March 20, 2009
Friday, March 20
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Truth & Rumors
Kiffin: Topless recruiting gets results
Lane Kiffin says Tennessee's infamous shirt-ripping stunt on Junior Day was "the best story you could ever have" for recruiting football players to Rocky Top. The topless topic was perhaps the most creative and most bizarre recruiting strategies in SEC football history. Tennessee had many of the nation's top 2010 prospects on campus, and the Volunteers went to extreme measures to make sure they remembered the trip, as reported by the AJC. Kiffin talked extensively about the benefits of the controversial method to CBSsports. "It's the best story you could ever have. You can't get all these recruits on your campus. You've got to convince them to take an official visit. What better way when they read about this." (Atlanta Journal Constitution)
Knicks scrutinizing roster
Donnie Walsh and Mike D'Antoni already know they can go to war with LeBron James and/or Dwyane Wade. That's an easy call. Now, whether the Knicks can recruit either All-Star to New York is another story. In the meantime, the Knicks' top decision-makers are trying to determine if Nate Robinson, David Lee, Wilson Chandler and Chris Duhon have the toughness, leadership, character and talent to be important pieces on a winning team or if they are what their record says they are: players with inflated statistics on a team currently 11 games under .500. (NY Daily News)
Belichick leaves door open for Peppers
A Bill Belichick interview can be a little like the verbal version of a Rorschach test - subject to interpretation and variation depending on one's point of view. What was indisputable yesterday is that in a lengthy phone interview with WEEI, the Patriots coach never once said his team was not interested in obtaining Carolina Panthers defensive end Julius Peppers. That will only further fuel the idea the Patriots are working to acquire Peppers. A source close to Peppers has made it clear the Patriots are on a short list of teams to which he would accept a trade. Echoing the statement released by the Panthers Monday, Belichick pointed out that Carolina can't engage in trade discussions because Peppers hasn't signed his $16.68 million franchise tender. Belichick said there are no trade talks going on with Carolina. Responding via text message, Carl Carey, Peppers's agent, said he has had no contact with the Patriots. (Boston Globe)
Must-See Photo
UCLA's Darren Collison (left) and John Shipp celebrates in front of Virginia Commonwealth's Bradford Burgess at the end of the second half during a first-round men's NCAA college basketball tournament game in Philadelphia. UCLA won 65-64. (AP Photo/Michael Perez)
Must-See Video
Alexander Ovechkin scores his 50th goal of the season and celebrates like a champ.
Game To Watch
Celtics at Spurs, 8 PM ET -- Is this a preview of the NBA Finals?
Boston Celtics
San Antonio Spurs
This Day In Sports History

SI Vault: More on Wilt Chamberlain
1968 -- Wilt Chamberlain becomes the first center in NBA history to lead the league with assists, ending the season with 702 helpers for an average of 8.6 per game.
1990 -- The Los Angeles Lakers retire Kareem Abdul-Jabbar's No. 33 jersey.
2005 -- At 20 years and 80 days, Cleveland's LeBron James becomes the youngest NBA player to score 50 points in a game (56). The Cavaliers lost the game to the Toronto Raptors, 105-98. The 56-point performance by James was a franchise record.

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