A.J. Graves entertained his teammates with a small dance before the Big Dance after Butler beat Cleveland State 70--55 on March 11 to win the Horizon League tournament in Indianapolis and an automatic berth in the NCAAs. The Bulldogs were seeded seventh in the East and will face South Alabama in the first round on Friday in Birmingham ( NCAA bracket gatefold, page 73).
Devils right wing David Clarkson took the high road and linemate Dainius Zubrus (16) the low in wiping out Wild forward Steve Kelly during their game last Thursday in St. Paul. New Jersey won 4--3 in a shootout.
For all his determination—and his 24 points—Lakers forward Kobe Bryant couldn't put a halt to the Rockets' winning streak, which reached 22 games with a 104--92 victory on Sunday in Houston. In NBA history only the 1971--72 Lakers won more consecutive games (33).