Sunday, March 30, 2003

Enquirer Page Two power rankings



By Mike Ball
Cincinnati Enquirer

Thumbs up

1. This weekend. Hoops mania - college men and women and the paid-to-play. A new ballpark. From a footrace (Heart Mini-Marathon) to a car race (NASCAR). From clubs (PGA, LPGA) to rackets (tennis), and horse racing and boxing and hockey, too.

2. Tiger. Last week's 11-stroke victory while battling food poisoning was Michael Jordan-like. He can make casual golf fans salivate at the revolving golf scores.

3. The NFL draft. Why else would football be on the minds of sports fans this time of year?

4. Kobe Bryant. So, we're expected to believe his 42-point first half and 55-point overall effort against Jordan's Wizards was a coincidence?

5. Northern Kentucky University. The women's basketball team's charge to the Division II national title game for the second time in four seasons speaks for itself.

6. Emmitt Smith. Here's hoping he doesn't get smeared behind the Arizona Cardinals' offensive line.

7. Moeller and Reading boys basketball champs. Great work.

8. Don Cherry. The Hockey Night in Canada host created a stir by criticizing his country for not supporting the U.S. in Iraq.

9. Nux. What announcer besides Joe Nuxhall would make fun of himself for misreading the radar gun on the stadium scoreboard? Seems he didn't look up quickly enough, and saw the reading for the catcher's throw to the pitcher.

10. Marty Brennaman. He handles Nux, not to mention Reds PR guy Mike Vassalo, with ease.

Thumbs down

1. Downtown parking. Hey, how does this affect us?

2. The Reds. Who are the experts who say they will pound opposing pitching?

3. Guaranteed contracts. Damion Easley will get $14 million to leave the Tigers alone. Enough said.

4. Martha Burk. Invoking U.S. servicewomen into the Augusta National males-only debate crosses the line.

5. Sports guys out of their element. Hard to believe Fox radio lets the guy who can't pronounce Jim Bowden's name give us the latest from the warfront.

6. Bob Boone. A late-spring experiment with Barry Larkin in center field was more than a little scary.

7. Coaching speculation. Ben Howland to UCLA, Roy Williams to North Carolina, Tubby Smith to the NBA. It's a shame it has to happen during the NCAA Tournament.

8. Spring training. It's fun if you're there. But it's just too long.

9. Reds bashers. If you're really a fan, what good does it do to whine before they even play?

10. Calvin Klein. The clothing designer doesn't know much about the NBA if he chose to confront Latrell Sprewell!




AN OPENING DAY LOVE LETTER
From a son to his father

REDS BASEBALL
SEASON PREVIEW
Season opener has Reds eager
Head-first dive leaves Casey cooling heels
Reds Q&A
Architects see crowd settle in
Off-field miscues threaten Bowden's tenure as GM
The next move?
Daugherty: What's so Great about new park?
Jumbotron goes way of Atari: Oldie, but goodie
Pete look-alikes used to it
Rebuilding Indians headed on right track
Anaheim buzzing as defense of title begins

COLLEGE BASKETBALL
Marquette 83, Kentucky 69
Teammates laud ailing Bogans for playing in pain
Jackson jogs Estill's memory
Kansas 78, Arizona 75
Izzo is Mr. March
Oklahoma-Syracuse will be won with defense
Roller-coaster ride continues for Boeheim
Ford leads a cast of role players for Texas
NCAA tournament notes
NCAA Tournament at a glance
Lady Vols, 'Nova meet Monday in Mideast final
Norse outmuscled in Division II final
Snardon finds positives in loss
Northeastern State 75, Kentucky Wesleyan 64
Georgetown, Ky. 71, Lee, Tenn. 58

BENGALS
Bengals Q&A

PREP SPORTS
Groeschen: Prep insider
KY: No. 1 Sacred Heart 42, No. 3 Lexington Catholic 40
IN: Indpls Pike 65, DeKalb 52

GOLF
Haas, 49, hardly ready to join the senior tour
Arnie joins Nicklaus for Masters encore

HOCKEY
Victory keeps Rangers alive
Griffins edge Ducks 3-2

HORSE RACING
Seven Four Seven wins fourth straight
Moon Ballad runs away with Dubai World Cup

NBA
Talk of coaching changes begins
Nets smother Golden State

TENNIS
Serena tops Capriati

TRISTATE SPOTLITE
RedHawks go for world championship
Enquirer Page Two power rankings
Over 12,000 to participate in Mini-Marathon

PLAN YOUR DAY
Sunday's sports on TV, radio