HOT: MAJESTERIAL MESS
Fresh off his fourth-straight world player of the year award, Barcelona's Lionel Messi scored a goal and set up two others in a 3--1 victory over Màlaga on Sunday. The win lifted Bar√ßa, undefeated in La Liga this season, 11 points above second-place Atlético Madrid.
NOT: KENTUCKY FRIED
The Cats (10--5) already have more than twice as many losses as last year, including an 83--71 defeat to Texas A&M, coach John Calipari's first home-conference loss since taking over in 2009. His team, Calipari said recently, is "not playing hard enough." That'll do it.
HOT: THEY'RE CRRREIGHT!
Creighton (16--1, ranked No. 13) is shooting 52.2% this season, second best in the country, as Doug McDermott is dropping 23.6 ppg (third best in the country), with a season-high 39 in the Bluejays' 74--52 demolishing of Missouri State last Friday.
NOT: PHILLY FILLETED
Since firing Andy Reid, the Eagles can't find a coach. Chip Kelly said no. Likewise Brian Kelly. Former Cowboys D coordinator Rob Ryan? "I'm on a beach and have talked to nobody," he told ESPN. The Sixers are whiffing too: They're 16--22 and 27th in the NBA in scoring.
HOT: NETS WORK SOLUTION
What to think? They're awesome, then terrible, now great again. The Nets (22--15 through Sunday) won six straight, as new head coach P.J. Carlesimo was 8--1 since taking over on Dec. 28. Said the coach after Sunday's 97--86 win over the Pacers, "The defense fuels us."
JOHN ANGELILLO/UPI/LANDOV (CARLESIMO)
CHRIS SZAGOLA/CAL SPORT MEDIA (EAGLES MASCOT)
STEVEN BRANSCOMBE/ZUMAPRESS.COM (MCDERMOTT)
DAMIAN STROHMEYER (CALIPARI)
S. LAU/DPA/ZUMAPRESS.COM (MESSI)