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March 20, 2006
March 20, 2006

Table of Contents
March 20, 2006

SI Bonus Section: Golf Plus
HOCKEY
BOXING
Features
PRO BASKETBALL
Fantasy Baseball Preview 2006
Departments

Lineup

FEATURES

This is an article from the March 20, 2006 issue

COLLEGEBASKETBALL

40Possession!
In the NCAA tournament, teams that control the pace and maximize every chancehave the best shot at Indy
by Grant Wahl

53 A BlueStreak
The engine driving North Carolina, pint-sized point guard Ivory Latta, is thekey force in the women's bracket
by Kelli Anderson

58 5 MinuteGuide
SI's annual look at the trends, teams and names to keep close tabs on as theBig Dance begins
by Seth Davis

61 TheBrackets
The chronicles of Redick end with a long-range assault and validation that J.J.is, indeed, the player of the year
by Grant Wahl

PROBASKETBALL

68 The YearAfter
March Madness rekindles memories for four ex--Tar Heels now in the NBA
by Alan Shipnuck

Departments

8 Leading Off

14 Letters

21 Air andSpace
Kirby Puckett lived a self-described "fairy-tale life." He oftenthought of how it could end by Steve Rushin

22Scorecard
• Bud Selig's moment of truth
• The next NFL commissioner?
• Farewell to Boom Boom Geoffrion

32 Faces in theCrowd

35 Players

116 Life ofReilly
Take a look at the future on BarryBonds.com. It's far from a pretty site byRick Reilly

Inside ...

109Baseball
• Cuba's in midseason form

111 The NFL
• Wooing of a second-tier free agent

114 The NHL
• Montreal's magnifique move

COVER: ROBERTBECK (2); JOHN BIEVER (4); RICH CLARKSON; JAMES DRAKE (2); BILL FRAKES (6);DAVID E. KLUTHO (8); MANNY MILLAN (4); JOHN W. MCDONOUGH (4); BOB ROSATO (9);DAMIAN STROHMEYER (2); AL TIELEMANS (3); DARREN CARROLL (3); GREG NELSON (9);DAVID BERGMAN (5); MITCHELL LAYTON; SCOTT K. BROWN; WILLIS GLASGOW; JOSHUA L.HALLEY; JOHN D. HANLON (2); MIRKO ILIC (BALL); AP (24); ICON/SMI (4); USPRESSWIRE; WIREIMAGE.COM (6)

INSET PHOTOS: TomDiPace (2)

SI Extra
To sign up for SPORTS ILLUSTRATED's free subscriber-only e-mail newsletter, goto sicustomerservice.com/siextra.

FANTASY BASEBALLPREVIEW 2006

The Game IsAlmost On
As spring training ticks down, managers ready their rosters and take last looksat tantalizing young talents. Same goes for you, fantasy player
by David Sabino PAGE 77

RealityCheck
The author thought he could take advantage of his clubhouse access and insideinformation to win the toughest Rotisserie league on the planet
by Sam Walker PAGE 94

ON THE WEB

SI.COM

GO TO SI.COM DAILY FOR SCORES, STATS AND BREAKINGNEWS

**Now comes the fun part of March Madness--or,depending on how well your brackets hold up, the second-guessing and postgamegrousing. Go to Luke Winn's popular Tourney Blog at SI.com/collegebasketballand get the inside scoop on the NCAA field, with on-site reporting, analysisand breaking news. Read the latest on the likes of Jordan Farmar (above) andstreaking UCLA from Seth Davis, Stewart Mandel, Grant Wahl and Kelli Anderson,who are on the road to Indianapolis and Boston.

**Free agency has altered some teams' needs headinginto the NFL draft. Take a look at Don Banks's ever-changing mock draft,including his latest assessment of where Vanderbilt quarterback Jay Cutler(below) might land, at SI.com/nfl.

**Can't get enough fantasy baseball? Go toSI.com/fantasy for David Sabino's mock draft, a rundown of the rookies heexpects to have the biggest impact and his player rankings (position byposition as well as overall). For the latest spring training news, scores andinjury reports go to SI.com/baseball.

**Hear what Rick Reilly has to say about Ryan Leaf,Isiah Thomas (left), the World Baseball Classic, Edgerrin James and, oh,Canada, in this week's entertaining Riffs of Reilly video segment atSI.com.

**Which high school hoops teams will finish the seasonatop SI.com's national rankings? Which ones will crack the Top 10? Visit SI.comfor Dave Krider's boys' power rankings on Tuesdays and his girls' powerrankings on Wednesdays.

PHOTOBOB ROSATO (REDICK)61 J.J.'S J With the sweet touch that propelled Duke past Boston College in the ACC final, J.J. Redick will carry the Blue Devils to their fourth national title.PHOTO CHUCK SOLOMON (MARTINEZ, TEJADA) NL
The Mets' Pedro Martinez is tops among the starters.
PHOTOCHUCK SOLOMON (MARTINEZ, TEJADA) AL
Baltimore's Miguel Tejada is the cream of the crop at short.
PHOTOSIMON BRUTY (JAMES) 111 OUTOF THE STABLE
After seven seasons with the Colts, Edgerrin James signed with the Cardinals inthe NFL's free-agent frenzy.
THREE PHOTOSBEN LIEBENBERG/WIREIMAGE.COM (FARMAR); JOHN DAVID MERCER/US PRESSWIRE (CUTLER); BRIAN ACH/WIREIMAGE.COM (THOMAS)PHOTO