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THE INSIDE TRACK | MORNING BRIEFING

With All This Basketball Comes a Little Kornball

March 20, 2000|MAL FLORENCE

Tony Kornheiser of the Washington Post has some NCAA Final Four suggestions. A sampling:

"Natural Disaster Final Four: Red Storm, Cyclones, Waves, Golden Hurricane.

"Things You Wouldn't Want to Sit on Final Four: Longhorns, Razorbacks, Gators, Bobby Knight.

"Workingmen Final Four: Boilermakers, Lumberjacks, Cowboys, Butler.

"Fake States Final Four: Jackson State, Fresno State, Ball State, Alcorn State."

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Trivia time: Name the three active coaches who have won more than one NCAA men's basketball championship?

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Sock it to 'em: Charlotte Hornet Coach Paul Silas can laugh now while recalling stories about his coaching stint with the Clippers in the early 1980s:

"I'll never forget [owner Donald Sterling] would say, 'Why do we have to buy their socks?' And I'm like, 'That's just the way it is.'

"It was like that all the time. It was all about trying to save money. And this was one of the richest owners in the NBA at the time."

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Hullabaloo: Brett Hull of the Dallas Stars has an odd take on the run-in his teammate, goalie Ed Belfour, had with a hotel security guard.

"If we all had to apologize every time we made a mistake," he said, "there wouldn't be time for anything else."

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Sea session: Greg Cote of the Miami Herald, after his first deep-sea fishing experience: "The dolphin wriggling next to me was not as famous as Dan Marino, perhaps, but quite likely as good a quote."

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Reason enough: Villanova's victory over Georgetown in the 1985 NCAA final was one of the great upsets in tournament history.

But Gil LeBreton of the Fort Worth Star-Telegram recalls that a reporter at his newspaper won the office pool by picking the Wildcats to go all the way despite their 10 regular-season losses.

She explained later: "I thought the name sounded pretty. Villa-nova. It's Spanish, right?"

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His best stuff: Comedy writer Alan Ray in the San Francisco Chronicle on Atlanta Brave pitcher John Rocker working his first game in spring training: "He slurred the first nine men he faced."

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Trivia answer: Indiana's Bob Knight, three, and Louisville's Denny Crum and Duke's Mike Krzyzewski, two each.

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And finally: Bill Benner of the Indianapolis Star, commenting on the CNN/Sports Illustrated report of Indiana Coach Bob Knight choking a former player:

"My guess is this little report, after it goes through the Bloomington rinse-and-spin cycle, will come out smelling like a freshly laundered baby's blanket.

"So he choked a kid. So what? Sometimes you've just got to make them listen. Besides, it was only with one hand and just for a few seconds. Even the kid admits he could still breathe."

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