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March madness continues

 

 

The National Invitational Tournament (NIT) has a rich storied history dating back to pre-World War II days. The Women’s NIT since 1998 has tradition as well — just not as long as the men’s. However, present-day hoops fans and snobbish media types give both the Rodney Dangerfield treatment:

No respect for either of them. While there are those who only see one tournament, and while the men’s NCAA annually gets marathon King Kong coverage and barely Timberbell-like coverage on the women’s side, this reporter gives four-fold attention to the two bigger tournaments, as well as the NIT and WNIT. Both men and women Gopher squads this week are in their respective NIT sweet 16 — the men play Southern Mississippi Tuesday at Williams Arena, and the women go to South Dakota State on Thursday. Continue Reading →

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March graduation rate madness

 

 

A quick prediction for this year’s NCAAs — Black male basketball players’ graduation rates will remain virtually unchanged. While nearly everyone is filling out their brackets, the Institute for Diversity and Ethics in Sport (TIDES) released on Monday its annual study on the academic performance of the players in the NCAA Division I tournament teams. The study’s primary author, TIDES Director Dr. Richard Lapchick, compares the graduation rate data of Black and White male basketball student-athletes.  

“There is not much good news to report as almost every category examined remained the same or got worse,” wrote Lapchick. The women teams’ report was released Tuesday. A more detailed analysis will be in next week’s “Another View” in the MSR print edition. Continue Reading →

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Talented Black female coaches await their chance

 

A new U of M Tucker Center report has found that about 75 percent of all collegiate women’s team coaching openings in the last two years has been filled by men. A male coach replaces a male coach in 34 of 66 women’s team vacancies, but in only 10 vacancies does a female replace a female. The report, titled “Head Coaches of Women’s Collegiate Teams,” shows a “historical decline in the percentage of women head coaches in the 40+ years following the passage of Title IX” in 1974, and graded 76 institutions. Only one, Cincinnati, got an A because 80 percent of the school’s women teams are coached by women. Eight schools got B’s, and 27 schools, including Minnesota, got C’s. Continue Reading →

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Final 4 memories

 

 

 

As this year’s NCAA tournaments crown new men’s and women’s national champions, this reporter took a stroll down my own memory lanes. I didn’t begin watching college hoops until the mid-to-late 1960s – I sneaked downstairs and watched the UCLA-Houston game played in the Astrodome on television – it was past my bedtime.  As a result, I watched Lew Alcindor (UCLA 1967-69) but not Bobby Joe Hill of Texas Western (1966), the first national champion with five Black starters. The UCLA great — now known as Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, guards Earvin Johnson (Michigan State 1978-79) and Mateen Cleaves (Michigan State 1998-2000); and forwards Keith Wilkes (UCLA 1972-74) and David Thompson (North Carolina State 1974) are my personal five-player, all-time great tournament team. Georgetown (1983-84) always will be my all-time championship team simply because the Hoyas were the first men’s national champs coached by a Black man.  The UCLA squads (1966-69; 1971-73), N.C. State (1973-74), Indiana (1975-76), Michigan State (1978-79) and UNLV (1989-91) ranks just right behind them. If I had to choose the most memorable historic moment, although I didn’t witness it, it would naturally be Texas Western’s 1966 title win. Continue Reading →

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Up-and-coming hoopster girls to watch

The girls’ basketball season has begun with eight of the state’s top players already signed with Division I schools. If you ever get a chance to get to a game, check these players out. (The college each signed with is in parentheses). NIA COFFEY (Northwestern): While averaging 15.7 points per game, the 5-9 guard led Hopkins to the Class 4A state championship. ALLINA STARR (Auburn): The 5-10 guard averaged 16 point while helping DeLaSalle capture their second straight Class 3A crown. Continue Reading →

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Up-and-coming hoopster girls to watch

The girls’ basketball season has begun with eight of the state’s top players already signed with Division I schools. If you ever get a chance to get to a game, check these players out. (The college each signed with is in parentheses). NIA COFFEY (Northwestern): While averaging 15.7 points per game, the 5-9 guard led Hopkins to the Class 4A state championship. ALLINA STARR (Auburn): The 5-10 guard averaged 16 point while helping DeLaSalle capture their second straight Class 3A crown. Continue Reading →

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