March 25, 2003
Susie Castillo:
Massachusetts native won Miss USA comp last night. (Would like to see 1-on-1 with Miss USA Softball, Jennie Finch.)
The Lead Item
Two Words For You:

Sporting No. 32 (in deference to his hero, No. 23), LeBron James won the McDonald's All-America Game slam-dunk contest last night (shocker), but was actually booed by fans, who preferred Michigan State recruit Shannon Brown.

* Check the video!

Miss Mass
Nothing against Castillo, but the real "Miss Massachusetts" is Boston College junior guard Amber Jacobs, who hit a last-second NCAA Tournament game-winning shot for the second game in a row last night. "Miss Congeniality?" Not to opponents.

Women's Tourney
Last night was a headliner for the women's tourney's ludicrous location situation: Why should teams like UNC or Mississippi St. bother earning a 3 seed if they get stuck playing in a lower-seed's home gym? Don't call it an upset; call it an outrage.

(But kudos to Minnesota for overcoming the huge disadvantage and beating Stanford on its court.)

Men's Tourney
It's the twilight zone between last Sunday's shake-out and Thursday's harsh reality. What's the buzz? Butler remains all the rage.

Office talking-point: Just say "Boy, those kids sure can shoot" and you come across as knowing as much about them as anyone. Throw out "Darnell Archey" for extra credit.

Brotherly Love
The over-under on the actual

1 Forget small market: Frugal Expos are flea market
2 16 a joke: But 2 extra NFL playoff teams possible
3 Big Unit's $33M deal: Two words -- Kevin Brown
1 Agents chase LeBron: Goodwin considered lock
2 Battle for NBA 8th seeds: Why even bother?
3 Big East bashing: Return to '80s heyday
combined age of the Expos' new El Duque/Livan Hernandez duo is 86.

NCAA Grad Rates
Always fun to watch the watchdogs that use nationwide attention on college hoops this week to point out atrocious graduation rates.

Don't know what's sadder: The stats, or the idealists who think Joe/Jane Office Pool actually care.

Skating Showdown
One can only imagine the recruiting platform for the new ice-skating splinter group, being announced today: More evenly spread judging kick-backs, dirtier ice-dancing routines and skimpier outfits with names like "She Skate Me" on the back.

NFL Owners Meet
Still trying to figure out how to mathematically wedge his mediocre team into the NFL playoffs, Chiefs owner Lamar Hunt wants to see 16 teams in the playoff field, which has about as much chance of happening next year as K.C. has of playing in the Super Bowl.

Spurned Wells
Suddenly sensitive David Wells is concerned about getting the Boss' cold shoulder recently; he wants to make up. (George's response: "I have no plans to do anything. How's that?" Ouch.)

The Knicks:
Still don't get that fans would rather have rebuilding year than continued mediocrity. Fire up for that 8th playoff seed!
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Today on
P2: The Wacky Bracket
MLB Preview
NFL: Insider

Secret to beating Venus Williams discovered: Listen to happy-thoughts hypnosis CDs, like Megan Shaughnessy ...

There's not much buzz over college FB Hall of Fame, but nominee B. Sanders is an all-time top 20 player ...

Maybe it WAS the old guy: Bruins win new coach Mike O'Connell's home debut ...

Even Barkley's presence couldn't keep Suns from choking to Sonics. But concessions prob'ly had a big night ...

No Tournament Challenge participants picked Wisc, Butler, ND and Mich St to comprise a Final Four ...

Warren Sapp was a Miss USA judge. No word on sacks ...

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