Volume 95, Issue 94

Wednesday, April 3, 2002
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Cutting the hardware in half

American League full of contenders

Walt Disney's pissed

Engineers are revving their engines and heading to Pontiac

Walt Disney's pissed

For whom the bell tolls
Jordan Bell
Sports Editor

Where is Charles Perrault when you need him?

The 18th century French writer and revisionist of the mythical Cinderella story has disappeared into shadows and dust, but his masterpiece still captivates audiences today.

Unfortunately, Perrault had nothing to say about the ending of the NCAA March championship final at the Georgia Dome on Monday night.

The Indiana Hoosiers, much like Perrault's abused and ignored little belle, came into the tournament as a number five seed – underestimated and disrespected. They were not forecast to register anything remotely ground-breaking and it appeared another routine first-round exit was on the horizon.

Did the ghost of Bobby Knight live on and would it be another season on the brink?

However, Cinderella Hoosier shocked basketball fans across the continent when she upset the heavily favoured Duke Blue Devils in the sweet 16 and opened people's eyes further when she downed the Oklahoma Sooners.

The chimney cleaner had dropped her broom and instead wielded a bat, striking a blow to her menacing older sisters.

It was a fairy tale story occurring right before our eyes – the glass slipper fit to perfection.

Cinderella's fairy godmother, coach Mike Davis, had outfitted the team nicely. The dress was exquisite, much like guard Tom Coverdale's crisp passing and slashing penetration. The jewelry was shiny and new, much like the emergence of centre Jeffrey Newton and guard A.J. Moye and the renewed confidence of the damsel in distress was pristine, much like the long distance shooting of guards Dane Fife and Kyle Hornsby.

And Cinderella even had her very own carriage to ride all the way to the 'Big Dance,' forward Jared Jefferies.

But I never remember reading about a beast waiting at the ball to eat the innocent little princess for dinner.

The Maryland Terrapins forced the Hoosiers into a dreadful night of turnovers, poor shooting and confusion. The Hoosiers shot 20 of 58 from the field, turned the ball over 16 times and went two for seven from the charity stripe.

The game wasn't exactly a showcase of finely tuned basketball skills. The Terrapins also turned the ball over 16 times and both squads clearly looked like chickens with their heads cut off. It was an anticlimactic finish to a climactic Madness.

Cinderella spans the globe – 'Yeh Shin' in China, 'Tattercoats' in England and 'Marouckla' for the Slavs. I'm sure they all would definitely agree that the Indiana Hoosiers weren't worthy of the name on this night.

Maybe the story wasn't Cinderella at all.

Maybe the real story was Beauty and the Beast.

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