Evening State Sports Briefs: UW hockey teams in action this weekendWisconsin Sports
-- After a week off, the University of Wisconsin men’s hockey team plays at Nebraska-Omaha tonight and tomorrow night. It’s the first time the Badgers will face Omaha since it joined the WCHA at the start of the season.
OMAHA - After a week off, the University of Wisconsin men’s hockey team plays at Nebraska-Omaha tonight and tomorrow night. It’s the first time the Badgers will face Omaha since it joined the WCHA at the start of the season.
The seventh-ranked Badgers are 11-7-2 in conference play, and 19-8-3 overall. Wisconsin is fifth in the league standings, and it trails Nebraska-Omaha by two points. Omaha is fourth at 12-6-and-2, with an overall mark of 16-10-2. The Badgers had their first two-game road sweep in a year on January 28th-and-29th, when they took a pair at Michigan Tech. UNO will look to have its largest crowd in program history Friday in the 15,000-seat Qwest Center.
Meanwhile, the top-ranked Badger women’s hockey team hosts Number-eight North Dakota tonight and Sunday afternoon. Wisconsin is 20-2-2 in the WCHA, after clinching the league regular season crown last weekend. And they’re 26-2-2 overall. North Dakota comes in at 15-7-2 in the conference, and 17-8-3 overall.
University of Wisconsin men’s basketball senior Jon Leuer is one of 30 who are still in the running for Naismith Trophy as the nation’s top college player. The Atlanta Tip-Off Club, which hands out the award, announced the mid-season candidates this morning. Leuer, a forward, is the top scorer and rebounder for the 13th-ranked Badgers. He’s averaging almost 19-and-a-half points and seven-and-a-half rebounds per game. The winner of the Naismith Trophy will be announced at the men’s Final Four in Houston in early April.
The University of Wisconsin football team will not get a re-match with Texas Christian to open this fall’s football season. Badgers’ coach Bret Bielema and TCU athletic director Chris Del Conte said they were both asked by a third-party to schedule each other for September third at Camp Randall Stadium. But Del Conte this week the Horned Frogs will not take up the offer, because they’re already scheduled to have Baylor for its 2011 opener. The Badgers lost to TCU in the Rose Bowl on January first, and Bielema said he would love the challenge of playing the Horned Frogs again – but he said TCU was not as excited about it. Del Conte said he never spoke to Wisconsin officials about it. He said he was not interested because it would not involve a home-and-home series – in which the Badgers would play at Texas Christian in a future year. Del Conte said one of the teams Wisconsin played last year didn’t want to go to Madison as scheduled. That team was reportedly Nevada-Las Vegas.
Former Milwaukee Bucks’ star Kareem Abdul-Jabbar said he mis-spoke this week when he tweeted that he was cancer-free. The 63-year-old Abdul-Jabbar was diagnosed in 2008 with chronic myelogenous leukemia. He clarified his Twitter remarks yesterday, saying that cancer patients are never totally cured – and he should have known it. But Abdul-Jabbar said his cancer is at an absolute minimum right now. He uses a medication called “Gleevec” to help monitor his condition. The drug has improved his chances of recovery. Abdul-Jabbar is a spokesman for Novartis, the company that makes Gleevec. He played on Milwaukee’s only NBA championship team in 1971 before he had a long career with the Los Angeles Lakers. Abdul-Jabbar is a six-time league MVP. He says medical science has made great strides over the last 20 years – and he’s very grateful that people with his condition can live their lives to the fullest.
The Milwaukee Admirals will host Chicago tonight. The Admirals opened a four-game home-stand on Wednesday night, when they lost to Peoria in a 4-to-3 shootout. Milwaukee is second in the American Hockey League’s West Division, only seven points up on seventh-place Chicago in an extremely tight grouping. Milwaukee is 28-13-2-7. Chicago is 26-23-2-4. The Wolves have lost their last two games, both on the road.