April 8, 2003
"Other" Syracuse freshmen:
Star Gerry McNamara and super-sub Billy Edelin lock up chance they'll be "Doesn't it feel like he's been in college forever?" players in 2007.
The Lead Item
Two Words For You:

What dirty word starts with "S"?

Is it the s-bomb that Roy Williams dropped in uncharacteristically crass reaction (giving new meaning to the phrase "Carolina blue") to the postgame you've-just-lost-the-national-title-again-are-you-going-to-UNC? ambush? (Sometimes, swearing is underrated.)

Or is it "seniors," the sanctimonious conventional wisdom that NCAA titles came from older players' leadership? Though they showed huge heart, Kansas seniors Nick Collison (missed FTs) and Kirk Hinrich (awful start) were the difference all right -- for Syracuse.

Carmelo Anthony -- who fortified his case as the best freshman ever -- and the rest of the young'un Syracuse champs dismantled that notion. (Experience, apparently, is overrated.)
More overrated and underrated findings:

'Melo: What Next?
Underrated: Bolting college for the NBA. Testament to Anthony's skills, you don't hear anyone -- even the NBA-haters -- saying "This kid really could use another year of college ball."

Roy: What Next?
Underrated: Scoop on Williams' next job: Andy Katz reports UNC will want a near-instant answer when they make Williams an offer later this week. 'Cause those high-pressure tactics always work.

Hello ... Gerry
Overrated: Free throws. Who needs 'em when you can drain the 3 like Syracuse did in the first half (the Orange made 10)?

Rock, Choke ...
Underrated: Free throws. Who needs 'em? KU. The Jayhawks could have used just a smidge more than 12 of 30, a record 18 missed. (For the record, the seniors went 4 of 11.)

DC Redux?
Overrated: Ghosts of Championships Past. But who

1 SF Giants better without Kent? 7-0 start a good case
2 Fla Panthers win NHL draft lottery: Will take LeBron
3 How about Krause recovering to take over as Hawks GM?
1 Free Darryl! No, really: Straw's prison-release today
2 Pedro uncertainty: Red Sox exercise $17.5M '04 option
3 Shame 'bout Shane: MLB vetoes Mets deal w/ Reynolds
else was thinking "Derrick Coleman 1987, Part Deux" when Carmelo missed that front end of the 1-and-1 with a minute to go and Hakim Warrick missed two FTs with 14 seconds left?

Good Riddance
Overrated: Cliched labels like "scrappy" and "feisty" that only seem to be applied to, uh, "certain" players.

Others we'll need an offseason to forget: "What length!" ... "coach's son" ... "Syracuse, Big 12 champs!" ... and, of course, good ol' "senior leadership."

Helping the Kids Out
After watching the ads with the shot-put guy and the woman swimmer about 700 times in the last three weeks, finally figured it out: the NCAA isn't really a greedy, exploitative soul-less machine -- it helps student-athletes prepare for life!

There might not be a more entertaining prospective talk show than "Summitt & Auriemma," the top two women's coaches who share no love for each other. Tonight's title game is the best must-see matchup -- men's or women's -- in years.

Krause Resigns
Players may or may not win championships, but they can erode your career. There'll be extra muffins at Bulls HQ this morning with the absence of GM Jerry Krause, the guy MJ called "Crumbs."

Meanwhile: Don't listen to those insta-rumors (who spreads those?) about Jordan taking over. Watch John Paxson.

Masters Report
Because Mother Nature technically can't be a member of Augusta National, rain appropriately washed out the Masters' opening day yesterday; the forecast calls for showers each of the next three days, giving big hitters an edge.

If a tree falls in the forest ... Judge ruled yesterday Augusta has the right to stick Martha and Co. far, far away from the course.

Kansas fans:
Denial over missed title shot (best chance yet) almost as huge as denial that coach isn't leaving for Chapel Hill.
Carmelo Anthony: Going pro? Vote below!
Today on ESPN.com
NCAA Tourney
NBA Insider

Is Florida State college football's Portland Trail Blazers, or are the Blazers the NBA's Florida State? ...

Milking Blazers joke: Rockets' Eddie Griffin busted for possession, which puts him at top of Portland's summer-acquisition wish list ...

Hope for Zach Randolph: New HOF'ers Parish and Worthy had moments where they would have fit nicely on this year's Blazers ...

As if the Skins didn't take enough from the Jets, arbitrator handed Washington KR Chad Morton due to a NY offer-sheet snafu ...

If this NCAA Tournament taught you anything, it should be that "expert" predictions should be taken skeptically ...
No Pulitzer this year, but eye on next year ...

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