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THE INSIDE TRACK | MORNING BRIEFING

Going Mad for Madness of March

March 12, 2001|MAL FLORENCE

Dan LeBatard of the Miami Herald, an admitted college basketball junkie, is enthralled by March Madness:

"College basketball is Princeton's backdoor cut, Jim Valvano running around looking for someone to hug, Villanova over Georgetown, Magic vs. Larry, Michigan's Fab Five, Christian Laettner at the buzzer, Gonzaga and Valpo . . . UNLV's villainous Rebels, Stanford's studious Cardinal, and getting to see Hakeem and Michael before they blossom into Hakeem and Michael and Iverson . . .

"If you care about sports--simple, pure and perfect--the best time of the calendar is upon us."

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Trivia time: What is the NCAA Division I record for most fouls in a game?

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Perfect fit: Jim Armstrong in the Denver Post: "Former Chargers' bad boy Ryan Leaf has all the makings of a future XFL quarterback--assuming, of course, the league has a future. So what would his nickname be?

"The San Diego Union-Tribune's Jay Posner has a suggestion: He Intercept Me."

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More Armstrong: "Randy Johnson will talk to you if you get there early enough but will not make sense no matter how long you stay."

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Double rip: Bud Geracie in the San Jose Mercury News: "Bob Knight, suing Indiana University for 'mental humiliation,' could be the star witness for both sides."

* "Degenerative hip is the diagnosis on Albert Belle's physical and social condition."

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Play taps: Randy Galloway in the Fort Worth Star-Telegram: "The book officially closed last week on the dynasty era of the Cowboys. The release of quarterback Troy Aikman was the final chapter.

"In the beginning this book was a must-read for all of football. The ending, however, was gruesome. Everybody died."

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Permanent home: Karl Malone, on teammate Donyell Marshall: "He's talented, but it's like he rediscovered his game. That's neat. And since we have the same agent, he isn't going anywhere."

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She will too: Denver Nugget assistant coach Mike Evans, on his staff's job insecurity: "It's not something to dwell on. That's something for your wife to remind you of."

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Trivia answer: 84; Arizona, 50, versus Northern Arizona, 34, on Jan. 26, 1953.

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And finally: Bernie Lincicome in the Rocky Mountain News: "The smaller the crowd, the less a baseball player scratches."

* "Even if Jose Canseco can't hit anymore, all he has to do is roll up his sleeves to make pitchers sweat."

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Quotebook: George Karl, after a technical by Sam Cassell nearly cost the Milwaukee Bucks a game against the Chicago Bulls: "How I coach psychologically, I let them grow up themselves. But if they [mess] up in the playoffs, I'll strangle them."

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