Posted on: March 19, 2009 11:46 am
Edited on: March 23, 2009 1:22 pm
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CBSSports.com from the NCAA tournament

Tournament blogs

Our CBSSports.com senior writers and correspondents were scattered across the country, covering every game of the first two rounds of the NCAA men's basketball tournament. In addition to writing columns, they blogged daily from each site:

Gary Parrish in Greensboro, N.C. : Parrish: The Thoughts
Dennis Dodd in Kansas City, Mo.: Dodds and Ends
Gregg Doyel in Dayton: Doyel's Dribbles
Mike Freeman in Philadelphia: Freestyle
Pete Prisco in Minneapolis: Prisco's Points
Jamey Eisenberg in Miami: Eisenblog

Also
Dantheman4250: Tournament Take

Columns
Sunday, March 22

GARY PARRISH

And your Sweet 16 Cinderella is ... Arizona?
The big boys have taken over March, leaving the little guy out in the cold. Where does the tournament go from here? Gary Parrish has all the numbers on the Sweet 16, and sticks with his picks.

GREGG DOYEL

Louisville lives to play another day thanks to Williams
Siena could smell the upset. Time for Louisville to panic? No, time to call on Terrence Williams. Now the Cardinals are off to the Sweet 16 after a 79-72 win and it's all because of the super senior, Gregg Doyel says.

Proper prodding propels Panthers to appropriate heights
Oklahoma State was nearly perfect in the first half, and still found itself tied with Pittsburgh at the break. As good as the Cowboys were, that's how well the Panthers responded, an effort validating their No. 1 seed, Gregg Doyel says.

PETE PRISCO

Izzo's track record in March puts Spartans in good spot
Michigan State is Sweet 16-bound after a 74-69 win over USC. Despite a lack of star power, the Spartans shouldn't be taken lightly -- not with Tom Izzo coaching in March, Pete Prisco says.

Aldrich adds to KU's rich tradition, defending champs not done yet
The defending champs are in the Midwest semis after a 60-43 win over Dayton. Cole Aldrich grabs 20 boards, blocks 10 shots and scores 13 as 'rebuilding' Kansas continues to surprise, Pete Prisco says.

JAMEY EISENBERG

Wildcats need just one Wise man to reach Sweet 16
This Wise man says: 'We knew we could be here all along.' Nic Wise leads Arizona to a 71-57 win over Cleveland State. It's Wise's time and he's taking advantage, Jamey Eisenberg says.

Add Arizona State to list of Devendorf's haters
Syracuse guard Eric Devendorf is hated by a lot of fans for questionable behavior both on and off the court. Jamey Eisenberg says Devendorf is working on cleaning up his personal life, but he's still irritating opponents -- and that was bad news for Arizona State on Sunday.

JERRY PALM

Freshman 'Microwave' English boosts Mizzou into regional semis
Kim English fills in for J.T. Tiller at the free-throw line with 5.5 seconds left and nails both to help Missouri fend off Marquette 83-79. The Tigers freshman knows something about efficiency, Jerry Palm says.

In battle of wills, Xavier's defense imposes its own
Wisconsin is no stranger to defense, so what Xavier did to the Badgers on Sunday might have looked familiar. Trailing in the second half, the Musketeers clamped down and showed their stinginess, Jerry Palm says.

Saturday, March 21

GARY PARRISH

Feel-good Blue Devils get it done when it counts
A couple rebounds, some timely whistles, a few free throws. The result? Duke beats Texas 74-69 to reach the Sweet 16. Gary Parrish says it's the Blue Devils making plays at the right time.

Heels step in right direction when toe doesn't slow Lawson
Score tied, eight minutes left. And LSU doesn't stand a chance. North Carolina wins 84-70 on a surge fueled by Ty Lawson -- a good sign for a team that can't win the title without its star point guard, Gary Parrish says.

GREGG DOYEL

Eight, nine, futility time: Cowboys, Saints will learn Sunday
Thanks for nothing. Gregg Doyel says that would be an appropriate response from Siena, generously seeded ninth, and Oklahoma State, an insulting eighth, because top-seeded foes loom for both.

MIKE FREEMAN

Two routs for UConn mean only one conclusion: Huskies are No. 1
It's another blowout for UConn, this time a 92-66 thrashing of a solid Texas A&M team. Still doubting the Huskies? After two rounds, the verdict is clear, Mike Freeman says: UConn is the best team in the tournament.

Villanova gives UCLA a dose of Philly justice
It's a game Rocky Balboa would appreciate. Early and often, at every opportunity, Villanova brutally beats on up UCLA, Mike Freeman says, scoring a knockout that sends the Wildcats to the Sweet 16.

DENNIS DODD

Blake bringin' flexing back as OU regains its groove
Blake Griffin flexes with 33 points and 14 rebounds as Oklahoma beats Michigan 73-63 and moves to the Sweet 16. After a month of frustration, the Sooners finally have their mojo back, Dennis Dodd says.

Memphis pulls out all the stops in dumping Maryland
Consider this a lesson, Greivis Vasquez. Don't denigrate a team on a 26-game winning streak. And now it's 27 after Memphis rolls over Maryland, leaving Vasquez and the Terps wondering what happened, Dennis Dodd says.

PETE PRISCO

For Dayton to continue flying, it must be Wright
Wondering why 11th-seeded Dayton is still playing? It's because of 'Top Flight.' Yes, that's Wright ... as in Chris Wright. Pete Prisco says maybe the kid can do for the Flyers what Larry Bird did for Indiana State.

CLARK JUDGE

Goodson's winning shot brings up the question: Where was WKU?
Gonzaga takes Western Kentucky's best shot, then delivers the K.O. After a 3 ties it with seconds left, Demetri Goodson goes coast-to-coast to win it 83-81. Clark Judge wonders, where was the defense?

J.J. doubles up on defense to save Boilermakers
Washington had the crowd and the momentum. But not JaJuan Johnson, Clark Judge says. Purdue's star blocks two shots late, securing a 76-74 win and propelling the Boilermakers back to the Sweet 16.

JAMEY EISENBERG

Vikings won't pull surprise attack on Arizona
A 13-4 upset will definitely get you one thing: attention. With Cedric Jackson leading Cleveland State's stunning win over Wake, Jamey Eisenberg says the Vikings will not catch their next opponent -- Arizona -- unprepared.

Syracuse poses sizeable challenge to Arizona State
Syracuse and Arizona State will battle for a spot in the Sweet 16. And battle is an appropriate word. With size and toughness in abundance, the Orange pose a tall obstacle to the Sun Devils, Jamey Eisenberg says.

JERRY PALM

Missouri will allow no rest for weary Marquette
As if winning without Dominic James isn't tough enough, now Marquette must contend with Missouri's pressure defense. So while the short-handed Eagles battle the Tigers, they'll also be battling fatigue, Jerry Palm says.

Columns
Friday, March 20

GARY PARRISH

Without great point guard, Duke, Texas won't compete for national title
Texas is a good team. Duke could make it to the Final Four. But without great point guards, neither team will be competing for a national championship anytime soon, Gary Parrish says.

GREGG DOYEL

Dear Tennessee: Wish you had been here
Oklahoma State played a team referred to as Tennessee on Friday in the NCAA tournament in Dayton. But Gregg Doyel knows what Tennessee basketball once was under Bruce Pearl, and after watching these satisfied, indifferent 'Vols' lose, he wonders: Who were those guys?

Make your peace now, because Pitt just doomed you
This is the Big East's best? A No. 1 seed? Gregg Doyel is in trouble, and so are you, because bracket-favorite Pitt has the look of an also-ran after barely squeaking by No. 16 East Tennessee State 82-72.

Siena's unlikely hero Moore sinks Buckeyes in double-OT upset
Bye-bye Buckeyes. Ronald Moore hits two big 3s, one at the end of the first OT to tie and the game winner in the second overtime as Siena drops Ohio State 74-72. Moore is the unlikeliest of heroes, Gregg Doyel says.

PETE PRISCO

Point guard showdown the show as Jayhawks outlast Bison
Sherron Collins and Ben Woodside are exhausted, but Pete Prisco isn't tired of raving about them. This point guard duel in Kansas' victory over North Dakota State is what the NCAA tournament is all about.

With opening win, Dayton proves to be bigger than imagined
Dayton who? Not many know of the A-10 program, but with a 68-60 win over sixth-seeded West Virginia, Pete Prisco says the No. 11 seed Flyers are going to be noticed. Next up for UD, Kansas on Sunday.

USC tough enough to take down Boston College
Aren't East Coast programs supposed to be the hard-nosed schools? Someone needs to remind USC of that. The Trojans rough up Boston College in their 72-55 win, leaving Pete Prisco very impressed.

MIKE FREEMAN

Nobody believing in Bruins -- which is hard to believe
It's not that Mike Freeman doesn't think Villanova might indeed dispatch UCLA from the NCAA tournament Saturday. What he can't believe is how little respect the Bruins have received, starting with being named a sixth seed.

DENNIS DODD

Oklahoma's Griffin perseveres despite cheap shots
He's one of the best players in the college game, but should OU's Blake Griffin have to endure cheap-shot artists? Dennis Dodd says the strategy is just wrong and might force elite players to go pro earlier.

CLARK JUDGE

Huskies no longer two-man show
Hey, Purdue. You're probably geared up for Washington's Jon Brockman and Isaiah Thomas on Saturday. But Clark Judge wants to remind the Boilermakers about Quincy Pondexter, who lately has been living up to expectations.

JAMEY EISENBERG

During Harden times, Sun Devils pick up slack
ASU is more than James Harden. With the sophomore struggling, teammates Jeff Pendergraph and Derek Glasser lead the Sun Devils past Temple 66-57. With Syracuse looming, balance is the key, Jamey Eisenberg says.

'Cats enjoy underdog role but 'came here to win the whole thing'
Ah, the dreaded 12-5 upset -- and from Arizona. After hearing the complaints about their presence in the tourney, the 'Cats advance with an 84-71 win over Utah. Hoops fans are now behind 'Zona, Jamey Eisenberg says.

Victory! Vikings surprise everyone but themselves
How about Cleveland State? After upsetting Indiana 23 years ago in the tournament, the Vikings pull out an 84-69 upset of Wake Forest. Meet March Madness' new underdog, Jamey Eisenberg says.

JERRY PALM

Defenses, speed the stories as Marquette holds off Utah State
When high-powered offenses from Marquette and Utah State meet Friday in the first round of the NCAA tournament, you of course get -- a tight, low-scoring game. Jerry Palm says both teams have strong defensive stretches, but in the end, it's the Golden Eagles' speed that makes the difference.

Defense, 3-pointers key Wisconsin's thriller in OT
Wisconsin got its act together in the second half. After shooting 28 percent before halftime, the No. 12 Badgers hit their stride -- and 3s -- in their 61-59 win over fifth-seeded FSU. Jerry Palm says Wisconsin comes alive at the perfect time.

Thursday, March 19

GARY PARRISH

Duke looks to return to accustomed spot in Sweet 16
Overrated? Fans just love to rip Duke. After defeating Binghamton 86-62, the Devils face a real test, Gary Parrish says. Will they continue their early exits or return to the Sweet 16? They're good enough, but let's wait and see.

LSU's Thornton shows he's best POY you've never heard of
Quick, name the SEC Player of the Year. Gary Parrish says in the time you took to figure it out, the culprit, LSU's Marcus Thornton, probably scored 10 of his 30 points in Thursday's opening NCAA tournament victory over Butler.

MIKE FREEMAN

Maynor has ball in hand, but win isn't in cards
The upset was in Eric Maynor's hand with time running out. But his shot? Just short. Sorry, VCU, solid defense from No. 6 seed UCLA is why you are heading home with a 65-64 defeat, Mike Freeman says.

Lucky 'Cats better step it up or they're going home
Nice try, AU. Third-seeded 'Nova rallies from 14 down to avoid the first big upset with an 80-67 victory over the 14th-seeded Eagles. The Wildcats are lucky and they need to step it up or they're done, Mike Freeman says.

Calhoun conundrum casts shadow over Huskies' first win
What's wrong with coach Jim Calhoun, and when will he be back? It's a big issue for UConn after a 103-47 rout of Chattanooga. The Huskies aren't being forthright, bringing more questions from Mike Freeman.

DENNIS DODD

Michigan's victory is 11 years in the making
Don't blame Michigan for savoring this one. In its first tourney game in 11 years, the 10th-seeded Wolverines hang on to oust seventh-seeded Clemson 62-59. After all the sanctions, this one feels good for Michigan, Dennis Dodd says.

Terps support under-fire Williams with opening-round win
Since winning the 2002 title, things have gone sour in College Park. But Maryland is moving on after an 81-74 win over Cal. The Terps continue to back their much-criticized coach, Gary Williams, Dennis Dodd says.

CLARK JUDGE

No celebrating: Business as usual for WKU following victory
Whew, take a breath Western Kentucky. The 12th-seeded Hilltoppers overpower No. 5 seed Illinois 76-72 but don't call it an upset -- WKU is that good, Clark Judge says.

Dear Purdue, be afraid of this Washington squad
In basically a home atmosphere, Washington dispatches SEC tourney champ Mississippi State 71-58. Clark Judge is impressed and says the Huskies' next opponent -- Purdue -- should be nervous for Saturday.

 

 

Posted on: January 28, 2009 2:31 pm
Edited on: February 2, 2009 4:41 pm
 

Super Bowl XLIII: Steelers 27, Cardinals 23

Wrapping up CBSSports.com's complete coverage from Tampa, Fla., site of Super Bowl XLIII, won Sunday by the Pittsburgh Steelers over the Arizona Cardinals 27-23. Stories in reverse chronological order of when they were filed, with the latest story on top. For the week's complete video coverage, including the postgame wrapup, check out Countdown to Kickoff.

COLUMNS BY PETE PRISCO

Old Cards ancient history: Franchise has turned page
Hear anybody mocking the Cardinals now? Those days are over, and Pete Prisco says this franchise has the cap room and talent in place to contend long term.

Steelers No. 1 in this era, but Green Bay still all-time best
If you're talking the greatest NFL franchise since Super Bowls have been played, Pete Prisco says you're talking the Pittsburgh Steelers. But the league is older than that, and he says the all-time No. 1 is still the Packers.

'Zona fails to go with its strength in first half of Super Bowl defeat
What was Arizona thinking in the first half of the Super Bowl? The Cards abandoned their bread and butter -- the spread, no-huddle offense -- and it costs them in their 27-23 loss to the Steelers, Pete Prisco says.

Quiet Fitzgerald makes loud statement in fourth quarter
For a WR as hyped as Larry Fitzgerald, he was anonymous with just one catch in the first half of Super Bowl XLIII. However, the start of the fourth quarter brings out Fitzgerald's brilliance and in a losing effort, he puts on a performance that caps an incredible postseason, Pete Prisco says.

Prediction: Cardinals 30, Steelers 27
It will be mighty cold Monday south of the border, and we're not talking about Mexico. Pete Prisco claims the Arizona Cardinals are going to attack the Steelers and take home the Super Bowl XLIII title.

Under-the-radar players: Old man Robinson carries Cardinals
He's old, but a critical part of the Cardinals defense. Bryan Robinson, 34, has bounced around the league, but his ability to monopolize blockers makes him one of Pete Prisco's five under-the-radar players.

You won't hear Fitzgerald sing his own praises
Jerry Rice + Al Toon = Larry Fitzgerald. That's just on the field. But off the field, Fitzgerald breaks the mold. A hard-working and humble WR, he stands apart from the me-first divas of today's NFL, Pete Prisco says.

Arizona will have to spend to keep core Cards together
The Cards' history of being cheap? 'The past,' says GM Rod Graves. He will have an interesting offseason, trying to re-sign key free agents while also keeping other guys who want new deals happy, Pete Prisco says.

Cards star safety Wilson finally gets his turn in spotlight
Finally breaking out of the NFL desert, Adrian Wilson is basking in the Super Bowl spotlight. And proud Pete Prisco was one of the first to see greatness in Arizona's stellar safety.

Tough, chippy Ward plays right to line, and then some
Most agree that Hines Ward is one of the toughest receivers ever to suit up. But Pete Prisco reports many opponents say Ward crosses the line and would like to see him be on the receiving end of an up-to-the-whistle hit during the Super Bowl.

Arizona's em-Boldin-ed Haley lands in Super spotlight
Right now, Todd Haley is known for two things: a sideline dust-up with Anquan Boldin and coordinating the Cardinals' Super Bowl offense. It won't be long until Haley is known as an NFL head coach, Pete Prisco says.

Problems, pain have never held Dockett back
Looking at Darnell Dockett, it's hard to see his past pain behind his smiles. From the memories of a murdered mother and a loving family that saved a young troublemaker, Dockett's success is earned, Pete Prisco says.

Whisenhunt's desert gamble pays for coach, Cardinals
Ken Whisenhunt -- then Pittsburgh's offensive coordinator -- could have waited for the Steelers in 2007. But instead, he took a chance as head coach for the losing Cardinals. Two years later, Whisenhunt will face his former team, one for which he carries much respect, Pete Prisco says.

Cards came this close to royal flush with Peterson
The internal debate as Arizona drafted fifth overall in 2007: Levi Brown or Adrian Peterson? Pete Prisco can't help but imagine how scary the NFC champs would be if they had gone the big-play route.

Let's prohibit postseason persecution of pass-first offenses
Throw a lot during the regular season? You're bold. Do that during the playoffs? You're crazy. Pete Prisco says the NFL has changed, and the knocks Arizona will get for its pass-first attack are becoming archaic.

Broadway? No, but Warner has all numbers to make Hall
Kurt Warner, Hall of Fame lock? Skeptics remain, but comparing his career numbers to Hall of Famer Joe Namath, shows the reserved QB deserves getting his bust in Canton, Pete Prisco says.

Secrets to Arizona's surprising playoff success
Instead of wondering how the heck Arizona is headed to the Super Bowl, Pete Prisco highlights five reasons why the Cardinals shocked the football world, including Kurt Warner, D.R.C. and a nice Christmas present.

Cards-Steelers classic matchup of great offense vs. stifling defense
If the old saying about defense winning championship holds true, the Cardinals might be in trouble in Super Bowl XLIII. But Pete Prisco isn't so sure the Steelers' suffocating D can hold Arizona's big-time offense.

COLUMNS BY CLARK JUDGE

Consistently good, often great, Steelers are the best
After 40 years of wandering in the wilderness, the Steelers have been blessed to find the promised land six times in the past three-plus decades. Winning year after year makes Pittsburgh the cream of the NFL crop, Clark Judge says.

Super Bowl Judgements: Amid late-game heroics, who cheers for Harrison?
James Harrison has the longest play in Super Bowl history and all people can talk about are Santonio and Big Ben? What gives? Clark Judge has props for Pittsburgh's interception machine.

Two-time champion Roethlisberger clutch enough for Canton
Ben Roethlisberger's stats aren't gaudy -- except those numbers in the win column. And when you throw in Big Ben's cool in the clutch, you might be talking about a Hall of Fame QB, Clark Judge says after the Steelers win Super Bowl XLIII.

Ex-Steeler coaches have pattern of Super Bowl success
Rams vs. Steelers in '80. Cardinals vs. Steelers in '09. Both Super Bowls feature ex-Pittsburgh coaches going up against their former team. Count on Steel City experience playing a factor Sunday, Clark Judge says.

Prediction: Steelers 24, Cardinals 14
Clear off a spot in the trophy case, Pittsburgh. A sixth Lombardi Trophy is coming your way, if Clark Judge is right. And why not? The Steelers have the defense, the coaching and Big Ben. The Cardinals don't.

Under-the-radar players: Starks must help Big Ben survive
For every Big Ben, there's a Max Starks trying to protect him. For every James Harrison, there's a Brett Keisel helping him make tackles. Clark Judge has five under-the-radar Steelers who can make a Super Bowl impact.

Plays hard? Plays dirty? Ward gets split decision
Opinions on Hines Ward: Outstanding, tough, classy receiver, or cheap-shot artist. Clark Judge hears both sides, and from the smiling Steelers star.

Keeping LeBeau, D system was Tomlin's sharpest move of all
As Mike Tomlin got his first team to run, he had a huge decision: Keep veteran Dick LeBeau to run his defense or shift to his 4-3 template? Clark Judge says the pat hand was the brilliant one.

Tomlin takes debate out of Steelers' outside-box choice
Ken Whisenhunt or Russ Grimm were passed over in Pittsburgh and left for Arizona. But Mike Tomlin's smashing success with the Steelers means everyone is happy heading into Super Bowl XLIII.

Unwanted to DPOY? Harrison follows Warner's long road
James Harrison didn't have the right body type, size or speed. So like Kurt Warner, the dismissed Steelers defensive leader was forced to take the long, hard road to NFL stardom, Clark Judge says.

Big Ben's five-year credentials already smell Cantonese
Granted, Ben Roethlisberger hasn't yet done it over the long haul. But after five NFL seasons, the Steelers QB already has a foot in the door at Canton, Clark Judge says.

Past might be prologue for Super Bowl XLIII
Looking for the Super Bowl edge? Maybe a point of reference? Have no fear, because Clark Judge and his scout counterpart are breaking it down using empirical data: last season's Cardinals win over Pittsburgh.

Baltimore owner opens doors with big Harbaugh score
The Ravens broke an unwritten rules when they hired Eagles special teams guru John Harbaugh as head coach. Clark Judge says the original thinking paid big rewards -- and opened doors for other non-coordinators.

Big Ben a Cardinal? It could have gone down that way
It's funny how things turn out. Arizona easily could have drafted Ben Roethlisberger instead of Larry Fitzgerald as the third overall pick in '04. Clark Judge points out Kurt Warner ends up a Card thanks to that draft, too.

Steelers to raise curtain on another Super Bowl championship
The Cardinals are a great story, with their ageless quarterback and explosive offense. But flash will not beat substance in Super Bowl XLIII, and the Steelers' relentless defense will prove that once again, Clark Judge says.

COLUMNS BY GREGG DOYEL

Steelers -- not Pats -- best franchise. Don't agree? Go to the video
Quick question: Who's the best organization in the NFL? Patriots, right? Not according to Gregg Doyel, who says the Steelers are the cream of the crop because they were never accused of cheating during their Super Bowl runs.

Best catch ever? Oh, give me a Holmes
Best reception? Must be Swann or Tyree. But there's a catch: Neither guy scored. Given the stakes, degree of difficulty and location (end zone), No. 1 is Santonio Holmes' Super Bowl winner, Gregg Doyel says.

Prediction: Cardinals 31, Steelers 24
Always one to go against the grain, Gregg Doyel says defense and running will not win this year's NFL championship. In the pretty Tampa setting, the pretty Cardinals will top the Steelers to give Bill Bidwill a pretty Lombardi Trophy.

Steelers tailback Parker is very good, but not great
Willie Parker stunk it up in college at North Carolina. He won't even talk about it. Why was he so bad? It's because he was soft and lazy, Gregg Doyel -- who covered Parker in Chapel Hill -- says. He's a good NFL player, but not a great one.

Steelers tailback Parker is very good, but not great
Willie Parker stunk it up in college at North Carolina. He won't even talk about it. Why was he so bad? It's because he was soft and lazy, Gregg Doyel -- who covered Parker in Chapel Hill -- says. He's a good NFL player, but not a great one.

Hometowns of Boldin, Holmes falling victim to economy, violence
Anquan Boldin (Pahokee) and Santino Holmes (Belle Glade) come from small Florida towns that are losing jobs -- and young men -- at an alarming rate. Football, a 'muck' area religion, is a rare ticket out, Gregg Doyel says.

At low point of his career, Leinart has never been more likeable
Matt Leinart had it all and just like that, it was gone. He made mistakes -- a lot of public, stupid ones -- and Arizona's top pick in 2006 won't smell on the field on Sunday. Through it all, Leinart has been humbled -- and that puts him in Gregg Doyel's good graces.

Super Bowl won't change cheap, losing legacy of 'Dollar Bill'
The Cardinals are in the Super Bowl, football's holy grail. But Gregg Doyel won't allow revisionist history: The Cardinals are here in spite of the worst owner in the NFL -- 'Dollar' Bill Bidwill.

Cardinals legend Trippi proves NFL titles aren't shoe-ins
It has been 62 years since the Cardinals won a title -- and Charley Trippi was there, scoring touchdowns ... in tennis shoes? The icy field that day foreshadowed six decades of Cardinals misery, but the vision of Charles Bidwill Sr. still has breath in his star of 1947, Gregg Doyel says.

COLUMNS BY MIKE FREEMAN

Steelers best pro football has seen by a whisker over ... Browns?
After noting that being the best NFL franchise ever doesn't necessary mean best U.S. pro franchise ever, Mike Freeman concedes the Steelers are probably the former -- but not by much over a surprising runner-up.

Super Bowl XLIII goes from dud to dynamite
Who saw this finish coming? Through three quarters, Super Bowl XLIII lacks fireworks. Then there's the fourth. Santonio Holmes makes a tip-toe winning TD catch with 35 seconds left, answering Larry Fitzgerald's 64-yard score in the Steelers' 27-23 win over the Cardinals. Mike Freeman says the final period is worth the wait.

Prediction: Cardinals 33, Steelers 20
Lesson, learned. Medicine, taken. Mike Freeman has seen the light, and it shines on the Arizona Cardinals -- Super Bowl XLIII champions in an upset of the Pittsburgh Steelers.

Pulling curtain back on Whisenhunt-Roethlisberger relationship
Player-coach alliances can sometimes be uneasy. Just ask Ben Roethlisberger and Ken Whisenhunt. But forget the back-and-forth barbs. The QB and his ex-coach have each other to thank for where they are, Mike Freeman says.

Patient James on Edge of ultimate reward, revenge
Despite years of success, Edgerrin James was benched early in the season for rookie Tim Hightower. And strange enough for these days, he was awfully quiet. Mike Freeman hopes Edge gives the Cards a big 'I told you so.'

Cardinals, star safety keep Tillman's memory alive
The Cardinals are not among those who question Pat Tillman's motives in leaving the NFL for the Army. Adrian Wilson tells Mike Freeman that a generous Tillman helped mold him into a Pro Bowl safety.

Forget weenie critics: Fierce Ward plays tough game hard
Critics call Hines Ward a dirty player. Ignore them, Mike Freeman says. The Steelers wideout plays by the rules and with an attitude that should land him in the Hall of Fame.

With so much progress, is Rooney Rule still necessary?
The hiring of Raheem Morris, and Mike Tomlin before him, represent important leaps for African-Americans in the NFL. Even young black coaches are getting their shots now. This has some wondering if the Rooney Rule is needed anymore, Mike Freeman says.

Arizona overcomes putrid past to reach Super Bowl
When one thinks of the Arizona Cardinals, memories of cheap ownership, poor draft picks, bad personnel moves -- the list is endless. But that doesn't matter now since the Cards are headed to Tampa for the Super Bowl, and that's still a crazy thought, Mike Freeman says.

Just like Series, this Super Bowl will fall short of classic
Is Cinderella the best this Super Bowl has? The clock struck midnight on that story line a long time ago. That's why Mike Freeman predicts lower-than-usual ratings, a la the Rays-Phillies World Series.

OTHER COVERAGE FROM CBSSPORTS.COM

Steelers-Cardinals matchup

A look at the head-to-head matchup between the Pittsburgh Steelers and the Arizona Cardinals in the Super Bowl.

PITTSBURGH STEELERS

Roster | Depth Chart | Statistics

ARIZONA CARDINALS

Roster | Depth Chart | Statistics

 

 
 
 
 
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