Surf's Up

The evolution of mankind, and sports, is made possible Kournikova.

"...attack North Korea. Rumsfeld told reporters the Korea crisis is still on hold, but that Pentagon officials are keeping a close watch on dictator Kim Jong Il.... 'I'll tell you one thing. That little four-eyed midget better watch his goddamn step, or he'll get exactly what's coming to him...'"

"...a grant from Exxon Corporation and the generous support of viewers like you. And now, episode thirteen of our series on the role of basket weaving in the Shang Dynasty of ancient China. As dawn broke, the noble Shang king, Liu Ku, worshipped by all the citizens as the Son of Heaven, determined to take his revenge on..."

"...Russian tennis star Anna Kournikova..."

What state is this? North Carolina? For the first time since the Chauncey Billups era, the University of Colorado (20-11) men have earned a spot in the NCAA basketball tournament, while amazing Colorado State (19-13) slipped into the Big Dance like a burglar working a basement window.

At the same time, the CU women's team accepted their eleventh NCAA bid in 21 seasons with the usual grace. Ceal Barry's 22-7 Buffaloes know all about hosting a dance. Thing is, they wouldn't mind stepping all over Brigham Young's feet. The Cougars visit the Coors Events Center for Saturday's first-round game.

The last time CSU's men's Rams got a taste of March Madness, in 1990, George Bush I was in the White House, and a UNLV team led by forward Larry Johnson won the national title by blowing away Duke 103-73. As it happens, long shot CSU got into this year's 65-team field by upsetting UNLV 62-61 on Saturday night to steal the Mountain West Conference tournament title. The Rams' first-round opponent on Thursday? Duke.

Does fourteenth-seeded CSU have any chance against the Blue Devils, seeded number three in the West Regional? Probably not. But seven-foot center Matt Nelson gives opponents fits, and the Rams are thrilled to get their shot at the three-time national champions.

The CU men, a ten seed in the South Regional, get 2000 national champion Michigan State on Friday: Bracketmeisters say the Buffs have a great chance of pulling off an upset and facing Florida in round two.

March Madness is not likely to last long in these parts. Even Mike Dunlap's admirable Metro State Roadrunners, winners of two of the last three NCAA Division II championships, will not move on this year. On Monday night, they lost a double-overtime thriller to Nebraska-Kearney, which ended their season at 28-5.

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