espn.com Ali Contest
Hope springs eternal, especially when the Yankees lose on Opening Dawn. Page 2's David Schoenfield pulled himself out of the sack at an ungodly hour to watch Major League Baseball's opener from Tokyo and got an unexpected treat with his coffee and cornflakes: Tampa Bay won! This has the makings of a great season.
SCHOENFIELD: YANKS LOSE! YANKS LOSE!




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Page 2's Tim Keown adds another certainty to death and taxes: the love-fest for Coach K, Jim Calhoun and Eddie Sutton at the Final Four. Too bad for Georgia Tech's Paul Hewitt, the forgotten man amidst all that genuflection. Plus, baseball's time-zone game.

NBA X-Files Wacky Bracket Semifinals
The signs are subtle, but Page 2's Eric Neel sees them: Carmelo and LeBron will be in the playoffs. How does he know? Because Eric is a conspiracy theorist. And he knows how the NBA operates.
Sports Illustrated's swimsuit edition? Or "Lord of the Rings"? Tough call. (Well, maybe for you!) It's a semifinal matchup in Page 2's Wacky Bracket. The winner moves to the title tiff. Vote now!

THE DAILY QUICKIE
The Daily Quickie loves a hometown hero, so he thrilled along with Tokyoers when Hideki Matsui went yard against the Devil Rays on Tuesday morning. Plus, the Clarett appeal sham, and a black eye for Notre Dame's golden boy.


The spotlight is at its brightest. The pressure is at its highest. Sometimes, the Final Four brings out the best in a player. It did with the ones on our list of the greatest Final Four performances of the last 25 years.

10]  Isiah Thomas, Indiana, 1981
Isiah scored a game-high 23 points in the Hoosiers' 63-50 win over North Carolina for the championship. But his most important contributions might have been his two quick steals at the start of the second half.
9]  Ed O'Bannon, UCLA, 1995
O'Bannon was unstoppable -- at least, Arkansas star Scotty Thurman couldn't stop him -- en route to 30 points and 17 rebounds in the title game. In the semis, he held Oklahoma State 7-footer Bryant Reeves to seven second-half points.
8]  Steve Alford, Indiana, 1987
How do you follow up a 33-point performance against UNLV in the national semifinals? You score 23 against a Syracuse defense keyed to stop you, and you lead your team to a championship-game victory.
  • GET THE FULL LIST


FINAL FOUR FAVORITE LINE UNDERDOG O/U
April 3 Oklahoma State 5 Georgia Tech 142
April 3 UConn 2.5 Duke 145.5


 
Got a comment about something you've seen on Page 2? Here's your chance to sound off to the editors and columnists. Plus, if you'd like to send an e-mail to The Sports Guy, here's your direct link to Bill Simmons.



Things get a little ugly in today's Writers' Bloc as Eric Adelson gives 10 reasons he prefers the women's NCAA Tournament. Patrick Hruby fires back to defend the men and then ... well, the bruises are big and purple after this one.

  • Archive: A group to save college sports
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    HEY, RUBE
    The Good Doctor has had some bad experiences with Duke, but he's still betting on them.

    WATER COOLER
    The Weekend Water Cooler is back with the agony of man-made lakes and the ecstasy of Billy Packer.
    If your favorite writer isn't on Page 2 today, click here to check out our full roster of columnists.


    It's budding golf star Adam Scott (right) and actor Matthew McConaughey. This match was submitted by Keith of New York. Browse our archives of past pairings or click here to submit a future duo for Page 2.


    NHL: Detroit at Columbus
    7 p.m. ET, ESPN2
    Red Wings gearing for the playoffs.
     
    Men's Hoops: McDonald's H.S. Game
    9 p.m. ET, ESPN
    Future, pimple-faced pros battle.  
    Pimp My Ride
    10:30 p.m. ET, MTV
    Wax on, wax off doesn't cut it.
     
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    If you missed Page 2 over the last week, check out our back issues:
    • Mon., March 29: Say What?
    • Fri., March 26: Philly's Finest
    • Thur., March 25: We Need a Hero
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    • Being . . . Allen Iverson
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