PRO BASKETBALL—The April 2 NBA strike appeared almost inevitable when, after two days of promising negotiations, talks between players and management broke off on March 24, after less than half an hour. "We're back to square one," said union chief Larry Fleisher. Prevention of a strike would seem to require compromises on two issues: percentage of revenues to the players—the union is asking 53%; the owners are offering 50%—and minimum salary structure. The union thinks $3.5 million per team has a nice ring to it; but the owners are proposing much less. Amidst all the bickering, playoff-bound teams got their licks in against one another: New York beat Atlantic Division leader Philadelphia 89-76 as Bernard King made 16 of 18 shots and had 33 points. The same night Milwaukee, first in the Central Division, crawled to within two games of Boston for home-court playoff advantage with a 116-108 victory over the Celtics. Out West, resurgent Seattle won for the seventh time in its last eight games, 137-117 over San Antonio, and David Thompson's defense was the difference. He held Ice Gervin to just 14 points. Then the Midwest Division-leading Spurs defeated Pacific Division leader Los Angeles 132-120 behind Artis Gilmore's 33 points.
BOWLING—Defending champion NIKKI GIANULIAS beat top-seeded Dana Miller 253-223 to win the $25,000 Clearwater (Fla.) Classic.
Mark Fahy defeated Tom Baker 234-225 to win the $150,000 Miller Open in Milwaukee.
BOXING—LARRY HOLMES retained his WBC heavyweight title with a unanimous 12-round decision over Lucien Rodriguez in Scranton, Pa.
Chang Chong Ku won the WBC light flyweight title with a third-round TKO over defending champion Hilario Zapata near Seoul, South Korea.
FENCING—WAYNE STATE defeated Notre Dame by six points to win the NCAA men's championship in Kenosha, Wis.
PRO FOOTBALL—USFL: It was the young league's worst week. On Saturday an announced crowd of 5,000 was on hand in Birmingham to see the Stallions edge Arizona 16-7, and then on Sunday it rained in all four league cities and a total of only 71,580 fans showed up. The answer to the weekly "How did Herschel Walker do?" question was not too shabby. In a 31-21 New Jersey loss to Boston he gained 97 yards on 21 carries, ran for a touchdown and caught four passes for 62 yards. If only he hadn't fumbled into Breaker Safety Joe Restic's arms with 4:22 remaining in the game. That set up Tim Mazzetti's 45-yard game-winning field goal, his third of the afternoon. Tampa Bay (4-0) won the league's first official showdown, trimming previously unbeaten Philadelphia 27-22. Bandit Cornerback Jeff George set up one score with a fumble recovery and then sprinted 22 yards with an interception for another. Chicago evened both its and Los Angeles' record at 2-2 with a 20-14 defeat of the Express. Washington edged Michigan 22-16.
COLLEGE HOCKEY—WISCONSIN won its fourth NCAA championship with a 6-2 victory over Harvard in Grand Forks, N. Dak. (page 102).
HOCKEY—With one week left in the regular season there was suddenly a race developing in the Smythe Division, albeit for second place. After weeks of watching first-place Edmonton pile up points, Calgary, Vancouver and Winnipeg embarked on a dogfight for preferred playoff positioning. Vancouver, 2-0-2 on the week, virtually knocked fifth-place Los Angeles out of the postseason picture with a 8-4 win Sunday night to move within one point of second-place Calgary, which took the wind out of Winnipeg's sails by grounding the Jets 4-3. Winnipeg had earlier reached the 70-point plateau by ripping the Oilers 7-4 before a record home crowd of 15,807 and then doused the Flames 5-2 on the road. Philadelphia remained atop the Patrick Division, as did Chicago the Norris, although Minnesota closed to within four points of the Black Hawks, including a fight-filled 4-3 victory over Chicago Monday night.
HORSE RACING—MARFA ($8.80), Jorge Velasquez up, beat Noble Home by eight lengths to win the $233,100 Jim Beam Spiral Stakes for 3-year-olds at Latonia Race Course. The son of Foolish Pleasure ran the 1[1/16] miles in 1:44[1/5] (page 96).
MOTOR SPORTS—Despite starting from the 22nd spot in a 26-car grid, JOHN WATSON drove a McLaren to victory in the Toyota Grand Prix in Long Beach. Watson averaged 80.6 mph over the 153-mile course to beat teammate Niki Lauda by 27.993 seconds.
INDOOR SOCCER—MISL: The theory is, shutouts are so rare in this league that they compare with throwing a no-hitter in baseball. If so, Wichita's Mike Dowler twirled two one-hitters and a two-hitter as the Wings flew past Kansas City (9-1), Baltimore (7-1) and New York (4-2). Now 22-17 overall and winner of nine of its last 11 outings, Wichita has soared into second place in the West, 3½ games behind front-running San Diego. In the Eastern Division, Cleveland missed a golden opportunity at home against Golden Bay. The Force trails Baltimore by only 1½ games, mainly because the Blast has lost six of its last eight games. Cleveland could have cut the lead to one, but lost 7-6 to Golden Bay on a goal by Billy McNicol 2:02 into overtime.
SWIMMING—In the final event of the NCAA championships in Indianapolis, the 400-yard freestyle relay, FLORIDA, which didn't win an individual event, beat SMU by .48 seconds to give the Gators their first team title, 238-227 over the Mustangs.
TENNIS—MARTINA NAVRATILOVA beat Chris Evert Lloyd 6-2, 6-0 to win the $350,000 Virginia Slims Championships of New York (page 34).
Ivan Lendl won a $350,000 event in Milan, Italy with a 5-7, 6-3, 7-6 victory over South Africa's Kevin Curren.
MILEPOSTS—FIRED: As Kansas basketball coach, TED OWENS, 53, after a 19-year record of 348-182, including a 13-16 mark this season.
HIRED: As basketball coach: at Oregon, DON MONSON, 49, who had a five-year 100-41 record at the University of Idaho; at Massachusetts, RON GERLUFSEN, 36, replacing his former boss, Tom McLaughlin, 31, who resigned after a 9-20 season.
DIED: BOB WATERFIELD, 62, NFL Hall of Fame quarterback who, as a rookie, led the Cleveland Rams in 1945 to a league championship while becoming the NFL's first unanimous selection as MVP; of respiratory failure; in Burbank, Calif. Waterfield was a star quarterback at UCLA (1941, '42 and '44), where he set school single-game and career passing records in almost every major category. In eight years with the Rams in Cleveland and Los Angeles, Waterfield starred as a passer, runner, punter, kick-returner and placekicker. He still holds the Rams' records for longest punt (88 yards), most career conversions (315) and single-game field goals (5). He completed 814 of 1,618 career passes for 11,893 yards and 99 touchdowns. He had a spectacular career as a player but was 9-24-1 as L.A.'s coach in 1960-62.
Blanton Collier, 76, a highly successful football coach at the University of Kentucky (1954-61 record: 41-36-3) and then with the Cleveland Browns; of cancer; in Houston. During his eight years in Cleveland the Browns went 76-34-2 and reached the NFL title game four times, including a 27-0 victory over Baltimore in 1964.
Mannie Seamon, 85, trainer of former world boxing champions Benny Leonard (1917-25) and Joe Louis (1942-51); of cancer; in New York City.
Carry Back, 25, an obscurely bred colt known as The People's Horse who won the Kentucky Derby and the Preakness in 1961 and earned $1,241,165 in 61 career starts; put down by a veterinarian because of an inoperable tumor; in Gainesville, Fla.