COLLEGE BASKETBALL

36 We Love to Watch

As March Madness begins, one player stands out as the star of the show: Illinois's Dee Brown

by Grant Wahl

PRO FOOTBALL

42 The No. 1 Question

Who will the 49ers take first in the draft? SI slots the top four players at the scouting combine

by Peter King

BASEBALL

48 A Winning Hand?

In discarding a pair of aces, Oakland A's G.M. Billy Beane took his boldest gamble yet

by Daniel G. Habib

PRO BASKETBALL

52 Executive Decision

Kevin McHale has taken charge of his moribund T-Wolves. Risky move.

by Jack McCallum

BASEBALL

56 Unsafe at Home

Despite their success in the major leagues, Venezuela's beisbol stars are crime targets

by E.M. Swift

Departments

4 Leading Off

12 Contributors

15 Letters

17 Air and Space

Andy Van Slyke has some advice for his old teammate Barry Bonds: Look in the mirror by Steve Rushin

18 Scorecard

• NBA trade deadline madness

• John Chaney finally crosses line

• Jose Canseco, literary lion

26 Faces in the Crowd

29 Players

70 The Life of Reilly

You asked for it: an update on many of the little guys I've written about in 20 years at SI by Rick Reilly

Inside...

66 College Basketball

• Louisville primed for NCAA run

68 The NBA

• Magic's Howard justifies top pick

• Sonics, Allen can't make a deal

Cover

PHOTOGRAPH BY AL TIELEMANS

INSET PHOTOS: Manny Millan (Felton, Rondo); David E. Klutho (Jack); Steve Jahnke/The Southern/AP (Brooks); Brett Hansbauer/US Presswire (Basden)

SI Extra

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SI.com

• Who's in, out, on the bubble? Up-to-the-minute college hoops scoop, including SI.com's bracket watch, power rankings and complete coverage of conference tournament week, at SI.com/basketball/ncaa.

COLOR PHOTOBRAD MANGIN SPRING FLING At training camp in Arizona, A's ace Barry Zito dusts off his lefty delivery (page 48).