WISCONSIN SPORTS ROUNDUP: Detroit's loss last night means if Packers win out, they're division champs
The Green Bay Packers control their playoff destiny once again, after the Detroit Lions lost at home to Baltimore 18-to-16 on Monday Night Football. If the Packers win their final two regular season games, they'll clinch the N-F-C North Division and make the playoffs. The Packers can thank Ravens' kicker Justin Tucker for that. He booted six field goals, including a 61-yarder with 38 seconds left which gave Baltimore its fourth straight victory. Lions' quarterback Matthew Stafford threw for 235 yards and a touchdown -- but he also had three interceptions as Detroit dropped to third place in the N-F-C North at 7-and-7. The Packers moved into second at 7-6-and-1, and can win the title with victories Sunday at home against Pittsburgh and December 29th at Chicago. Packers' coach Mike McCarthy said yesterday he had no interest in watching the Lions' game, and all his attention would toward beating the 6-and-8 Steelers. But several of McCarthy's players got fired up on Twitter. Guard T-J Lang tweeted "Yesssssss!" after the Lions' loss. Tight end Brandon Bostick said, "Just what we needed, don't count us out." Tight end Andrew Quarless promised, "We're going to put that work in." Practice for the Packer-Steeler matchup begins tomorrow.
Matt Flynn will prepare to make his fourth straight start at quarterback for the Packers on Sunday at home against Pittsburgh. Coach Mike McCarthy said yesterday that Aaron Rodgers will have his broken collarbone checked out again tomorrow, and team officials will then come up with a plan for Rodgers' future. McCarthy said the preliminary game-planning for the Steelers' game includes Flynn at quarterback. He led Green Bay to two come-from-behind victories in the past two weeks against Atlanta and Dallas -- but Flynn said he'd be happy to hand the controls back to Rodgers if he's ready. Rodgers has missed six games and most of another, after he was injured November fourth. The Packers are 2-4-and-1 without him. Meanwhile, receiver and kick returner Randall Cobb will get another test tomorrow on the leg injury that has kept him out since mid-October. McCarthy said Cobb had a good workout yesterday. The third-year pro was put on injured reserve with a designation to return.
NBA Commissioner David Stern has issued a statement of support for Herb Kohl's game-plan to keep the Bucks in Milwaukee. The 78-year-old Kohl announced yesterday that he'll be looking for additional ownership partners -- all of whom must make a commitment to keep the team where it is. Kohl said he has retained Steve Greenberg, managing partner of New York's Allen-and-Company, to help him with his search. There is no timetable for completion. Kohl said his advanced age is driving the process, saying quote, "I'm not going to live forever." Several names have been brought out for possible investors. They include Brewers' owner Mark Attanasio -- Racine native Craig Leipold, who owns the N-H-L's Minnesota Wild -- former Bucks' star Junior Bridgeman, who owns almost 200 Wendy's restaurants -- health care consultant Jon Hammes -- and businessman Ted Kellner. Kohl has been the Bucks' sole owner since 1985 -- and he promised to let things play out, even if it means giving up the majority ownership of the team. The Bucks have 11 winning seasons during Kohl's 28 years as owner, and they've made the playoffs 14 times. However, Milwaukee has not made it past the first round of the post-season since 2001 when the Bucks made the Eastern Conference Finals. The Bucks are 5-and-19 during a rebuilding year, but Kohl said he would have had the same intentions if the team was 19-and-5.
The Marquette men's basketball team will host Ball State tonight. The Golden Eagles are 6-and-4 after crushing Indiana-Purdue-Indianapolis 86-to-50 on Saturday. Senior forward Juan Anderson had one of the best all-around games of his career with 11 points, five steals, five assists, and four rebounds. He said he enjoys being a complement to the Golden Eagles, serving as the glue wherever he can. Anderson is averaging almost five-and-a-half points this season -- double his output from a year ago. He's also grabbing five rebounds a night, just over two more than last season. Also tonight, the U-W Green Bay men will host Tennessee Tech.
U-W Stevens Point remains at Number-One for the second straight week in the Division-Three men's basketball poll from D-Three-Hoops-Dot-Com. The Pointers are 7-and-0 after victories last week over U-W Whitewater and Saint John's of Minnesota. Whitewater dropped from eighth place to 12th after its 79-to-67 loss to the Pointers. The Warhawks fell to 5-and-2 overall. Saint Norbert rose two spots to 14th in the new poll. U-W Stout dropped out of the Top-25, after being 19th a week ago. Stout still received votes, as did Platteville.
In the D-Three women's poll, Whitewater jumped one place to eighth at 8-and-1 overall. Carthage dropped one spot to 16th. Oshkosh rose one place to 21st. Stevens Point dropped three spots to 22nd. Saint Norbert also received votes. DePauw is still the women's Number-One.