Duke and Carolina stage an ugly one, but the right shade of blue won. The guy who went to 200 countries but didn’t impress Guinness. And an awesome “Jeopardy” teen contestant

masonplumlee

Happy Valentine’s Day to all the people in love out there on the Interwebs today. May you all be as lucky in love as I am.

And this woman, with a beautiful Valentine’s Day story I urge you all to read.

Well, that certainly wasn’t too pretty. But all that matters is the final score at the end when the greatest rivalry in sports takes place.

And despite turnover after turnover, and terrible rebounding and occasionally terrible offense, Duke beat North Carolina Wednesday night at Cameron Indoor Stadium.
As usual, I was yelling and screaming in front of my TV, imploring the Blue Devils to beat UNC. I can’t really explain it, but no other Duke win ever feels quite as satisfying as beating Carolina.

This is far, far from a great UNC team, but they played their pants off Wednesday, and Duke had to get a little lucky and turn up their play at the end to get it done.
Couple quick thoughts from a much-closer than it should’ve been Duke win:

— That was about as ugly a Duke-UNC game as I’ve ever seen. Way too many fouls, way too many bricked shots, a ton of turnovers, just really bad play all around. Which is why I was nervous throughout, because in a poorly-played game, the underdog (UNC) gets to hang around possibly steal the game.

— But Duke won, because Quinn Cook keeps getting better and better, and Tyler Thornton gets no credit but does so many little things to help his team win, and because the Tar Heels went to the Shaquille O’Neal school of foul shooting. Man, were they awful, especially James Michael McAdoo.
— Mason Plumlee, I thought you were beyond games like tonight’s. Just terrible for most of it. But you did your FT’s at the end, so I still love ya.

— Dick Vitale, who I love for his enthusiasm, has really lost it as an announcer. He gets lots of things wrong now, spews more nonsense than usual, and generally talks out of both sides of his mouth.

— Very strange to see UNC with such poor point guard play. As long as I’ve been alive, from Phil Ford to Ed Cota, from Ty Lawson to Kendall Marshall, the Heels have always had an excellent floor leader. But not this year.
— This Duke team isn’t going anywhere in March unless Ryan Kelly gets healthy. I don’t understand why they struggle so much to score, but they just freeze up at times.
Thankfully they have the best coach of all time to figure it out before the tournament.

GrahamHughes

**I love the spirit and initiative of Graham Hughes, even if the crankypants at the Guinness Book of World Records don’t.

Hughes set a goal a few years ago to visit all 201 countries in the world without using an airplane, and he appeared to have set his ridiculous yet awesome mark by getting into South Sudan last November.

However, the Guinness folks say he didn’t set the record, since his border crossing from Estonia to South Sudan was not made legally.

What a crock. Anybody as crazy as Hughes is, who goes to all that effort without using a plane, deserves his place in history.
Thankfully, Hughes is undeterred.

“I can solve the problem. I came back from South Sudan overland, so I can pick up the journey at any time,” he said. “It’s quite a funny coda to my travels – I am just glad it’s not Bangladesh, that it’s somewhere that’s only 24 hours away on the coach.”

You go, Graham.

**Finally today, a tip of the cap to one of the strangest yet most entertaining “Jeopardy” contestants of all time. Meet Leonard, who doesn’t look like anyone you’ve ever seen on Alex Trebek’s show.

Way to go, Leonard. Who says you can’t have a big ‘fro and be really smart?

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