File under "Too little, too late." Cleveland won its fourth straight game for the first time since 1994, beating the Jags 23--17. After averaging 12.1 points during a 1--11 start, the Browns put up 25.0 per game down the stretch. Thank Jerome Harrison, who averaged 187 yards on the ground in the final three wins.
How good are things going for first-place New Jersey? After 923 games without a hat trick, center and North Star state native Jamie Langenbrunner lit the lamp three times in front of 200 friends at Minnesota. "I heard 'em a few times," he said after last Saturday's 5--3 win.
The green Panthers (they lost four starters from last year) handed then No. 5 Syracuse its first loss last Saturday by holding the Orange to 15 points below its season average in an 82--72 win. "[Defense] is our calling card," said Jamie Dixon, coach of 12--2 Pitt.
Could America's Olympic Nordic combined medal drought finally end? Johnny Spillane, 29, put the field on notice by winning his first career World Cup event on Sunday in Germany. "Johnny was awesome," said U.S. coach Dave Jarrett. "He dropped everyone."