NCAA tournament

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NCAA shot still pending for Gophers women (updated)

 

INDIANAPOLIS — The waiting game is now underway. Minnesota (20-12) is .500 (1-1) thus far this post season. The women’s basketball team will know this Monday whether or not their proverbial “body of work” has earned them their first NCAA at-large berth since 2009. Nearly everyone who the MSR talked to here in Indianapolis last week thinks they have:

“I think Minnesota deserves to be in the NCAA Tournament,” says Nebraska Coach Connie Yori, whose league tourney champion Huskers twice defeated the Gophers this season, including a 13-point win in the Big Ten quarterfinals March 7. “With the strength of our league and their RPI (38), I think they need to be in the NCAA Tournament.”

The Gophers are 7-3 in their last 10 games, including a first-round overtime win after being down 16 points in the second half over Wisconsin. Continue Reading →

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March Madness begins

 

 

Let’s be perfectly clear from the start — this and all subsequent columns are March Madness cliché-free. We won’t be talking about dancing or getting tickets punched here. The Gophers women basketball team plays Thursday in the 2014 Big Ten women’s tournament in Indianapolis — they face 11th-seeded Wisconsin at approximately 8 pm local time. Minnesota (19-11, 8-8 Big Ten) as the sixth seed goes into Indy on a modest two-game winning streak, but more importantly, especially for further post-season considerations, the Gophers have won seven of their last 11 contests. Although the team finished with a positive conference record for the first time since 2009, from now on U of M’s “second season” record must stay above .500. Continue Reading →

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Keep Pam: Firing Gopher women’s basketball coach won’t solve team’s problems

I’ve been approached of late by several Gopher women’s basketball fans. I listen attentively but with a non-committal demeanor as they complain about the current head coach. And as much as they’d hoped I would agree with them, thus far I have avoided such traps. Let me be perfectly clear — I don’t advocate for any coaches losing their jobs. It’s so easy for non-coaches, eh, fans to give ziggies from their seats. Continue Reading →

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Leslie Frazier out as Vikings head coach!

 

“Enough,” said the Vikings. Head Coach Leslie Frazier has been fired by the Vikings after going 5-10-1 this season in a Division where 8-7-1 wins it. The Vikings are now again searching for a head coach. Frazier took over as head coach in 2010, replacing Brad Childress with six games to go. Frazier finished the 2010 season 3-3. Continue Reading →

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Roosevelt prep star makes a hometown appearance

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

By Charles Hallman

Staff Writer

 

The first time we spoke with Suriya McGuire was during her senior year at Roosevelt High School after she signed her letter of intent to attend the University of Miami to play basketball. At the time she was rated as a top-10 guard in the nation by two prep scouting reports. Earlier this month, when the 5’-11” McGuire, now a junior starting guard for the Hurricanes, played Minnesota in the annual Big Ten-ACC Challenge, she had 11 points, nine rebounds, a season-high five assists and two steals in a seven-point loss to the Gophers. She’s third on the team in scoring (10.3 ppg). The MSR talked with her afterwards. Continue Reading →

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One Black coach, a few Black players reach NCAA women’s volleyball playoffs

 

 

 

Each of the four teams that played in the NCAA first- and second-round volleyball matches hosted last weekend by the University of Minnesota had at least one player of color: Cheyanne James (Radford), Alexis Austin (Colorado), Victoria Hurtt and Erin Taylor (Iowa State), and two Puerto Rico-born players: Iowa State’s Neira Ortiz Ruiz and the Gophers’ Daly Santana. James was second on her squad in kills — one of a school-record five players receiving all-conference honors. Hurtt thrice led Iowa State with 20-plus kills. Colorado Coach Liz Kritza called the sophomore Austin “team-oriented.”

While seeing a low single-digit number of players of color at a volleyball match, even a post-season match, wasn’t that surprising, discovering that one of the schools was coached by a Black female was a surprise, especially since, unlike the other three schools, her photo was not included in her school’s pre-game notes. Marci Jenkins last weekend completed her sixth season at Radford (Va.) University, which won the Big South conference this year. 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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Thank you Tubby for an excellent run! — Tubby Smith: a man of principle and integrity

 

 

First things first: we join and support the observations made by our longtime friend Sid Hartman in his columns last week that “Firing Smith would be a big mistake for Gophers.”

Once again, the University of Minnesota (1) showed no class; (2) showed no professionalism; and (3) lied, firing Coach Smith just three months after signing him to a three-year extension. They leaked it to the news media before telling Tubby. They tried to cover with “leaks happen” when it kept secret a year it’s extending the contract of its losing women’s basketball coach. They purposefully attempted to humiliate a great coach, a decent human being, and a recognized high-caliber coach with a national title to his credit. Instead, they humiliated themselves, showed their indecency, and exposed the pettiness of self-centered bureaucrats. Continue Reading →

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College baseball player aspires to be a major leaguer

As young African American males think about playing professional sports, primarily football and basketball, there is a sport out there that is just as lucrative as those, but not very many Black males play — it’s baseball. Adrian Turner, a transplant to Minnesota by way of Grambling State University, is striving to reach his dream of playing Major League Baseball (MLB). Turner was born in Tuscon, Arizona, and due to his father’s job he ended up in Kenosha, Wisconsin. At St. Joseph High School, a private school in Kenosha, he was a three-sport athlete. Continue Reading →

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