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Live from the Orange Bowl

ObieOK, I wish. Not really in the Orange Bowl, but am courtside at BankAtlantic Center for the Orange Bowl Basketball Classic.

Game 1 pits your Winthrop Eagles vs. the Miami Hurricanes. Game 2 features some team from Gainesville and Temple.

Surprisingly, not a big crowd here. I thought Miami hoops had a huge following! Good thing there are some early arriving Gator fans or this would look like that preseason Panthers game against Chicago.

Anyway, plan on blogging live hoops for those who care, while dropping some hockey on you as we go. Should be a fun afternoon!

For a more serious Cane basketball perspective, check out Manny Navarro's Eye on The U blog, available right here: MANNY'S OK W/ G..

-- Don't know who is responsible for the $20 parking charge at the arena today, the Panthers or the Orange Bowl. Either way, both parties should be ashamed of themselves. $20 to park in an otherwise empty lost is disgraceful and sad. My tip: Tell them you're going to IKEA, park in the IKEA section and walk over. Or, park at Sawgrass and hoof it. 20 bucks to park downtown or on South Beach you deal with. To park in the middle of nowhere in Sunrise? Baloney.

-- Funny/sad story from your Florida Everblades. Seems one of their players had one too many drinks on a flight from Toronto to Dallas. David Cornacchia, a career minor leaguer who spent last season in Europe, was arrested by the FBI after allegedly slapping a male flight attendant on an American Airlines flight after the FA refused to serve him a third drink.

According to various reports, Cornacchia cursed people on the flight who tried to intervene, and even exposed himself. Cornacchia was eventually cuffed and restrained by people on the flight, but head butted one person trying to subdue him Cornacchia told FBI guys he had been drinking all day.

Here's the fun part: He's been released and is allowed to continue flying. He hasn't been suspended (he has four goals and 14 assists for the Estero Blades) and is trying to meet up with the team in Pensacola for a game tonight. He was flying alone because he spent the Christmas holiday at home in Toronto; the Blades played Friday in ole' Miss.

If you want, read more here: EXPOSED BLADE

-- Hope they break out the Dancing Banana at the Canes game today.

Tradingplaces -- Who is your favorite Winthrop of all time? This one is mine, obviously...

-- Tampa Bay Lightning are really slumping, losing to Philly Phylers today at Orlando Sentinel Arena. Flyers led 2-1 going into the third, end up winning 4-2. Bolts have now lost four straight and nine of 11. And now they go on the road for four games. At least they don't have Marc Denis to kick around anymore...

-- Philly comes into Sunrise riding a two-game winning streak. The Cheesesteaks had lost six straight before beating Toronto Thursday.

-- Stanley C. and mini Stanley are here. So there's hope for the Dancing Banana after all...

-- Crowd starting to fill in at BAC....4:25 left before the tip...

-- Canes look a little flat here in the early going, and Winthrop looks athletic and shooting the ball well...Anthony King just posts up and is going to the line...with 10:25 left in the first, Winthrop leads 19-13...

-- And that picture of Dan Akyroyd is from the movie Trading Places, where his character's name is actually Winthorpe (thanks for the fix Shandel)...Some of you emailing are very young. Winthorpe, Winthrop, it's all the same.

-- Fun game here at the BAC...Canes starting to get some outside scoring, have taken a 32-27 lead with 32 seconds left in the first half...Anthony King kept UM in it, 14 points inside...

FIRST INTERMISSION AT BANK ATLANTIC CENTER: PANTHERS LEAD WINTHROP 32-27

-- This is the coldest basketball game I've ever been at...feels like I'm sitting on top of ice or something.

-- Speaking of cold, Rochester snapped a 10-game losing streak last night with win over Hamilton Tiger-Cats. Amerks had lost 10 games two previous times in franchise history. As Tyler Plante said: "At least we didn't make history.''

Want to read more about the Amerks, check out gamer here: rochester is beautiful this time of year

-- Speaking of picture spots, Amerks in Cleveland tonight. They ain't the Barons anymore. No, they are the "Lake Erie Monsters.'' Seriously. Still have my Cleveland Lumberjacks jersey from their IHL days...

-- Winthrop is shooting from all over the joint and just hit a three from Stanley's...With 12:51 left, Winthrop leads UM 42-40...

-- Canes can't do anything outside, not trying inside...Devis drives in, though, and gets fouled...hits FT, canes down six w/ 5:45 left...

-- Miami now down eight with 2:37nleft...looks like this perfect season is coming to an end...to Winthrop...

-- And that's that...Canes lost to Winthrop...

THE FINAL FROM BANKATLANTIC CENTER...WINTHROP 76, MIAMI 70...

That'll do it for now. See everyone tomorrow when the Panthers play host to the Dayton Flyers at 5.

Drive careful, and stay away from the yellow snow....

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