Thursday, November 25, 2010

Happy Thanksgiving to all you Hot-Handers out there!

The San Antonio Spurs mounted a massive comeback at Minnesota last night to extend their winning streak to 12 games (13-1 record overall). Whether this fast start by the Spurs signals a return to the NBA elite remains an open question, in my mind. Looking at San Antonio's game-by-game log, one sees that the quality of opposition during the streak has been, with a few exceptions, pretty weak (including two games against the Clippers).

UPDATE: The Spurs had their winning streak ended Friday night by Dallas.

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

One of the more exciting men's college basketball games of this young season took place last night, as unranked Connecticut upset No. 2 Michigan State, 70-67, in the Maui Invitational.

One of the reasons it was so exciting, however, is the poor job offensively by both teams in closing out the game. With 5:00 remaining, UConn led 66-61. The Huskies managed only four more points the rest of the way, but that was enough to win, as the Spartans scored only six. In the following table, I've summarized each team's woes, based on this second-half play-by-play sheet.

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

The University of Connecticut women's basketball team dodged the proverbial bullet tonight in extending its winning streak to 80 games. In holding off No. 2 Baylor, 65-64, in Hartford, the No. 1 Huskies pulled to within eight wins of tying the 88-game winning streak of the UCLA men's program in the early 1970s.

In looking at UConn's schedule, as long as the Huskies keep winning, their chance to capture an 88th straight victory would come on December 19, against Ohio State in the Maggie Dixon Classic at Madison Square Garden.

Tuesday, November 09, 2010

As the lead to this article on tonight's Denver at Indiana NBA game states, "The Indiana Pacers made their first 20 shots of the third quarter, missing out on a perfect period when Josh McRoberts was off on a 3-pointer with 1.9 seconds left..." These were not just dunks and layups, mind you. The Pacers hit 8-of-9 on 3-pointers in the quarter. The full shot sequence, including estimated distances of the attempts, can be seen in the play-by-play sheet of the third quarter.

Saturday, November 06, 2010

This is how close the racehorse Zenyatta came to raising her career win-loss mark to a record 20-0 (you can click on the image to enlarge it). Instead, with tonight's narrow loss to Blame in the Breeders' Cup Classic, Zenyatta sees her 19-race winning streak  -- her "hot hoof," if you will -- come to an end. According to this article, Zenyatta shared the consecutive-wins record of 19 with a horse called Peppers Pride, but the latter's competition was nowhere near as strong as Zenyatta's. A complete-race video of the Breeders' Cup is available, accompanying the above-linked article. I took a screen-shot after pausing the video as close as I could to the finish, and then added the dotted lines to show how close Blame and Zenyatta were to each other.  

Monday, November 01, 2010

The San Francisco Giants have won this year's World Series, defeating the Texas Rangers tonight, 3-1, to finish things off in five games. From a hot-hand perspective, the Giants' pitching staff was the big story, giving up only one run in the Rangers' last 21 and 1/3 innings at the plate (Giants' postseason game-by-game log).