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THE INSIDE TRACK | MORNING BRIEFING

Sounds Like a Blowout Is in the Future

March 17, 1999|MAL FLORENCE

Bill Lyon of the Philadelphia Inquirer on sixth-seeded Temple, which is one of the surprise teams in the Sweet 16 of the NCAA tournament:

"Playing Temple is like driving on bald tires. You know that sooner or later you're going to end up on the shoulder of the road with a jack in your hands.

"And it will be midnight. And it will be raining. And your spare tire turns out to be flat."

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Trivia time: Who holds the Laker record for most three-point field goals made in a game?

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Not for me: Indiana Pacer Coach Larry Bird admires Miami Heat Coach Pat Riley, but he wasn't too impressed by Riley's recent motivational gimmick of sticking his head in a bucket of ice water:

"I'd probably catch pneumonia and die."

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Cover-up: Ron Rapoport in the Chicago Sun-Times: "Clem Haskins is toast.

"The Minneapolis Star Tribune, beaten by the St. Paul Pioneer Press on the Minnesota academic cheating scandal, recovered nicely over the weekend by documenting how the violations have gone on for years and how Haskins, the Gophers' coach, knew all about it and browbeat anyone who raised questions in the most vitriolic terms."

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Phony draw: In the 1933 movie, "The Prizefighter and the Lady," starring Myrna Loy and Max Baer along with heavyweight champion Primo Carnera, Baer and Carnera "fought" to a draw.

The next year in a real fight, Baer knocked out Carnera in the 11th round and won the heavyweight title.

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Bad old days: When NBA players complain about playing three games in three nights, they won't get any sympathy from Utah Jazz Coach Jerry Sloan.

"I remember when we [the Chicago Bulls] played five games in five days in five different cities. So it's not going to hurt these guys to play three when you're at home for two of them."

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Worm's World: Utah's Karl Malone on Dennis Rodman: "If you're going to fault anybody, then fault the people who endorse him, pay him money and encourage that kind of behavior.

"But to me, Dennis is a marketing genius."

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Options: Ed Bouchette of the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, on overweight running back Ricky Williams, the Heisman Trophy winner:

"His extra ballast caused some problems for the people at the Maxwell Club because they did not know what size tux to get him.

"They solved it by renting three different sizes, and he wore the one that fit."

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Nowhere sport? Steve Rosenbloom in the Chicago Tribune: "MasterCard signed a deal to sponsor soccer's World Cup. In other words, it's everywhere you don't want to be."

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Good thinking: Cincinnati Red Manager Jack McKeon, upon hearing that Greg Vaughn has a video of himself hitting home runs, so he can see what he does right:

"I did that too when I played . . . only I used Hank Aaron's videos."

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FYI: On March 17, 1939, Villanova defeated Brown, 42-30, in the first game ever played in the men's NCAA basketball tournament.

Oregon won the championship that year, defeating Ohio State in the title game, 46-33.

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Trivia answer: Eight by Nick Van Exel, in 1994 and twice in 1997.

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And finally: Mitch Albom of the Detroit Free Press on the absurdity of the Evander Holyfield-Lennox Lewis draw decision.

"Imagine if someone had called Mark McGwire's 70th home run a strikeout. Imagine if someone had told Michael Jordan that his final shot to win last year's NBA finals didn't go in. It was that terrible. It was that wrong."

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