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Among boos, cheers from ring's King

THE BALTIMORE SUN

Opinion: Who says there was no winner in Saturday night's "draw" between Evander Holyfield and Lennox Lewis? Don King, who stands to make millions off a rematch, was a big winner.

Fact: Sandy Alomar Jr., on hitting a ball that beaned Mike Mussina in the head last season: "It really screwed me up. He could have been killed. I was a mess because of it."

Opinion: No one would have faulted Mike Tyson for throwing his jail TV after watching Lewis clearly beat Holyfield and not get the decision. What fight fan didn't want to throw his TV after that disgrace?

Fact: New Mexico committed seven turnovers before making a basket against Connecticut in their second-round NCAA game.

Opinion: UConn is the only team with any chance to beat Duke. Oh, and also Kentucky, which has won 19 of its past 20 tournament games.

Fact: Straight from an NBA scout's mouth to my note book last weekend on the NCAA trail: "Not only is Steve Francis a lottery pick [if he leaves Maryland early and turns pro], but so is Terence Morris."

Opinion: Duke's Corey Maggette, a freshman swingman, also probably would be a lottery pick, even though he hasn't played much for the Blue Devils. The scouts love his potential.

Fact: Duke and Maryland could combine for as many as seven first-round picks this year if each of their prized underclassmen turned pro. Francis, Morris, Maggette, Laron Profit, Elton Brand, Trajan Langdon and William Avery are the seven.

Opinion: If the Ravens trade for Scott Mitchell (and they will), they don't need Warren Moon, too. Eric Zeier is a capable backup.

Fact: Maryland is the only No. 2 seed left in the tournament.

Opinion: Anyone who thinks horse racing fans will flock to a new track in Allegany County is delusional. The idea is a non-starter.

Fact: In a Kentucky Derby future book sponsored by Churchill Downs last weekend, bettors made Wondertross the favorite at 8-1, followed by Excellent Meeting, a filly, at 9-1.

Opinion: So much for the complaint that the NCAA selection committee overrated the Big Ten and SEC. Teams from those conferences were a combined 18-6 over the weekend.

Fact: Lower-seeded teams won 39 percent of the games in the first two rounds.

Opinion: The playing field is a lot more level when "mid-major" teams get to play high-profile teams at a neutral site instead of being sacrificed for a payday on the high-profile team's home court.

Fact: Six weeks after it started, the NBA's truncated (and semi-ridiculous) season is nearing the halfway point.

Opinion: Suddenly, it's clear why Maryland freshman Danny Miller was a high school All-American. He can shoot, pass, dribble and create, and he's a bear on defense. He's going to be a star.

Fact: NFL officials have discussed giving teams this option after scoring a touchdown: taking an automatic extra point (no kick required) or going for two.

Opinion: The Dodgers will really regret trading Charles Johnson if Todd Hundley's reconstructed elbow continues to prevent him from playing.

Fact: New Lakers coach Kurt Rambis, an all-league bad dresser in his playing days, owns only three suits. Stay away come June.

Opinion: The best thing about the NBA this season? Watching the highlight shows for Sacramento rookie Jason Williams' magical passing. One of his no-looks hit surprised teammate Vlade Divac flush in the face.

Fact: If Mike Morgan makes the Texas Rangers' roster this spring, he'll become the first major-leaguer to play for 11 teams.

Opinion: What's this? Golfers who drive errantly at the Masters this year will find patches of rough on a few holes? Sacrilege!

Fact: There have been 183 coaching changes in Division I men's basketball since January 1996.

Opinion: You'd think the NFL owners would be doing cartwheels over a mind-boggling $800 million offer for the Redskins, instead of not-so-subtly fighting the bid.

Fact: Eighteen of 29 NBA teams either are even or ahead of last year's attendance pace. So much for the fans' "outrage" over the lockout.

Opinion: Not to make light of someone else's misfortune, but if one were to compile a list of the possible "personal reasons" causing Dennis Rodman to take a leave of absence from the Lakers, one could compile quite an interesting list.

Pub Date: 3/16/99

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