GUS: THREE CHEERS!
CBS's pumped play-by-play man Gus Johnson elevated the Kansas State--Xavier thriller with the tournament's most brilliantly bonkers call. Says Johnson, whose best bits are found on gusjohnsongetsbuckets.com, "Some of those treys, man ... you can feel the excitement coming out your pores."
Against Denver on Sunday, Orlando had what coach Stan Van Gundy called "one of our best wins," its 13th in 15 games, despite losing Vince Carter to injury. The unlikely hero: J.J. Redick (right), whose 23 points came on the day his alma mater, Duke, returned to the Final Four.
Stephon Marbury, now of the Chinese Basketball Association's Shanxi Dragons, made a spectacle out of what the Xinhua News Agency described as "quite a dull" All-Star game, earning MVP honors for his 30 points, no-look passes, alley-oops and "mid-court" threes.
THE BIG EASY
And your Arnold Palmer Invitational winner is ... Ernie Els? Two weeks before Augusta the 40-year-old is suddenly attention-worthy again. Els has won twice in three weeks and is the first to double up on the Florida swing since some guy named Tiger did it in '01.
BUCK: STOPS HERE
Turns out comedian Artie Lange (left) was wrong when he predicted on the air that Joe Buck's awkward foray into the talk-show arena, Joe Buck Live (on which Lange was an epically ungrateful guest; YouTube it), wouldn't last even four episodes. The fourth, and final, installment will air in April.
A week after 2009's top-rated RB recruit, Bryce Brown, was a no-show at Tennessee's spring practice, masher tackle Aaron Douglas bid adieu. That leaves new coach Derek Dooley with no returning starting linemen and one back with more than 10 carries in '09.
Have they hit foggy bottom in D.C.? The team lost its 15th straight, and coach Flip Saunders boiled over at big man Andray Blatche. The long nightmare may not be over: Prez Ernie Grunfeld declared that disgraced guard Gilbert Arenas will be back in November.
In an incident caught on camera, Florida coach Urban Meyer (left), just back from a leave, chewed out a reporter he felt had taken a player's quote out of context, telling the scribe, "If that was my son, we'd be going at it right now." Meyer later apologized.
SI PLAYERS NHL POLL
WHO IS THE MOST OVERRATED PLAYER?
Dion Phaneuf, Maple Leafs D 21%
Wade Redden, Rangers, D 7%
Scott Gomez, Canadiens, C 6%
Sean Avery, Rangers, LW 5%
Shawn Horcoff, Oilers, C 5%
Overrated, perhaps; over-honored, no: The top five vote-getters have a combined seven All-Star appearances.... In 2008--09 Phaneuf was on ice for more opposing goals (122) than any other player.... The Penguins' Sidney Crosby received seven votes.... Three goalies got more than one vote: the Canucks' Roberto Luongo (three) and the Canadiens' Carey Price and the Stars' Marty Turco (two each).
Based on a survey of 272 NHL players
JEFFREY UFBERG/WIREIMAGE.COM (LANGE)
FERNANDO MEDINA/NBAE/GETTY IMAGES (REDICK)
LI XIN/AFP/GETTY IMAGES (MARBURY)
SIMON BRUTY (MEYER)
LUC LECLERC/US PRESSWIRE (PHANEUF)
CHRISTOPHER PASATIERI/US PRESSWIRE (REDDEN)