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Nuts About the Net
By Linton Weeks
Washington Post Staff Writer
Thursday, March 4, 1999

  The Navigator

This article contains links which take you outside

Who will be among the Final Four of the National Collegiate Athletic Association men's basketball tournament that begins March 11? I have no idea.

But I can guide you to a quartet of intriguing Web sites.

Bethany's Duke Basketball Pages. Bethany Peters cheers for her favorite team until she's blue in the face. A graduate student in economics at Duke University, Peters, 24, has created a sincere, sometimes shrill, shrine to the Blue Devils.

Anyone who has watched Duke play on their home court, Cameron Indoor Stadium, has seen the shrieking blue-faced Cameron Crazies, those kooky, kreative kids who find smart and smart-aleck ways to needle the opponents. When Duke played Maryland, for instance, the partisan students chanted, "Coach! No coach! Coach! No coach!" as they pointed first to Duke coach Mike Krzyzewski then to Maryland coach Gary Williams. And when University of North Carolina's Steve Hale was hobbled by a punctured lung, the sometimes-cruel Crazies chorused: "In-hale, ex-hale."

Now, through the wonders of the Web, we can gaze into the life of a Cameron Crazy. Bethany Peters, who sits in the front row of the graduate student section, seems to be an upfront young lady. Through her Web site, you can meet her friends, follow her religious interests, share her case of the blues. And you can learn more than you want to know about Duke basketball.

Husky Hoops. A jazzy, jittery site devised by a 13-year-old New Haven-area girl named Laura, this University of Connecticut paean is slam-jammed with information about the players and the games. Laura has posted pix of the teams and of Coach Jim Calhoun. She loves Kevin Freeman, "not because he has my birthday, but because he is a good defensive and offensive player and the guy brings energy (with the dunks, bows, etc.) to the game. Plus, the guy is so nice to the UConn fans. He's the only player who gives some fans high fives when going into the locker room." True fans don't ask for much.

Kristine's Indiana University Homepage. "This site," writes Kristine Brite, "follows the best basketball team ever." That's the kind of passion that makes fans' sites so energetic. Here we learn very little about Kristine, but an awful lot about the players and their time-bomb coach Bobby Knight. Judging from the site's photos of Knight, even a red-dyed-in-the-wool fanatic like Kristine realizes that Knight's behavior is often outrageous.

Stanford University 6th Man Club. Created to serve the young-but-legendary student booster club of the Stanford men's basketball team, this site posts the group's official rules of comportment.

Not too long ago the group had to send a letter of apology to Laura's beloved UConn, because it chanted – Cameron Crazy-like – "Deadbeat Dad" at Husky guard Khalid El-Amin. El-Amin, as it turns out, is not an irresponsible father.

Part of the club's mission, according to the site, is "to enhance pride in the Stanford community." Yeah, right.

© Copyright 1999 The Washington Post Company

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