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Who's Hot Who's Not
February 19, 2007
Who's Hot
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February 19, 2007

Who's Hot Who's Not

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Who's Hot

Beyond the gridiron (page 36): Florida hoops had 16 straight wins, a No. 1 ranking and a balanced attack including Joakim Noah, who helps the Gators in many ways. When forward Corey Brewer's pajama pants got ignited by a candle in their dorm—talk about hot: Brewer (above) later scored 16 on Kentucky—Noah slapped out the flames, declaring, "I saved his life."

Cincinnati starter Bronson (14 wins, a league-high 240 2/3 innings last year) got a two-year, $25 million extension. "I'm a Red through and through now," said Bronson (left). And Orlando guard Carlos is more than a pretty face in the Pop Culture Grid (page 26): He's averaging 10.5 points this month, double his January output.

Sacramento Kings
The Maloofs' (page 50) team was looking like the Kings of the early aughts. Five wins in six games—behind streaking shooter Kevin Martin—had them thinking playoffs.

While Natalie Maines (right) and her Dixie Chicks cleaned up at the Grammys, Maine's NCAA pucksters were winning (four of five for the men, two straight for women). And as pitchers arrived at spring training, the Mets' John Maine—a playoff surprise—had the inside track to be the team's No. 3 starter.

Who's Not

Blue Devils
The Machiavellian question: Who can a team with a name like this make a pact with? Duke had lost four straight games (its worst streak in 11 years) and slipped out of the polls as Coach K desperately shuffled his lineup. In the words of point guard Greg Paulus (above, seven turnovers in a 12-point loss to Maryland): "It doesn't feel good."

Welterweight Luis Collazo crowed that Sugar Shane Moseley—at 35 he's 10 years older than Collazo—would melt in their Saturday-night fight at Mandalay Bay. What happened? Moseley won by a lopsided decision. Said Collazo (left) to The New York Times after the underattended bout, "I'll be back."

L.A. Kings
The NHL's Western Conference doormats dropped 12 of 15 and as the trade deadline nears, their talent level thins: Veterans Craig Conroy and Sean Avery were shipped out.

Dice K
As superbly nicknamed Daisuke Matsuzaka (right) prepared to toe Florida rubber, he was causing unease among Red Sox brass with an Asahi beer ad that aired in Japan. Between shots of him pulling on, and pitching in, his Sox issue number 18, he quaffs a tall brew. In the U.S., such ads are a Major League no-no.