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Game Plan

What smart fans should do this week
Author:

• WATCH
The Masters
Augusta National has been Tiger-proofed in recent years, with length, trees and rough added. But is it now too challenging? In '07 Zach Johnson (one over) became the first over-par winner since 1956. Last year Trevor Immelman had the highest final round (a three-over 75) of any champ. Follow this year's carnage on ESPN (early rounds) and CBS (weekend).

• READ
Once a Runner
Self-published in 1978, John L. Parker Jr.'s novel about a fanatical college miler became a cult classic—in 2007 and '08 it was the most-searched title on the out-of-print directory Bookfinder.com. Rejoice, reading runners and running readers: This week Scribner rereleases the book SI once called "the most accurate fictional portrayal of the world of the serious runner."

• WATCH
Frozen Four
March Madness wasn't so mad after all, but the NCAA hockey tournament has much to offer upset lovers. Bemidji State, the lowest-ranked school in the 16-team bracket, beat powerhouses Notre Dame and Cornell to earn its first Frozen Four berth. (All games are on ESPN.) The Beavers' semifinal opponent on Thursday? Miami of Ohio, another regional No. 4 seed.

• LEARN
The Science of Speed
The National Science Foundation meets NASCAR Nation: The NSF just unveiled a cool, 12-part series of online videos explaining the physics of stock car racing and the principles that keep drivers safe at 200 mph. (See them at Science360.gov.) The videos include interviews with drivers Jeff Gordon and Carl Edwards, plus several Sprint Cup crew chiefs and engineers.

• CHECK OUT
The shot of the week
This one is better than LeBron James's 75-foot heave on 60 Minutes last month. A jogger on a second-story indoor track picks up a stray basketball, heaves it between his legs while running and swishes it through a hoop below. (Search "throwdown 3927" on YouTube.) Who is this sharpshooter? Why was someone filming his jog? Who cares.

The Pop Culture Grid

Athletes in the mix

First thing I do when I wake up in the morning

Food that's been in my fridge the longest

Teammates would be shocked to know I ...

I'd love to wrestle with ...

_____ really needs to lose the attitude

MARVIN WILLIAMS Hawks F

Pray

Pizza Hut pizza—five days

Listen to Fall Out Boy

The Rock

Dick Cheney

OMAR CUMMINGS Rapids F

Go to the bathroom

King crab legs—little over a year

Am going to be in SPORTS ILLUSTRATED

Halle Berry (above)

Teammate Kosuke Kimura

JAMES LONEY Dodgers 1B

Eat breakfast

Yogurt—not sure how old it is

Play the keyboard

My younger brother, Anthony

Bill O'Reilly

DELMON YOUNG Twins OF

Hit the snooze button

Celery—about four months

Used to ride a skateboard

Jessica Maximus

Terrell Owens (left)

INSIDE THE GRID

Loney says O'Reilly should stop criticizing Barack Obama, but the National Leaguer wasn't the week's most strident defender of the President. Citing the former VP's recent comments that Obama has made the country less safe from terrorist attack, Williams offered his take on Cheney's strategies for national security: "That dude already took us for a spin and crashed and burned the car. And yet he still wants to run his mouth."

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JOHN BIEVER (MASTERS)

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JOSH HOLMBERG/ICON SMI (HOCKEY)

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LION'S GATE/PHOTOFEST (SPEED RACER)

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DARRYL DENNIS/ICON SMI (BASKET)

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LARRY DOWNING/REUTERS (CHENEY)

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BOB ROSATO (OWENS)

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STOCKDISC/GETTY IMAGES (CELERY)

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MICHAEL HEAPE (YOUNG)

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CHUCK SOLOMON (LONEY)

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MICHAEL PIMENTEL/ISIPHOTOS.COM (CUMMINGS)

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BILL FRAKES (WILLIAMS)

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PETER KRAMER/AP (BERRY)

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