PRO BASKETBALL—The April 2 NBA strike appeared almost inevitable when, after two days of promising negotiations, talks between players and management broke off on March 24, after less than half an hour. "We're back to square one," said union chief Larry Fleisher. Prevention of a strike would seem to require compromises on two issues: percentage of revenues to the players—the union is asking 53%; the owners are offering 50%—and minimum salary structure. The union thinks $3.5 million per team has a nice ring to it; but the owners are proposing much less. Amidst all the bickering, playoff-bound teams got their licks in against one another: New York beat Atlantic Division leader Philadelphia 89-76 as Bernard King made 16 of 18 shots and had 33 points. The same night Milwaukee, first in the Central Division, crawled to within two games of Boston for home-court playoff advantage with a 116-108 victory over the Celtics. Out West, resurgent Seattle won for the seventh time in its last eight games, 137-117 over San Antonio, and David Thompson's defense was the difference. He held Ice Gervin to just 14 points. Then the Midwest Division-leading Spurs defeated Pacific Division leader Los Angeles 132-120 behind Artis Gilmore's 33 points.
BOWLING—Defending champion NIKKI GIANULIAS beat top-seeded Dana Miller 253-223 to win the $25,000 Clearwater ( Fla.) Classic.
Mark Fahy defeated Tom Baker 234-225 to win the $150,000 Miller Open in Milwaukee.
BOXING—LARRY HOLMES retained his WBC heavyweight title with a unanimous 12-round decision over Lucien Rodriguez in Scranton, Pa.
Chang Chong Ku won the WBC light flyweight title with a third-round TKO over defending champion Hilario Zapata near Seoul, South Korea.
FENCING—WAYNE STATE defeated Notre Dame by six points to win the NCAA men's championship in Kenosha, Wis.
PRO FOOTBALL—USFL: It was the young league's worst week. On Saturday an announced crowd of 5,000 was on hand in Birmingham to see the Stallions edge Arizona 16-7, and then on Sunday it rained in all four league cities and a total of only 71,580 fans showed up. The answer to the weekly "How did Herschel Walker do?" question was not too shabby. In a 31-21 New Jersey loss to Boston he gained 97 yards on 21 carries, ran for a touchdown and caught four passes for 62 yards. If only he hadn't fumbled into Breaker Safety Joe Restic's arms with 4:22 remaining in the game. That set up Tim Mazzetti's 45-yard game-winning field goal, his third of the afternoon. Tampa Bay (4-0) won the league's first official showdown, trimming previously unbeaten Philadelphia 27-22. Bandit Cornerback Jeff George set up one score with a fumble recovery and then sprinted 22 yards with an interception for another. Chicago evened both its and Los Angeles' record at 2-2 with a 20-14 defeat of the Express. Washington edged Michigan 22-16.
COLLEGE HOCKEY—WISCONSIN won its fourth NCAA championship with a 6-2 victory over Harvard in Grand Forks, N. Dak. (page 102).
HOCKEY—With one week left in the regular season there was suddenly a race developing in the Smythe Division, albeit for second place. After weeks of watching first-place Edmonton pile up points, Calgary, Vancouver and Winnipeg embarked on a dogfight for preferred playoff positioning. Vancouver, 2-0-2 on the week, virtually knocked fifth-place Los Angeles out of the postseason picture with a 8-4 win Sunday night to move within one point of second-place Calgary, which took the wind out of Winnipeg's sails by grounding the Jets 4-3. Winnipeg had earlier reached the 70-point plateau by ripping the Oilers 7-4 before a record home crowd of 15,807 and then doused the Flames 5-2 on the road. Philadelphia remained atop the Patrick Division, as did Chicago the Norris, although Minnesota closed to within four points of the Black Hawks, including a fight-filled 4-3 victory over Chicago Monday night.
HORSE RACING—MARFA ($8.80), Jorge Velasquez up, beat Noble Home by eight lengths to win the $233,100 Jim Beam Spiral Stakes for 3-year-olds at Latonia Race Course. The son of Foolish Pleasure ran the 1[1/16] miles in 1:44[1/5] (page 96).