32 March Madman
Nobody has done more to make his team a winner than Tyler Hansbrough of No. 1North Carolina. Which is why he's SI's pick for player of the year
By Grant Wahl
Thanks to his Hall of Fame dad, Chris Long had it all growing up—including thedesire to prove he isn't soft and the skills to become a top draft pick
By Lee Jenkins
44 Big Banger
Bully defenseman Mike Komisarek has transformed the Canadiens into the meanest,most Cup-worthy team that Montreal has had in years
By Michael Farber
48 Little TownBlues
Having endured so many departures, Cleveland fans are expecting the worst asthe 2007 Cy Young Award winner, C.C. Sabathia, approaches free agency
By Ben Reiter
Once known for her highlight-reel crashes, Lindsey Vonn started relying more ontechnique and developed into a dominant force on the World Cup circuit
By Austin Murphy
56 What Crash?
The red-hot Rockets figured to plummet to earth after Yao Ming's injury. Buttheir ascent has continued thanks to Tracy McGrady and a balanced attack
By Chris Mannix
THE PRIDE OF THEGAME
Luminous paintingsby Kadir Nelson re-create the power and majesty of the Negro leagues, in a timewhen some of the game's greats played in undeserved obscurity—but withundiminished passion
BY PHIL TAYLOR
8 Leading Off
• Giants experience Barry-free bliss
• Bush yuks it up with the Red Sox
• Farewell to W.C. Heinz
• Remembering Myron Cope
• First Person: Jacoby Ellsbury
• Review: blind climbers at Everest
27 Faces in theCrowd
30 Just My Type byDan Patrick
• Bruce Pearl's brief time at the top
70 Point After
When Shannon Veal died on the court during the Louisiana 4A playoffs, opponentsfelt it as deeply as teammates by S.L. Price
• A late bloomer lifts UCLA
• What victory in Vegas means
PHOTOGRAPH BY STREETER LECKA/GETTY IMAGES
INSET ILLUSTRATION:Kadir Nelson
INSET PHOTO: BobDonnan/US Presswire
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NHL'S KEY PLAYERS DOWN THE STRETCH
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Two pockmarked defensive tackles and a non--Pro Bowl end coming off a one-sackseason (Tommy Kelly, Raiders) get big contracts. Wow.
Read more of thiscolumn at SI.com/king.
North Carolina, Memphis and UCLA look like top seeds, while Tennessee's loss toVanderbilt did little to dampen Bruce Pearl's cause.
Read more of thiscolumn at SI.com/mandel.
1. Don Banks's mock NFL draft: Who'll get Darren McFadden?
2. Peter King on the scouting combine
3. Top NFL free agents
1. Photos: Ernie Els wins Honda Classic
2. Dr. Z's NFL mailbag
3. David Sabino's fantasy baseball blog from spring training
Check 'em all outat SI.com/traffic.
John Donovan is covering baseball's biggest newsmakers. This week he reportsfrom Jupiter, Fla., where Albert Pujols and the Cardinals enjoy Florida's bestspring training site.
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ILLUSTRATION BY KADIR NELSON
LOU CAPOZZOLA (DRURY)
MEL LEVINE (KING)
MEL LEVINE (MANDEL)
DAVID ZALUBOWSKI/AP (KELLY)
BILL FRAKES (PEARL)
TODD ROSENBERG (MCFADDEN)
DAVID WALBERG (ELS)
DAVID E. KLUTHO (PUJOLS)