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March 12, 2001
First lesson
[Times photo: Michael Rondou]
Toe Nash, left, the Rays' 18-year-old phenom, gets defensive tips from coach Dwight Smith at his first workout at the Ray Naimoli complex Sunday. Nash is scheduled to take batting practice today.
Hubert Mizell
In an expanded field, little dramas abound
Maybe the East is tougher, with a Duke-Kentucky-Boston College-UCLA order of merit, but the Florida Gators are in the most intriguing NCAA mix.

College basketball
Into the great wide open
The NCAA Tournament's No. 1 seeds are big-name programs, but none seems invincible.

UF says it has learned lesson
The No. 3 seed Gators are not -- repeat, not -- assuming an opening win vs. Western Kentucky.

Stunner for USF: no bid from the NIT
Bulls' season of promise lands with a thud.

Selection Sunday
South region

Men's college basketball briefs
Knight sets Thursday visit to Texas Tech

Battier comes up big as Duke shreds UNC
Senior forward named ACC tournament MVP after a double double in a 79-53 victory.

No stunner, it's Kentucky
The Wildcats rout Mississippi 77-55 for their 23rd conference tournament title.

Women's tourney
Gators, 'Noles get invited to NCAA tourney
UF, No. 3 in the West, gets at least one home game. FSU, No. 7 in the Midwest, heads to Iowa.

Devil Rays
Covering ground, lots of it, with Ozzie
ST. PETERSBURG -- You usually know when Ozzie Guillen is the room.

Winning games -- maybe more
What the Rays like about Russ Johnson is his versatility. He can play third base, he can play second base, he can play shortstop. Give him enough chances, he also can play hero.

Area camps roundup
Move can't slow Soriano

Around the NL
Deion: Sheffield still wants trade

College football
UF Spring football
KEY DATES: Practice starts today. The Gators likely will hold at least two scrimmages before the Orange and Blue game, but dates have not been determined.

Water Tribe Cruising Challenge
Jon Willis, George Stovall, Times outdoors editor Terry Tomalin and Toby Brown arrived at the finish line at Key Largo at approximately 2:30 p.m. Sunday. The 200-plus-mile race began Monday morning at Fort De Soto. By Thursday, more than half the field of 30 teams had dropped out, and Tomalin's group had hoped to finish by late today. Coming Tuesday: Part 4 of Tomalin's five-part series on the race.

Long-distance travelers win regatta
Team of brothers from Canada team takes overall honors at Midget Ocean Racing Club event.

Horse racing
Smith's field play leads to big things
In the arena of buying and selling thoroughbred race horses, Murray Smith has a distinctive position. She discovers outstanding horseflesh where others in her field have rarely ventured -- in the fields of Florida and Kentucky.

Sports briefs
Clavet conquers hard courts

Rice-to-Bucs courtship intensifies
TAMPA -- The NFL sack race could be run in Tampa next season.

Weekes quietly burns, stays hot on ice
TAMPA -- Kevin Weekes has a chip on his shoulder. You couldn't see it, but its jagged edges were obvious Saturday night after the Lightning's 4-1 victory over the Blue Jackets.

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