6 Leading Off
14 Catching Up With ...
19 Air and Space
John Isaacs, 89, of Harlem's fabled New York Rens, is on the NBA Hall of Fame ballot by Steve Rushin
• Congress steroids hearings loom
• Teens get Tommy John surgery
• Coaches, players scalping tickets
39 Faces in the Crowd
104 The Life of Reilly
Introducing the Whackit Bracket, an NCAA pool in which you (and, of course, Duke) lose by Rick Reilly
2005 NCAA TOURNAMENT
46 THE FINAL FIVE
To win, teams must execute in the last five minutes of games
by Alexander Wolff
• Five good-hands people
• Five last-shot specialists
• Five tough decisions
• Five great late plays
59 FIERY FIVE
Baylor's Lady Bears are the team no one wants to face
by Kelli Anderson
• Five emerging women's stars
62 FIVE-MINUTE GUIDE
A quick look at the trends, teams and players to watch
by Seth Davis
65 THE BRACKETS
SI's 65-team breakdown
by Grant Wahl
72 Being Gilbert
How did eccentric Gilbert Arenas get to be the driving force of the Wizards?
by Chris Ballard
76 Land of Rejuvenation
Is it something in the water? The Braves have an uncanny ability to revive waning careers
by Albert Chen
TRACK AND FIELD
80 Ready for the World
Dathan Ritzenhein could be the first Yank in 23 years to win a medal at cross-country's worlds
by Tim Layden
86 To Bean or Not to Bean
Managers and pitchers usually refuse to talk about plunking batters. Tony La Russa didn't
by Buzz Bissinger
• Astros will need healthy Pettitte
98 The NBA
• Yao Ming keeps improving • Sixers' real problem is defense
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COVER: PHOTO ILLUSTRATION BY ED TRUSCIO
PHOTOGRAPHS BY ROBERT BECK (3); JOHN BIEVER (3); BILL FRAKES (1); DAVID E. KLUTHO (3); JOHN W. MCDONOUGH (3); MANNY MILLAN (14); BOB ROSATO (11); DAMIAN STROHMEYER (1); AL TIELEMANS (4); AP (15); DAVID BENYAK (1); DAVID BERGMAN (1); MATT A. BROWN (1); LOU CAPOZZOLA (1); DARREN CARROLL (2); CHRIST CHAVEZ (1); RICH CLARKSON (2); BOB DONNAN (1); SCOTT GARDNER (1); GETTY IMAGES (3); JOHN D. HANLON (1); ICON/SMI (7); MIRKO ILIC (1); JOSE JUAREZ/DAILY OAKLAND PRESS (1); NEIL LEIFER (1); RICHARD MACKSON (1); JAMES P. MCCOY/BUFFALO NEWS (1); GREG NELSON (6); OLD DOMINION ATHLETICS (1); SHEEDY & LONG (1); CARL SKALAK (1); GEORGE TIEDEMANN/GT IMAGES (2); TONY TOMSIC (2); UCF ATHLETICS (1); US PRESSWIRE (5); WIREIMAGE.COM (10)
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• Seth Davis, Stewart Mandel, Grant Wahl and Luke Winn break down the NCAA tournament brackets, and SI's experts provide instant analysis from each venue.
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JOHN BIEVER (BROWN)
The Illini are SI's pick to win it all
CHUCK SOLOMON, BACKGROUND EXTENDED BY SI IMAGING
FIELD OF PLAY
Chipper (in hat) and Andruw Jones horse around at spring training (page 76).