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Morning State Sports Briefs: Badgers to play Virginia again in ACC/Big Ten Challenge

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MADISON - For the second year in a row, the University of Wisconsin will play Virginia in the Big Ten/ACC men's basketball challenge.

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The pairings were announced yesterday. The Badgers and Cavaliers will square off in Charlottesville on December fourth, after Virginia beat Wisconsin 60-54 last year in Madison. Forward Joe Harris scored 22 points in that game. He returns to a Cavaliers' squad coached by Tony Bennett, son of former Badgers, Green Bay, and Stevens Point coach Dick Bennett. Wisconsin won three-of-its-last-five Big Ten/ACC Challenge games, but Bo Ryan's Badgers are 6-8 all-time in the series.

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Former Milwaukee Bucks' coach George Karl of Denver has been named the NBA's Coach-of-the-Year for the first time in his 25-year career. Karl led the Nuggets to a team-record 57 regular season wins, a home mark of 38-and-3, and the third seed in the Western Conference playoffs before falling to Golden State in six games. Karl, who turns 62 on Sunday, said he was honored to symbolize great coaching in the NBA. He said up to eight other coaches deserved his award. Karl's vote total was more than twice that of the second-place finisher, Erik Spoelstra of Miami. Karl is the sixth-winningest coach in NBA history with 1,131 career victories - 205 of which came during five seasons in Milwaukee before he moved to Denver in 2003. He has a streak of 21 non-losing seasons, tied with Phil Jackson for the longest such run in league annals.

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Central Wisconsin native Jordan Zimmermann has become the National League's first six-game winner, after his Washington Nationals beat Detroit 3-to-1 at home last night. Zimmermann, a former UW-Stevens Point right-hander from Auburndale, pitched seven solid innings against the Tigers. He scattered seven hits, gave up one run, and struck out seven. Zimmermann had a streak of 20 scoreless innings end, when Miguel Cabrera knocked in Detroit's only run in the third frame.

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A school-record five University of Wisconsin players have been named to the All-Big Ten softball teams. Junior outfielder Mary Massei, junior pitcher Cassandra Darrah, and senior catcher Whitney Massey were selected to the all-league first team. Senior pitcher Meghan McIntosh made the All-Big Ten second squad, along with senior outfielder Kendall Grimm. Massei was a unanimous first-team pick, as she led the conference with 74 hits in the regular season with a .433 batting average. Darrah went 23-5 with a 2.25 ERA. Massey was named to the top squad for the second year in a row with a league-leading 18 doubles and a UW record 12 homers. The Badgers earned a first-round bye in the Big Ten Tournament which starts today at Nebraska. Wisconsin will open tomorrow against either Northwestern or Indiana.

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Ripon College second baseman Kyle Bosquez made the national Division III Team-of-the-Week from D3baseball.com. The senior went 13-for-25 at the plate last week with three homers, four doubles, nine RBI's, 13 runs scored, and a stolen base. Bosquez helped Ripon get the top seed in the upcoming Midwest Conference tournament, as the Redhawks finished their regular season league schedule at 14-2.

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-Marissa Michalkiewicz of UW-Green Bay is the Horizon League softball position player-of-the-week. The freshman outfielder went 5-for-9 at the plate last week, including a game-tying double against Detroit. Michalkiewicz tied a school record by finishing the season with a .398 batting average.

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SCORES

MIDWEST LEAGUE

Wisconsin 5, Clinton 0 in Game-One

Clinton 4, Wisconsin 2 in Game-Two

Beloit 6, Peoria 1

Quad Cities 4, Cedar Rapids 2

Burlington 4, Kane County 0

West Michigan 2, Bowling Green 0

Dayton 11, Lansing 4

South Bend 3, Lake County 0

Fort Wayne 6, Great Lakes 5

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