Sunday, January 12, 2003

Enquirer Page Two Power rankings



By Mike Ball
Cincinnati Enquirer

Top five

1. Local college basketball. Seems UC, XU and UK fans have their work cut out for them. Joe Fan doesn't have the luxury of sitting back and watching the locals pummel the opposition as they have in past seasons. But, hey, watching teams evolve is part of the fun.

2. The Australian Open. We haven't had the bitter winter those chief meteorologists projected. But what a cure for the winter chill! The Williams sisters. Another Andre Agassi run. Can Andy Roddick take the next step? And Anna (for a round or two, anyway).

3. George Foreman. At last - recognition. The big man, who beat Smokin' Joe Frazier, battled Ali in the "Rumble in the Jungle" and was an Olympic champion in 1968, joins the Boxing Hall of Fame. And that doesn't even take into consideration that grill. Awesome.

4. Yao Ming. The big Rockets center is proving he can play and has even gotten under Shaq's skin. He leads the big fella in All-Star voting and had his number retired in China. Wonder if they retired Mao Tse-tung?

5. Tonya Harding. Thanks goodness the charges were dropped when she apparently violated her probation after being stopped for speeding and an open alcoholic beverage. Skating just isn't the same without her. And her professional boxing career begins Feb. 22.

Bottom five

1. The Bengals. Prospective coach Marvin Lewis has come to this conclusion about the organization: "I have been very impressed. They want to win." Well, that's reassuring.

2. Bud Selig. Ha. You thought this was going to be a Pete Rose item, didn't you? No, we're here to rip Selig's idea of the winning All-Star team earning its league home-field advantage in the World Series. What a dumb idea ... unless some token Tigers All-Star can goof up and cost the Yankees home field in the Series.

3. Gary Carter, recent Hall of Fame electee. Carter is upset he might be inducted as an Expo, where he played for 11 years, and not a Met. "What if the Expos are no longer in existence after this year? What good does that do me?" he asked. Is it too late to revote?

4. The Ottawa Senators. A pro team forced to file for bankruptcy. It couldn't meet payroll, but the players still got their $80 per day meal money.

5. The America's Cup. The challenger series final Saturday was postponed because of strong winds. It's a sailboat race!




UC BEARCATS
UC 83, TCU 72
Barker starts, but Moore finishes

XAVIER
XU 99, St. Bonaventure 83
Weary Musketeers muster resolve

COLLEGE BASKETBALL
No. 18 UK 62, South Carolina 55
Reserves starting to make impact
Top 25 roundup: Okafor plays little, comes up big
Ohio State 81, No. 15 Indiana 69
Flyers finish Dukes at foul line
No. 12-ranked Norse men win, now 13-2
Syracuse freshman guard has superstar potential
Scores, how Top 25 fared

BENGALS
Bengals' search nearly finished

NFL PLAYOFFS
Steelers bungle, Eagles rumble
Whiners guilty of unnecessary roughness on officials
Eagles 20, Falcons 6
McNabb tops Vick with grit instead of art
Titans 34, Steelers 31, OT
Washington takes blame for Steelers' loss
Bucs hope 'D' keeps dominating
Time for Gruden to prove his worth
Notebook: Long snappers will get look from Giants

REDS / BASEBALL
Reds Q&A
Tigers trade best starter to Marlins
Notebook: Longtime AL ump dies

PREP SPORTS
City well-represented on the gridiron
Kidd gets my vote for Sportsman of Year
No. 4 Colonels topple No. 1
Ohio boys: Aden stars for the Devils
Ohio girls: Bacon surprises No. 2 McNick
Ky. Boys: Simon Kenton's Brock dominates Clark
Ky. Girls: Bray's big night lifts Campbell
Schools to resume football rivalry
Swimming: Relay gives St. X winning edge
Prep sports results

COLLEGE FOOTBALL
Willingham hits road to sell Irish
Canes winning recruiting war
Shrine Classic: East 20, West 17

NASCAR
No consensus yet on new body styles
Speed not crucial at Daytona testing
French driver killed in Paris-Dakar rally

NHL
Lemieux, Jagr together again as All-Stars

TRISTATE SPOTLIGHT
Guite powers Ducks to victory
Enquirer Page Two Power rankings
Honest Deceiver wins Wishing Well
Stowers switch brings Norse wins
Grab a pal, head for the hill