03/15/2011 10:56 am ET | Updated May 25, 2011

Top 5 Sports Stories

Happy Tuesday everyone, here's my Top 5 for March 15, 2011 from Len Berman at

1. Quick Hits

* The NCAA basketball tournament begins tonight with two games.
* U-Conn, seeking its third straight title, is the #1 overall seed in the NCAA women's tournament.
* A federal court hearing has been set for April 6th on the NFL players request to lift the owners' lockout.
* Japan cancels all soccer games for the rest of the month for obvious reasons.

2. Post Season

Wow, remember when it meant something special to make the post season? Now 68 teams make the NCAA tournament, 32 more make the NIT, and if that's not enough, 16 others get into the CBI whatever that is. That's 116 colleges that can boast making the "second season." You have to wonder if there are more teams than college graduates among them?

3. Insurance

Look no further than the Wall Street Journal to figure out what NFL owners are up to. The newspaper reports that the owners have enough money on hand to kill the entire 2011 season. What percentage of players are as well-heeled? That's what the owners are banking on, that the players will miss a paycheck or two and cave. My thought for the day: If the owners say they need givebacks, they have to show the players your books. Why should anyone take the owners' word for it?

4. Punch Line

It always annoys me when politicians are funnier than I am. I mentioned last month that former New York Governor David Paterson told me "Mets pitchers and lawyers were scheduled to report." Yesterday, on the John Gambling radio show, the Guv came up with another goodie. We were talking about Mets pitcher Oliver Perez, and how his only hope to make the team and somehow "earn" his $12 million salary, is as a situational lefty. (Nice work if you can get it.) Sunday he faced one lefty batter. That was it. The Governor suggested that Cardinal manager Tony La Russa should have pinch-hit with a righty to get Perez out of the game. Spoken like a true Mets fan.

5. That's the Ticket

High ticket prices aren't limited to Knicks games and personal seat licenses. Tickets are now on sale for the 2012 Olympics in London, 500 days away. The cheapest seat for any event is $32. The top ticket? 2012 pounds for the opening ceremony, a cool $3,255. Airfare, hotel, food, and souvenirs not included. That's the Olympic spirit.

Happy Birthday: Youk. Red Sox infielder Kevin Youkilis. 32.
Bonus Birthday: The former Mrs. Tony Parker, actress Eva Longoria. 36.

Today in Sports: A record that will never be broken. Pitcher Cy Young retires from baseball with 511 wins. (He's featured in my kids book, The 25 Greatest Baseball Players of All Time.
Bonus Event: They whacked Julie Caesar. As if he wasn't warned about the Ides of March. 44 B.C.

Good luck to everyone who entered my Top 5 NCAA basketball contest. Let the madness begin!

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