Morning State Sports Briefs: Prep girls basketball regional tourneys begin tonightWisconsin Sports
-- The road to a state championship begins tonight for 474 Wisconsin girls’ high school basketball teams. Regional play gets underway in five divisions. Just over 300 schools will be in action this evening. The rest have byes until the second round this weekend.
The road to a state championship begins tonight for 474 Wisconsin girls’ high school basketball teams. Regional play gets underway in five divisions. Just over 300 schools will be in action this evening. The rest have byes until the second round this weekend.
Milwaukee Pius XI will try to defend its Division-One title from a year ago, and New Berlin Eisenhower is the defending champ in Division-Two. There will be a new titlist in Division-Three because Cuba City moved down to Division-Four. Wausau Newman, last year’s Division-Four champ, is in the new Division-Five. Cuba City and Newman will play tonight. All five AP Number-ones have the night off. Middleton had the top spot in the final AP Division-One poll released yesterday. Glendale Nicolet was second and Pius third. Luxemburg-Casco took over the Number-one spot in Division-Two, moving up one place from a week ago. Union Grove dropped to second, with Pewaukee third. Whitefish Bay Dominican was atop Division-Three. Columbus was second in the final poll and Neillsville third. Eau Claire Regis finished with the Division-Four lead it held most of the year. Oshkosh Lourdes and Algoma were in the two-and-three-spots. And Black Hawk moved up one place to first in Division-Five. Wausau Newman fell to second, with Seneca third.
The Marquette University men will play Providence tonight in the first round of the Big East Tournament in New York. Golden Eagles’ coach Buzz Williams says it’s a must-win game to keep their NCAA Tournament hopes alive. Williams said he would have felt better about securing a spot at the Big Dance had his team defeated Cincinnati and Seton Hall last week. But they didn’t, and Williams said he told his players quote, “We need to play as best as we can play, as long as we can play.” Marquette has the 11th-seed in the Big East Tournament with an overall record of 18-13. They’ll play a Providence team that won only four conference games, and is 15-16 overall. The Friars have the 14th seed. Marquette trounced them in Milwaukee 86-62 on February 27th. Tonight’s winner will play sixth-seeded West Virginia tomorrow.
Milwaukee Bucks’ guard Michael Redd figures that he’s about two weeks away from playing in a game. Redd says he’s making steady progress as he tries to recover from two major injuries to his left knee in back-to-back seasons. It’s been 14 months since he last played. He returned to practice 15 days ago, after spending more than a year rehabilitating his left knee after he tore both the ACL and MCL ligaments. Bucks’ coach Scott Skiles says he has no idea how he’ll use Redd. Skiles says it depends on Redd’s condition, and how the Bucks are playing at that point. For now, Milwaukee’s playoff hopes are fading. The Bucks are still three-and-a-half games behind Indiana for the final playoff spot in the NBA’s Eastern Conference. But they have not gained any ground lately, and they only have 21 games left. The Bucks are 23-38 with a two-game losing streak. They’ll play at Washington tonight.
It's been five years since the UW-Milwaukee men played in the NCAA Tournament. And they can get the league's automatic invitation to the Big Dance by beating Butler at home tomorrow night in the title game of the Horizon tourney. The top-seeded Panthers advanced on Saturday night with a seven-point win over Valparaiso. Number-two Butler advanced to the league final with an eight-point victory over Cleveland State. Butler is making its sixth straight appearance in the league title contest. Milwaukee hasn't gone for the Horizon title since 2006. The Panthers defeated Butler in both their regular season contests.
Former Green Bay Packers’ receiver Sterling Sharpe and former Wisconsin defensive lineman Tim Krumrie are among 79 players on this year’s induction ballot for the College Football Hall-of-Fame. Both have been on the ballot before. Badgers’ athletic director and former football coach Barry Alvarez was inducted into the Hall last year. This year’s class will be announced on December sixth. Krumrie was an All-American who led the Badgers to the former Garden State Bowl in 1981, and was named the defensive MVP of the Independence Bowl in ’82. Krumrie went on to have a solid pro career with the Cincinnati Bengals. Sharpe set almost every receiving record at South Carolina before becoming one of Brett Favre’s favorite targets in Green Bay in the early-and-mid-1990’s.
The University of Wisconsin men's hockey team will play at Colorado College in the first round of the WCHA Playoffs. The best-of-three series begins Friday night, and runs through Sunday night if necessary. The Badgers will face the Tigers for the second straight week. Wisconsin missed out on home-ice advantage after splitting their final regular season series this past weekend in Madison. The Badgers lost 3-2 on Friday before ending a seven-game winless streak with a 3-1 victory on Saturday night. Wisconsin ended the regular season 20-14-4 overall. Colorado College is 19-16-3.
Two Wisconsin schools were among 11 teams named this morning to the NCAA Division-Three men’s hockey tournament. UW-Superior will host Hamline of Saint Paul in the first round on Wednesday night – and the winner will play at Saint Norbert of De Pere in the quarter-finals on Saturday night. Saint Norbert was one of five schools that earned first-round byes. The Green Knights won the Northern Collegiate Hockey Association finals on Saturday night with a 2-1 victory over Superior. Saint Norbert enters the nationals at 22-4-1. Superior is 16-12-1, and will play a Hamline team that’s 16-6-5. Hamline won the MIAC title last Saturday.
UW-River Falls was given one of two at-large berths this morning in the NCAA Division-Three women’s hockey tournament. The Falcons will host Gustavus Adolphus of Saint Peter, Minnesota this weekend. The date and time were not immediately announced. River Falls made the national field-of-seven after taking second place on Saturday in the NCHA women’s tournament. Adrian of Michigan won that tourney, and will play the Rochester Institute on Saturday. River Falls is 24-1-4, and will play a Gustavus Adolphus team that’s 21-3--3. Adolphus won its eighth straight MIAC tournament on Saturday. The winner of this weekend’s game will advance to the national semi-finals against Norwich in March 18th.
A finalist for the “Mister Hockey” high school award in Minnesota has committed to Wisconsin. Joe Labate, a senior at the Academy of Holy Angels in the Twin Cities suburb of Richfield, plans to enroll at UW-Madison after touring the campus this past weekend. The 17-year-old LaBate said he canceled visits to Minnesota and North Dakota after meeting with Badgers’ coach Mike Eaves. The player said he was the most passionate coach he ever met. LaBate is ranked 65th by the Red Line Report among all players eligible for the NHL Entry Draft this summer. He had scholarship offers from six others schools before choosing Wisconsin. LaBate will take the scholarship held by Cody Strang, who’s been ruled to be academically ineligible next season.
UW-Green Bay will host either Loyola or Youngstown State on Wednesday night in the quarter-finals of the Horizon League women's tournament. UW-Milwaukee joined the Phoenix in getting a first-round bye. The Panthers have the fifth seed, and will play at Number-four Wright State in the quarter-finals. The Phoenix earned the top seed, after finishing its regular season at 18-0 in league play and 29-1 overall. Milwaukee tied for fifth in the standings at 9-9 in the conference and 12-17 overall. Two first round games will be played this evening – Youngstown State at Loyola, and Valparaiso at Detroit. Those winners advance to Wednesday's quarter-finals.
UW-Parkside will play Missouri S&T on Friday night in the first round of the NCAA Division-Two women’s basketball tournament. The Rangers were given an at-large berth after falling to Lewis in last Saturday’s semi-finals of the Great Lakes Valley Conference tournament. Parkside is 22-6 with the number-three seed in its group of eight, all of which will play in Houghton, Michigan. Missouri S&T has the number six seed with a 20-7 record. Friday’s winner will play either second-seeded Quincy or Number-seven Kentucky Wesleyan in the second round on Saturday.
Mark Christensen of Kenosha Tremper won the boys’ singles title at the Wisconsin High School Bowling Club’s state tournament in Ashwaubenon. Briana Cubito of Ashwaubenon won the girls’ crown. In team competition, Racine William Horlick won the Division-One boys’ championship, and Wisconsin Dells took the Division-Two boys’ crown. In girls’ bowling, Racine Washington Park won the Division-One title, and Plymouth took home the D-Two trophy.