March 19, 2004  
Volume 97, Issue 89  

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Outside the Western Gates: Pro sports recap

By James Hayes
Gazette Writer

The following are highlights from the past week of professional sports:

The NCAA March Madness Tournament begins, with the opening games today. Tourney brackets, predictions and bets are rampant as usual, as people are eager to wager on the premier United States college basketball event. The top seeds for the tournament are the Kentucky Wildcats, the Saint Joseph’s Hawks, the Duke Blue Devils and the Stanford Cardinal. The 16th seed “play-in” game took place on Tuesday, with Florida A&M defeating Lehigh. Florida A&M will now play first-seed Kentucky in their opening game.

Hockey Canada named former St. Louis Blues’ coach Joel Quenneville as their head coach for this year’s World Hockey Championships. Quenneville was somewhat in limbo when he was recently being fired by the Blues, after multiple winning seasons. This year, due largely to injuries, the Blues are fighting for their playoff lives. The World Hockey Championships are played during the NHL post-season, so the team is available to NHL pros on teams who have not qualified for the playoffs or are eliminated first-round. Last year, then Edmonton Oilers’ Anson Carter potted the overtime winner to give Canada the gold. Quenneville and Hockey Canada hope for similar success this time around.

Vancouver Canucks’ forward Todd Bertuzzi has been suspended for the rest of the regular season and the playoffs for his attack on Steve Moore of the Colorado Avalanche. Moore suffered facial lacerations, a concussion and two fractured vertebrae after being punched in the head and driven into the ice by Bertuzzi. In a tear-filled press conference last week, Bertuzzi expressed his regret and apologized for the incident, indicating he wanted to meet with Moore in person. NHL executives also hold a clause in the suspension, where they can ban the Canucks’ power forward further next season, if they see fit.

Former San Francisco 49ers wide receiver Terrell Owens is finally a Philadelphia Eagle. There had long been rumours about the Eagles actively pursuing the mouthy Pro Bowler, but the Niners dealt Owens to the Baltimore Ravens, without his consent, for a second-round draft pick. After an appeal to the NFL and much complaining, Owens got his wish, getting shipped from the Ravens to the Eagles in a three-way trade. The deal saw Owens go to Philadelphia, defensive end Brandon Whiting go to San Francisco and the Eagles shipping a fifth-round pick to Baltimore. The Ravens also get back their second-round pick they gave initially for T.O.

Speculation has it that the Montreal Expos may move to Connecticut. A Massachusetts-based real estate developer wants to move the team and re-name them the Connecticut Colonials. The reeling Expos are owned by Major League Baseball, and there has been talk for a the past couple seasons of moving the team to such locations as Portland, Washington D.C. and even Mexico City. Last season, Montreal played half their home games in San Juan, Puerto Rico.



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