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EXTRA BASES

Kevin Millar vows to be a little more careful about accepting basketball tips from a former national baseball writer.

Peter Schmuck, a columnist at The Sun with a deep baseball background, approached Millar in the Orioles' clubhouse earlier this week and guaranteed a Southern California victory over Kansas State in the first round of the NCAA tournament. Millar has a long memory, so he took a short break before yesterday's game to relay the story.

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"Tell Schmuck to stick to writing. He's no NCAA basketball prognosticator," Millar said, fully aware that 11th-seeded Kansas State upset the sixth-seeded Trojans, 80-67.

"He comes up to me and says, 'USC's a sleeper.' Yeah, OK. I look up and they're down by 20. OK, Dick Vitale, thanks."

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Millar ran back to his teammates, still smiling, and continued to warm up before batting practice.

The USC loss was a bracket-buster for some fans. Millar did a little busting of his own yesterday.



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