Happy Monday everyone, here's my Top 5 for April 4, 2011 from Len Berman at www.ThatsSports.com.
1. Quick Hits
* Tonight's NCAA Championship game between Butler and U-Conn tips off at 9:23 pm Eastern on CBS.
* The women's final tomorrow night will feature two surprise teams, Notre Dame and Texas A&M. Notre Dame upset two-time defending champ U-Conn last night, 72-63.
* Ian Kinsler and Nelson Cruz of the Texas Rangers become the first teammates to homer in the first three games of the season, as Texas swept the Red Sox.
* Phil Mickelson warmed up for this week's Masters by winning the Houston Open by three shots.
* The hottest athlete of the year? Tennis player Novak Djokovic. He is 24-0 in 2011, winning his fourth straight tournament yesterday in Key Biscayne.
* India beat Sri Lanka by six wickets to win the Cricket World Cup over the weekend. Damn, I had Sri Lanka plus five wickets.
2. The Championship Game
It's U-Conn and Butler tonight for the NCAA championship. 5.9 million entered the ESPN bracket contest. 881 correctly picked this matchup. More importantly, ahem, in my Top 5 NCAA contest, all you had to do was pick the winning team before the tournament started. Five out of several hundred picked U-Conn. Nobody picked Butler. Then there's the mini-contest. 58 of you have U-Conn beating Butler. Another 27 picked Butler to beat U-Conn. With all the hoo-hah that college basketball receives, how many of you outside of Indiana followed the Butler Bulldogs this season? Heck, not that many in Indianapolis follow them. Hinkle Fieldhouse seats 10,000. When they lost to the University Wisconsin-Milwaukee in January, less than 7,000 showed up. Contrast that with Big East behemoth U-Conn, embroiled in recruiting controversies. Doesn't "National Champion Butler" have a nice ironic ring to it?
3. Hall of Famer
I guess you now have to use Dennis Rodman and Hall of Fame in the same sentence. Rodman says he is in. The official announcement comes later today. Yes he won five NBA Championships and seven rebounding titles, but what's the first thing you think of when you hear his name? Head butting the ref? Kicking the cameraman? Wearing a wedding dress? He was in a league of his own. Does the Hall of Fame have a special wing for that?
Wayne Rooney, the Manchester United soccer star, had quite a game the other day. He scored three goals and led his team to a come-from-behind win over West Ham. How did he celebrate after his hat trick goal? He dropped the F-bomb on camera. He has publicly apologized, but it might not be enough to save him from being punished by the Football Association. Tough standards over there. By the way, the BBC, which televised the match, didn't receive a single complaint.
5. Let's Go Mets
Somebody on the Mets TV crew thought it would be funny to air a little audio clip right after their opening night loss in Florida. Problem is, it wasn't just any audio clip. It was from the TV show Family Guy.
The Mets bounced back to win the next two. I'm guessing this TV techie didn't.
Happy Birthday: He was bowled over by Pete Rose in the 1970 All Star Game, and he lived to celebrate his birthday today. Catcher Ray Fosse. 64.
Bonus Birthday: Iron Man, Robert Downey, Jr. 46.
Today in Sports: Martin Luther King Jr. was assassinated on this date. Major League Baseball announced the postponement of opening day until after his funeral. 1968.
Bonus Event: Now that's a Top 5. The Beatles set a record with the top five songs on the Billboard singles chart. 1) "Can't Buy Me Love" 2) "Twist and Shout" 3) "She Loves You" 4) "I Want to Hold Your Hand" 5) "Please Please Me." 1964.
To sign up for Len's free daily Top 5 email click here.