TOP SPORTS NEWS

NCAA Tournament coverage
        UC and Kentucky reached the Sweet 16 Saturday. The Xavier women try to join them today, while the XU men ponder what could have been. See our complete tournament report - including live game updates.
Enter our Hoops Madness contest!

Fighting for his life
        Greg Page went from winning the heavyweight title victory 16 years ago, to fighting for a $1,500 payday at an Erlanger club that holds concerts and bingos, to lying in critical condition at University Hospital.
Life squad, oxygen were missing at ringside

Reds relievers as nasty as ever
        The bullpen, known as the pitching staff's “back end” in baseball slang, must step to the front for the Reds to thrive this season.

Boys basketball | Girls basketball
        Elder beat Western Hills in an overtime thriller to advance to the state tournament and the McNicholas girls brought home a state title. Roger Bacon and Fenwick lost in the boys regional finals. The Eastern Brown girls took their first loss of the season in the state finals. Click here for the complete rundown.

TODAY'S SPORTS HEADLINES

Sports Headlines for  Sunday, March 18, 2001

UC reaches Sweet 16
        They have been banned from their locker room and stripped of their practice gear. They were booed in their home arena. Yet this University of Cincinnati team is headed to the Sweet 16 of the NCAA Tournament, ending a drought of four straight second-round exits.

DAUGHERTY: Bearcats dial up defense
        Cincinnati's defense created a little jail cell for Kent State star Trevor Huffman.
UC notebook
        Jamaal Davis was the last player to leave the University of Cincinnati locker room prior to Saturday's game. Before he could head to the court, coach Bob Huggins stopped him, looked him in the eye and said: “We need a big game out of you today.”

Stanford next for UC
        St. Joseph's may have given the University of Cincinnati confidence that it can beat top-seeded Stanford.

XU women claim underdog role
        In preparing for today's second-round Mideast Region game against Clemson, the Xavier women's basketball team has returned to familiar ground.

Musketeers aim to square score
        Today's meeting between the Xavier women's basketball team and Clemson will be the second. They met in 1993, when XU made its first NCAA Tournament appearance.

Expectations grow for Xavier
        The last act of this Xavier season was a calendar check. It left David West stewing, for his next game isn't for eight months.

Xavier Notebook
        The old axiom is, you can't coach height. Xavier showed it's not easy coaching against it, either.

Kentucky too much for Iowa
        UNIONDALE, N.Y. — Kentucky forward Tayshuan Prince, playing with emotionless effectiveness, shot the Wildcats into the NCAA Tournament's Sweet 16 with an arsenal of 3-pointers that took the life out of the Iowa Hawkeyes in the second round Saturday.

Southern Cal next for UK
        UNIONDALE, N.Y. — Robert Hutchinson took charge in the final minutes when he suddenly found himself running the point for Southern California.

Fitch key cog in UK machine
        UNIONDALE, N.Y. — If one moment turned around UK's season, it might have been Dec.22, when coach Tubby Smith inserted freshman guard Gerald Fitch into the starting lineup against rival Indiana.

Louisville to hear Wednesday from Pitino
        Louisville doesn't have much longer to wait to find out if Rick Pitino is coming to town.

SULLIVAN: Knight: High risk, high reward?
        In the immortal words of Ricky Ricardo, David Schmidly has some 'splainin' to do.

Only one upset Saturday
        Close calls and low-seeded surprises were suddenly at a premium as the NCAA tournament moved into the second round Saturday.
Men's NCAA pairings | Men's NIT pairings

Drama makes for great TV
        All you had to do was watch the first day of the NCAA Tournament to get an idea of what makes great sports television. You can sum it up in two words: real drama.

UConn women set tourney record
        STORRS, Conn. — Even without Shea Ralph and Svetlana Abrosimova, Connecticut opened defense of its NCAA title with a record-breaking performance.
Women's NCAA pairings | Women's NIT pairings

Griffey wins consolation prize from Martinez
        It won't go down in the record books as one of Ken Griffey Jr.'s greatest baseball achievements, but his pair of singles against Boston ace Pedro Martinez were still noteworthy.

'New' Cinergy needs new ground rules
        All those nifty changes at Cinergy Field require some official business to be conducted.

Game report: Red Sox 11, Reds 1
        Manager Bob Boone was upbeat about Elmer Dessens, who allowed six runs (five earned) and nine hits in 2 2/3 innings.

Best and worst of week in sports
        The Enquirer sports department's look at who rated — good and bad — this week in sports:

Gus Hoffman was racing legend, good guy
        I said goodbye to an old friend this weekend. Gus Hoffman died Wednesday. I don't think I'm alone when I say he was an auto racing legend in the Greater Cincinnati community of drivers, mechanics and all the rest of us who love motor sports and automobiles.

Auto racing insider
        A caller asked the whereabouts of Glenn Allen Jr., the Lockland High graduate who once ran in the NASCAR Busch series. Allen has returned to the American Speed Association circuit, where he once had great success.

Catching up with Rick Apke
        Rick Apke grew up in a basketball family. He starred at Elder and at Creighton University, where he played for his older brother, Tom. Apke, however, doesn't expect the legacy to continue with his sons, Luke and Paul.

Elder beats West Hi in OT
        Jake Bazeley was the hero. The game he will be remembered for was undoubtedly one of the greatest in Cincinnati high school history.

Free throws sink Fenwick in final
        With 2.5 seconds to play, junior center Zach Comer made two free throws to secure Miami East's 53-49 win over Middletown Fenwick in the Division III regional final at Wright State's Nutter Center.

Bacon close again, but no beating Alter

        With 6.8 seconds to play, Alter senior forward Jeff Penno sank two free throws to give the Knights a 58-54 win over Greater Catholic League rival Roger Bacon in the Division II regional final at Wright State's Nutter Center.

McNicholas wins state title
        As the final buzzer sounded on their 52-40 victory over Canfield in the Division II title game Saturday, the Rockets raced to center court and dived head-first into a pile around the Ohio State logo at midcourt of the Jerome Schottenstein Center.

Beavercreek finishes with perfect season
        Beavercreek coach Ed Zink said he wasn't worried that Dayton Chaminade-Julienne wouldn't allow Alison Bales to catch the ball inside. At least not when Emily Williams and the rest of the Battling Beavers were raining 3s.

Eastern Brown suffers 1st loss, in state final
        No one from Eastern Brown offered any excuses. But it's difficult to overlook an injury to starter Jessi Ellis and the effect it had on the players in a 49-37 loss to South Euclid Regina in the Division III state championship game.

Jackson Center wins Div. IV title
        Holgate looked to have the momentum. Turns out it was Jackson Center that was just getting started.

Lafayette comeback good present for coach
        What do you give a longtime high school basketball coach for his 50th birthday? How about a come-from-behind state championship over a nationally ranked opponent?

Auto racing coverage
        A Kentucky Speedway preview, plus the latest news from NASCAR, USAC, IRl and ARCA.

SPECIAL REPORTS:
Local athletes' college commitments
Football signings: UC | Miami | Ohio State | Kentucky
The new look of Cinergy Field
2001 Reds schedule
Prep football coverage at Enquirer.com/prepfootball