March 12, 2004
NCAA Tourney
selection honcho
Bob Bowlsby:

In his first year, the Iowa AD is managing the most exciting hotel room this side of wherever Paris Hilton is staying this weekend.
The Lead Item
Two Words For You:

Remember the mantra:

Next to the first two days of the NCAA Tournament, today is the best sports "workday" of the year:

Big 10 Quarters ... Big 12 Quarters ... C-USA Semis ... Big East Semis ... and the mother lode: The ACC Quarters

With very little protest, the top 8 ACC teams could be seeded as their own 1-through-8 region in the Big Dance; instead, they grind it out in the best four-bout fight card you can get:

(1) Duke vs. (8) UVA
(Noon, ESPN)
(4) G. Tech vs. (5) UNC
(2 p.m., ESPN2)
(2) NC St vs (7) Fla St
(7 p.m., ESPN2)
(3) Wake vs. (6) Maryland
(9 p.m., ESPN2)

Urgency? Bubblicious Florida State is in a must-win situation; Virginia can make the Bubble much more interesting by upsetting presumptive new national No. 1 Duke.

The ACC's other six teams are already in, which is why Duke can lose this weekend and keep its No. 1 seeding -- and St. Joe's can't.

St. Joe's: No No. 1
Count me as part of the No team that gets thumped that badly deserves a No. 1 seed camp. I watched the game; Xavier's final 20-point margin doesn't do the shellacking justice.

After having been a huge supporter of the RPI, the formula loses some credibility with me for barely affecting St. Joe's ranking. Fortunately (and I can't believe I'm typing this), the "human" element (the Selection Committee) will inject some common sense and hopefully give St. Joe's the No. 2 seed it has earned.

NCAA Recruiting
Congress ripped the NCAA yesterday on its "reactive" recruiting policies, so naturally

Utah Jazz: 7-3 last 10 games; 1/2 game out of playoff spot
Marcellus Wiley: Telegenic DE signs with Big D; P.R. boost
Ike Diogu: Ariz St soph (22.8 ppg) says "not yet" to NBA
Nuggets: Lost out 8 of 10; about to lose No. 8 playoff seed
Air Force: Loses in conf tourn; Bubble status up in ... air
Heidi: Booted from Apprentice; how'd she last *this* long?
the NCAA reacted by floating half-baked ideas for recruiting reform, including an appallingly "class-ist" one that would make recruits pay their own way to visit schools.

Hold on: Can you still call it "recruiting" when you put the financial and logistical burden on the prospective students?

-- "Great news, Mom and Dad, I'm being recruited!"

-- Whoopee: Let me go take out a second mortgage.

Lakers at T'wolves
Who's got the bigger "Big Four?"


Inside? Edge: L.A.
Outside? Edge: Minny

Of course, if they maintain their current playoff positions (T'wolves No. 2, Lakers No. 4) it's an academic debate; one of these teams would be lucky to reach the conference finals -- but both? Not gonna happen.

Meanwhile: Kobe's lawyers won a huge

ruling, allowing them to question his accuser on her sexual history. Who had "March 12" in the This Is Going to Get Really Ugly? pool?

Bertuzzi Result
We now return the NHL back to its usual "mainstream-fan apathy" status, season already in progress.

Baseball Attendance
Tony Gwynn and his San Diego St. team shouldn't take this personally, but it wasn't them per se that inspired fans to set the all-time college baseball attendance record last night (by a whopping 12K).

It was the fans taking the opportunity to be the first to sit in San Diego's spanking new Petco Park. Chalk up the Padres for their own attendance record this year.

Reggie Jackson:
Yankees brass tell their "special advisor" that his ceremonial job doesn't include tripping over MLB's ban on 'roid talk.
Today on
Page 2: Wiley on trash talking
CBB: Championship Week
Assael: More steroid busts
Assuming Duke and Stanford get one, who else deserves a No. 1 seed?
SEC tourney champ
A lock: Kentucky or Miss. St
If they beat UConn to win Big East
Oklahoma State
Don't sleep on Big 12's best
St. Joe's
Yes, losing that bad IS that bad
"Are you the creator of Hi and Lois?"

Kudos to ESPN's Shaun Assael for breaking more news on the onging federal 'roid investigations (see "Q It Up") ...

Maybe media-friendly John Lynch will let TV networks mike him up ... during his search for a new job (Bucs to trade or cut him) ...

Are the Broncos going to enter the Corey Dillon Derby? So much for "Quentin Griffin is our new Clinton Portis" ...

If the FDA finally bans andro (which they will), do we get to put an asterisk next to Mark McGwire's HR totals? ...

Will John Gabriel still be Orlando Magic GM for T-Mac's 62-point follow-up game in Orlando on Saturday night vs. the Sonics? ...

Coming Monday: A full bracket breakdown, Quickie-style! ...

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