Afternoon State Sports Briefs: WIAA votes to seed football playoffsWisconsin Sports
-- High school football playoff teams in Wisconsin will be seeded after they're placed in their respective brackets. The WIAA's Board-of-Control approved the change today by an 11-0 vote at its meeting in Stevens Point.
STEVENS POINT - High school football playoff teams in Wisconsin will be seeded after they're placed in their respective brackets. The WIAA's Board-of-Control approved the change today by an 11-0 vote at its meeting in Stevens Point.
The association's deputy director, Wade Labecki, said fans want to see the best teams square off. And after rejecting the idea last year, he said the coaches' advisory committee changed its mind and endorsed it. Coaches will seed the teams after the brackets are set. Also today, the Board tried to increase the number of playoff games on Friday nights in the first three rounds. They voted to make both teams agree to hold a match-up on a Saturday. The board also eliminated confusion which allowed the Milwaukee Messmer-Shorewood co-op squad to win a lawsuit last fall to be in the playoffs, even though it had not served a four-year post-season ban for leaving the Woodland Conference. The Board of Control also assured a nine-game football season starting in 2013. And it voted to let small schools offer eight-man football starting next season.
Shaun Livingston will start his fourth straight game at shooting guard for the Milwaukee Bucks tonight at Houston. Livingston made his first start last Friday night at New York, after Stephen Jackson was benched for missing the team's shoot-around that morning. Livingston is not a true shooting guard, but coach Scott Skiles says he facilitates the offense and provides another playmaking option on the floor. Livingston had 18 points against the Knicks, and 10 more on Sunday night in his second start at Miami. The Bucks won both those games, and they're going for three straight road wins for the first time in two seasons. Jackson will continue to come off the bench. He was scoreless in 28 minutes in Monday night's home loss to Atlanta -- and Skiles says Jackson needs to be more aggressive. The Bucks will try to win their annual game at Houston for the first time in 12 seasons. Also, Milwaukee is the only NBA team not to win a game at Houston's eight-year-old Toyota Center.
Former Marquette basketball forward Trevor Mbakwe says he might apply for a sixth year of college eligibility. The 23-year-old Mbakwe is a senior at the University of Minnesota -- and he suffered a season-ending knee injury last November against Dayton. Now, he tells reporters he wouldn't mind returning for another year -- even though he'd be much older than his teammates. The Gophers could petition the N-CAA to grant Mbakwe another year, but it won't happen until the season ends. Mbakwe is a native of Saint Paul. He only played 10 games in his freshman year at Marquette. And he was suspended during his first year at Minnesota due to an assault conviction in Florida.
Ripon College swept the men's weekly indoor track-and-field awards in the Midwest Conference. Junior Matt Wood was named the track performer-of-the-week after winning the 400-meters at the U-W Whitewater Invitational. He also had the league's second-best time of the season in the 200 at 22-point-99 seconds. Kyle Novack of Ripon was named the league's top field athlete. The freshman from Two Rivers okaced second in the pole vault at Whitewater. And in swimming, Grinnell College senior Thomas Lankiewicz from Oconomowoc is the Midwest male swimmer-of-the-week. He won the 200-individual medley at the Grinnell Invitational. And Lankiewicz helped four relay teams achieve victories.