Date: March 31, 2008

Elias Says...

By Elias Sports Bureau, Inc.
Special to ESPN.com

NBA

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James

JAMES HITS LATE GAME-WINNER AGAINST SIXERS

LeBron James hit the game-winning shot with 19 seconds remaining in the Cavaliers' 91-88 victory over the 76ers. James has made 14 of his last 27 potential game-tying or go-ahead field-goal attempts in the last minute of the fourth quarter or an overtime period (52%). He had made 11 of 43 prior to that (26%).

Cleveland Cavaliers

"BAD ROCKETS" SHOW UP IN LOSS TO SPURS

The Jekyll-and-Hyde Rockets lost to the Spurs, 109-88, on Sunday, to finish the month of March with an 11-4 record, although three of the losses were by a margin of 20 or more points. Only one other team in NBA history had a record at least seven games above the .500 mark in a month in which they suffered three 20-point losses: the Suns in March 1976.

Houston Rockets

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Paul

PAUL MISSES NOTABLE ACHIEVEMENT BY ONE ASSIST

Chris Paul scored 20 points with 16 assists in the Hornets' 118-111 win at Toronto, to finish the month of March with 199 assists. Over the last 10 seasons, the only player to record 200 assists in any calendar month is Steve Nash, who has done it three times (Jan. 2005, Jan. 2006, and Dec. 2007).

New Orleans Hornets

MAVS LOSE ANOTHER TO A WINNING TEAM

The Mavericks' 114-104 loss at Golden State on Sunday was Dallas' 11th in a row against an opponent with a winning record. That's the Mavs' longest such streak in 10 seasons. The only teams with longer current streaks are the Heat (22) and Clippers (13

Dallas Mavericks

CELTICS SHUT DOWN HEAT IN 88-62 VICTORY

The Celtics defeated the Heat, 88-62, holding Miami to 18 or fewer points in all four quarters. Boston also did that to the Knicks on November 29. All other NBA teams have combined for only two such games this season (the 76ers and Spurs, both against the Bobcats).

Boston Celtics

MLB

COX REACHES A MILESTONE

Nationals Park is the 50th stadium at which Bobby Cox has managed a major-league game. Although Cox is the first manager to reach that mark since the 1800s, Tony LaRussa should be joining him in June when the Cardinals visit D.C.

Atlanta Braves

NHL

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Franzen

FRANZEN CONCLUDES BREAKTHROUGH MONTH WITH OT GOAL

Johan Franzen scored in overtime to give the Red Wings a 1-0 win over the Predators. Franzen scored a total of 14 goals in 13 games this month, more than he had scored in any other three months of his NHL career combined. That's pretty rare air. Among the players who never scored as many as 14 goals in a month: Mark Messier, Mats Sundin, and Maurice Richard.

Sunday's OT score was Franzen's sixth game-winning goal during March, setting a franchise record for one calendar month.

Detroit Red Wings

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Gaborik

GABORIK BECOMES WILD'S FIRST 40-GOAL SCORER

Marian Gaborik became the first player in the Wild's seven-year history to score 40 goals in a season, scoring twice in Minnesota's 3-2 victory over the Avalanche. That leaves Nashville as the only current NHL team that has never had a 40-goal scorer. The single-season record for goals by a Predators player is 31, a mark shared by Paul Kariya and Steve Sullivan, who each scored 31 goals in 2005-2006.

Minnesota Wild

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Thornton

THORNTON'S SCORING SPREE CONTINUES IN SHARKS WIN

Joe Thornton scored two goals in the Sharks' 3-1 win over the Coyotes. It was the third time in Thornton's last four games that he scored two or more goals, equaling the number of multiple-goal games that he recorded over his first 75 games this season.

San Jose Sharks

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Sekera

ROOKIE D'MAN SCORES IN OT FOR SABRES

Andrej Sekera scored 39 seconds into overtime to give Buffalo a 21 win over Boston on Sunday night. Sekera was the sixth rookie in Sabres history to score a regular-season overtime goal but the first rookie defenseman to notch an OT winner for Buffalo.

Buffalo Sabres

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Khabibulin

KHABIBULIN CONTINUES TURNAROUND WITH WIN OVER BLUE JACKETS

Nikolai Khabibulin was 0-8-0 with a 3.49 goals-against average in eight games in January. But Khabibulin's 5-4 shootout win over Columbus on Sunday night gives him a 7-1-3 record and 1.89 goals-against average in 12 games since the start of February.

Chicago Blackhawks

NCAA Men's Basketball

THE ULTIMATE FINAL FOUR AWAITS

The NCAA Final Four of North Carolina, Memphis, UCLA, and Kansas will be the first in tournament history among four regional #1 seeds. But of course, the practice of seeding teams dates back only to 1979.

The fact is, this will be the first time that an NCAA Final Four will be comprised of the top four teams in the AP poll at the time of the games-and those polls go back an additional 30 years, to the 1949 tournament. Looking for the closest parallels? Over the last 60 years, there were two others in which four teams from the AP's top five reached the semifinals (AP ranks in parentheses):

*In 1970, the Final Four teams were UCLA (#2), St. Bonaventure (#3), Jacksonville (#4), and New Mexico State (#5). Top-ranked Kentucky lost to Jacksonville in the quarterfinals.

*In 1951, the Final Four teams were Kentucky (#1), Oklahoma A&M (#2), Kansas State (#4), and Illinois (#5). Columbia, ranked third by the AP, lost to Illinois in the first round.

Kansas Jayhawks, Memphis Tigers, North Carolina Tar Heels, UCLA Bruins

MEMPHIS DUO BOTH SCORE 20 FOR 2ND STRAIGHT GAME

Chris Douglas-Roberts scored 25 points and Derrick Rose added 21 in Memphis' 85-67 win over Texas. It was the second straight game in which both Douglas-Roberts and Rose topped the 20-point mark. For all John Calipari's postseason success, those were the first NCAA Tournament games in which two of his players scored more than 20 points.

Memphis Tigers

CURRY WASN'T HOT ENOUGH IN LOSS TO KANSAS

Stephen Curry shot 9-for-25 from the field in Davidson's 59-57 loss to Kansas. It was the most missed field-goal attempts by any player in the NCAA Quarterfinals since 2001, when Jay Williams shot 10-for-26 in Duke's victory over USC.

And so ended Curry's streak of four NCAA Tournament games scoring 30 or more points. Glenn Robinson of Purdue, one of only three other players to reach the 30 mark in each of his first four tournament games, also missed 16 FGAs in a quarterfinal loss to end his streak (6-for-22).

Davidson Wildcats


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