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THE INSIDE TRACK | MORNING BRIEFING

And He'll Be Especially Glad When It's Over

March 16, 2001|MAL FLORENCE

Greg Cote in the Miami Herald is not mad about March: "The only difference between a college hoops fan hyperventilating over 'March Madness' and a Hare Krishna persisting to hand you a pamphlet is that the evangelist is easier to rebuff.

"The NCAA tournament is the most over-hyped, overblown, overextended event in sports--grown to phenomenon largely via over-coverage and interest generated by office betting pools."

And this, from Bernie Lincicome of the Rocky Mountain News: "The entire tournament was once the Sweet 16 but that was before--greed! The winning school gets millions, and doesn't even have to buy books."

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Trivia time: Who holds the NCAA tournament record for three-point field goals in a series?

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Dis-respect: Jay Mariotti in the Chicago Sun-Times on why Michael Jordan shouldn't return to the NBA:

"Because we're afraid Allen Iverson will paralyze him with the killer crossover, blur past him, jam on him with a cold glare and torture him with his tongue. Never, ever do I want to see His Airness dissed by His Scareness. . . .

"Iverson would dis him, Vince Carter would dis him, Kobe Bryant would dis him, others would dis him."

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Thievery pays: Chicago Bull forward Ron Artest, after making 30 steals in six games:

"I used to steal cookies from the stores. I got real good. I stole four packages a day. It prepared me for the league."

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Paranoid: Phoenix Coyote Coach Bob Francis, after center Travis Green fell awkwardly in a recent game against Colorado, suffering a bruised knee: "I was looking for a sniper in the crowd."

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Reverence: Mark Grace, the longtime Chicago Cub, is now with the Arizona Diamondbacks, but he still speaks fondly about the Cubs, even though he says, "I was basically shown the door."

In an interview with Chris Jenkins of the San Diego Union-Tribune, Grace said, "If you're a Cub, the people of Chicago adore you. Sammy's [Sosa] adored. I was adored. And I adored them. It's a special place. Almost a supernatural place."

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Still bitter: Jim Armstrong in the Denver Post: "I'm not sure what's wrong with the U of Washington hoops program, which finished dead last in the Pac-10, but I promise you this: A lot of people in Boulder are blaming Rick Neuheisel.

"He is also believed to have masterminded the recent earthquake that rocked the Northwest."

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More Armstrong: "Mr. October, meet Mr. Consistent. Indians' third baseman Travis Fryman hit .321 last season--.321 before the All-Star break, .321 after the break."

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He had to say it: Arizona State women's Coach Charli Turner Thorne delivered her second son Sunday, shortly after her team had received a berth in the NCAA tournament. Says Elliott Harris of the Chicago Sun-Times, "Talk about making a late-season push."

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Come again? After an impressive performance by Kansas City pitcher Mac Suzuki in his first action since undergoing off-season shoulder surgery, Royal Manager Tony Muser said, "If you didn't know he had been cut on, you wouldn't know he had been cut on."

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Trivia answer: Glen Rice, Michigan, 27, in six games in 1989.

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And finally: Iowa State Coach Larry Eustachy returned to Boise State Pavilion on Thursday night, where his team played Hampton in a first-round NCAA tournament game--and he hoped no one remembered him.

In 1993, while coaching Idaho in a game against Boise State, a frustrated Boise fan fired a potato at Eustachy, the winning coach, and scored a direct hit.

"It was in the back of my head," Eustachy recalled. "I saved it and bought a steak on the way out of town. Had steak and potato when I got home."

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