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Cinderella is not allowed in this NCAA Tournament

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Is it just me or has Cinderella boycotted the NCAA Tournament?

The tournament's favorite girl must be saving her magic for Opening Day.

This year will go down as the power teams' revenge on George Mason.

Be kind to Billy Packer, tap him on the shoulder and gently give him the news: two Pacific-10 Conference teams, and nearly a third, in the Elite Eight.

For further enlightenment, we'll remind the experts that an injury-ravaged Cal team beat both Oregon and UCLA.

They're hard to watch and finesse-challenged, which means they are not John Wooden's UCLA Bruins.

The embodiment of Ben Howland's new Bruins: garbage man Lorenzo Mata.

Branson of Ross won another state title while Modesto Christian wondered what might have been. Again.

Branson's winning formula and a lesson for MC: 13-for-13 free throws vs. View Park Prep.

A question for the Crusaders to ponder: Are accepting short-term transfer players from the area worth all the ill will?

You couldn't help but like him: the late Funny Car driver Eric Medlen (Oakdale).

If not for 8,000-horsepower racers, he preferred 1-horsepower: Medlen was a great calf-roper before he decided to go fast. ranks MC's Reeves Nelson as the nation's top sophomore small forward. Yes, he could be better than Chuck Hayes before he graduates.

The Giants are looking forward to the season until they remember that Armando Benitez is their closer.

Red Sox phenom Daisuke Matsuzaka owns both a great nickname (Dice K) and a way-out-there title for his best pitch (the gyro ball). Here's what left-handed batters call it — a screwball.

The Cactus and Grapefruit leagues add a "GB," or games-behind column, to their standings. Question: Why?

A bit of Bay Area sports history going dark in November: Bay Meadows, soon to be outrun by developers down the stretch.

Summarize the Kings' season (29-40) as a royal flush.

The madhouse for the last playoff spot in the West, reduced to the bottom line: fighting for the right to be drawn and quartered by the Dallas Mavericks.

Before you get too breathless about Kobe Bryant's 50-plus in his last four games: Wilt Chamberlain averaged 50.4 points in 1961-62.

The Houston Texans waived David Carr (Fresno State). If I'm Carr after 249 sacks, I'm celebrating.

Peyton Manning hosts "Saturday Night Live" tonight. If his commercials are a sign, he'll be great.

Not the worst gig in the NFL: ex-Raider Marques Tuiasosopo, signed by the Jets to hold a clipboard.

The Pakistan cricket coach was strangled after his team was upset by Ireland, and I thought Bob Knight took losses hard.

Playing great and seemingly not enjoying the moment at all: Ohio State freshman center Greg Oden.

O.J. Mayo, USC's superstar recruit, has not given his cell-phone number to future coach Tim Floyd. Wonder how Wooden would have responded to, "Don't call me. I'll call you."

Steve Alford resigned at Iowa and dropped into The Pit at New Mexico. Everyone knows the Big 10 has no business matching up with the Mountain West.

All four No. 1 seeds have reached the Elite Eight, and the lowest to advance is No. 3 Oregon. The underdogs, including the Southern Illinois Salukis (Go Dogs!) have joined Cinderella on the bench.