Where'd theseguys come from? Unranked and having lost three of four, the Pirates, led byguard Donald Copeland (right), steamrolled No. 15 N.C. State in Raleigh, thenknocked off No. 25 Syracuse. Said Seton Hall coach Louis Orr, "Our guys,they played with a lot of courage."
Men in Tights
LeBron James'sCavaliers are 5-0, and he has averaged 37.2 points since he started wearingtights to protect his sore right knee. ("I don't look good in a kneebrace," he explained.) And Jerry Rice put on a pair for ballet lessons tohelp his performance on Dancing with the Stars. ("I came here to win,"he said.) Somewhere Mel Brooks is smiling.
Nothin' like agood ol' Texas shootout: Dallas is 8-0 in games decided by the NHL's newlyinstalled penalty-shot contest. Secret weapon? Rookie Jussi Jokinen, who is aperfect 8 for 8.
The XL matchupain't all. On a weekend in which the AFL opened its 20th season, with two moreexpansion teams (in K.C. and Salt Lake City), the NFL announced it will keep acoveted batch of eight Thursday and Saturday NFL night games in-house nextseason, airing them on the NFL network. Gulp. Can full-blown pay-per-view befar behind?
Where'd theseguys go? Ranked No. 13 and having won eight of nine games, the Hoosiers gotspanked by unranked Iowa 73-60, then lost by 19 to unranked Minnesota, leadingIndiana forward Marco Killingsworth (right) to declare, "We've got to putthis behind us."
It's hard enoughto endure Steelers Rock! (Steelers Roll)--it's by a band called Corned Beef& Curry, and it has fiddle-playing in it--or the Del Sinchak polka banddoing Pittsburgh's on the Road to Detroit City. But the real sacrilege, withcheese, is Sweet Shaun Alexander, set to the tune of Sweet Home Alabama. Ronnievan Zant (left) spins in his grave.
Sid the Kid isscoring (25 goals for Crosby), but there's not much other offense on a clubwith an Atlantic Division--low 145 goals. Where have you gone Super Mario? (Seepage 23.)
The 12th Man
Party poopers!Texas A&M is seeking to have the Seahawks cease and desist the use of"12th-man" imagery on flags, buttons and jerseys that are floodingSeattle--because the Aggies have the phrase trademarked. It started in 1922when an A&M student came out of the crowd to suit up for a game.
SI PLAYERS NHL POLL
Which country will win the Olympic gold medal inhockey?
Czech Republic 35%
FAST FACTS: Players were not allowed to vote for theirown countries; about 59% of voters are Canadian.... The U.S. placed sixth, with5%.... For SI's medal picks, see page 90.... Players from 29 NHL teamsresponded--only the Blackhawks refused to participate.
[ Based on a survey of 346 NHL players ] • For anexpanded version of the poll, go to SI.com/Players.