Celeb sightings at the Grand Prix and Final Four

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Despite hosting a pair of high-profile sporting events, the Tampa Bay area was surprisingly light on celebrity action this weekend. Miss America (above, with Charlie "Mr. America" Crist) was in town for the Honda Grand Prix of St. Petersburg, and so was Gene Simmons (below, with the private plane that brought him here). Paul Newman, whose driver, Graham Rahal, won the race, was rumored to be in town, but alas, t'wasn't to be. Finally, we present to you a photo of Danica Patrick eating an energy bar, because why not.

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PearlMeanwhile, over in Tampa, the celebrity action was even lighter. Aside from the star power on the court, celebrities were few and far between. If you're going back on Tuesday, the concourse outside the ESPN setup seems to be the best place to spot players and coaches. We spotted ESPN's Stacey Dales, Stanford's Candice Wiggins and Tara VanderVeer, and Tennessee men's coach Bruce Pearl hobnobbing with fans there. A lot of the Forum's luxury boxes appeared to be dark and empty.

The biggest star in the house might have been the Stanford Tree, a.k.a. Patrick Fortune, a 21-year-old Stanford junior. The Juice* got to hang with Fortune, who seemed like a pretty cool conifer.

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But after meeting the tree, we realized something amazing -- Stanford's upset victory over UConn was portended (in a way) by none other than Christopher Walken on this past weekend's Saturday Night Live.

Plants with googly eyes -- you just can't trust 'em.

(Photos: Grand Prix, Luis Santana/tbt*; Bruce Pearl, Carrie Pratt/St. Pete Times; Tree, Jay Cridlin/tbt*.)

[Last modified: Tuesday, May 25, 2010 9:40am]

    

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