Sunday, March 14, 2004

All thumbs



By Mike Ball
The Cincinnati Enquirer

Thumbs up

Congress

Granted, it sure seems there would be more pressing matters for the august body to address than baseball players cheating by taking steroids. But it was pretty cool that players union chief Donald Fehr got a good grilling from Sen. John McCain.

Conference tournaments

They have their detractors. There is a school of thought that regular-season champions in the small conferences are punished. Still, it's some of the most exciting basketball going. Of the first 11 NCAA bids decided by conference tournament finals, seven were decided by six points or fewer, one in double OT.

Tracy McGrady

The NBA tends to take a back seat this time of year. But McGrady's 62-point game against the Wizards last week was particularly impressive when you consider the Detroit Pistons set a league record by allowing four consecutive teams to score only in the 60s.

The Reading boys' basketball team

The defending Division III state champion won its third straight district title, one game after upsetting O.J. Mayo and North College Hill. All the while, the Blue Devils have dedicated their play to Andy Ramsey, a junior football/basketball player who died in an auto accident Feb. 27.

Thumbs down

Tonya Harding

The disgraced Ice Queen went on an ESPN radio show and dispelled rumors that she was going to play for the minor-league hockey Indianapolis Ice. She said the deal was simply to sign autographs, not play. Indignant, she told Dan Patrick: "I'm not a hockey player, I'm a boxer."

The NHL

The league finally was a primary subject on the sports radar. Unfortunately, it was about Todd Bertuzzi's assault on Steve Moore. Oh well, it ended talk of next season's possible work stoppage for a week or so.

Terrell Owens

Too bad if he doesn't want to play for the Ravens. T.O. should have pulled one of those Sharpies out of his sock and filled out the paperwork that would have made him a free agent in the first place.

Dennis Rodman and Mike Tyson

Rodman won an ABA title and wants to return to the NBA. Tyson is negotiating a fight in China. Two words for two knuckleheads: Go away.




C-USA TOURNAMENT
Knockout punch is Bearcats'
ONLINE EXTRA: Photos of Saturday's game
Daugherty: Bobbitt takes pain, then dishes some out
Defense is star of tournament championship

A-10 TOURNAMENT
XU's 4-for-4 makes history
Finn's role this day is hero

MORE TOURNAMENT HEADLINES
Area teams hope to land on higher ground
A foolproof guide to doing your bracket
Top 50 things we love about March Madness
UK able to make all the right moves
Experts believe 'Cats likely to be top seed
SEC: Gators cruise past Vandy to title game
Big 10: Harris shoots; Badgers rebound
Big 12: Mouton's 3-pointers spur Longhorns to title game
Big East: Connecticut claims sixth league title
Pac-10: Cardinal avenge their lone defeat
MAC: Western Michigan wins title, NCAA berth
Tate lifts unlikely Florida A&M in MEAC tourney
Quakers in D-III Final Four
Women: Oklahoma beats No. 2 Texas
A quick chat with ... Digger Phelps

PREP PLAYOFFS
Eagles show why team's ranked No. 1
With Moeller on ropes, Duncan takes command
CovCath's Listerman finally makes Sweet 16
Lancers heading to Sweet 16
Sycamore pulls upset over Princeton
Big Blue gets D-1 title
Amazons' 1st loss comes at high cost
Royals ousted; streak snapped
Groeschen: Norwood building athletic program
Ernst: Try this all-region tourney team
Prep sports results, schedules

REDS / BASEBALL
Haynes aces first big pitching test
ONLINE EXTRA: Reds e-mail Q&A
Inside Reds camp
Kelly: Nasty, but pain just hurts
Norton in fight for spot on staff
Fantasy baseball: Unproven rookies still worth a look
Maroth's many sleepless nights
Is Benson on the way out?
Williams' wish to be frozen alongside dad

BENGALS / NFL
Visits and offers, but no action yet
Chesley: Bengals are just 'bullying'
Forget salary; age might be key number
Law wants to leave Pats, calls team's offer an 'insult'

TOP O' THE SECOND
Teen finds groove as skater, excels on international stage
What's up with that?
Area swimmers going national
Planning ahead: Must-see TV
This week's poll question
All thumbs

MORE SPORTS HEADLINES
Long shot pulls upset in Fla. Derby
Inman gives Petty team nudge in right direction
NBA: Rockets halt Memphis
Sports digest
Sports today on TV, radio