Knicks by 7 over Celtics
Cavaliers by 2 over Supersonics
Suns by 3 over Spurs
Bucks by 8 over Rockets
Blazers by 12 over Clippers
Pacers by 4 over Supersonics
76ers by 8 over Wizards
Jazz by 6 over Celtics
Hornets by 3 over Hawks
Raptors by 9 over Nets
Magic by 7 over Cavaliers
Heat by 4 over Pistons
Knicks by 6 over Bulls
Nuggets by 2 over TWolves
Clippers by 3 over Kings
Lakers by 7 over Grizzlies
Rockets by 4 over Mavericks
Spurs by 9 over Hawks
Bucks by 4 over Bulls
Nuggets by 2 over Suns
Trailblazers by 10 over Warriors
Raptors by 5 over Knicks
Magic by 1 over Pistons
Pacers by 2 over Nets
Wizards by 4 over Jazz
Celtics by 3 over Hornets
TWolves by 10 over Supersonics
Heat by 6 over Cavaliers
Lakers by 12 over Warriors
Arizona St. by 7 over Oregon
S. Florida by 6 over Cincinnati
New Mexico by 5 over BYU
S. Cal. by 3 over Stanford
California by 4 over UCLA
UNLV by 9 over Colorado St.
Cincinnati by 7 over DePaul
Miami Fla. by 8 over Villanova
Ohio St. by 5 over Penn St.
Seton Hall by 3 over UConn
Virginia by 4 over Maryland
New Mexico by 4 over Utah
Arkansas by 10 over Georgia
Stanford by 7 over UCLA
Iowa St. by 14 over Nebraska
Washington St. by 6 over Washington
Minnesota by 3 over Illinois
Arizona St. by 12 over Oregon St.
S. Florida by 7 over S. Miss
Boston College by 5 over West Va.
Indiana by 4 over Purdue
Arizona by 15 over Oregon
California by 3 over S. Cal.
Oklahoma St. by 7 over Oklahoma
Fresno St. by 7 over Tulsa
Florida by 4 over Kentucky
St. Johns by 5 over Syracuse
Wake Forest by 3 over N. Carolina St.
Georgetown by 4 over Notre Dame
Duke by 6 over N. Carolina
Kansas by 12 over Missouri
Low-scoring NHL games ahead
By Bob Joyce
Buffalo at Ottawa: This is a big game between these two Northeast Division rivals. They face off for the fifth time this season. Buffalo holds a 3-1 edge going into this contest. Behind goalie Dominik Hasek, Buffalo shut out the Senators twice at home by 2-0 scores. Ottawa won 3-1 at home and lost in overtime to the Sabres, 2-1. Buffalo has only allowed 142 goals this season, which ranks third in the league. The Senators have only given up 145 goals. Ottawa has the third best home record in the NHL; 20-5-4-2. The Sabres are just 13-14-2-1 on the road, which ranks them 16th. This should again be another low-scoring game. Predicted score: Ottawa 2-1.
San Jose at Toronto: This is the first meeting between these two clubs this season. Toronto is 1-2 against the Pacific Division, 7-6-5-2 vs. the Western Conference. San Jose holds a 2-1 edge against the Northeast. Its 11-3-1 against the Eastern Conference, which ranks No. 1 in the league. The Sharks are 17-7-6 on the road, third best in the league. The Leafs rank 17th at home, 14-9-7-3. San Jose is tops on defense, allowing only 130 goals. Toronto allowed 154 goals, 10th best in the league. Predicted score: San Jose 3-1.
Buffalo at Philadelphia: The Flyers are 2-0 against the Sabres, winning by scores of 3-0 and 3-1. The Flyers have the fifth best home record at 17-7-3. Buffalo ranks 16th on the road at 13-14-2-1. Philadelphia has scored 188 times. Buffalo has turned on the light 160 times. The defensive ledger favors Buffalo with Hasek as Buffalo has only allowed 142 goals compared to the Flyers 164. This should again be another low-scoring affair. Predicted score: Philadelphia 3-1.
Carolina at New Jersey: This is the fourth time these two Eastern Conference rivals meet. They skated to a 3-3 tie the first time, while the Devils prevailed in Game 2 with a narrow 3-2 (OT) victory. Game 3 was played last Friday night as the Panthers turned the tables on the Devils with a 3-2 win in Carolina. The Devils are 15-9-6 at home. The Panthers are 10-13-4-3 on the road. The Devils have been plagued by injuries and are in the midst of their worst slump of the season. Predicted score: Carolina 4-3.
Buffalo at Colorado: This is the third game of a tough five-game road trip for the Sabres. They face the high-powered offense of the Avalanche for the first time this season. Buffalo is 8-7-2-1 vs. the Western Conference, 2-2 against the Northwest Division. Colorado sports the third best record in the league when facing the Eastern Conference at 11-3-4, and 2-1-1 vs. the Northeast Division. Colorado leads the league in goals scored (206), compared to Buffalos 160 goals. Colorado sports the leagues second best home record of 22-5-4-1. Buffalo is third in the league in goals against (142). However, Colorado is fourth, allowing only 144 goals. Last week the Avalanche just got stronger on defense with addition of Rob Blake from the Kings. Its definitely the best club in the league on both sides of the ice. Predicted score: Colorado 4-1.
Hoops rivalry week here
ACC is gearing up for league tournament
By: Ramon Scott
A week ago, Duke and North Carolina faced similar situations heading into this Sundays rematch of an earlier meeting won in upset fashion by the Tar Heels at Cameron Indoor Stadium.
The Blue Devils went on the road last Saturday to take on Tobacco Road neighbor Wake Forest. Although the Deacons gave Duke one of its stiffest tests of the season, the visitors prevailed on a buzzer-beater.
The Tar Heels, meanwhile, went in to meet a surging Virginia team and were seemingly no match for the hosts after halftime, losing by 20 points.
Revenge might give the edge to the Devils, since Duke had covered four straight meetings in the series before the Heels knocked them off in the first game.
The Duke-UNC series is certainly one that the previous records between the two could be thrown out, but prefer to side with recent history and take the hotter club... Duke 99, North Carolina 87.
The other top teams in the Atlantic Coast Conference meet Saturday, when Virginia travels to take on Maryland.
The Cavs have been a different team on the road, failing three straight, but the Terps are just 2-5 as home favorites.
U. Va. took the first meeting, 99-78, getting an easy home cover, but this one could be much tighter... Maryland 81, Virginia 76.
More revenge Saturday is prevalent when Stanford goes to UCLA to try and avenge a home loss three weeks ago.
The Cardinal had failed six of eight heading into the week, but are 6-3 against the spread away from home. Meanwhile, the Bruins are 8-5 against the number at home, have covered seven of their last 10 overall. Theyve gone under the posted total in seven of eight at Pauley.
Stanford won here by 15 last season. This ones bound to be closer... Stanford 83, UCLA 80.
Trades change NBA look
By: Andy Iskoe
The trading deadline has come and gone. Several contenders made major trades to strengthen themselves for the end of the regular season and the playoffs. Less than six weeks (about 25 games) remain until the playoffs.
Philadelphia continues to play outstanding basketball and by weeks end might have a double-digit lead in the Atlantic Division over rivals Miami and New York. The 76ers were involved in a major trade on deadline day. The principal acquisition was Dikembe Mutombo in exchange for Theo Ratliff and Toni Kukoc. Theres some concern that the trade might disturb the Sixers great team chemistry.
Coach Larry Brown has been good at handling diverse personalities and should be up to this challenge. Perhaps the concern in the trading was the status of Ratliff, whose return from injury remains uncertain. Mutombos shot-blocking ability and Phillys overall strength up front with Tyrone Hill and George Lynch solidify the 76ers. But they will go as far as Allen Iverson takes them. Iverson is likely the NBAs MVP this season.
In the Central Division, Milwaukee has extended to a five-game lead over Charlotte and has the second best record in the Eastern Conference, behind Philly. Charlotte seems to have stopped a recent skid, having won three straight as the week begins. Overall, just seven teams have winning records in the East. Indiana holds down the eighth and final seed, though they are three games below .500.
The real competition remains in the West, where both division races and the battle for the conferences best record remain tightly contested. Utah holds the best record in the West, but has one less loss than San Antonio, Sacramento, the Lakers and Portland. Those five also are pressed by both Dallas and Phoenix. Utahs half game lead over the Spurs in the Midwest Division will be challenged the rest of the way, but the pair have opened up a slight gap over both Dallas and Minnesota.
In the Pacific Division, the top four teams have opened up a sizable gap over Seattle. In fact, the playoff picture is becoming much clearer in the West. The top eight teams hold 2Â½-game leads over the rest of the field. Yet 11 of the 14 teams have winning records, with Denver a game over .500 and 11th in the West. In the East, that record would be good enough for the eighth seed, a half game behind the seventh team and a pair of games ahead of the next best team.
Keep an eye on the Lakers. Despite the well-publicized differences between Shaquille ONeal and Kobe Bryant, coach Phil Jackson hasnt seemed overly upset or concerned. Jackson understands about the bumps every team will encounter in a long season. The Lakers have been winning two of every three games for more than a month. Theyre poised to challenge for the best record in the West once Bryant returns at full strength. Theyre only three losses behind Philadelphia, which means the best overall record in the league is well within reach with a third of their regular season (27 games) remaining.
Heres a look at three attractive matchups this weekend: Minnesota at Denver (Friday): Minnesota was the hottest team entering the All-Star break. Since then, the Timberwolves have lost five of six, defeating only lowly Golden State in this stretch. Minnesota is paced by Kevin Garnett, one of the NBAs top five players. The backcourt of Terrell Brandon and Anthony Peeler has largely been a positive for the Wolves, but lack of depth takes its toll, as their slump shows.
Denver plays much better at home (22-7) than on the road (7-21). The
Nuggets have a pair of bona fide All- Stars in Nick Van Exel and Antonio McDyess. Both
teams are rested. Denver plays at Phoenix tomorrow. Denver will be a small favorite. The
preference is to back them if laying no more than a trey. The Nuggets play with great
confidence before their home fans. Minnesota is just under a .500 team on the road. Both
teams like to run the court, which may make altitude a negative
factor for the TWolves in the second half. The preference is for the OVER if the total line is 200 or less, with Denver projected to win by from 6 to 9 points.
Houston at Dallas (Saturday): Houston ranks ninth in the West, 2Â½ games behind Minnesota for the final playoff berth. Cuttino Mobley and Steve Francis lead the offense for the Rockets. Aging veteran center Hakeem Olajuwon is still capable of big efforts. Dallas made a trade to acquire Juwan Howard. His presence strengthens the Mavericks by providing another scoring option to Michael Finley and Dirk Nowitzki.
Houston is playing better than .500 on the road. Dallas has one of the weaker home records of playoff-bound teams. Dallas hasnt played since Tuesday. Houston played two nights ago. Dallas should be a small favorite in this game, perhaps around minus 4. The preference would be to play on Houston if the line is at least +6, with the Over/Under guide being 200 for determining a play on the Total.
New York at Toronto (Sunday): The Knicks and Raptors were involved in one of the major trades as the trading deadline hit. New York reacquired guard Mark Jackson, who began his career with the Knicks a decade ago. Jackson gives the Knicks consistency and reliability at point guard. He should be effective at spreading the ball around to teammates, including Larry Johnson, Latrell Sprewell and Allan Houston.
The Knicks have some talented players, but struggled to find offensive consistency. The hope is that Jackson will provide the oil to get the Knicks machine running up to potential. Toronto is led by Vince Carter, but his supporting cast is not as well balanced as New Yorks. Ex-Knick Charles Oakley has been steady as has been Antonio Davis, but the Knicks have more options. The game figures to be priced around a pick em. The preference is for the visitors. The Knicks plus any points will be a bonus in a game theyre projected to win by from 5 to 8 points. If the Over/Under is no higher than 178, the OVER is also worth considering.
Bookies required to install foolproof phone systems
BY Adam Soboleski
Nevada gaming regulators have set a Thursday deadline for sports books to implement new phone bet systems that screen illegal callers from out of state.
"Were making sure were doing everything we can on this," said Keith Copher, enforcement division chief. "Technology is changing every day. (Were making sure) wagering can only be done within the state of Nevada."
Copher and the enforcement division want to stop wagers placed from out of state. In the past, a bettor could have called from outside Nevada and call-forward through a phone instate. With older technology, a sports book might see just the instate phone number. New technology will identify the out-of-state phone where the call originates.
A Feb. 5 letter to sports books said, "Only those books that have an approved system, or have a notification on file with the boards Enforcement Division that they are vigorously pursing the purchase and/or installation of such a system will be permitte