Even before Auburn's takedown of Alabama, there was Ohio State's beleaguered perfection, Duke's emergence, Missouri's resurgence and Florida State's QB controversy. College football's season of strangeness plunges toward a finish
PHOTOPHOTOGRAPH BY GREG NELSON FOR SPORTS ILLUSTRATED
Russell And Bustle Many an NBA player over the last decade has fallen victim to the collapsing Spurs defense of Manu Ginóbili (tumbling) and Tony Parker (reaching). Russell Westbrook, though, wasn't falling for it on Nov. 27 in Oklahoma City: The point guard helped the Thunder to a 94--88 win over their Western Conference rival, snapping San Antonio's 11-game winning streak.
PHOTOPHOTOGRAPH BY TOM SZCZERBOWSKI USA TODAY SPORTS
A Wicket Good Save It's plays like this that make an NHL goalie happy that a puck can't fit through the bars of his mask. The Maple Leafs' James Reimer got low to stare down the danger in his crease on Nov. 23, when Toronto hosted the Capitals. Reimer faced 50 shots but let only one by him, and the Leafs prevailed 2--1 in a shootout.
SEVEN PHOTOSPHOTOGRAPHS BY NEIL LEIFER
Sweet Science, Sweeter Photos This week it was announced that in 2014, Neil Leifer will become the first photographer inducted into the International Boxing Hall of Fame. Leifer started shooting for SI as a 16-year-old in 1958 and went on to capture some of the sport's most iconic images: His shot of Muhammad Ali standing triumphantly over Sonny Liston during their 1965 title fight in Lewiston, Maine (far left), is considered one of the greatest sports photos, period. "Neil Leifer was responsible for many of the most instantly recognizable boxing images of all time," says Edward Brophy, executive director of the IBHOF. Among the best shots by Leifer (above, with the Champ): Ali at the weigh-in before his 1967 fight with Zora Folley (top left); portraits of (from left) George Foreman, Liston and Don King; and Mike Tyson beating Trevor Berbick in 1986 (near left).