Greg Cote

Hot Button list leads with Hurricanes and exit from NCAA Tournament

1. COLLEGE BASKETBALL

Hurricanes men out in Sweet 16 as NCAA pares to Final Four: The Elite 8 pares down Sunday to the Final Four of the men’s NCAA Tournament, but interest in Miami lost steam with the Hurricanes’ Sweet 16 elimination by Villanova. Sweet but not Elite — that pretty much describes UM’s season, right?

2. HEAT

Ten games left as Miami jockeys for position: Heat could finish anywhere from third to sixth in the East, the first-round playoff opponent still far from known. What is known: Miami’s season will be declared a success by acclimation if it includes eliminating LeBron James from the postseason.

3. PANTHERS

Cats visit Tampa Bay in duel for NHL division lead: Only seven games remain in hockey’s regular season after Saturday night’s Florida Faceoff for first between Panthers and Lightning. If only the Dolphins and Buccaneers, who last both made playoffs in 2001, were representing their cities and state so well.

4. BASEBALL

Obama, MLB visit Cuba as spring training nears end: America mostly loved that President Barack Obama and Major League Baseball visited Havana. Many Miamians? Not so much. Will Miami love the Marlins more? We’ll soon find out, with the countdown to Opening Day now at nine days.

5. TENNIS

Federer withdraws as Miami Open reaches midpoint: Roger Federer’s sudden withdrawal with a stomach virus was big early news at the Miami Open in Key Biscayne. Meanwhile, the usual question loomed at event’s midpoint — who can deny Novak Djokovic and Serena Williams another title?

Read an updated, expanded Hot Button Top 10 every Sunday in Greg’s Random Evidence blog.

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