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Morning Jolt: Panthers likely to take Newton at No.1?

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Wednesday, March 16

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Panthers likely to hold pick, take Newton

Many believe the signs are pointing in one clear direction. The Carolina Panthers will select Cam Newton with the first pick in the NFL draft, or are working hard to convince the football world they plan to. If a team craves Newton and offers the appropriate picks, the Panthers could trade down -- but not too far down -- and take Patrick Peterson, the fine cornerback from Louisiana State, or A.J. Green, the tremendous Georgia receiver. Without a collective bargaining agreement, however, draft day trades become more difficult since only picks, and not players, can be exchanged. ... The Panthers will return to Auburn for a private workout with Newton [Wednesday]. One group of Panthers was scheduled to have dinner with Newton and his family Tuesday, and another group is scheduled to have dinner with him tonight. (The Charlotte Observer)Comment

Cavs, if picking No. 1, may take Irving

To the victors -- of the lottery, that is -- go the spoils. The Cavaliers entered this season targeting the need for another point guard. They had two candidates in mind. Both are turning in career years. As June's NBA Draft approaches, Cavs coach Byron Scott and General Manager Chris Grant have already proved they can target young point guards with upside. That's a good thing, since Duke's Kyrie Irving continues to sit atop most draft boards despite barely playing this season. Nothing will obviously be known until the draft lottery on May 17, but if the Cavs come away with the top pick in the draft, don't be surprised if they use it on Irving. Grant had a chance to watch Irving play live earlier this season before he was injured, and the Cavs have been high on him ever since. (Kansas City Star)Comment

Feliz switch may mean Rangers deal

If not Neftali Feliz, then to whom with the Rangers turn in the ninth inning? Manager Ron Washington indicated that the answer to that question probably isn't in Surprise at the moment. "I have confidence in Jon Daniels and our scouts," Washington said Tuesday morning. "If that's the case, I'm 100 percent sure they'll go out there and find somebody to close ballgames down for us." Washington likes the depth in his bullpen. He just doesn't know whether anybody other than Feliz, who had a rookie-record 40 saves last season, can handle the closer role on a consistent basis. And the Rangers, who intend to earn another pennant, don't want to deal with uncertainty in such an important role. (

Must-See Photo

Denmark's Caroline Wozniacki returns a shot from Alisa Kleybanova during the BNP Paribas Open at Indian Wells. On a day rife with upsets, Wozniacki bucked the trend, advancing to the fifth round in three sets. (Matthew Stockman/Getty Images)

Must-See Video

With half of the First Four in the books, we're another day closer to the field of 64. Let's celebrate with Kansas' road to the championship in 2008.

Game To Watch

Coming off a second straight win, the Heat look to keep rolling against the Thunder, 8:00 p.m. ET

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  2. Miami Heat

SI Vault: More Babe Ruth

This Day in Sports

  • 1932 -- Yankees OF Babe Ruth signs a deal for $75,000 and a percentage of the exhibition gate. Legend has it the Bambino signed a blank contract with the amount filled in by team owner Jacob Ruppert.
  • 1991 -- New Jersey Coach Bill Fitch earnes his 800th career victory as the Nets beat Washington 110-86 at the Meadowlands.
  • 2003 -- Cleveland Cavaliers guard Ricky Davis lobs a shot at the wrong basket to collect his 10th rebound and complete his first career triple-double. The NBA however, does not award him the last rebound.