NCAA HOSTS: Texas Tech, awaiting possible punishment for scholarship infractions, will be the host for the Central Regional and Lousiana State, ranked No. 1, will host the South One Regional in the NCAA Division I baseball tournament.

Also picked for hosts of the regionals were Miami, Atlantic One; Alabama, South Two; Oklahoma State, Midwest; Florida State, East; Mississippi State, Mideast; and Stanford, West.

By their selection as regional hosts, the eight schools also gain entry into the tournament, and all eight could be awarded No. 1 seeds.


SEAHAWKS WIN IN COURT: The Seattle Seahawks won a key court battle, defeating an effort by stadium foes to rewrite the ballot question that will be put to Washington state voters June 17.

Thurston County Superior Court Judge Paula Casey agreed with prospective owner Paul Allen that it won't be necessary to mention the $300 million in the 25-word question.


K.C. TO COACH IN ABL: K.C. Jones, the former NBA coach and Celtics great who earned 12 championship rings, was hired as head coach of the New England Blizzard of the women's American Basketball League.

Jones, an assistant with Boston this past season, played for the Celtics from 1958-67 - eight of them title seasons. He coached Boston to championships in 1984 and `86.

PACERS WELCOME BIRD: Larry Bird, perhaps the most celebrated player ever to come out of Indiana, returned to Market Square Arena as the coach of the Indiana Pacers.

"The Pacers passed me up in the draft in 1978. I never thought I'd be here," Bird told a news conference on the floor of the arena. "Now I'm here. I want to do whatever I can to make them proud."

Bird, a 12-time NBA All-Star with Boston, retired as a player in 1992 because of chronic back problems. He reportedly will be paid $4 million to $4.5 million per year.


CAPS FIRE POILE: The Washington Capitals fired general manager David Poile, one month after the team missed the playoffs for the only time during his 15-year stay.

The Capitals went 594-454-132 under Poile, but even when they made the playoffs they were a disappointment - Washington reached the division finals only once and exited in the first round on eight occasions.


GERMAN OPEN: Katrina Habsudova of Slovakia and American Mary Joe Fernandez both reached the second round of the $927,000 German Open.

Top-seeded Steffi Graf, returning from a knee injury that has sidelined her for 100 days, will see action in singles Tuesday or Wednesday against Chanda Rubin after a first-round bye.