Kentucky coach Rick Pitino said he could decide today whether injured star Derek Anderson can play in Thursday night's NCAA Tournament game against St. Joseph's.
"He's going to practice again, and I'll see him one more time, and I'll see him another time tomorrow and decide," Pitino said Tuesday in San Jose, Calif., where the Wildcats are preparing for the West Regional semifinals.
It was widely thought Anderson's season was over when the guard tore the anterior cruciate ligament in his right knee in January. He had surgery and wasn't expected back at full strength until late spring.
Pitino, who last week said he wouldn't risk playing Anderson, said he talked to "eight doctors in 48 hours" and there seemed to be no reason Anderson couldn't play.
Team physician David Caborn, who operated on the knee, said Anderson has made a remarkable recovery, that all medical assessments of the knee are positive and that he has practiced with the team this week without problems.
In the midst of March Madness, Jim Harrick is a coach without a team. His old team, UCLA, has advanced to the regional semifinals, and all Harrick can do is watch.
"I really haven't missed basketball until this week," he said.
It's obvious Harrick, who coached UCLA to its 11th NCAA championship two years ago, hasn't gotten over being fired in November for submitting a false expense report and lying about it.
Appearing before the Anaheim (Calif.) Chamber of Commerce in his first public speaking engagement since being fired, he used the word "we" several times when discussing the Bruins.
San Antonio's Alamodome, the site of the regional semifinals and final, seats 41,200 for basketball. As of Monday, only 26,000 tickets had been sold.
Tennessee-Chattanooga coach Mack McCarthy's surprising success in the tournament has caught the attention of Tennessee athletic director Doug Dickey.
Dickey said he talked with McCarthy on Monday about the coaching vacancy created by Kevin O'Neill's abrupt departure last week for Northwestern. He said they will talk again after the Mocs' NCAA run is over.
North Carolina forward Vince Carter is listed as probable for Friday's regional semifinal against California. Carter, who pulled a groin muscle in the first half of Saturday's win over Colorado, was to work out with the team Tuesday.
Authorities raided a $160-million-a-year gambling operation in New York and Philadelphia and arrested 25 people, timing the sweep to coincide with heavy betting on the NCAA Tournament.
The raids targeted "the mob's cash cow, illegal sports betting," Brooklyn District Attorney Charles J. Hynes said.
Some of those arrested in Saturday's raids were believed to be connected to the Gambino crime family, said Christopher Blank, Hynes' chief of organized crime investigations.
_ TIMES WIRES