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RPI goes out of style, for moment

Fast food for thought . . .

* Nothing in sports receives more hype and carries less meaning than college basketball's Ratings Percentage Index, a tool the selection committee routinely dismisses when it suits its shameless agenda. I'm still waiting for the mid-majors to unite and file suit against the NCAA over the glaring inequities in the selection process. After all, doesn't the organization have a responsibility to serve all its members, not just those in conferences with the greatest cash flow?

* And while we're at it, it's time to do away with the ESPN-perpetuated sham known as BracketBuster weekend. You want bracket busters? Get the fringe teams in the major conferences to play top-level mid-majors either on the road or at neutral sites. The current setup serves no purpose other than to have the mid-majors inflict damage upon one another. This stuff is so transparent it's ridiculous.

* Can it be long before we have a U.N. subcommittee investigating the umpiring at the World Baseball Classic? I'm sure it's just coincidence, but baseball's reputation has been in precipitous decline ever since the Red Sox reversed the curse.

* Couldn't make room to indulge in my usual feeding frenzy of Section VI basketball games this time around. But I doubt there was any athlete classier in defeat than Riverside senior Mike Williams, one of the area's top talents. Williams was in tears as he realized his career was going to end with the Frontiers' Class AA semifinal loss to Jamestown. Yet when the horn sounded he made a beeline toward the opposing bench, offered his congratulations, then returned to his own bench and sobbed. There's a kid who gets it all the way around.

* You know what I like most about this Sabres team? It's not one of those lunch-bucket-carrying crews. You have to admit, once in awhile it's a treat to ditch the salami and cheese and dine at a five-star restaurant.

* I know he went over the top on occasions. But I'll always have a soft spot for retiring Temple coach John Chaney. His rants were a breath of fresh air in a country obsessed with what's politically correct.

* Billy Packer, on the other hand, can't retire soon enough.

* I'm miffed by the signing of Andre' Davis, a receiver of the Lee Evans-Roscoe Parrish ilk. If Eric Moulds is on the way out, the Bills better come up with a solid possession receiver, especially now that they're committed to a blocking tight end.

* Barry Bonds hit his first spring homer Sunday. Can't you just feel the anticipation building?

* What was with the Boston Bruins accusing the Sabres of diving? How do you put a stick on what you can't catch?

* Annika Sorenstam won her LPGA season debut in Mexico over the weekend, a reminder that the tour's celebrated U.S.-based youth movement still has a ways to go before overthrowing the queen.

* Nice to see the Washington Redskins go off on a spending spree underwritten by their small-market brethren. Tell me again how this new labor deal's good for the NFL.

* By the way, did you notice rookie contracts have been cut from six years to a maximum of four? Gets players on the free-agent market more quickly, much to the delight of the free spenders.

* I think this is the year the 'Zags make the Final Four.

* Don't get me wrong. I like the sport. But listening to NASCAR on radio is like being stuck in a beehive. Oops. Make that a Pennzoil/Pep Boys/Firestone beehive.

* I'm still good with the Bills retaining Nate Clements despite the recent price hike. Clements is an impact player on a team with a pass rush. You don't let players like Clements get away. You build a team that can pass rush.

* Landing Drew Brees would make the Dolphins significantly better than the Bills.

e-mail: bdicesare@buffnews.com

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