WISCONSIN SPORTS ROUNDUP: Kenseth has a poor race in Phoenix
Wisconsin NASCAR driver Matt Kenseth all but eliminated himself from the Sprint Cup season title yesterday, after placing 23rd at the Advocare-500 near Phoenix. The Cambridge native remains second in the Chase for the Sprint Cup, 28 points behind front-running Jimmie Johnson with one race left. If Johnson finishes 23rd-or-higher next week at Miami, he'll win the title regardless of what Kenseth or any other driver does. Kevin Harvick won yesterday's race, and Johnson took third. Kenseth finished a lap behind the leaders with a poor-handling car. Paul Menard of Eau Claire took 16th, and he remains 17th in the Sprint Cup standings going into the final week. Beloit-born Danica Patrick placed 33rd at Phoenix, and she dropped two spots in the standings to 27th. Travis Kvapil of Janesville completed only 129 of the 312 laps with engine trouble. He finished 41st, but remains 31st for the year.
The Wisconsin football team continues to creep up in the polls. The Badgers jumped two places to 22nd in the B-C-S Standings, after their 10-point home win over B-Y-U on Saturday. Also, Wisconsin rose four places to 17th in the new Associated Press media poll -- and they jumped two spots to 20th in the U-S-A Today coaches' survey. The Badgers are still second in the Big Ten Leaders' Division, a game behind unbeaten Ohio State. Wisconsin is 4-1 in the conference and 7-and-2 overall, going into Saturday's home contest against Indiana. The Hoosiers will come in at 2-and-3 in league play, and 4-and-5 overall.
U-W Whitewater has moved in the national Top-Five in the N-C-A-A's Division-Three. The unbeaten Warhawks jumped one place to fifth in the new D-Three-Football-Dot-Com poll, after winning at U-W Stevens Point 17-to-7 on Saturday. Oshkosh remains at Number-eight, after crushing Eau Claire on the road 42-14. U-W Platteville moved up one spot to 10th, after a 20-to-10 home win over La Crosse. Platteville and Oshkosh are both 8-and-1 overall, with their only losses coming at the hands of Whitewater -- which is 9-and-0. Mount Union of Ohio remains at Number-One.
Milwaukee Bucks' forward Carlos Delfino says he'll need more surgery on the right foot he broke last spring -- and he expects to be out for the season. The 31-year-old small forward announced the news yesterday on his personal Web site. Delfino was injured in last spring's playoffs, when he was with Houston. He had surgery in May. He said a new fracture was found in August, delaying his return. In Spanish, Delfino wrote that he was frustrated because he did all his recovery work and his body did not respond as expected. He remains optimistic that he'll play again. Delfino played three years in Milwaukee before leaving for Houston last season. The Bucks brought him back with a two-year free agent contract worth six-and-a-half million dollars, plus a third year that's not guaranteed. Racine native Caron Butler has become Milwaukee's starting small forward. Delfino was expected to provide depth later in the season -- but apparently, that's out.
The Wisconsin women's basketball team won its season opener yesterday, 66-to-41 over Drake in Madison. Badgers' guard Taylor Wurtz scored her one-thousandth career point on a three-pointer midway through the first half. The Badgers were up by 18 at the break and rolled from there. Dakota Whyte led Wisconsin in scoring with 18 points. Michala Johnson had 16 points and 16 rebounds. Ashley Bartow led Drake with eight points and six rebounds. Drake fell to 1-1. The Badgers' next game is on Thursday night at U-W Milwaukee.
The Marquette women's soccer team won its second straight Big East tournament title yesterday with a 2-nothing shutout of DePaul in Milwaukee. Taylor Madigan and Ann Marie Lynch scored in the second half, as the 13th-ranked Golden Eagles won their 13th consecutive match. Madigan's goal ended a string of 239 scoreless minutes for De Paul in the league tournament. Marquette improved to 18-and-3 overall. Mary Luba of Marquette was named the top offensive player in the conference tournament, and the Eagles' Emily Jacobson was named the top defensive player. Marquette will find out late this afternoon who they'll play in the opening round of the N-C-A-A Tournament.
U-W Milwaukee won the Horizon League soccer tournament yesterday, with a 4-to-3 victory on its home field over Oakland in the title match. The Panthers scored twice in the final three-minutes-and-35 seconds. Kelly Lewers scored the game-winner with 23 seconds to go. U-W Milwaukee improved to 10-8-and-1 with its sixth straight league title. The Panthers again earned an automatic berth in the N-C-A-A Tournament. They'll find out late this afternoon who they'll play in the first round.
The Milwaukee Admirals lost at San Antonio yesterday, 3-to-2 in a shootout. The Admirals came back from a 2-nothing deficit in regulation, when Bryan Rodney and Simon Moser scored. Nobody scored in the overtime, and Jon Matsumoto of San Antonio had the only goal in the shoot-out. Magnus Hellberg had 43 saves for Milwaukee, which lost all three of its games in Texas during the weekend.