The Domino effect: More Barkley anchovies of wisdom


If Domino’s can create a form where anyone is allowed to rate their performance on the pizza boxes, why can’t we do the same and rate the Fats Domino of College Basketball, Charles Barkley, whenever he’s asked to break down a game during the NCAA tournament?

Prior to today’s Duke-Michigan game on CBS, studio host Greg Gumbel says: “The question before the group: what does Michigan have to do to beat the No. 1 seed in this region?”

Greg Anthony and Rick Pitino chime in about the need to shoot the 3-point shot well, and Kenny Smith touches on beating Duke off the dribble and have the guards fill the lines.

Barkley: “Michigan too young to beat Duke. Way too young to beat Duke.”

Gumbel: “I ask you how you’re gonna beat ’em and you say they’re too youn…” cut off by the commercial. Intentionally?

After Duke’s 73-71 win on Morris’ missed drive in the lane for Michigan:

Gumbel: “As we take a look at that last play, Charles what did you think?”

Barkley: “Well, I don’t know what the kid was thinkin’ in that situation ….
Oh, you mean over here, I’m sorry … uh, this was a good play. I think … the kid thought he had a layup and he kind of pulled up. Just a good shot. It was a great game… very impressed with Nolan Smith. He was the best player on the court. Let me tell you, those guys on Michigan, I thought they would wilt in the second half but they played terrific.”

Hold the anchovies, and extra baloney.

Like the other day (linked here).

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Play it foward: March 21-27 on your L.A. sports calendar


Highlights of the week ahead in sports, both here and afar:


Series: “Dancing With The Stars,” 9 p.m., Channel 7:

Does Sugar Ray Leonard, Hines Ward and Chris Jerico make you want to watch? This is not our idea of the Big Dance.

NHL: Kings vs. Calgary, Staples Center, 7:30 p.m., FSW:

If the Kings can’t solidify their own playoff spot, can they at least snuff out the Flames’?


NBA: Lakers vs. Phoenix, 7:30 p.m., FSW, TNT:

We saw how the Lakers struggled against the Blazers without Andrew Bynum; does it repeat itself for Game 2 of his suspension?


NBA: Clippers vs. Washington, Staples Center, 7:30 p.m., Prime Ticket:

In a 21-point win at Washington a couple of weeks ago, the Clippers got all of Blake Griffin’s 26 points before halftime.

NHL: Ducks at Dallas, 5:30 p.m., FSW:

Is this three-game road trip the beginning of the end for the Ducks?


College basketball: Men’s tournament, Sweet 16: San Diego State vs. UConn at Honda Center in Anaheim, 4:15 p.m., Channel 2; Florida vs. BYU in New Orleans, 4:27 p.m., TBS; Duke vs. Arizona at Honda Center in Anaheim, 6:45 p.m., Channel 2; Wisconsin vs. Butler in New Orleans, 6:57 p.m., TBS:

If the Big East is indeed overrated, then UConn can perhaps change that opinion by knocking off San Diego State and then the winner of Duke/Arizona this weekend.

NHL: Kings vs. San Jose, Staples Center, 7:30 p.m., FSW:

Recent problems playing at home don’t fare well for the Kings against the Pacific Division leaders.

NHL: Ducks at Nashville, 5 p.m., Prime:

Predators vs. Ducks. Even Discovery Channel watchers know who to bet the mortgage on.

Golf: PGA’s Arnold Palmer Invitational, first round, 10 a.m., Golf Channel:

Tiger Woods has won this six times in the last 10 years. As if it matters now.


College basketball: Men’s tournament, Sweet 16: North Carolina vs. Marquette in Newark, N.J., 4:15 p.m., Channel 2; Kansas vs. Richmond in San Antonio, 4:27 p.m., TBS; Ohio State vs. Kentucky in Newark, N.J., 6:45 p.m., Channel 2; Florida State vs. Virginia Commonwealth in San Antonio, 6:57 p.m., TBS:

That VCU victory over USC in that fake first round looks pretty good now, eh?

NBA: Lakers vs. Clippers, Staples Center, 7:30 p.m., FSW, Prime:

Last matchup in the Hallway Series this season, and the best the Clippers can do it win to even it up at 2-2 for the season.


College basketball: Men’s tournament, Elite Eight: UConn/San Diego State vs. Duke/Arizona and BYU/Florida vs. Butler/Wisconsin, 1:20 or 3:55 p.m., Channel 2:

Jimmer, are you here?

NHL: Kings vs. Colorado, Staples Center, 1 p.m., FSW:

There’s daylight between the Kings and Colorado: The Avs are the next-to-last worst team in the conference.

NHL: Ducks at Chicago, 5:30 p.m., FSW:

The Ducks’ trip ends blackhawk and blue.

NBA: Clippers vs. Toronto, Staples Center, 7:30 p.m., Prime:

According to, we’re supposed to turn our lights off between 8:30 and 9:30 p.m. If it saves Donald Sterling money, why wouldn’t he do it?

MLS: Galaxy at Real Salt Lake, 6 p.m., Prime (delayed at 10 p.m.):

They met in the 2009 MLS title game. Do any of them remember that?


College basketball: Men’s tournament, Elite Eight: Ohio State/Kentucky vs. Marquette/North Carolina and Kansas/Richmond vs. Virginia Commonwealth/Florida State, 11:10 a.m. or 1:55 p.m., Channel 2:

It’s on to Houston for the last two survivors here.

NBA: Lakers vs. New Orleans, Staples Center, 6:30 p.m., FSW:

The way things line up, they could be first-round playoff opponents.

NASCAR: Sprint Cup Auto Club 400 at Fontana, noon, Channel 11:

We understand giving Southern California just one NASCAR stop a season, but who made the schedule? The series was in Las Vegas and Phoenix — and then went to Bristol, Tenn., last week before coming back west. Then they go to Martinsville, Va., from here. Do they think it won’t rain or something here?

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Our favoritist tournament moment to date


It’s halftime of the UCLA-Michigan State game, and the studio crew of Greg Gumbel, Greg Anthony, Kenny Smith and Charles Barkley have just looked at a highlight reel of the buzzer-beaters from earlier in the day.

Anthony says something about all the parity in the college game.

Smith says something about how teams need to guard the ball on last-second shots.

Barkley adds: “One thing you notice today — there’s a lot of good basketball players everywhere.”

“Wow,” says Gumbel. “What a sage you are. That’s pretty good.”

Anthony and Smith laugh. Barkley is trying to figure out how he just got backhanded by someone other than Ernie Johnson.

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Front and center: Ex-wife of former UCLA star holds Pauley iconic memorabilia hostage, and school isn’t jumping for joy

UPDATED: Wednesday, March 16, 5 p.m.:

i-88da90900f61c0c15370375909356b1b-Center Court Small.JPG

An anonymous UCLA alum believed to be the ex-wife of a former Bruins standout point guard, in possession of the original Pauley Pavilion center court circle installed in 1965, has decided again to put this unique piece of memorabilia up for auction next month.

Despite the wishes of UCLA, which wants it back to display in its soon-to-be renovated arena.

The 12-foot in diameter power blue relic that was replaced in May, 1982, has been a sought-after piece by the UCLA athletic department for more than the last 10 years, says athletic director Dan Guerrero.

“We are extremely disappointed to hear that the original center circle from Pauley Pavilion has been put up for auction,” Guerrero said in a statement released by the school this afternoon. “We were made aware of the auction (Tuesday).

“For over a decade, we have made numerous attempts to reacquire the center circle from the current owner but were rebuffed on every try. We even had a donor ready to make a donation to the owner’s charity of choice.

“The center circle belongs on display at new Pauley Pavilion and we are hopeful that we will be able to work out an arrangement with the new owner to bring this important piece of UCLA basketball history back to its home.”

SCP Auctions in Orange County will start taking registered bids on its website ( on April 15 and continue the auction through April 30.

As per company policy, SCP Auctions president and founder David Kohler would not reveal the name of the seller.

But according to a story posted in Oct., 1998 in the faculity newsletter (linked here), Jody Spillane, a Bruin employee since her days as a student in the 1970s who went on to coordinate a graduate student recruitment and placement program, found the center circle in 1987 in a UCLA surplus warehouse while it was in storage.

She wanted it, and she got it, for what was deemed “a nominal amount.”

Spillane, the ex-wife of former Palos Verdes High standout Jim Spillane, who played at UCLA in the mid ’70s and was on coach John Wooden’s final 1975 championship team, is still believed to be the owner of the piece, according to sources.

Attempts to reach Jody Spillane on Wednesday were not successful.

“I came upon it, knew what it was, knew that I wanted it and was actually astounded to see it there,” she said in 1998. “I bought it because my family and I are alumni, and it really meant a lot to me.”


Auction experts at the time placed the value of the piece at $1 million. The story also says the piece was to be auctioned soon to raise money for Eureka Endowment, a permanent source of support for the education and training of doctoral students in the biomedical and life sciences.

If that auction ever took place, the piece did not sell.

Kohler said his company has a conservative estimate of “six figures,” starting at $100,000, for the piece as it is today.

“It really is awesome,” said Kohler. “All the old UCLA team pictures have the players lined up on top of this court.”

The story said that in 1998, the center court was displayed at an event held in Pauley Pavilion, attended by Wooden and dozens of former UCLA greats, including Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, Bill Walton, Sidney Wicks and Walt Hazzard.

Many signed the floor with the knowledge it would later be sold at auction, with a “large portion of the proceeds from the sale” to be “dedicated to funding medical research,” said an SCP press release.

The financial value of the piece probably doesn’t exceed the sentimental value for those at UCLA. Eight UCLA men’s teams and one Bruins women’s team won an NCAA national championship in the years that the court that had that center circle. It was also used during UCLA’s 88-game winning streak from 1971-74.

The first basketball game at Pauley Pavilion was Nov. 27, 1965 — a scrimmage, pitting the Bruins’ varsity team, led by guard Mike Warren, losing to a freshman squad featuring Lew Alcindor.

The halfcourt circle that has been at Pauley for the last three decades is a darker colored blue:

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