Women win over Jett, but O's still No. 1

March 31, 1996|By Milton Kent | Milton Kent,SUN STAFF

CHARLOTTE, N.C. -- It's getting to the point where you can't have a big sporting event without Joan Jett.

Jett, the Rockville, Md., native whose remake of the theme song to the "Mary Tyler Moore Show," has become the anthem for ESPN's coverage of the women's Final Four, flew in Friday to take in the event.

Since ESPN began playing the Jett promo last month to drum up interest in its coverage of the tournament, radio stations in New York have been playing an extended version of the song, and it will be released Wednesday as a single.

"We never expected the excitement to go much further than the hard-core sports fans," Jett said before last night's games.

Jett, whose biggest hit is "I Love Rock and Roll," said she wasn't asked to sing the national anthem before the semifinal doubleheader and would have declined any such request.

"How are you going to top singing at game 2,130?" said Jett, referring to her performance at the game in which the Orioles' Cal Ripken tied Lou Gehrig's record for consecutive games played. "But if the Orioles get into the World Series, that's a different matter."

A day to ponder

Today's game marks the first time since the 1990 Final Four that the women have had a day off between their semifinal and final.

Coaches complained about having to play on back-to-back days, and with the new seven-year contract with ESPN, they now have a day to prepare.

"To play in the national championship game, the people and the players all expect performances of the highest level, and to do that, you need a day of rest and preparation," said Georgia

coach Andy Landers.

Pub Date: 3/31/96

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