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The Inside Track | MORNING BRIEFING

The Lakers Have Become Routinely Comical

April 02, 2005|Larry Stewart | Times Staff Writer

The Clippers used to be Jay Leno's favorite sports target, but they've recently been surpassed by the Lakers. Samplings from Leno's monologue this week:

* "It's almost time for April Fool's. But enough about the Lakers making the playoffs."

* "Actually, to give credit, the Lakers' management has put together a great team. It's in Miami, but you know."

* "Do you know the secret to winning the NBA? Neither do the Lakers."

Trivia time: Who holds the NBA record for most blocked shots in a game?

United front: Fans from Big Ten rivals Illinois and Michigan State are joining forces.

According to the Lansing (Mich.) State Journal, Illinois fans have requested that Michigan State fans bring an extra green T-shirt to today's Final Four semifinals, and Illinois fans will bring extra orange shirts. The plan is for a shirt swap outside Edward Jones Dome in St. Louis and for the fans to root for each other's teams.

"It's going to be weird wearing the 'Orange Crush,' but if that's what it takes to make sure we both are playing Monday night, that's fine," Aaron King, co-director of Michigan State's Izzone student cheering section, told the newspaper.

Tough odds: So you weren't perfect when you filled out your NCAA bracket? Don't fret.

Joe Biddle of the Nashville Tennessean reports that, according to computer programmer Brannon Shadrick, among the 63 games are 9 quintillion possibilities.

"To be exact, it would be 9,223,372,036,854,775,808 possibilities," Biddle wrote. "Shadrick claims the odds are greater that you will win the lottery, be struck by lightning and bitten by a shark all on the same day."

Blind luck: Joel Ludvicek, 78, of Cedar Rapids, Iowa, recently scored a hole in one on a 168-yard hole at the local golf course, Associated Press reported. What was unusual about this ace, besides the golfer's age, is that Ludvicek is legally blind.

Up close: ESPN's John Kruk, on being seen on high-definition television:

"I guess we will have to wear a lot of makeup. Personally, this is probably not going to be a good thing."

One possible objective: From Peter Vecsey of the New York Post: "With the Lakers faltering down the stretch, I think Kobe Bryant is positioning himself for next year's comeback executive of the year."

Looking back: On this day in 1986, the three-point field goal, at 19 feet 9 inches, was adopted by the NCAA.

Trivia answer: Elmore Smith of the Lakers, with 17 against Portland in 1973.

And finally: Bryant Jackson, the Detroit Piston fan accused of throwing a chair during November's melee with Indiana Pacer players, pleaded no contest to two assault charges and faces up to a year in jail.

Wrote Dwight Perry in the Seattle Times: "It could have been worse. Rumor has it that Jackson, coveting Exhibit A for a souvenir, nearly asked the judge to give him the chair."

*

Larry Stewart can be reached at larry.stewart@latimes.com.

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