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Morning Briefing

Team's Truly Bad News Was Yet to Come

March 19, 1994|JIM HODGES

The most surprised person when the College of Charleston made the NCAA tournament?

Probably the Cougars' coach, John Kresse, who was so sure his Cougars wouldn't make the field of 64, he called his former boss at St. John's, Lou Carnesecca, for help in getting an NIT bid. Kresse also told his players not to bother showing up Sunday at the restaurant where he watched the selection show with fans.

"I told them, 'We need not have you at a gathering where, if you don't see your name pop up, it would be a major bummer,' " Kresse said.

The major bummer occurred Thursday in a 68-58 loss to Wake Forest.

Trivia time: In the 1957 NCAA basketball final, 7-foot-1 Wilt Chamberlain jumped center for Kansas. Who jumped for North Carolina?

He means it: It would figure that Gary Player of South Africa and one of the world's most traveled golfers would have a unique hazard on the course he built at Lost City in Sun City, Bophuthatswana. The sign reads "Danger. Do Not Approach or Enter the Crocodile Pond."

What lesson?NBA Commissioner David Stern talked at length with San Antonio's Dennis Rodman on Monday about his antics, which have brought five ejections this season. How well Rodman absorbed the lecture is open to question. He got another technical foul that night in a game at Denver.

Hockey hotbed: When Bemidji State won the NCAA Division II hockey championship last weekend, it was no surprise. Bemidji is in Minnesota, which has a frozen pond or two.

It's opponent in the finals, though, was a hockey newcomer--the University of Alabama Huntsville, where you never have to cut through ice to fish for bass.

Value lost: ABC Sports signed a five-year television deal with the U.S. Figure Skating Assn. on Tuesday, citing big Olympic TV ratings. On Wednesday, Tonya Harding resigned from the association as part of her plea bargain in the Nancy Kerrigan incident. With Kerrigan spending her time on television shows and peddling Walt Disney, wonder what that the TV deal is worth now?

Another sellout: Is nothing safe from commercial exploitation? The Oxford-Cambridge boat race, which has been contested for 165 years on the Thames in England, is now known as The Beefeater Oxford and Cambridge Boat Race.

Trivia answer: Tommy Kearns, all of 5 feet 11.

Quotebook: Coach Ron Heflin on how Glenn Robinson, Purdue's All-American, handled sprint drills at Roosevelt High in Gary, Ind.: "Most freshmen will complain their stomach hurts or something. Glenn did it 40 times and was first all 40 times. I said to myself, 'Look what I got here.' "

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