Live Blog Chat Monday!: Thanks to all who tapped in today (in the separate blogpost directly below this). We do it every Monday 1-2 p.m.
[1) It is MONDAY, MARCH 11. You know how the Guinness people have a world record category for everything? I went to Calle Ocho Sunday and saw them affirming a new world record had been set for "most arepas per square mile." 2) Click on Random Evidence for the latest Sunday notes column from me. It leads with the cornucopia of March, our busiest sports month. 3) NFL teams can sign other teams' free agents starting Tuesday, and all indications are the Dolphins' No. 1 target is WR Mike Wallace. If they don't land him, they'll go after Morley Safer. 4) In The Previous Blogpost (ITPB): Heat/Canes, NCAA/UM, Sweetest 16s, Tiger Woods, Hugo Chavez, Dolphins, Elton John. 5) Join us on Twitter @gregcote]
UM's Larkin makes ALL-ACC: Canes guard Shane Larkin today was named to the All-ACC first-team, with Kenny Kadji making the second-team. Larkin and Durand Scot were named to the conference's All-Defensive team.
HEAT-PACERS: NO LOVE LOST AS MIAMI STREAK HITS 18 GAMES: Remember that Indiana led Miami 2 games to 1 in last year's playoffs before the Heat rallied in a very contentious, physical series, and that Indiana had beaten the Heat in both games so far this season. It was in that context that Miami's 105-91 home win last night was big beyond extending the win streak to 18 games. Anticipated a playoff-atmosphere night with two teams bringing out the A-games and the Pacers one of those chippy, annoying, under-your-skin type of opponents. Thought this might be Miami's most interesting game until the March 31 test at San Antonio. Oddity: Mario Chalmers (26) and Chris Bosh (24) led Heat scorers. Cannot remember another time in the Big 3 era that neither Dwyane Wade (23) nor LeBron James (season-low 13) were among the top two scorers.
CANES CLINCH ACC REGULAR-SEASON BUT FALL IN POLLS: Conference regular-season title? Check. UM men have it after Saturday's 62-49 finale here over Clemson. Postgame net-cutting, the whole bit. (Pictured: The Herald's Al Diaz captures Kenny Kadji getting his piece of nylon). Next: the ACC Tournament in Greensboro, N.C., with Miami's first game on Friday. Now that's a title worth having. Not that the regular-season isn't, but it's sort of like hanging a banner from the rafters that trumpets a division championship. It isn't what you want. That's still ahead for UM, this coming week ... and beyond. I thought No. 6 Miami would fall into 8-10 range after a 1-1 week and was right. UM is No. 9 in today's new AP poll.
IT'S ALL TIGER AT DORAL: Tiger Woods had a four-stroke lead entering Sunday's final round of the PGA Tour's World Golf Championships event at Doral, and played it safe to win by two over good friend Steve Stricker. Tiger with a lead entering Sunday is like me with a 10-minute head start entering a buffet line. It just isn't fair to the competition. Click on Unfinished Business for today's latest column from me, from Doral. I write that wins like Sunday's, though prestigious, lucrative and confidence-building, will never be enough for Tiger unless or until he wins another major. Tiger is pictured right holding his trophy on the 18th. I snapped it on my iPhone and liked it only because it shows Tiger standing in shaft of line sent down by God just for him. [Note to readers: The phrase "Cadillac Championship" was edited into my column, and should not have been. I do not use the names of corporate sponsors in columns and have not for many years. The phrase has since been removed from the online version].
HEAT BIG 5 @ 60: The blog loves bells 'n whistles especially the nerdy-stat variety and so we started this one we are running throughout Heat season at five-game intervals. It's top-five cumulative ranking of Heat players having the biggest overall impact based on eight statistical categories. The numbers themselves might not mean much but the numbers relative to each other give an indication of the contribution players are making. The Big 5 @ 60 Games (46-14):
Rank (@55) Player Total
1 (1) LeBron James 2,304.8
2 (2) Dwyane Wade 1,638.1
3 (3) Chris Bosh 1,383.3
4 (4) Mario Chalmers 893.6
5 (5) Ray Allen 888.8
Bubble: Shane Battier, 601.0.
Poll result: Heat huge pick to advance beyond Canes: We asked which was likelier: a Heat repeat NBA championship or the Hurricane men reaching the Final Four? It wasn't close, as 91.4 percent voted another Heat title as more likely.
SAYONARA, REGGIE BUSH: My newspaper reporting Sunday that popular RB Reggie Bush (pictured) won't return to the Dolphins for a third season in 2013. Not a surprise in any way, but the finality of it instantly transforms the team's running back situation from solid to less so -- and suggests the position may be a lesser target in free agency or the draft. Daniel Thomas and Lamar Miller are the guys for now. Thomas has not distinguished himself and has been a bit injury prone. Miller shows promise but is unproven. Not sure if either is an every-down. Perhaps together they can be?
Click back. Will be updating/adding to this latest blogpost...