WISCONSIN SPORTS ROUNDUP: Nebraska upsets Wisconsin, 77-68
LINCOLN, Neb. -- The Wisconsin men's basketball team ended an eight-game winning streak by dropping its regular season finale at Nebraska last night, 77-68. Just before the game, the Badgers clinched second place in the Big Ten when Michigan State lost to Ohio State. That locked the Badgers into the second-seed in this week's conference tournament. Wisconsin earned a first-round bye, and will play either Number-seven Minnesota or tenth-seeded Penn State on Friday night. The Badgers had a four-point lead on Nebraska with nine minutes to play, but the Cornhuskers took over for good with seven minutes left. A 7-0 Nebraska run then sealed the 'Huskers victory, and the Badgers could not get closer than six the rest of the way. Both teams shot 54-percent in the opening 20 minutes, but ninth-ranked Wisconsin only shot 34-percent in the second half. The Badgers committed 11 turnovers, their first double-digit errors in seven games. And they only hit 11-of-21 free throws, after coming in at a 75-percent clip. Terran Petteway and Shavon Shields both scored 26,as Nebraska completed its home schedule at 15-and-1. The 'Huskers finished fourth in the Big Ten at 11-and-7, with an overall mark of 19-and-11. Frank Kaminsky had 14 points and eight boards for Wisconsin, which ended its regular season at 12-and-6 in the conference and 25-and-6 overall.
The Marquette women scored a mild upset in their Big East Tournament opener, as the fifth-seeded Golden Eagles eliminated Number-four Villanova last night 56-to-53. Katherine Plouffe broke a 53-all tie by hitting two free throws with 18-point-four seconds left. Ashley Santos sealed the victory by hitting a pair at the line with six seconds to go. Marquette out-rebounded Villanova 43-34. Plouffe had 14 points and 13 boards. Devon Kane scored 19 for the Wildcats, which fell to 22-and-8 on the season. Marquette improved to 21-and-9, and will play top-seeded DePaul tonight in the Big East semi-finals at the Allstate Arena in Rosemont Illinois.
U-W Parkside will play in the N-C-A-A Division-Two men's basketball tournament for the second straight year. The 19th-ranked Rangers were given the lowest of eight seeds in the Midwest Region and will play the top-seed, fellow Great Lakes Valley Conference opponent Drury, on Saturday in Springfield Missouri. The winner will face either Lake Superior State or Findlay next Sunday. Parkside was given an at-large berth last night, after losing in the semi-finals of the Great Lakes Valley tournament over the weekend. The Rangers are 23-and-6, and will play a Drury team that's 25-and-3. Parkside handed Drury its last home loss, 90-to-88 in overtime on January fifth.
U-W Stevens Point will host one of four sectionals in the N-C-A-A Division-Three men's basketball tournament. The top-ranked Pointers will play Emory on Friday. Second-ranked Whitewater will play the other game in the sectional against Texas-Dallas. The two winners will square off Saturday with a Final Four berth at stake. Stevens Point advanced with a 76-71 win over Central of Iowa this past Saturday. Whitewater made the third-round with an 87-68 victory over Augustana.
________________Three Wisconsin schools made the Sweet-16 in the N-C-A-A Division-Three women's tournament. They'll all play at a sectional which begins Friday in Greencastle Indiana. U-W Oshkosh will face U-W Whitewater, and Carthage of Kenosha will take on the host DePauw. The winners will play Saturday for a chance at the Women's Final Four. Oshkosh stayed alive with a 72-66 victory over Washington of Saint Louis this past Saturday. Whitewater advanced with an 87-78 win over Saint Thomas. _________________The Milwaukee Brewers split their team yesterday, and lost a pair of exhibition games in Arizona 10-to-8 to the Chicago Cubs, and 4-to-2 to Cleveland. The Brewers scored five times in the seventh inning to take the lead, but lost it in the eighth. Tyler Thornburg went four innings, and his only real mistake was a two-run homer by Justin Ruggiano in the first. Ryan Braun doubled twice. He's now 7-for-11 this spring with a one-point-three-six-four slugging percentage. Against Cleveland, Wily Peralta gave up three earned runs in three-and-a-third innings to take the loss for Milwaukee. Designated hitter Hunter Morris had two hits for the Crew, including a ninth-inning triple. The Brewers are now 6-and-7 in Cactus League play. They'll play the Chicago White Sox this afternoon. __________________ Paul Menard of Eau Claire took third yesterday at NASCAR's Kobalt-400 in Las Vegas. Matt Kenseth of Cambridge was 10th, Beloit-born Danica Patrick 21st, and Travis Kvapil of Janesville 41st. Kenseth remains seventh in the Sprint Cup season point standings after three races. Menard jumped six places to 18th with his solid showing in Vegas. Patrick is 33rd, and Kvapil 43rd. Brad Keselowski won the race, and Dale Earnhardt Junior remains the Sprint Cup points' leader. ___________________ In golf, Steve Stricker of Madison was 57th at the W-G-C's Cadillac Championship in Miami. Stricker shot a four-over-par 76 in his fourth and final round yesterday at Trump National Doral. He finished at 14-over-par 302. Patrick Reed was the winner at four-under-284.At the P-G-A's Puerto Rico Open, Jerry Kelly of Madison finished in a tie for ninth place. Kelly shot a two-under-par 70 in his final round yesterday to finish at 15-under-273. That was six strokes behind the winner, Tour rookie Chesson Hadley. _________________ The Milwaukee Wave lost its opening game in the Major Indoor Soccer League semi-finals, 20-to-6 at Missouri. Leo Gibson scored five goals for the Comets, who are the only team to beat Milwaukee this season. The Wave scored three times in the final eight-and-a-half minutes to avoid being shut out for the first time in their playoff history. The second and deciding game of the series will be played tonight in Milwaukee. If the Wave wins, a mini-game will determine who advances to the championship round. __________________ The Wisconsin women's hockey team was given the fourth-seed last night in their N-C-A-A Tournament. The Badgers will host Harvard in a quarter-final game on Saturday night, and the winner will advance to the Women's Frozen Four starting March 21st in Hamden Connecticut. Second-ranked Wisconsin was the runner-up over the weekend in the W-C-H-A's Final Face-off. Minnesota has the top-seed among the eight teams at the nationals. The Badgers are 27-7-and-2, and will play a fifth-ranked Harvard team that's 23-6-and-4. Harvard lost in the semi-finals of its conference tournament to Cornell. ___________________ Saint Norbert and U-W Stevens Point are among 11 teams named to the N-C-A-A Division-Three men's hockey tournament. Both received first-round byes. Saint Norbert will host Adrian of Michigan on Saturday, while the Pointers will play at Saint Thomas in Mendota Heights Minnesota. Saint Norbert earned its berth by winning the Northern Collegiate Hockey Association tournament over the weekend. U-W Eau Claire did not make the nationals, despite winning the first-ever W-I-A-C tournament over the weekend with a 3-nothing victory over Superior. The W-I-A-C does not get an automatic berth in the nationals. Point was given an N-C-A-A bid despite losing its tournament semi-final to defending national champion Eau Claire. The Division-Three women's field will be announced later today.