Shootout losers: Hockey, Hoosiers


Reading Time, Two Minutes:

A Bobby Knight team (Indiana) losing by 50 to an underdog (Minnesota). On national TV, no less. Truthfully, does it get any better than this?

* Please, someone, tell me the people who run the Olympic hockey tournament didn't decide the gold medal with some sort of hippy-dippy shootout. What, did they only rent the rink for three hours or something?

* Quick, cancel the plans you had for Saturday afternoon. That's when USA Network sends along the 44th CFA (Cat Fanciers' Association) Houston Cat Show beginning at 1 p.m. Columnist Kevin Cowherd, for one, is planning a Super Bowl-type party at his house.

* Far be it from this agent to suggest Larry Holmes is picking his spots, but the former heavyweight champ takes on Garing Lane next week at Foxwoods Casino in Connecticut. Lane enters with an 11-10 record, and Holmes is 59-4 (but 43 years old).

Tonight, on USA (9 o'clock) you can wave bye-bye to Alex Garcia if he loses to Joe Hipp. Garcia, a short while back, was listed as a top contender for the heavyweight crown before he was exposed as a patty-cake puncher while being beaten three times.

* At long last, baseball is in full swing becaise players association honcho Don Fehr begins a tour of the camps today to discuss antitrust hearings, revenue-sharing, the new TV contract, the possibility of a late-season strike and all the other things that make this game great.

* Jersey Joe Walcott, who died last week at age 80, belongs on any list of the top 10 heavyweights of all time. The guy was a master boxer, could send you to dreamland with either hand, took a wicked shot and was robbed of a victory over the legendary Joe Louis when he soundly beat the Brown Bomber, but lost on a split decision in 1947.

* Obviously, the supposed lifelong Olympic dream of Nancy Kerrigan didn't include sticking around for the closing ceremonies . . . not when there are a couple of bucks to be served up at Disney World anyway.

* The only way to get ready for "March Madness" is to rent the video "Hoosiers" and impale yourself on the excitement of a million-to-1 underdog winning the Big One. Unfortunately, that's as close as any potential David is ever going to get in the NCAA's annual Goliath-a-thon.

* Strategy session: Yo, Washington Capitals forwards, if you want to beat the Tampa Bay Lightning tonight at USAir Arena (7:30 p.m.), take a few shots at the net. The two leading shot producers on the Caps are defensemen Al Iafrate (205) and Kevin Hatcher (156). Meanwhile, wingers Kelly Miller and Michal Pivonka haven't reached 100 yet.

* While just seven of 27 NBA teams have winning road records, after 700 games the visitors have compiled a win percentage of about .400. That's considerable improvement.

* Cliff Ellis is quitting as Clemson's basketball coach because he has taken the Tigers as far as he can and now he's looking for a new challenge? Wait just a minute, did Clemson achieve something on the hardwood not readily apparent to the naked eye?

* The Big Eight, which obviously is well practiced at looking the other way considering transgressions by Oklahoma and Oklahoma State over the years, had absolutely no problem welcoming Texas A&M; into the conference even after the NCAA zapped the Aggies with sanctions. Business 1, Morality 0.

* Remind me to apologize to Dan Jansen for what I was thinking when he skated around the Olympic oval with 9-month-old daughter Jane in his arms: Is that a good idea for a guy who has been known to take a toss from time to time?

* All things considered, Army's running back Akili King and three other cadets got off easy for the recent escapade outside a bar near the military reservation. They got demerits, are restricted to the barracks for a couple of months (no latrine duty) and have a lot of marching to do weekends. But they get to miss spring HTC practice. Recall, King was stabbed dangerously close to the heart when the quartet was involved in a brawl with 30 townies. At the very least, four against 30, they should get an F in tactics.

* Wasn't it moving what bobsledder Brian Shimer said after his Olympic failures: "There are a hundred million Chinese people that don't care, and the sun is still going to rise in the East. Life goes on." Thing is, you usually don't get philosophy from a guy who was disqualified for attempting to compete with illegal sled runners.

* The high school hoopsters in Stow, Ohio, had a pretty good first quarter recently, jamming 50 points into the eight-minute session. "We got a lot of turnovers and shot a lot of three-pointers," the coach said after his team breezed, 135-49.

* It has been five years since a Washington Capital (goalie Don Beaupre) won the NHL Player of the Week honor. Uh, isn't it about time again, guys?

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