MARCH MADNESSThe excitement and fun that accompany the...

AROUND THE INNER HARBOR

March 10, 1995|By Holton F. Brown

MARCH MADNESS

The excitement and fun that accompany the annual NCAA men's basketball championships will be on view in the Baltimore Arena for a few days beginning Wednesday.

The arena will be the site for two first-round doubleheaders in the Eastern Regionals -- one in the afternoon, the other at night -- on Thursday. Two second-round games will be played March 18 in the afternoon.

Forget about seeing any of these games in person unless you already have tickets. All games were sold out -- at $96 per three-game set -- in May, even though the contestants won't be paired off until Sunday. It's madness, indeed. But you still can be part of the hoopla. Here's how:

* For pure hype, try Harborplace's Amphitheatre between noon and 1 p.m. Wednesday. You'll see celebrity hoops shooting and hear pep bands from City College, and Dundalk and Milford Mill high schools. Free. Information: 455-UMBC.

* For a sneak preview, watch players from the teams during open practice from noon to 9 p.m. Wednesday at the arena. Free.

* For $20 a pop, you can hear a panel of basketball experts analyze the games at 9:30 a.m. Thursday at the Marriott Inner Harbor Hotel, or, between 4:30 p.m. and 7 p.m. the same day, University of Maryland Baltimore County will have a Mexican fiesta buffet at the Omni Inner Harbor hotel with broadcasts of scores and games. Information on both events: 455-UMBC.

Finally: Go Maryland. Go Mount St. Mary's.

FELINES PLAYING ORIOLE PARK

You've heard the wheeze, You can train a dog, but not a cat. Not so, and if you want to see for yourself, Oriole Park at Camden Yards is the venue for doing just that this weekend.

The Friskies/Cat Fanciers Association Chesapeake Cat Show is expected to draw more than 400 pedigree and house cats from across the country to compete for honors as the best cat.

The show will be open between 10 a.m. and 5 p.m. tomorrow and Sunday. At 1 p.m. and 3 p.m. each day, the Fancy Feast Cat and Friskies Cat Team, coached by Hollywood animal trainer Scott Hart, will demonstrate how cats can be trained with a cat clicker.

The Fancy Feast Cat, who has appeared in the movies "Christmas Vacation" and "Scrooged," will appear at the show.

The cat show is on Oriole Park at Camden Yards' Club Level, 555 Russell St. Admission. Information: (800) 725-4228. Among the other offerings Around the Inner Harbor this weekend. . .

* Trains. The Mason-Dixon Large Scale Railroad Society will hold an exhibition of big model trains tomorrow and Sunday at the B&O Railroad Museum, 901 W. Pratt St. A scale-model circus also will be on display. Admission. Information: 752-2388.

* Kicks. The Baltimore Spirit plays the Dayton Dynamos at the Baltimore Arena at 7:05 p.m. tomorrow with a benefit halftime match between media personalities and police officers. The officers are members of the Drug Abuse Resistance Education (DARE) program, which teaches children about the dangers of drug abuse. The game will benefit Officer Frank Peifer of the National Capital Park Police, who has brain cancer. His health insurance does not cover treatment. Admission. Information: 625-2320, Ext. 113.

* Skates. The Rash Field Ice Rink will close for the year at 9 p.m. Sunday. Admission, but at reduced rate. Information: 385-0675.

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