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Is March all that matters?

The NCAA Tournament is the crown jewel of sports championships. Prepare for all the March Madness action in our special preview of Xavier, UC and Kentucky teams.

First game may be fierce one
In the NCAA Tournament, where competitive, last-second games become "instant classics," No. 7 seed Xavier and 10th-seeded Louisville in the Atlanta Regional could provide one of the more intriguing first-round matchups.
Upset of St. Joe's a popular subject

UC's power vs. Bucs' speed
This hasn't been one of the best rebounding teams the University of Cincinnati has fielded under coach Bob Huggins, but it's still formidable enough to cause opponents to gulp nervously over the prospect of banging with the Bearcats on the boards.
Whaley vows to show a more physical side
Proper ending for Bearcats would come in winning title

Team takes comments in stride
On Wednesday night, Corey Dillon referred to teammate Willie Anderson as a "bum," insulted heir apparent tailback Rudi Johnson, recalled his "power struggle" with coach Marvin Lewis and said he would not come back to the Bengals.
Sapp indicates future includes 6 possibilities

Stars have been youngsters
The ERA of the Reds' starting pitchers has gone from 3.67 to 4.63 over the last two days. That's the bad news, Reds fans.
Freel crashes and learns

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Rattlers not of the doubting mindset
After Thursday's games, there are 48 teams still playing for basketball's national championship. That Florida A&M is one of them will not scare the other 47.
Transfers are key to A&M's hopes
Two things give Florida A & M hope of a historic upset tonight against Kentucky.
Daughterty: Cronin handles controversy with wisdom
Last Saturday, the police found Kelvin Brown hiding in a closet in his apartment. Murray State's second-best scorer was its top-ranked defendant. The cops charged Brown and his roommate, point guard Adam Chiles, with marijuana possession and possession of drug paraphernalia. Chiles also was charged with hindering prosecution.
Duke not perfect, but not challenged
Duke was looking to play through some pain and work out the kinks. Alabama State proved to be the perfect opponent for that kind of game.
Blue Demons oust Flyers in double OT
Drake Diener scored 10 of his career-high 28 points in the second overtime, propelling DePaul to the NCAA Tournament's second round for the first time 15 years.
Florida's woes continue, this time vs. Manhattan
The little team from the Big Apple was every bit as good as promised.
Syracuse's McNamara bursts BYU's upset bid
Gerry McNamara hit nine 3-pointers and had 43 points, helping defending national champion Syracuse hold off pesky Brigham Young 80-75 Thursday.
Auburn fires Ellis following 10 seesaw seasons
Auburn coach Cliff Ellis was fired Thursday after 10 up-and-down seasons with the Tigers, who were shut out of postseason play for the second time in three years.
Nevada rallies for first NCAA win
Time erased Nevada's jitters. The Wolf Pack trailed by as many as 16 early, then rallied late to upset Michigan State 72-66 Thursday night for Nevada's first victory in NCAA Tournament play.
NCAA Tournament capsules

NCAA Tournament at a glance

Fast-paced RedHawks prepare for hostile road environment
Less than 24 hours after defeating Xavier on its home floor in the opening round of the Women's National Invitation Tournament, the Miami women's basketball team boarded a plane to try to knock off a second opponent on the road.
Goal of Quakers' motto within program's reach
Jerry Scheve hung a sign in Wilmington's locker room about 10 years ago that summarized his goal for the Quakers' program.
Big Blue headed to finals again
The big three of Hamilton - 6-8 Jason Miller, 6-6 Latez Williams and 6-4 Adam Myers-White - have put the Big Blue into a very big game.
LaSalle rally falls short
La Salle aimed for a war of attrition Thursday night. What it got was a Springfield South team whose spirit couldn't be broken.
Walther gets Big Moe going
Don't mess with Moeller. The Crusaders emphatically sent that message here Thursday night, with a 94-51 stomping of Columbus Mifflin in the Division I boys' regional semifinals at Fairgrounds Coliseum.
Blue Devils continue strong run
Reading kept its emotional playoff run going Thursday, wearing down Ripley 54-43 in the Division III regional semifinals at Wright State's Nutter Center.
A triumphant return
With four and a half minutes remaining in Covington Catholic's first-round Sweet Sixteen basketball game against Carlisle County on Thursday, junior center Brennan Votel blocked a shot and streaked down the court. He then caught Andy Kennedy's baseball pass for a wide-open dunk to open the Colonels' first 20-point lead of the game.
Guards power PRP
Junior guards Jasmin Neal and JaJuan Spillman combined to score 30 points and fueled a third-quarter run that lifted Pleasure Ridge Park to a 69-55 win over Rockcastle County on Thursday afternoon at Rupp Arena in the Boys Sweet Sixteen basketball tournament.
Colonels plan to stay for weekend
Covington Catholic's 63-40 victory over Carlisle County in the first round of the Sweet Sixteen marked the first time in six years a team from the Ninth Region reached the quarterfinals of the tournament.
Semi only next step for MND
Mount Notre Dame was expected to get here. And now that the Cougars are here, anything short of a Division I girls' basketball state title won't sit well with them.
W. Branch reaches D-II final
Ashley Armstrong scored 18 points and Beloit West Branch advanced to the Division II girls' championship game with a 57-44 win over Thornville Sheridan in a semifinal Thursday.
Purcell grad Bauman Cavaliers' new coach
Larry Bauman has been named head football coach at Purcell Marian to replace Tom Stickley, who resigned after the 2003 season.
Former Moeller coach Faust in Class of '04
Former Moeller High School football coach Gerry Faust, former NFL punter Ray Guy and former Olympic champions Debbie Meyer and John Smith are among 11 individuals selected to the National High School Hall of Fame.
Locals clinch Olympic berths
Boxers Rau'Shee Warren, 17, and Ron Siler, Jr., 23, both from Cincinnati, officially have qualified to fight for the United States in the Summer Olympics in Athens.
Lane's End contenders headed by Birdstone
If Birdstone is to hang onto his precarious lead in most Kentucky Derby polls, he'll have to show Turfway Park oddsmaker Mike Battaglia he can do more than beat a suspect field of 11 thoroughbreds Saturday in the 33rd Lane's End Stakes.
Saturday's field

Team USA targets O'Neal for Olympics
Hey, Shaq, Uncle Sam needs you.
Cowboys-Bucs trade awaits Galloway's OK
Drew Henson finally can be considered a Dallas Cowboy. As for Keyshawn Johnson, his status with Dallas is in the hands of Joey Galloway.
Indians RH Wickman out until at least July
Cleveland Indians reliever Bob Wickman will miss the first half of the season because of a sprained right elbow.
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