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TOTALLY RANDOM

Let's hope the games are not lemons

The Final Four is coming to Detroit, an economically depressed city that could use all of the cash that the thousands of fans expected to attend will spend while there.

March 31, 2009|Mike Penner

The Final Four is coming to Detroit in the nick of time, promising to bring thousands of basketball fans to the economically depressed city to spend some money for a few days.

How bad is it in Detroit?

Quipped Greg Cote of the Miami Herald: "I don't wanna say the Detroit auto industry is hurting, but, beginning this year, the NFL's annual Super Bowl MVP will receive a photo of a new Cadillac Escalade."

Trivia time

Which are the only states to go undefeated in the men's Final Four?

At last, the truth

Time after time over the weekend, college basketball coaches and players were asked by the media, "Who do you want to face in the next round?" And without fail, they replied that it doesn't matter, they are just happy to be here, etc., etc.

TNT analyst Charles Barkley cut right to the chase when talking about his best chance to win a championship during his NBA career.

"Personally, when we played the Bulls for the championship [with the Suns in 1993], I really wanted to play the Clippers," Barkley said. "I ain't going to lie. I wanted a championship, and I wanted to see the damn Clippers in a heartbeat."

Bluegrass isn't greener

The names of a lot of successful basketball coaches were bandied around for the Kentucky opening after the Wildcats dumped Billy Gillispie. Among them was Billy Donovan, recent winner of consecutive NCAA titles at Florida.

Mike Bianchi of the Orlando Sentinel offered a few reasons why Donovan should stay put.

"He has everything he could have at Kentucky without the enormous expectations, meddling boosters and smotheringly doting fan base," Bianchi wrote. "At UF, Donovan has job security for life. At UK, he has job security until the next booster club meeting."

Underneath his radar

Shaquille O'Neal was recently asked by HoopsWorld.com what he thought about the Portland Trail Blazers' young center, Greg Oden.

"I don't," O'Neal replied. "I'm a Shogun. You can't ask me about a low-level ninja."

Trivia answer

Connecticut, which won the championship in both of its previous trips (1999, 2004) and Wyoming, which won it all in its only trip, in 1943.

And finally

Headline in the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, after Villanova upset top-seeded Pittsburgh in the final seconds of the East Regional final: "Dose of 'Nova pain."

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mike.penner@latimes.com

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