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The Bounce: Paterno back on the sidelines

<h4>Head games: </h4></p>
<p>Oklahoma forward Blake Griffin hits his head on the backboard as he shoots against Syracuse during Friday's NCAA Tournament regional semifinal game in Memphis, Tenn. Oklahoma won 84-71.

<h4>Head games: </h4>

Oklahoma forward Blake Griffin hits his head on the backboard as he shoots against Syracuse during Friday's NCAA Tournament regional semifinal game in Memphis, Tenn. Oklahoma won 84-71.

STATE COLLEGE, Pa. – The glasses were thick and smoky, and the Nike sneakers were as jet-black as ever.

Yup, Joe Paterno’s back.

No cane in sight, the 82-year-old Hall of Famer paced the Penn State practice field Friday, the second day of spring drills.

Four months after hip replacement surgery, Paterno pronounced himself back at 100 percent, with the continued goal of returning to the sideline when the season opens this fall. Paterno spent the last eight games of the 2008 campaign coaching from the press box.

“I feel great. I’m not sure about from the neck up, but from the neck down, I’m OK,” he joked before practice in his first meeting with reporters since the Rose Bowl. “I’m fine, really. That’s a dead issue.”

As for the Rose Bowl, that’s a different story.

The 38-24 loss to Southern California on Jan. 1 made for bitter offseason memories in the minds of the Big Ten champions.

“Absolutely,” Paterno quickly replied when asked if the loss lingered over the winter. “We didn’t play well, we didn’t coach well.

“I walked away from it not feeling good about anything. I think we can do better.”

Bad anchoring led to deaths

TAMPA, Fla. – A state report on the Feb. 28 boating accident that claimed the lives of two NFL players and a former University of South Florida player sheds more light on the cause and the fate of the men who died.

Oakland Raiders linebacker Marquis Cooper and free-agent NFL defensive lineman Corey Smith, along with former USF football player Will Bleakley perished in the accident, but their bodies have not been recovered.

Nick Schuyler, also a former USF player, was rescued from the capsized boat after nearly two days adrift.

According to the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission report, the accident was caused by improper anchoring, not enough slack in the anchor line and an attempt by Cooper, the boat’s owner, to thrust the vessel forward to dislodge the anchor.

The agency also indicated that visual distress equipment on the boat failed.

The report says all of the men, except Smith, were under the influence of alcohol at the time of the incident.

Investigators say the lone survivor, Schuyler, suffered from hypothermia and contusions.

Roddick-Wade to battle?

MIAMI – Andy Roddick says he’ll likely be unable to accept Dwyane Wade’s offer to play H-O-R-S-E.

The Miami Heat announced that Wade would play Roddick and fellow tennis pro Mardy Fish on the team’s practice court following Sunday’s workout. But a few hours later, Roddick said his next match in the Sony Ericsson Open will be the same day, likely preventing him from taking on Wade.

“I’m kind of mad,” Roddick said after winning his opening match Friday night. “He’s like my favorite athlete. So I’m just going to have to pull out of the tournament.”

Roddick was joking: He’s certain to show for his next match against Dmitry Tursunov.

U.S. ready for El Salvador

MIAMI SHORES, Fla. – DaMarcus Beasley vividly remembers the first time he played a soccer match in El Salvador in 1999 with the U.S. under-17 team.

“I was taking a corner kick, and one of the fans threw a dead chicken head at my foot, and I looked down, and I was like, ‘Whoa,’ ” he recalled. “And the whole crowd started laughing. It was pretty crazy, but it’s something you experience when you play in those countries.”

Beasley and his teammates will be back in San Salvador on Saturday night when the United States tries to improve to 2-0 in the final round of World Cup qualifying in North and Central America and the Caribbean.

“We’re ready. We’re prepared. We know what’s at stake,” said defender Frankie Hejduk, along with Beasley is among four Americans on the current roster to have played in El Salvador.

“The crowd’s hostile, and we expect nothing less. We’ve just got to make sure we’re playing our game and doing the things that we do right and we’ll be all right.”

<br />
<h4>QUOTABLE: </h4>
<p>‘I think a lack of humility is the greatest killer of potential. So we’re not going to fall in love with ourselves because we had a good game.’ –</p>
<p>Louisville coach, on Friday’s win over UA” width=”437″ height=”640″ /><p class=


'I think a lack of humility is the greatest killer of potential. So we're not going to fall in love with ourselves because we had a good game.' –


Louisville coach, on Friday's win over UA



Fans appreciate UA’s run to Sweet 16

• Not impressed with Pitino allowing showboating. When you’re getting all the breaks act like you’ve been there before.

Tough loss – but better than losing by one in OT.


• Hey we can dog the team all we want for this loss but to tell you the truth I actually am proud of this team. They kept the streak alive, and they got to the Sweet 16. If Pennell coached last year’s team we would have gone further, but that’s my opinion.


• Louisville played a great game – period. They played it to perfection and when your opponent is that (good), there is not much you can do.


• A lot of these (online) posts are the worst, fair-weathered posts ever. Support our guys. They did what they could. Hill still had a double-double with 14 and 11. It’s just that Louisville had three guys his size, that could hit shots outside, too. Respect your team and what Pennell and Dunlap have done for us.


• I agree that Louisville ran up the score. It was not the Cats’ night from the get-go. Thank you Russ and company for a job well done. You will have a head coaching job next year – probably a mid-major.


• My sincere appreciation to the team, coaches and yes, the fans of the University of Arizona. A great season and a great run. The only people on the court today that showed any class, was the UA coaches and their players. Pitino would be a severe step down from Pennell and Dunlap.


• I’m not sure any of the Big Three would even start for Louisville. Congrats to Chase for playing like the only Wildcat who gave a damn.


• Thanks Cats and coaches for a really special season. I think that even if they had been on their game, that Louisville would have won, they were impressive. Thanks to the players and coaches for a very special season.


I could care less about the showboating and stuff. Hey, it goes with the territory when you get your butt kicked.




1942: Stanford beats Dartmouth 53-38 for the NCAA basketball championship.

1950: CCNY beats Bradley 71-68 in the NCAA basketball final to become the only team to win the NIT and NCAA titles in the same year. CCNY beat Bradley 69-61 in the NIT on March 18.

1977: Marquette beats North Carolina 67-59 for the NCAA title.

1990: Vanderbilt wins its first postseason tournament ever as Derrick Wilcox scores all of his 16 points in the second half of a 74-72 victory over St. Louis in the finals of the NIT.

1990: Michael Jordan scores 69 points, the ninth highest total in NBA history, to help Chicago beat Cleveland 117-113 in overtime and clinch a playoff spot.

1992: Christian Laettner hits a 15-foot turnaround jumper at the buzzer to give defending champion Duke a 104-103 overtime victory over Kentucky and a fifth consecutive trip to the Final Four.

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