WISCONSIN SPORTS ROUNDUP: Marquette the favorite to win the new Big East
Marquette athletic director Larry Williams says he's confident his school can get to an elite level from its place in the new Big East Conference. The league held its first men's basketball Media Day in New York yesterday. Williams said his biggest concern is whether the new Big East is strong enough for Marquette to have a high-enough R-P-I ranking for a top seeding in the N-C-A-A Tournament. He said Marquette has a stronger non-conference schedule, and it should see his team through. The Golden Eagles joined six other basketball-first schools in pulling out from a conference with the likes of Syracuse and U-Conn. Yesterday, Marquette was named the coaches' pre-season favorite to win the new Big East. Williams said the school now feels a sense of stability, after all the uncertainty a year ago when rumors were flying about conference realignment.
U-W Green Bay is the pre-season favorite to win the Horizon League men's basketball title, while U-W Milwaukee is projected to finish ninth-and-last. Green Bay edged out second-place Wright State by just one vote in the pre-season balloting by the league's coaches, media, and sports information directors. It was the first time in 18 years that the Phoenix are the pre-season favorite. They're led by senior center Alec Brown and junior guard Keifer Sykes, both of whom were named to the all-Horizon League pre-season first team. It's the first time that's happened since Green Bay joined the conference two decades ago. The Phoenix has one of the stingiest defenses in the nation. Last season, they gave up offensive rebounds on just 27-percent of the opponents' chances. Milwaukee senior guard Jordan Aaron made the all-league pre-season second team. Kendrick Perry of Youngstown State was named the player-of-the-year.
The state girls' high school individual tennis tournament begins today in Madison. First-round matches in two divisions begin at 10:30 this morning at the Nielsen Tennis Stadium on the U-W campus. Champions will be crowned on Saturday. Elizabeth Konon of Mequon Homestead is the top seed in the Division-One singles bracket, as she goes for her third consecutive state title. The senior has not lost a match since her freshman year, and is 137-and-1 for her high school career. Shelby-and-Tilly Chorney of Waunakee earned the top seed for Division-One doubles, after going 14-and-1 this season. In Division-Two, Grace Larrain of Wausau Newman has the top singles' seed. She's 24-and-3 this year. Maddy Brown and Hayley Clope of Racine Saint Catherine's is the top doubles' seed in D-2. They're undefeated in 29 matches.
Milwaukee's Indy-Car racing weekend at State Fair Park will move from mid-June to the middle of August, a week after the annual fair ends. Mark Miles, the C-E-O of Indy-Car's parent firm, told reporters yesterday that a tie-in with the State Fair is great, because they'll be able to promote the race to a million fair-goers. Andretti Sports Marketing has worked with Indy-Car to put on the Milwaukee Indy-Fest the past two years on Father's Day weekend. They also arranged a new sponsor for the Indy-Car race at the Milwaukee Mile. A-B-C Supply Company of Beloit signed a two-year deal to be the main sponsor for the race -- which will be called the A-B-C Supply Company Wisconsin-250.