of the Day - 41

41 points were scored by Kentucky while Louisville scored none in their first football matchup dating back to 1912.

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Saturday

Number of the Day - 7

7 losses for the Ohio State Buckeyes football team last season. The last time OSU lost that many games was in 1897!

(As heard on ESPN radio)

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Friday

Number of the Day - 2

2 touchdowns were scored by Marcus Lattimore in  South Carolina's season opening victory at Vanderbilt.  It was part of a 205 rushing yard effort combined on behalf of the Gamecocks in their narrow 17-13 win.

Espn.com

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Thursday

Best Tight Ends by Jersey Number

Tight ends generally wear jersey numbers in the 80s.  They don't have to, and there have been some greats who have worn numbers outside the 80s ala Dallas Clark (44) and Todd Christensen (46).  But we'll leave that comprehensive list for another time.  Right now, I'm going to look at just the best NFL tight ends to ever wear a jersey number in the 80s.  And here is the list.

80 - Kellen Winslow
81 - Jackie Smith
82 - Ozzie Newsome
83 - Alge Crumpler
84 - Shannon Sharpe
85 - Antonio Gates
86 - Todd Heap
87 - Dave Casper
88- Tony Gonzalez
89 - Mike Ditka

If I have made omissions or you'd like to voice your opinion, please leave a comment.  Thanks.


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Number of the Day - 319

319 is the passing yardage per game in the 2012 preseason for the Atlanta Falcons.  That is nearly 30 yards more per game than the next most prolific passing team this preseason, the Colts, who have thrown for 289.3 yards per game.

Think Matt Ryan might be ready to toss the ball a few times to Julio Jones and Roddy White this season?  

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Wednesday

Best Rutgers Basketball Player Ever

Rutgers may not be the first school you think of when you think of Big East basketball.  But they shouldn't be overlooked, nor should the quality of their past players.  Some of their best past players include Bob Lloyd, Jim Valvano, Roy Hinson and Quincy Douby.

Ed Jordan, or "Fast Eddie" as he was sometimes called, is however, the best Rutgers basketball athlete ever.  Playing for the Scarlet Knights between 1973 and 1977, Jordan  would finish his collegiate career as the Rutgers career record holder for assists and steals.

In 1976, Jordan guided Rutgers to a rare Final Four berth.  Although Rutgers lost to Michigan in that Final Four, they made their presence known, while sitting among the best four collegiate basketball teams in the country for 1976.

Did you know.........Jordan played for five NBA teams and coached for three more?


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Number of the Day - 7

For 7 consecutive seasons, St. Louis Rams running back Steven Jackson has rushed for more than 1,000 yards.

Source:  Sports Illustrated Fantasy Football 

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Tuesday

Number of the Day - 38

38 is the number of losses the Pittsburgh Pirates had in August and September of 2011, after putting up a 54-52 record through July.  

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Monday

Jersey Number 33 Revisited

I've decided that I will be revisiting some of the most controversial jersey number picks on Best By The Numbers.  I am going to let my readers pick the best to ever wear each of these jersey numbers.  And we'll start off with the best pro athlete to ever wear the number 33.

Back in 2006, when I started this blog, I picked Tony Dorsett as the best to ever wear 33.  There have been heated calls for other athletes to be named the best to ever wear this number.  So you choose.  The  person who makes the best case for their athlete to be named best to wear number 33, will win a rookie card of that athlete.

The names that have been mentioned before as the best to wear 33, other than Tony Dorsett, include Larry Bird, Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, Patrick Roy and Eddie Murray.  So make your case here in the comments, for who you think the best to wear 33 is.  And if I choose your athlete based on your case, you'll get a free rookie card of that athlete.  Make your case here now!

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Number of the Day - 0

According to Sports Illustrated, 0 "Texas Longhorns were picked in the first three rounds of the 2012 NFL draft, the first time in 11 years Texas failed to send a player to the NFL before the fourth round."

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Sunday

Current NFL Quarterback Jersey Numbers


1
Johnson, Josh
Newton, Cam
Stewart, Chester
2
Bartel, Richard
Campbell, Jason
Portis, Josh
Ryan, Matt
Taylor, Tyrod
Weber, Adam
3
Anderson, Derek
Crompton, Jonathan
Kafka, Mike
Palmer, Carson
Tolzien, Scott
Weeden, Brandon
Wilson, Russell
4
Bethel-Thompson, McLeod
Blanchard, Matt
Canfield, Sean
Kolb, Kevin
Leftwich, Byron
Tanney, Alex
Thigpen, Tyler
Wilson, John Parker
5
Brandstater, Tom
Flacco, Joe
Freeman, Josh
Palmer, Jordan
Robinson, Zac
Stanton, Drew
Stephens, Nick
6
Cutler, Jay
Harrell, Graham
Orlovsky, Dan
Osweiler, Brock
Pryor, Terrelle
Sanchez, Mark
Wallace, Seneca
Whitehurst, Charlie
7
Cassel, Matt
Clausen, Jimmy
Corp, Aaron
Devlin, Pat
Gradkowski, Bruce
Henne, Chad
Jackson, Tarvaris
Kaepernick, Colin
Keenum, Case
Kinne, G.J.
Leinart, Matt
McGee, Stephen
Ponder, Christian
Ratliff, Brett
Roethlisberger, Ben
Vick, Michael
8
Bradford, Sam
Carr, David
Grossman, Rex
Harnish, Chandler
Hasselbeck, Matt
Hoyer, Brian
Johnson, Jerrod
Moore, Matt
Painter, Curtis
Redman, Chris
Schaub, Matt
9
Brees, Drew
Coleman, B.J.
Davis, Austin
Foles, Nick
Garrard, David
Hartline, Mike
Lewis, Thaddeus
Quinn, Brady
Romo, Tony
Simms, Matt
Stafford, Matthew
10
Clemens, Kellen
Daniel, Chase
Griffin III, Robert
Locker, Jake
Manning, Eli
Newhall-Caballero, Kyle
Young, Vince
11
Carpenter, Rudy
Edwards, Trent
Gabbert, Blaine
McCown, Luke
Smith, Alex
Smith, Rusty
12
Beck, John
Brady, Tom
Cousins, Kirk
Luck, Andrew
McCown, Josh
McCoy, Colt
Rodgers, Aaron
Stanzi, Ricky
13
Yates, T.J.
14
Dalton, Andy
Davis, Dominique
Fitzpatrick, Ryan
Lindley, Ryan
McElroy, Greg
Webb, Joe
15
Flynn, Matt
Mallett, Ryan
Tebow, Tim
16
Batch, Charlie
Hanie, Caleb
Lee, Jarrett
17
Moore, Kellen
Perrilloux, Ryan
Rivers, Philip
Tannehill, Ryan
18
Manning, Peyton
Orton, Kyle
Rosenfels, Sage
19
Skelton, John

No number identified
Hill, Shaun

The above numbers and names are as of late August, 2012 on current NFL rosters.  Interesting that there is only one quarterback who is wearing jersey number 13.  And the most common, read:  popular, jersey number among NFL QBs is 7.  Information is courtesy of Yahoo! Sports.

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Number of the Day - 50

50 is the age at which Roger Clemens has pitched professionally for a team in Sugarland, Texas.  Are the Astros now looking at Clemens as a potential gate attraction for Minute Maid Park?

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Saturday

Number of the Day - 8

8 is the number of wins in a row by the Seattle Mariners until they lost to Chicago last night.

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Friday

Number of the Day - 27

27 is the number of combined runs scored by the Red Sox and Angels in a game last night in Boston. It's still a far cry from the record number of runs scored in a modern era game in 1922 when the Cubs and Phillies combined for 49 runs.

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Thursday

Number of the Day - 3

3 is the number of baseballs put over the fence last night by Adrian Beltre.  It was his second three dinger game.

Source: Espn.com

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Wednesday

Number of the Day - 25

25 is the margin of victory all-time, in number of wins, which the Giants baseball franchise holds over the Dodgers baseball franchise dating back to 1884. 

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Tuesday

Number of the Day - 6

6 is how many more strikeouts New York Mets pitcher R.A. Dickey has accumulated this season than any other starting National League pitcher.  As of this post, Dickey has 181 strikeouts, while Cy Young winner Clayton Kershaw as 175 and phenom Stephen Strasburg has 173.  Pretty good company, no?



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Monday

Number of the Day - 0

0 is the number of hits that the Mexican baseball team recently gave up in a Little League World Series playoff game.

Source: Espn.com

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Saturday

Number of the Day - 1

Number 1 is the ranking of the University of Southern California in the pre-season Associated Press poll.  

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Friday

Number of the Day - 8

8 wins for David Price in his last 11 starts to go with a 1.72 ERA and no losses.

Source: sports.yahoo.com

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Wednesday

Numbers of the Day

23 - Number of perfect games in MLB history

3 - Number of perfect games in MLB this season

Phil Humber on April 21
Matt Cain on June 13
Felix Hernandez on August 15

Sources: CNN.com, mercurynews.com

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Thursday

Number 11 to be Retired by Reds for Larkin

Number 11 will no longer be worn by any Red. Cincy will retire 11 in honor of Reds icon Barry Larkin.

On August 25, Larkin's number 11 will join nine others retired by the franchise. This comes after Larkin was enshrined in Cooperstown over the summer. He spent his entire career with the Reds between 1986 and 2004 and was not only a defensive stalwart but no slouch with the bat either. He is certainly deserving of this honor in my opinion.

Source: cbssports.com.

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Wednesday

Nash's New Number for the Lakers

Steve Nash will not wear number 13 in L.A. That number is of course retired for Wilt. So, what number will he wear as a Laker?

According to slamonline.com, Nash will sport jersey number 10 for Los Angeles.

He will follow in the footsteps of some other great NBA guards to have worn number 10, such as: Tim Hardaway, Mookie Blaylock and Maurice Cheeks.

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Saturday

Best Notre Dame Basketball Player Ever

It's interesting, when you start researching lists like these, to see just how many top notch athletes there were at particular schools, that you just don't recall, or weren't aware of.  Notre Dame, a football school by most accounts, has had their fair share of superb basketball athletes, that just don't get the pub that their football counterparts get.


In this category, among others, I considered:  Austin Carr, Adrian Dantley, Tom Hawkins, Troy Murphy, David Rivers, and John Shumate.  It came down to the two A's:  Austin and Adrian.  I am going with Austin here.

Carr didn't see the bulk of his court time with the Irish until he was a junior.  Once he saw that court time, however, look out.  In both his junior and senior seasons, Carr racked up more than 1,100 points.  His PPG average was 38.1 and 38.0 in his junior and senior campaigns respectively.

Below, you'll see footage from Carr's record-setting 61 point performance against Ohio University in the 1970 NCAA Basketball Tournament.


 

Carr's career scoring average at Notre Dame was an amazing 34.6 points per game, landing him number one on the all-time ppg list for the Irish.  He also holds the single-season scoring average mark with his 38.1 ppg in his junior season.

Did you know...........that Carr was the number one overall pick in the 1971 NBA draft?

Carr wore jersey number 34 at Notre Dame.

Other BIG EAST Bests



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Thursday

Asante Samuel To Wear Jersey Number 22 for Atlanta Falcons

According to sbnation.com, JacQuizz Rodgers announced to Falcons fans via his Twitter account, @Qui22Rodgers, that Asante Samuels would be wearing number 22 this season for Atlanta. Rodgers will be relinquishing 22, ensuring no controversy over the number, with the Falcons' recent acquisition, who has worn 22 with both the Patriots and Eagles throughout his NFL career.

It looks like Samuels Twitter account, @pick_six22 will remain relevant, while Rodgers could be looking for an updated account name.

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Tuesday

Will Ivan Rodriguez' Jersey Number 7 Follow Him Into Retirement?

Ivan Rodriguez is without a doubt, one of the best catchers to ever crouch behind a pro baseball plate.

His defensive skills are best explained through his incredible 45.68 percent career caught stealing rate and 13 Gold Glove awards.

His skills with the stick were nothing to sneeze at either as his 311 career dingers and .296 average prove.

Much of Pudge's MLB career contributions came during his first 12 seasons, spent in Texas. He must be considered the greatest Ranger catcher of all-time.

So, although foxnews.com reports that the Rangers don't have any current plans to retire number 7 in Rodriguez' honor, it's hard to imagine that the number wouldn't be pulled from their jersey rotation in the not-too-distant future. Nolan Ryan's number 34 needs some company in Texas Ranger retirement.

Sources: foxnews.com, wikipedia.com, baseball-reference.com

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Will Philadelphia Eagles Retire Number 20?

Brian Dawkins, one of the best NFL safeties ever, just announced his retirement. The nine-time Pro-Bowl selection spent the last three seasons as a Denver Bronco, but Philly fans will remember him as one of their own, manning the Eagles' gridiron between 1996 and 2008.

Dawkins was selected in the second round of the 1996 NFL Draft out of Clemson by the Eagles. He would become their starting free safety in his rookie year.

It was the beginning of a long and distinguished career in Philly which saw Dawkins play 183 games as an Eagle racking up 21 sacks, 34 INTs and 898 tackles.

For his entire NFL career he had 26 sacks, 37 INTs and 1,131 tackles.

As a former captain and defensive team leader, seeing the Eagles reach the Super Bowl in 2004, in addition to multiple NFC Championship game trips, I don't see how Philadelphia could not entertain retiring jersey number 20 in Dawkins honor.

Source: wikipedia.com

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Thursday

5 Most Recognizable Quarterback Numbers in the NFL Today

As we wait for the NFL draft to approach, I thought we could take a look at some of the most recognizable quarterback numbers in the NFL today.  It's very likely we'll have at least two new starting QBs out of the college ranks this year (Mr. Luck and Mr. Griffin III), and it might not be long until we add their uniform numbers to this list.   Without further adieu:
  1. Aaron Rodgers - 12 - He's the best quarterback in the league right now.  And with his "belt-move" after he scores a rushing touchdown, which has been 16 times over the past four years since he became Green Bay's starter, you're getting a good look at those two digits right on the front of his chest.
  2. Eli Manning - 10 - Super Bowl Champion and MVP anyone?  Twice?  One more than his brother, the best NFL quarterback ever.  Eli may not be the best quarterback in the NFL, but it's hard to argue he's not one to be considered, with his two Super Bowl MVP trophies weighing him down and all.  
  3. Michael Vick - 7 - Controversy in tow, you'd be hard pressed to find a quarterback more identifiable with the number 7 in the NFL right now.  After his resurgent season, two back, Vick is again one of the best in the NFL.  
  4. Drew Brees - 9 - The man who resurrected the New Orleans Saints, and the best "undersized" quarterback of all-time.  Drew Brees IS the New Orleans Saints right now.  He once played for the Chargers?  Really?  Forgot about that.................you get my point.  
  5. Tim Tebow - 15 - That's right.  Tim Tebow.  Think he's not one of the most popular NFL players right now?  Think he's not one of the most popular athletes in the world?  Did you see his press conference announcing him as a New York Jet?  And did you know that Tebow's jersey sold better than Eli Manning, Tony Romo, Tom Brady, Drew Brees or Michael Vick in 2011?  

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Best Providence Basketball Player Ever

There is no shortage of great ballers hailing from this small college in Rhode Island.  Among them are:  Eric Murdock, Florida coach Billy Donovan, Jimmy Walker and Ryan Gomes.  I'm sure I've left out a few great ones.  That's always a challenge with these things.  Getting all the great ones the mentions they deserve.

But of those names already mentioned, I have to go with Jimmy Walker as the best ever to play for the Providence Friars.

Walker, who I think by the way has the best name of the best Friars, played for Providence in the 60's, and wound up a college career that led him to become the number one overall draft pick in the NBA for 1967, taken by the Detroit Pistons.  

In 1966-67, Walker set the current Providence Friar record for points in a season when he notched 851 points giving him an average of 30.39 points per game on the season!

What else did Walker accomplish while at Providence?  

  • He set the school record, still currently held, for career points per game average, with 25.25 per game, which is almost 5 points more than the next closest Friar with 20 and change
  • Set the school record for largest percentage of the team's points in a season with 39.2 of the Friars' points in 1966-67
  • Holds record for most minutes played per game for a Providence career with 38.78
  • Is the only number one overall NBA draft pick from Providence
  • Fastest Friar to 1,000 points (45 career games to reach that mark)
Did you know...............Walker averaged 16.7 points per game over his NBA career, between 1967 and 1976?

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Tuesday

Number 29 to be Retired by Atlanta Braves for John Smoltz

According to the Atlanta Journal Constitution, the Braves will be honoring one of their best pitchers ever (and one of MLB's best pitchers ever), with the retirement of his jersey number 29.

On June 8, Smoltz will be honored by Atlanta as they retire just the ninth baseball jersey in franchise history. Smoltz's number 29 will now be removed from the Braves' rotation, just as the numbers of his two Atlanta mound compadres, Maddux (31) and Glavine (47).

For his regular season career, according to baseball-reference.com, Smoltz notched 213 wins, 154 saves and a 3.33 ERA.

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Wednesday

NBA Number You Need to Know

5-2

The Boston Celtics record against the Miami Heat over the past two regular seasons.  Despite a decisive edge during the regular season, the Celtics were thoroughly beaten by the Heat in the 2010-11 playoffs, winning one of five games against Miami, as LeBron and crew took the NBA Eastern Conference Semis.

source:  basketball-reference.com

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Monday

Best St. John's Basketball Player Ever

Mark Jackson, Walter Berry, Ron Artest, Malik Sealy, Omar Cook, Bob Zawoluk, Zendon Hamilton, Bill Wennington and Rudy Wright.  These are just several names of the great St. John's basketball players who have passed through the New York City campus.

The best ever though, in my opinion, is Chris Mullin.  His career as a Johnnie started off with a bang, as he averaged a cool 16.6 points per game in his freshman year.  He would only improve from there.

 

As a sophomore, Mullin's points per game average would jump to 19.1 while he scored 629 point on the season.  That wasn't the end of his college improvement path however.

As a junior, he had arguably his best year at St. John's.  His points per game average jumped again to 22.9, while he shot .904 from the stripe for the season.  Mullin would be named a consensus second-team All American in 1984.

In 1985, he would move from the second team to the first team as an All American.  But........that wasn't his only Nationally recognized achievement.  Mullin was named the College Basketball Player of the Year by the UPI.  He would lead the Johnnies to the Final Four in 1985, where they would bow out to Patrick Ewing and the Hoyas.

Did you know......Chris Mullin was named the Big East Player of the Year three times?







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Saturday

Best Louisville Basketball Player Ever

Wes Unseld is the fan's choice for the best Louisville basketball player ever.  Unseld is more associated with his NBA contributions by basketball fans, but he also had a stellar college basketball career.


In his first year playing for Louisville, Unseld averaged an amazing 19.4 boards per game.  His offensive contribution was nothing to sneeze at either.  His scoring average was 19.9 points-per-game in his first season.

Unseld spent three seasons with the Cardinals, averaging a school record 20.6 points per game.  His rebound average over those three seasons was very impressive as well, with 18.9 boards per game.  He was twice a first team All-American.


During Unseld's junior season at Louisville, 1966-67, he led them to a number 2 overall ranking and 23-5 record at the end of the NCAA basketball regular season.

Did you know........Unseld was the number 2 overall selection in the 1968 NBA draft?


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Friday

Best Seton Hall Basketball Player Ever

Seton Hall has had their share of great basketball players. Among them are Nick Werkman, who played for the Pirates between 1961 and 1964, and easily leads the all-time Seton Hall scoring average list with a 32.0 mark.

Walter Dukes, the all-time school leader in rebounds with 1,697, also pulled down 6,223 boards in the NBA, splitting time with the Knicks, Lakers and Pistons.

There are plenty of other notable Pirate cagers, including NBA standout Samuel Dalembert.  

My pick for the best ever is Terry Dehere.  Dehere, who played his high school ball at the famed St. Anthony High School in Jersey City, is currently first on the all-time scoring list for Seton Hall with 2,494 points.  He's also fifth in scoring average (19.5 ppg), third in field goals made (785), and first in three-point field goals made (315).

Dehere was name the Big East Conference Player of the Year for 1992-93, and was an NCAA All-American second teamer (consensus) for the same season.

Did you know........Dehere wore jersey number 24 at Seton Hall?

Big East


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Thursday

Best Villanova Basketball Player Ever

The best Villanova Wildcat basketball player ever was not a part of their storied 1985 National Championship squad, in my opinion.  He wasn't a member of their 2009 Final Four team or their 1971 National Championship runner-up team.  And he wasn't a member of their 1939 Final Four team in the first NCAA Basketball Championship Tournament ever held.

He was however, one of the most exciting and entertaining basketball players ever in the Big East.  Most people would call him "clutch", hitting the shots when the Wildcats needed them most.  And he certainly contributed more than his share, both offensively and defensively.

Kerry Kittles, as of this writing, is the all-time leading scorer in Villanova basketball history, with 2,243 points over his four year career as a Wildcat, in 122 games.  He is also the all-time leader in steals for the 'Cats with 277 total.



Kittles, who wasn't locked in to 'Nova after Rollie Massimino left for UNLV, made the wise choice to stay at the Big East powerhouse, and became one of the best players ever in the Conference.

Did you know.............Kittles was drafted number 8 overall in the 1996 NBA draft by the New Jersey Nets?


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Saturday

Best Marquette Basketball Player Ever

Marquette has had some outstanding players over their storied collegiate basketball history.  Some of the names you might recognize include George Thompson, Steve Novak, Butch Lee and Terry Rand.  That's just a few of them.  There are many more.

But the best, and most recognizable player (at least currently), in Marquette basketball history is probably Dwayne Wade.  Even though he only played two seasons with the Golden Eagles, he accomplished quite a bit.

Wade averaged 19.7 points-per-game at Marquette putting him second on the all-time list in that category, behind only George Thompson.  He also holds the single-season record for most points scored with 710 in 2002-03.

Marquette would be led to the Final Four by Wade in the 2002-03 season, the same in which he would be named a first-team All-American.




  

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Wednesday

Best Syracuse Basketball Player Ever


Carmelo Anthony it is.  The fans have voted and Anthony is considered the best Syracuse basketball player ever.  And it wasn’t very close.  Carmelo received 53% of the votes. 

Now this is a case where the best Orangeman ever does not necessarily mean the “Best By The Numbers”.  With Anthony playing just one season, albeit a great one, for Syracuse, he didn’t have the time to match up with some of the other  ‘Cuse greats on the all-time stat lists. 

Consider some of the other great basketball Orangemen on the stat boardsLawrence Moten is currently  the all-time leader in points with 2,334 points and a 19.3 ppg average.  Anthony sits at number 75 on the list with 778 points, but a 22.2 ppg average.  Who knows how many points Anthony would have racked up if he stayed four years?

Is this  a case then of the most popular, or best current NBA player to hail from Syracuse being considered the best?  Maybe.   But, the fans have voted and Anthony is clearly the majority choice.

In Anthony’s season at Syracuse, he averaged a double-double with 22.1 points and 10.0 boards per game.  He led the Orangemen to a National Championship in that freshman season, and had a double-double in the Championship game with 20 points and 10 rebounds.   He was subsequently named the Most Outstanding Player of the Tournament

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Saturday

Best NHL Save of the Week

Now this is a spectacular glove save. And with a man in the net, never mind the crease.



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College Basketball Number That Matters

20%

20% is the share of Top 25 teams that come from the Big Ten in the most recent Top 25 AP Ranking of NCAA Division 1 basketball teams (as of February 4, 2012).  Of those 25 teams, the five that hail from the Big Ten are:  Ohio State (3), Michigan State (9), Wisconsin (19), Indiana (20), and Michigan (23).  This is a higher percentage of teams coming from one conference than any other currently.  That includes the ACC, Big East and SEC.

credit:  Amazon.com



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Friday

Super Bowl Passing Number That Matters

1,156

The Super Bowl record for the most career passing yards, through the 2011 Super Bowl, is held by Kurt Warner who has thrown for 1,156 yards in his three Super Bowls.  Kurt Warner of course led the vaunted "Greatest Show on Turf" air attack for the Rams, as well as a prolific passing offense for the Arizona Cardinals in a combined total of three Super Bowls

Did you know..............that the second leading career Super Bowl passer, by yardage, is Joe Montana who sits a mere 14 yards behind Kurt Warner?


sources:  wikipedia.comnfl.com

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NHL First Half Number That Matters

15,004

15,004 is the attendance for every Winnipeg Jets home game this season.  A complete sell out of the arena each time they've played at home.  No wonder they had a 14-6-1 record at home in the first half of the 2011-12 season, with that kind of local support.


 


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Brewers' Aoki to Wear Number 7

The Milwaukee Brewers recently inked Japanese baseball star Norichika Aoki to a two year deal.  Aoki, who will wear number 7 with the Brew Crew, has a career .329 batting average in Japanese professional baseball.

Aoki was a three-time batting champ in Japan's Central League and a two-time gold medal winner with Japan in the World Baseball Classic.  Aoki has been a center fielder while with the Tokyo Yakult Swallows, winning three consecutive golden glove awards between 2006 and 2008.   

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Spurs to Retire Bruce Bowen's Number 12

The San Antonio Spurs will retire Bruce Bowen's jersey number 12 on March 21, 2012.  Bowen was known for his tenacious defense, landing him on the NBA All-Defensive team seven times while with the Spurs.  Bowen's number 12 will join six other jersey numbers currently retired by San Antonio, including David Robinson's number 50 and George Gervin's Number 44.

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Twins Announce Retirement of Kelly's Number 10

The Minnesota Twins recently announced  that they will be retiring the jersey number 10 in honor of Manager Tom Kelly.  Kelly led the Twins to two World Series Championships and was named the AL Manager of the Year in 1991.  He managed the Twins between 1986 and 1991.  The jersey retirement will happen before a game against the Cleveland Indians on September 8, 2012.  


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Kirk Gibson's Jersey Number Retired

Kirk Gibson's jersey number 30 was recently retired.  Wait a second, you might be thinking, Gibson wore 23 for most of his career.  And you'd be right.  He did wear number 23 for the majority of his MLB career.  However, playing baseball in college he wore number 30.  And that was the number which Michigan State, his alma mater, recently retired.

Gibson's jersey number joins a rare group which have been retired by the Spartans.  Another notable retired MSU number belongs to MLB Hall of Famer Robin Roberts who also played for the Spartans basketball team.  (Robin Roberts is also my pick for the best to ever wear the jersey number 36 in professional sports).

Now, why did it take until now for the Spartans to retire Gibson's number in baseball?  Well, maybe because he was more of a football star at Michigan State.  He was actually an All-American wide receiver for the Spartans, who played just one year of baseball.  That one year of baseball was enough to make the scouts swarm East Lansing, and the rest, as they say, is history.

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Thursday

Super Bowl MVP Number That Matters

12

12 is the jersey number worn by the largest number (amount) of Super Bowl MVPs (It has been worn seven times by a Super Bowl MVP to-date).  Four of those MVP awards were given to Tom Brady and Terry Bradshaw combined (two each).  The three other MVPs wearing jersey number 12 were:  Roger Staubach, Joe Namath and Aaron Rodgers.  Each one of these five quarterbacks is either a Hall of Famer or a future one.  

With one of the above quarterbacks wearing number 12 in the upcoming Super Bowl, the number of MVPs wearing this jersey number could quickly increase to eight. 

Did you know.......that the next most frequent jersey number for a Super Bowl MVP is 16, having been worn five times?   (Joe Montana has three of them). 

source:  wikipedia.com

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Super Bowl Number That Matters

100%

The number of teams that have a 100% winning percentage in the Super Bowl is 5.  Those teams include the:
  • San Francisco 49ers, 5-0
  • Baltimore Ravens, 1-0
  • Tampa Bay Buccaneers, 1-0
  • New Orleans Saints, 1-0
  • New York Jets, 1-0
That number will not change in this year's Super Bowl, as both the Patriots and Giants have lost at least one Super Bowl.  The Patriots winning percentage sits at 50% with a 3-3 record, while New York has a 75% winning record at 3-1, coming into the 2012 Super Bowl contest.  

Did you know......that the Dallas Cowboys and Pittsburgh Steelers are tied for the most Super Bowl appearances, with 8 each?  They have played each other in three Super Bowls.  

source:  wikipedia.com

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Best Georgetown Basketball Player Ever

The three players that stand out here, as far as I'm concerned, are:  Alonzo Mourning, Allen Iverson and Patrick Ewing.  I saw Allen Iverson quite a bit while he was at Georgetown.  And he was, in a word:  amazing.  The moves he made and his aggressiveness to the basket were unmatched in the NCAA at his time.  If he spent more than two seasons at Georgetown, he'd probably tip the balance in his favor here.

But for me, it really comes down to Alonzo Mourning and Patrick Ewing.  And to many people, myself included, Patrick Ewing is synonymous with Georgetown Basketball.   His stats match with the best of them, and his post-season performances do as well.

A four-year starter at Georgetown between 1981-82 and 1984-85, Ewing would lead the Hoyas to the National Championship game in three of his four years.  

Ewing would, in each of his four years, score more than 450 points, block more than 100 shots, and pull down more than 250 boards.  He averaged 15.3 points-per-game and 9.2 rebounds-per-game.  As a freshman, Ewing would lead his Hoyas to the NCAA Championship game against UNC in 1982. Although Georgetown would lose by a single point, Ewing give the world a taste of things to come as he notched a double-double, scoring 23 points and pulling down 10 boards.

Two seasons later, Ewing and the boys would be back in the Championship and would be victorious this time in a nine point win over Houston.  Amazingly, Ewing would lead his team back to the NCAA Championship game again, just one season later.

Georgetown was a heavy favorite to knock off fellow Big East rival Villanova in the Championship.  Ewing and his teammates would be surprised by the Wildcats in a 66-64 defeat however.

After college, Ewing of course went on to the New York Knicks and a Hall of Fame NBA career.  His play, in both college and the NBA, puts him in the ranks of the best basketball centers of all-time.

Did you know........Ewing is from Jamaica?

Other Big East Bests

sources:  wikipedia.com, youtube.com, basketball-reference.com, 

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