A busy morning of links and stories. We have coverage of the Congressional hearing on steroids, Red Sox notes, NCAA tourney coverage, the Celtics prepared to face the equally hot Houston Rockets tonight, and several media columns. Also, the polls are still open for the 2005 BSMW Awards. We’ve had over 1000 responses so far.

It was obvious to anyone who watched the Congressional Hearings on steroids yesterday who the biggest loser of the day was. Mark McGwire. The former slugger’s strategy of not answering practically any questions totally backfired on him. Dan Shaughnessy and Howard Bryant each look at the damage done to McGwire’s legacy. As for the hearings themselves, Peter S. Canellos of the Globe says it was all about spin yesterday. Andrew Miga of the Herald and Bob Hohler have full coverage of the hearings. John E Mulligan and Dom Amore also report on the proceedings yesterday. Bill Reynolds says there is a high price to be paid for McGwire and Sammy Sosa, once considered the saviors of the game. Jeff Jacobs says that this national exposure should help the problem at the local levels.

Gordon Edes, Michael O’Connor and Christopher Price have more on the passing of Dick “The Monster” Radatz. Jeff Horrigan has a piece on outfielder Adam Hyzdu, hoping to make the squad and get some stability. Sean McAdam takes a look at what the final 25 man roster is likely to look like, and Hyzdu looks to be a longshot. Lots of notebook style columns today as the game with the Marlins was rained out yesterday. David Borges looks at the progress of Bill Mueller. David Heuschkel looks at the rainout being made up today, but the game is optional for many of the players. Michael Silverman also looks at the rainout and has a number of other notes. McAdam’s notebook fills us in on volunteers to play today. Dan Shaughnessy was also on the beat for the day and files a report, complete with a mini dig at Manny. Speaking of Shaughnessy, it appears some congratulations are in order, as he won second place in the Associated Press Sports Editors’ contest for his story of the Red Sox World Series clinching game four.

BC moves on, Vermont/Syracuse today

Michael Vega reports on Boston College beating Penn in the first round of the NCAA tournament yesterday, 85-65. Mike Shalin looks ahead to the next opponent, The University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee, coached by former BC Assistant and school alum Bruce Pearl. Shalin’s notebook also looks at Pearl and comments form the Penn coach on BC. Bob Ryan is encouraged by the signs that where shown in yesterday’s performance by his alma mater. Michael Gee looks at Jermaine Watson putting last weekend behind him. Vega’s notebook has more on Watson.

Jackie MacMullan looks at the obstacles that UConn has faced this season, but the squad is now ready for the real season to begin. The game a lot of people want to see today is Syracuse vs Vermont. Jim Donaldson looks at Vermont’s dynamic duo, Taylor Coppenrath and T.J. Sorrentine. Peter May also has a piece on Sorrentine. Tom Yantz looks at Vermont forward Germain Mopa Njila, playing a long way from his native Cameroon. Rich Thompson says Vermont plans to give Syracuse all they can handle. Mark Blaudschun looks at Syracuse guard Gerry McNamara. The Courant notebook has more on this game.

Be sure to check in as Dave Scott blogs during the tourney.

C’s in Houston tonight

Shira Springer looks at Antoine Walker’s role in the rejuvenated Celtics. Mark Murphy looks at the Celtics recognizing the need to improve their defense. The Celtics face a tough opponent tonight in Houston. Michael Muldoon takes another look at Matt Bonner’s return to New England Wednesday night. Murphy’s notebook has Doc Rivers’ reaction to his friend Johnny Davis getting fired by the Magic yesterday.

Media Columns

Bill Griffith looks at Tom Caron preparing to announce the Hockey East playoffs for NESN. He also looks at UPN38 and Comcast trying to come to an agreement to broadcast the Red Sox/Yankees opener in HD locally. John Howell has a few media related items around the NCAA men’s and women’s tournaments. Andrew Neff notes there will be no TV for fans of the University of Maine women’s team, which is playing in the NIT. Neff also reports on Bangor channel 7 TV sports director Ted Lombardi taking the unusual career move of leaving a TV gig to start work for a new sports Web site – backpageboston.com. Lombardi also hopes to teach High School journalism.

Top 5 Links from Yesterday

1) Boston Radio Watch (ESPN Radio coming to Boston)
2) Mike Reiss’ Blog (Vince Wilfork Q&A)
3) Steve Buckley (The passing of Dick Radatz)
4) Gordon Edes (The passing of Dick Radatz)
5) Eric McHugh (Patriots notes)

FSN has Celtics/Rockets at 8:30. CBS has wall to wall coverage of the NCAA tournament. ESPN2 will have Lakers/Pacers at 7:30. NESN will have the Hockey East playoffs at 5:00 with Maine/BC and at 8:00 with UNH/BU

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