4 Leading Off

10 Letters

Air and Space

Steve Rushin is on vacation

12 Scorecard

• Kevin Kerr, hockey's Crash Davis

• New rants from Bobby Fischer

• Farrelly Brothers do the Curse

24 Faces in the Crowd

142 The Life of Reilly

Annika Sorenstam has out-Tigered Tiger, but she might as well be in the witness protection program for all the attention that gets her

by Rick Reilly

Inside ...

31 The NBA

• Kidd is demanding Nets gains

36 The NFL

• Can Saban be a draft savant?

37 Golf

• Sorenstam's very special high five

38 Soccer

• High and dry in Mexico


40 Take the Shot

The fate of each of the four teams in St. Louis is in the very hot hands of their best shooter

by Grant Wahl

• Final Four Scouting Reports

How to Beat Illinois, Louisville, Michigan State and North Carolina

• Hoop Thoughts on the Women

UConn bows out; Power in the post



51 Batter Up!

Filling out a major league lineup card requires savvy, guts and a pencil with a big eraser

by Tom Verducci

• Batting by Numbers

Deconstructing a batting order, one spot at a time

• Memorable Moments

Billy Martin pulls one out of his hat, and other lineup highlights

• Where to Bat Bonds

The obvious answer--cleanup--isn't necessarily the right one

• Leading Man

If you want to see the ideal leadoff hitter, watch Ichiro Suzuki slap it around the yard

• Perfect Order

A fantasy league's dream lineup: power, speed ... and Jim Edmonds

66 Bad Blood

Nothing makes a game more entertaining than a little hatred

by Tom Verducci

68 Scouting Reports

SI ranks all 30 teams



INSET PHOTOS: John Biever (Illinois, Michigan State); John W. McDonough (Louisville); Manny Millan (North Carolina)

SI Extra

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• Get the scoop from St. Louis: Daily, on-scene Final Four analysis from experts Seth Davis, Stewart Mandel, Luke Winn and B.J. Schecter at

COLOR PHOTOJOHN BIEVER COLLEGE BOARDS Spartans forward Alan Anderson hopes the ball bounces Michigan State's way this week in St. Louis (page 40). COLOR PHOTOTIM PARKER/REUTERS (SUZUKI)Ichiro is No. 1 when it comes to hitting first.