Saturday, March 1, 2003

Enquirer Tipoff page



This week's Tipoff has five questions with the St. Joe's Hawk mascot, player of the week, our Sweet 16, must-see TV, the Top 5 candidates for national player of the year (yes, David West is one of 'em), who's hot and who's not, and catching up with ex-UC assistant John Loyer.

Player of the week

Josh Howard. The favorite for Atlantic Coast Conference Player of the Year averaged 21 points in a pair of Wake Forest wins last week. Howard's surprising success this season has lifted the Demon Deacons to the top of the ACC.

SWEET 16

1. Kentucky Whom do the Cats have this week? Oh, that's right. It doesn't matter.
2. Arizona Road game at Stanford will be biggest test of the season.
3. Florida Looking good for a No. 1 seed at this point.
4. Kansas Even without Simien, KU Rocks, Chalks, Jayhawks to Big 12 title.
5. Texas Longhorns have to prove they are road-tough.
6. Oklahoma Took a beating at Mizzou, but still in good shape.
7. Wake Forest Three straight wins should go to four with Clemson today.
8. Duke Always-tough St. John's awaits at MSG.
9. Pittsburgh Could make noise with win at UConn Sunday.
10. Syracuse Gutted out Michigan State win. Now back to the Big East.
11. Marquette In good position heading into postseason.
12. XavierThe hottest team in the nation that doesn't start with "K."
13. MarylandFans boo them, but Terps are overachieving this season.
14. LouisvilleIn need of a wakeup call (not to mention a recognizable offense).
15. Notre Dame Inexcusable home loss to Connecticut.
16. Creighton You can't argue with a team that keeps winning.

Who's Hot

David Harrison

Colorado's 7-foot sophomore shot blocker announced he is staying in school after this season, rather than enter the NBA draft. Someone smart must be advising this kid, who could be a dominant force next season in the Big 12.

The home team

Just scan the road records of the majority of college basketball teams, and you'll see why they call it home-court advantage. The home team has become so dominant this season that any road win almost seems like a surprise. There's a reason the Selection Committee rewards playing well away from home.

Wisconsin

The Badgers moved into first place in the Big Ten by routing Michigan Wednesday. Not even UW fans could have predicted their team would be the class of the league at this point in the season, while preseason favorite Indiana gears up for the NIT.

Who's Not

Wayne Simien

Simien's return had been so critical to the Jayhawks, who were shaping up to be the best team in the Big 12. Now that he's out for the season, once again with a separated shoulder, can Kansas keep the momentum going?

Ole Miss

Once considered an NCAA Tourney team, the Rebels are on the bubble for the NIT after dropping eight straight games. Not sure if that speaks to the difficulty of the SEC or just plain bad basketball in Oxford, Miss.

Pete Gillen

The Virginia coach has to be feeling the heat after his team's five-game slide that included a loss at Ohio Wednesday. The Cavaliers are no longer NCAA-worthy, and Gillen might no longer be an ACC coach.

TOP FIVE

This week's topic: The top five candidates for national player of the year.

David West, Xavier - Might be unmatched in his versatility and his ability to perform when his team needs him.

T.J. Ford, Texas - Most entertaining player in the country, if not the best.

Josh Howard, Wake Forest - Biggest reason Skip Prosser's Demon Deacons are competing for the ACC championship.

Kyle Korver, Creighton - The best pure shooter in the country has Creighton rubbing shoulders with the game's elite.

Nick Collison, Kansas - One of only two players in Kansas history with 1,800 points, 900 rebounds and 200 blocked shots.

MUST-SEE TV

Oklahoma State at Kansas, 1 p.m. today (Ch. 9, 2): Who wants the Big 12 Conference championship? It seems no one, unless Kansas can win this one.

Texas at Texas Tech, 4 p.m. today (Ch. 12, 7): Bob Knight could get his team an NCAA Tournament bid with a win today.

Cincinnati at Memphis, 9 p.m. today (ESPN): The Bearcats could use a solid road win to solidify their position.

Syracuse at Notre Dame, 7 p.m. Tuesday (ESPN2): The Orangemen are on a roll, but Notre Dame is home and the Irish can play with any team in the nation.

Xavier at Saint Joseph's, 8 p.m. Wednesday (FSN Ohio): It seems the Musketeers can't lose, but the Hawks need a big win.




BENGALS / NFL
Bengals land free agent DE Powell
Neal's gone, and Spikes could be
Titans interested in free-agent corner
It's Parcells and Glenn again - this time with Cowboys

REDS / BASEBALL
Reds ticket sale brisk
Reds look to the fans to get them to payoff
So far, so good: Griffey looking like his old self
Daugherty: Clubhouse gags
Injury will push back Wilson's debut 7-10 days
Yankees amused by Wells' book
New pitches could extend Leiter's career
Q&A with The Kid

COLLEGE BASKETBALL SATURDAY
Beating UC next step for Calipari's Tigers
Muskies come home, face struggling G.W.
Xavier Q&A
BG offers opportunity for streaking Miami
Enquirer Tipoff page
Catching up with John Loyer
Five Questions with Saint Joseph's mascot Steve Klarich
Big 10: Underdogs?
NCAA mulls war contingencies
Harrick Jr. suspended after allegations
Louisville's Stone still eligible, attorney said
UC women roll over Memphis

COLLEGE FOOTBALL
Miami hires defensive coordinator

PREP SPORTS
Panthers pounce on No. 1 Tigers
Crusaders' win streak reaches 13
Friday's Ohio games
Friday's Kentucky games
James unstoppable in sectional game
Hamilton track star becomes AD at Fairfield
CovCath, Scott strong in qualifying
Five locals advance to final round
Prep hoops tourney schedules

BOXING
Big foe for Jones, big risk for Ruiz
Boxing proving cathartic for Harding

GOLF
Woods rolls to Match Play quarters

HORSE RACING
Champali heads field for Turfway's Battaglia
Congaree heavy favorite in Santa Anita Handicap

HOCKEY
Ducks slay Monsters

ANOTHER SPORTS OPINION
As The Sports World Turns

PLAN YOUR DAY
This weekend's sports on TV, radio