Wakeup Call: The '72-73 Sixers feel superior at last

Wakeup Call: The '72-73 Sixers feel superior at last
March 26, 2014, 9:00 am
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Here's your wakeup call -- a combination of newsworthy and/or interesting tidbits -- for Wednesday, March 26:

AUTO RACING

R.I.P., Lynda Petty. (AP)

BASEBALL

Not only have the Dodgers wrested the title of baseball's biggest spender from the Yankees -- the first time New York hasn't had MLB's highest payroll in 15 years -- but they have a $31 million edge on the Yanks, $235 million to $204 million. The Red Sox? They're fourth at $163 million. (AP)

Starlin Castro is supposed to be one of the building blocks of the future for the Cubs. But he's willing to switch positions -- moving off shortstop to second or third -- to make room for phenom Javier Baez. (CSN Chicago)

How far the mighty have fallen: The Rangers send their former closer, Neftali Perez, to Triple-A. (AP)

It's official that Yu Darvish will miss Texas' opener. (AP)

And it's all but official that old friend Marco Scutaro will miss San Francisco's opener. (CSN Bay Area)

But Yasiel Puig won't miss Los Angeles' . . . or at least the Dodgers' mainland opener. (NBC's Hardball Talk)

Three years after they traded for him, the Yankees may finally get something out of Michael Pineda. (AP)

Matt Harvey and the Mets reach the natural compromise in their battle over where he'll rehab. (AP)

Jeff Franceour resurfaces with the Padres. (Hardball Talk)

Randy Wolf walks away from the Mariners after earning a spot in their starting rotation, saying they tried to renegotiate the deal the two sides had agreed upon. (Hardball Talk)

His battles with MLB may be over, but A-Rod's legal wars continue to rage. (AP)

Meanwhile, MLB and the players' union are nearing an agreement that will toughen some drug penalties and lighten the punishment for unintentional use . . . and close the loophole that's allowing Rodriguez to collect $3 million while he sits on the sideline this year. (AP)

Jamey Carroll is released by the Nationals but still may be able to find a job somewhere, even at age 40. (Hardball Talk)

Oh, please. (Yahoo! Sports)

COLLEGE BASKETBALL

Jim Calhoun tells Mad Dog he's not interested in the Boston College job. (NBC's College Basketball Talk)

Because he learned nothing from the firestorm he caused by talking about rape 26 years ago in an interview with Connie Chung, Bobby Knight uses a rape analogy to describe the NBA taking players out of college after one year. (College Basketball Talk)

Here are 22 ways -- some serious, some silly -- to compare brothers Sean and Archie Miller, both of whom have their teams in the Sweet Sixteen. (Yahoo! Sports)

Yeah, the SEC is 7-0 in the tournament so far. But that doesn't mean the league deserved more than the three bids it got. (Yahoo! Sports)

Billy Donovan keeps getting contract extensions from Florida, probably in the hope that it'll dissuade him from scratching that NBA itch. (AP)

Another Rick Pitino protege, Steve Masiello, is using his success at Manhattan this year as a springboard to a bigger job: South Florida's. (AP)

The Pistons may soon make a run at Michigan State coach Tom Izzo, who says you "never say never" but adds he's happy where he's at. (College Basketball Talk)

The ACC will hold its tournament in New York -- Brooklyn's Barclays Center, not Madison Square Garden -- for the 2016-17 and 2017-18 seasons. (AP)

One prospect who's not Declaring For The NBA Draft: Kansas' Wayne Selden. (AP)

Two Marquette assistants -- Brad Autry and Issac Chew -- are mysteriously removed from the Golden Eagles' roster. But whether they're following Buzz Williams to Virginia Tech isn't yet known. (AP)

Oh yeah, the N.I.T. is playing now, too. Heading to the semifinals are Clemson and Minnesota. (Both stories AP)

Shaq, Grant Hill and Darrell Griffith are the newest members of the College Basketball Hall of Fame. (AP)

To the UConn women, the early rounds of the tournament are no different than a schedule of November cupcakes. (AP)

The Lady Huskies' road to the Final Four, easy enough to begin with, is now an avenue of roses what with Duke and Nebraska out of the picture in their regional. It's one of five things to know about the women's Sweet Sixteen. (AP)

COLLEGE FOOTBALL

Navy running back Will McKamey dies Tuesday after collapsing at practice for unknown reasons on Saturday. He was 19. (AP)

Jameis Winston is involved in a bench-clearing brawl in Florida State's baseball game against Florida. (NBC's College Football Talk)

GOLF

Tiger Woods has been stuck on 14 major tournament victories for almost six years, and - what with his age and injury problems -- Jack Nicklaus' record of 18 seems to be slipping further and further away. (Yahoo! Sports)

You'll be able to watch all of this year's Ryder Cup matches on the mother ship, or one of its affiliates. (AP)

The field for the Masters is just about set. (AP)

HOCKEY

The Penguins will be without Evgeni Malkin for a couple of weeks. (AP)

And without him, Pittsburgh loses at home to the Coyotes . . . (AP)

. . . even though Phoenix goalie Mike Smith is "day to day" because of a right leg injury and didn't play. (AP)

If you thought the free-falling Maple Leafs were going to have their hands full with the high-flying Blues, you were right. (AP)

The Canadiens admit it was tough getting motivated to play the Sabres one night after snapping the Bruins' 12-game winning streak, but they managed to do what they had to do to beat Buffalo. (AP)

A disputed goal lifts the Blue Jackets over the Red Wings and tightens the Eastern Conference playoff race. (AP)

That had to hurt. (CSN Bay Area)

The "upper-body injury" that's keeping Nicklas Backstrom out of the Capitals' lineup appears to be a shoulder. (NBC's Pro Hockey Talk)

The Panthers begin shaking up their front office. (AP)

OLYMPICS

Well, Michael Phelps' retirement didn't last long. (NBC's Olympic Talk)

Looks like Oscar Pistorius will be taking the stand in his murder trial. (Olympic Talk)

PRO BASKETBALL

At last, a member of the 1972-73 Sixers -- who finished 9-73, the worst-ever NBA regular-season record -- has found a team worse than that one: The present-day Sixers. (CSN Philly)

Playoff teams don't allow a bottom-feeder like the Lakers to score 51 points in one quarter, so it seems highly unlikely that the Knicks are a playoff team. (AP)

Did that outburst make you feel any better, Chris Kaman? (AP)

In a battle between two real playoff teams, Dirk Nowitzki and the Mavs outlast Kevin Durant and the Thunder. (AP)

Wonder whether we can consider the Blazers to be a real playoff team when they do things like lose to the Magic. (AP)

I don't think anyone expected him back anyway, but the Pelicans announce that Ryan Anderson -- who hurt his neck in that horrific fall in Boston in early January -- will undergo surgery on April 8 and is done for the season. (AP)

Also finished for the year: Nuggets forward J.J. Hickson, who's having a knee operation. (AP)

PRO FOOTBALL

Ralph Wilson's death at age 95 is a profound loss for both Buffalo and the NFL. (Yahoo! Sports!) 

Joe Posnanski praises the dreamer who helped turn professional football into America's most popular sport. (nbcsports.com)

Wilson receives a moving tribute from Bills running back C.J. Spiller. (NBC's Pro Football Talk)

When the Cowboys tried to activate Jay Ratliff last October, he told them he was injured and couldn't play. They released him. A week later he signed with the Bears and wound up participating in five games for Chicago. So now Dallas is suing to get back a portion of the signing bonus Ratliff received in 2011. (AP)

Jerry Jones is being much kinder to Jason Garrett. (Pro Football Talk)

You better not bad-mouth Andy Dalton in front of Marvin Lewis. (Yahoo! Sports)

Or bad-mouth Mike Pouncey to Stephen Ross. (Pro Football Talk)

The replay process gets a little more complex. (AP)

The NFL strikes a blow for more player safety. (Pro Football Talk)

The 49ers want Colin Kapernick's contract extension wrapped up by training camp. (Pro Football Talk)

And speaking of the 49ers, you can now buy stock in Vernon Davis. Honest. You can. (AP)

DeSean Jackson may not be the only Pro Bowler on his way out in Philadelphia. (Pro Football Talk)

Well, here's a surprise: Jared Allen's going to the Bears. (Pro Football Talk)