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Original Issue

The Surfer

If you want to follow the NCAA men's basketball tournament games
on TV, you have but one place to go: CBS has exclusive rights to
all 63 games. However, if like the Indiana Hoosiers you are a
devotee of multiple screens, bookmark these sites during March
The official site of the NCAA is Title IX-compliant, splitting
the text down the center of its home page with equal space for
the men and women. A "Tickets Still Available!!" link provides
information on where to purchase seats at first-and
second-round sites.
"If basketball is your religion," the home page proselytizes,
"this is your church." Amen. This hip-hop hoops site, which
covers all levels of roundball, has street cred. We like the
daily "Smack" link, which riffs on the previous day's action,
but are discomfited by the sight of the disembodied head of
CBS/ESPN analyst Bill Raftery, who has a link providing audio
Another ESPN analyst, former Maryland and NBA center Len Elmore,
is the founder and star of his very own site. Elmore provides
his personal weekly polls of top teams and displays his Harvard
juris doctorate in "Pressing Issues," a link featuring his
The network's Web page provides real-time play-by-play for each
game, plus shot charts and chat rooms for alums who want to
commiserate about why their alma mater is trailing by nine at
The Sporting News provides an archive of tournament capsules
dating from the inaugural 1939 event, won by Oregon's "Tall
Firs," to the '99 Final Four. A plus: They're well-written and
comprehensive. A minus: There aren't enough illustrations. and
Here are the two boldest Internet tournament pools. Itsmadness
boasts a guaranteed first prize of a Pontiac Sunfire and, should
anyone fill out a perfect tournament draw, $10 million. ESPN's
grand prize (in a pool that last year attracted 400,000
entrants) is an all-expenses-paid weekend at next year's Final
Four in Minneapolis. Your odds of correctly picking the winner
in each of the 63 games are 1 in 9.25 quintillion (that's 9.25
followed by 16 zeros).
Yes, David Barrett, who wrote CBS's tournament theme song in
1986, has his own site. Download the lyrics or purchase a One
Shining Moment baseball cap ($14.99). Read Barrett's own
Cinderella story, in which a friend, then a writer-reporter at
SI, played the tune for CBS executives. That
writer-reporter--Armen Keteyian--is now a CBS Final Four
sideline reporter.


A couple of bad calls made it one embarrassing week for CBS
basketball analyst Billy Packer

Thank goodness CBS college basketball analyst Billy Packer never
became a paramedic. With 54 seconds remaining in the first
overtime of last Saturday's Stanford-UCLA game, the Bruins,
trailing by three, missed a field goal attempt, and center Jason
Collins of the top-ranked Cardinal rebounded the ball, prompting
Packer to say, "Ball game."

"Already?" responded his incredulous broadcast partner, Jim

"Yup," said Packer. Whereupon the Bruins proved him wrong,
winning 94-93 in what was the best college game of this
fledgling decade (page 82).

Packer, who has 21 years of experience calling college games,
should have known better than to pronounce the patient dead
while a pulse remained. He also should have known better a week
earlier at the Duke-St. John's game, when he made derogatory
remarks toward two female Duke students at Cameron Indoor

Juniors Sarah Bradley and Jen Feinberg were just doing their job
checking press credentials. When Packer entered the arena
without displaying a media pass, Feinberg asked him for
identification. He responded rudely and then said, "Since when
do we let women control who gets into a men's basketball game?
Why don't you go find a women's game to let people into?" At
week's end, according to CBS, Packer was planning to contact
Bradley and Feinberg to discuss the incident.

Let's hope that this was Packer's one swine-ing moment. --J.W.


"The guys are getting a kick out of me calling my dad 'Coach,'
but, well, that's what he is. And there is an added bonus to
having him around.... I have someone who can break in my new
gloves for me."
--New Reds outfielder KEN GRIFFEY JR., in his four-times-a-week
journal on, discussing his father, the
Reds' bench coach.