Your morning roundup for March 17, the day when the Apostle of Ireland's deathiversary contributes to many facets of the American economy. Act as responsibly as you see fit, folks.

• The portion of March Madness involving real teams starts in a few hours with Clemson vs. West Virginia at 12:15 p.m. Reliving memories of Laettner, Webber, Edney and Butler, all Lego-ized, starts now. (Glaring omission: Bryce Drew.) [Tauntr]

• After his Roadrunners's play-in game victory over Alabama State last night, University of Texas at San Antonio coach Brooks Thompson said, "We didn't take care of our business the way we needed to in the second 20 minutes." This probably gives Ohio State hope. [Express-News]

• VCU won, too. Ergo, Shaka Smart > Kevin O'Neill. [Times Dispatch]


• With a comeback victory over the Colorado Avalanche, the Vancouver Canucks clinched a playoff spot last night. Good times. [Vancouver Sun]

• Clippers owner Donald Sterling said that when he hired Elgin Baylor as VP of player personnel, he was unfamiliar with his body of work. [LA Times]

"You didn't know about his basketball career?" Baylor attorney Carl Douglas asked Sterling in his first day on the stand as Baylor's wrongful termination civil lawsuit against the team continued at a Los Angeles courthouse. "His accomplishments? The Hall of Fame?"
"No," Sterling answered.


• Randy Moss says he loves playing with Tom Brady and being coached by Bill Belichick. [ESPN]

• Tiger Woods still thinks he's the best golfer in the world "when I get my swing dialed in." [ESPN]

Mr. Glass Rick DiPietro, goalkeeper for the New York Islanders, was cleared to play after a spell on the IR because he can't take a punch from an opposing goalie. [NHL]


• Kevin Durant led the Thunder to an 11-point win over the Miami Heat last night. [The Oklahoman]

• The Rockford Foresters, a minor-league baseball team in Illinois, will celebrate "Senatorist Night" at their ballpark on July 16. This is because Rockford, Ill. is one of the hideouts used by Wisconsin state senators during that whole Wisconsin collective-bargaining bloodsport. They'll throw out the first pitch, too. Reads a disclaimer on the team's website:

This is ONLY a promotion and we as the Rockford Foresters Baseball Team and anyone promoting this event is neither for or against unions or any other issue surrounding this situation. [Rockford Foresters]


• With Chelsea and Real Madrid's aggregate victories yesterday, the UEFA Champions League final eight is set. The other teams are: Man U, Inter Milan, Tottenham, Schalke, Shakhtar Donetsk and Barcelona. Quarterfinal match-ups will be decided via drawing Friday. [UEFA]

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Soft and Cream-Filled: Chicago Bears QB Jay Cutler was a Twinkie for Halloween one time.


Offsides: Sporting Kansas City invited publicity provocateur and soccer hobbyist Chad Ochocinco to audition for the team.