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THE INSIDE TRACK | MORNING BRIEFING

Party Crashers Caught Wearing the Same Gown

March 25, 1998|MAL FLORENCE

Bernie Lincicome of the Chicago Tribune writing on the men's NCAA basketball tournament:

"This is not to say this Final Four has no Cinderella. You have to have a Cinderella, and this one has two. Twins actually. Not pretty twins, but identical. Big and chunky with 18-inch necks.

"Utah or Stanford. Ugly stepsisters, more like it. Switch uniforms, and relatives or pets couldn't tell them apart.

"Star of the Stanford team goes by the name of Mad Dog. A Mad Dog at Stanford? This is like finding a farm animal in the library."

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Trivia time: Which three coaches ended their college coaching careers by winning the men's NCAA basketball championship?

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Bitter rivalry: Lyle Spencer in the Riverside Press-Enterprise: "Ted Turner is threatened by Rupert Murdoch. If you're a fan of the Dodgers, that's all you really need to know.

"Rupert doesn't play the game by Ted's rules. Rupert doesn't want to see Ted's dreary tomahawk chop in the World Series every year.

"Three cheers for Rupert!"

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Cheap shot: Country music star Garth Brooks appeared as a pinch-runner for the San Diego Padres in an exhibition against the Chicago Cubs and was thrown out in a double play.

Said Steve Rosenbloom of the Chicago Tribune: "Brooks sings about 'Friends in Low Places,' so you can see why the Padres used him in a game against the Cubs."

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Penthouse to outhouse: Portland Trail Blazer Coach Mike Dunleavy, asked about lapses that caused his team to lose by 65 points to Indiana after they had beaten the Bulls in Chicago:

"Lapses? They go absolutely brain dead."

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Normal reaction: Jeff Gordon writing in the St. Louis Post-Dispatch: "Make fun of Fresno State all you want, but who hasn't gotten the samurai swords out to settle a television dispute?"

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More Fresno: The president of Fresno State says the criminal behavior of the school's basketball team has damaged the university's image:

Said Jerry Perisho: "At the same time, however, their behavior has demonstrated that they're ready for the NBA."

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Choices: John Daly on his battle to remain sober: "I've always got a demon here and an angel here," referring to his shoulders. "Both are telling me what to do. The key is not to listen to the demon, because he's never going to leave me."

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Looking back: On this day in 1995, UCLA defeated Connecticut, 102-96, in the men's NCAA West Regional final in Oakland. The Bruins would go on to win the NCAA championship, beating Arkansas, 89-78, in Seattle.

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Trivia answer: UCLA's John Wooden, 1975; Marquette's Al McGuire, 1977, and Kansas' Larry Brown, 1988.

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And finally: Anthony Bowie, a late-season pickup of the New York Knicks, on playing the last year and a half in Italy:

"If you've ever watched a soccer game, just imagine that mentality for a basketball game. You name it and they throw it. And their coins are much bigger than our coins."

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