Big Sky and Northeast Conferences send their reps to
the Big Dance, before the lull while the Majors battle
it out in early league-tourney rounds.
QUICKIE LIVE! 9-10 a.m.
The Lead Item
Two Words For You:
The biggest hurdle Congress faces in
its showdown with MLB isn't players defying the
Or legal pushback from a rare tag-team of MLB
and its union.
Or "taking the 5th" and granting
Or public pressure and mockery from
Or the "elephant-not-in-room" absence of Barry
It's the NCAA Tournament.
I said it here Wednesday morning, and it was echoed by
PTI's Tony K. last night on SportsCenter:
The first day of the NCAA Tournament is the
worst time to get attention for any other story in
Because fans' only interest is the brackets --
their bracket -- and the madness of games
tipping off all over the country while they sit at
work, manically refreshing ESPN.com's scoreboard page
every 15 seconds.
If Congress was trying to bury this story, next
Thursday would be the best time. Promoting it
that day? We can't hear you.
The best thing that could happen for Congress is that
the showdown with MLB's legal team pushes this thing
back, even just a few days.
Because on this day, more people want to:
Watch Niagara than listen to Palmeiro talk
Think about their Final Four in St. Louis getting
hammered than listen to McGwire recount his days in
St. Louis hitting homers.
Or fixate on games in Boise, not games played by noisy
ACC Tips Off
What promises to be the most
competitive conference tournament in the country tips
off today, and the top 5 teams don't even
Maryland tries to apply CPR to its Tourney
hopes, against a Clemson team that's a big reason the
Terps are on the Bubble.
N.C. St. needs to beat Florida St. to keep Bubble
hopes alive, too; but also to set up a rematch with
rival Wake (without Chris Paul) on Friday.
Miami brings a No. 57 RPI and 13th-ranked
schedule strength, in a must-win vs. Virginia, happy
to spoil the ACC newbie's fate.
||CHECK OUT THE QUICKIE EVERY WEEKDAY MORNING!
|WHO'S GOT THE MOMENTUM ...|
NCAA Tournament Selection Committee: Begins seeding today|
Ohio St. coach Thad Matta: Illini-beater gets 8y/$11m deal
Sidney Crosby: Next NHL sensation (hunh?!) signs w/ Reebok
|... AND WHO'S GOT NO MO'|
Gary Barnett: New calls for his ouster from panel chair|
Lance Armstrong: Publicly supports Paris 2012 (not NYC)
Wade Miller: Non-Believer Skeptics 1 (month), Sox Nation 0
UNC, Wake, Duke enjoy a bye, eyeing No.1 seeds; Va
Tech and Ga Tech look forward to playing each other
Friday, winner leaving the Bubble.
Quickie ACC pick: UNC.
Big East Quarters
What does it say when every team in the Big
East quarterfinals is either an NCAA Tournament lock
or strong Bubble team? (NCAA locks in bold;
Bubblers in itals.)
Quarterfinal mayhem in NYC:
1 B.C./8 W. Va. (12, ESPN2)
4 Nova/5 Pitt (2, ESPN2)
2 UConn/7 G'town (7, ESPN2)
3 Cuse/11 Rutgers (9, ESPN2)
That's not a league tourney; that's the East Regional.
My pick to win it: UConn.
Best of Rest
Featuring: The Bubblers!
(Bubble teams in itals.)
(Lock teams in bold.)
(My bias underlined.)
Big Ten (My Pick: Illinois)
7 Iowa/10 Purdue
Ohio St/11 Penn St.
Big 12 (My Pick: Kansas)
8 Mizzou/9 Nebraska
5 Iowa St/12 Baylor
7 Texas A&M/10 Kansas St.
6 Texas/11 Colorado
Pac-10 (My Pick: Arizona)
1 Arizona/8 Cal
4 UCLA/5 Oregon St.
2 Washington/7 Arizona St.
3 Stanford/6 Washington St.
SEC: (My Pick: Kentucky)
W5 Mississippi/E4 S. Carolina
E6 Georgia/W3 Mississippi St.
E5 Tennessee/W4 Arkansas
W6 Auburn/E3 Vanderbilt
C-USA: (My Pick: L'ville)
1 Louisville/8 TCU
4 UAB/5 DePaul
2 Charlotte/7 Memphis
3 Cincinnati/11 So. Fla.
Don't worry: Friday, when the ACC, Big Ten, Big 12
and SEC have their quarters, there'll be even more
Suns: Empty W
The Suns beating the Spurs (playing
without Duncan and Ginobili) is as worthless a
playoff indicator as any of those Suns' losses without
If anything: Only winning by 6 (at home!) is
more of an indicator that the Suns would get
shellacked by a full-strength Spurs squad.
Yes, even if PHX uses this W to vault to home-court edge in
the West playoffs. Home or not, the Suns haven't shown
they can beat the full-strength Spurs.
Edge on Block
At a bargain price! It won't even take
a first-rounder to get him, according to Edgerrin
James' agent, Drew Rosenhaus.
Left unspoken is that it will take a lot lot
lot of money.
Speculation has "fins."
Choking loss to Rutgers in Big East first round should
effectively end Irish hopes for an at-large NCAA bid.
Enjoy that NIT.
|Today on ESPN.com|
|Jayson Stark on steroids|
|Ranking Conference Tourneys|
|UNC, Duke, Wake: Whew!|
|Jockeying for No. 1 seed?|
|How will Illinois rebound?|
|KU, KY playing for 1 seed?|
Tice update: He admits to ESPN that, yes, he did scalp
tickets, but only as an assistant (never as head
coach). Expect much more digging.|
As long as ex-Cards P Rick Ankiel is never expected to
hit the cutoff man, his attempt to move to the
OF should be compelling to watch.
Don't expect much to happen to UConn coach Geno
Auriemma after reports he got into it with a Rutgers
player after the Big East tourney title game.
Very under-the-radar, the Marcus Williams lawsuit
against Bill Romanowski is one of the most compelling
sports stories of the year.
Condolences to family, friends and fans of 1946
Heisman winner Glenn Davis, of the fabled Army teams
(yes, junior, Army was once a national power).