Sunday, April 6, 2003

Enquirer Page Two power rankings



By Mike Ball
Cincinnati Enquirer

Thumbs up

1. Michael Jordan. He, like many, didn't appreciate North Carolina's treatment of former coach Matt Doherty. "There's no way that 18- and 19-year-old kids need to be dictating a situation for the coach." Amen.

2. Sammy Sosa. The hallowed ground of 500 homers. Now, for Junior to join him. (If he can return before long.)

3. Oliver Purnell. The Dayton coach is headed for Clemson, and he'll be missed. And what is it about this area and the Atlantic Coast Conference? See: Herb Sendek, North Carolina State; Pete Gillen, Virginia; and Skip Prosser, Wake Forest.

4. The Kid Glove program. And in addition to that, Sean Casey and Aaron Boone are buying tickets for kids each week.

5. Beach volleyball. It's back, with six network TV events. Calling Karch Kiraly.

6. Keeneland. There's nothing quite like its spring meet.

7. Spring football, Ohio State-style. Give those Buckeyes fans credit. They routinely loved this even before a national title.

8. The Cyclones. They just keep plugging away.

9. Bob Knight. He said he'd never lose a game if he recruited kids the caliber of Pfc. Jessica Lynch, the POW rescued by special forces. That's why they call him The General.

10. The Cavaliers. They had their players call season-ticket holders to ask for their patience. Or, tell them how they're tanking it to get the most pingpong balls in the LeBron James derby.

Thumbs down

1. Reds "fans." The barrage of complaining about the new ballpark, not to mention the team, was at an amazing level following Opening Day. Guess the dissatisfied customers would have been happier had they spent another $50 million-$100 million of our tax dollars for a few more bells and whistles.

2. Great American Ball Park. It's beautiful. But the word "bandbox" comes to mind.

3. The Bengals' schedule. What, no Monday Night Football again? Or Thursday, or Sunday night, or an occasional Saturday? Didn't the networks hear about the "new" Bengals?

4. The Blue Jays. They took an ad out encouraging fans to come out and boo new Yankee Hideki Matsui. Hey, we all hate the Evil Empire, but ...

5. The Evil Empire. The Yankees whined that the play by Toronto catcher Ken Huckaby that injured pinstriped god Derek Jeter was dirty. It wasn't.

6. The Trail Blazers. To break the monotony of one arrest after another, Zach Randolph hauled off and walloped teammate Ruben Patterson, drawing a team suspension.

7. The NHL. The tulips are in bloom, the lawn mowers are going. The playoffs must be close.

8. Danny, the Pekingese that was Best in Show at the famed Crufts dog show. He created a stir in the British tabloids when rumors surfaced he had a face lift.

9. Michigan State fans. They set fire to cars following the Spartans' Elite Eight loss.

10. The Devil Rays. C'mon. Bump up your team salary $5 million or so to get even with Alex Rodriguez.




REDS
Reds lose, Junior's hurt
Dunn angered by fan reaction to Griffey
Crosley was home of HRs before new park
Reds notebook: Team, Vaughn's agent talk
Reds Q&A

OTHER BASEBALL
Sosa put 500 behind, thinks bigger numbers
NL: Phils thump Pirates
AL: Royals are 5-0

BENGALS
Bengals Q&A

FINAL FOUR
Syracuse 95, Texas 84
Kansas 94, Marquette 61
Daugherty: Souped-up Jayhawks
Kansas vs. Syracuse for NCAA championship
Texas couldn't break the Syracuse zone
Williams gets another shot
Wade's world comes crashing down
Final Four notebook
Final Four week tarnished by coaching speculation
NCAA aggregate leaders

WOMEN'S FINAL FOUR
This is no ordinary trip for Lady Vols
Texas' goal: Stop Taurasi
Auriemma, Taurasi pick up top honors

XAVIER
West wins 4th player of year award

OTHER COLLEGE HOOPS
Loyola pioneered integrated basketball
Cronin gets top job at Murray State

PREP SPORTS
Groeschen: Prep insider
Prep results

SUNDAY SPOTLITE
Baseball movies, fair and foul
UC's cricket club gearing up for season
Enquirer Page Two power rankings

COLLEGE FOOTBALL
QB Krenzel sharpens focus

GOLF
Janzen dials 2-stroke BellSouth lead
Tiger Woods focused on unprecedented three-peat

HORSE RACING
Buddy Gil punches ticket to Kentucky
Elloluv impressive in Ashland win

AUTO RACING
Earnhardt Jr. wins Busch race
Little E chasing history at Talladega
Rubinho on pole for home F1 race

HOCKEY
Samsonov return bodes well for B's in playoffs
Ducks LW Severson recalled to Anaheim

NBA
Suns stop T-Wolves in playoff run
Adelman has no mercy for upstarts in playoffs

TENNIS
Spain vs. Argentina in semis

PLAN YOUR DAY
Sports this weekend on TV, radio