Afternoon Sports Brief - River Falls, WIAC Champion, among Field of 62Wisconsin Sports
-- Five Wisconsin teams received bids today to the NCAA Division-Three men’s basketball UW-River Falls, Carroll, Edgewood, Stevens Point, and Whitewater are all among the Field of 62 that will open play later this week. tournament.
Five Wisconsin teams received bids today to the NCAA Division Three men’s basketball tournament. UW-River Falls, Carroll, Edgewood, Stevens Point, and Whitewater are all among the Field of 62 that will open play later this week.
River Falls, the WIAC champion, will host a four team sub regional. The Falcons will open on Friday against NAC champion Madison Edgewood and the winner will play either Wheaton or Gustavus Adolphus on Saturday. UW-Whitewater also earned hosting rights, even though the Warhawks lost to UW-River Falls in the conference title. Whitewater will play Northwestern College of St. Paul on Friday, and that winner will face either Claremont or Saint Thomas of Saint Paul on Saturday. Carroll, which won the Midwest Conference, will play Transylvania on its home court in Lexington, Kentucky on Friday. The winner of that game will face either Wittenberg or Birmingham-Southern on Saturday. And finally, UW-Stevens Point which received an at large bid along with Whitewater will play Illinois Wesleyan on Friday at Hope College of Michigan. The winner will face either Hope or Westminster. Sectionals will be played the following weekend, and the D Three Final Four will square off in Salem, Virginia March 16th-and-17th. Meanwhile, the women’s Division Three tournament field will be unveiled this afternoon.
Six women’s college basketball teams from Wisconsin were invited this afternoon to their NCAA Division Three tournament. UW Whitewater, Carthage, River Falls, Wisconsin Lutheran, Stevens Point, and Eau Claire will all hit the road for their opening games on Friday in a national field of 64. Whitewater and Carthage will face each other at DePauw of Indiana, and the winner will play either the host school or Westminster on Saturday. River Falls will play Coe College on Friday at Saint Thomas, and the winner face either the Tommies or Martin Luther. NAC champion Wisconsin Lutheran travels Calvin of Michigan to play the host school, and that winner will go against either WIAC champion Stevens Point or Franklin on Saturday. And Eau Claire will open against Simpson in Chicago, with the winner to play either Chicago or Monmouth in the second round. Saturday’s winners will advance to next week’s sectionals. The women’s Final Four will be March 16th and 17th.
The Marquette University men kept climbing up the Top 10 this afternoon in both major national polls. The Golden Eagles rose to Number eight in the AP media poll, and seventh in the USA Today ESPN coaches’ survey. That’s after Marquette was 10th in both a week ago. The Eagles have a five game winning streak after beating Rutgers and West Virginia last week. Marquette is 13-3 in the Big East and 24-5 overall, and will play at Cincinnati tomorrow night. Meanwhile, the University of Wisconsin men moved up two spots to 14th in the AP poll, and they’re still ranked 15th by the coaches. That’s after the Badgers upset eighth ranked Ohio State in Columbus yesterday. It was the first time in 32 years that Wisconsin beat a Top 10 team on the road. Bo Ryan’s Badgers avoided a drop in the polls after falling at Iowa last week. They’re 10-6 in the Big Ten and 21-8 overall. Wisconsin will host Minnesota tomorrow night. Wisconsin will host Minnesota tomorrow night. By the way, Ohio State fell to 10th in the AP poll today, and 11th in the coaches’ survey. Kentucky is still Number One in both.
For the second week in a row, Marquette University senior forward Jae Crowder has been named the Big East men’s basketball player of the week. He averaged 26 1/2 points against Rutgers and West Virginia, and he shot 64 1/2 percent from the floor. Crowder also averaged five and a half rebounds, three steals, two and a half assists, and two and a half blocked shots in each game. Crowder is the first Big East player to get the weekly honors more than once this season.
UW-Green Bay center Alec Brown was named to the All Horizon League first team today. Brown, a sophomore, averaged 14 points and eight rebounds a game for the Phoenix this season. UW Milwaukee senior point guard Kaylon Williams was picked to the second team by the league’s media, coaches, and sports information directors. Green Bay freshman guard Kiefer Sykes made the All Newcomer team. And Milwaukee senior Ryan Allen was named to the All Horizon defensive team. Ryan Broekhoff of Valparaiso is the Player of the Year, and Valpo’s Bryce Drew is the Coach of the Year. Julius Mays of Wright State is the Newcomer of the Year. Ronald Nored of Butler is the top defensive player. And Eli Holman of Detroit is the sixth man of the year. Also, Sykes and UW-Milwaukee senior Tony Meier were named the Horizon League players of the week for the final week of the regular season. The conference tournament begins tomorrow night. Milwaukee hosts Illinois-Chicago, and Green Bay plays at Youngstown State.
The UW-Green Bay women went up one place to 11th this afternoon in their AP basketball poll. The Phoenix are 25-1 overall, after winning their 14th straight Horizon League title this past weekend with two games left. Green Bay will play at Loyola on Thursday night before closing out the regular season at Illinois-Chicago on Saturday. Baylor remains Number One, and is the only unbeaten team in the Top 25. Only two other ranked women’s teams besides Green Bay have one loss, Number two Stanford, and Number eight Delaware.
The Saint Norbert men’s hockey team is still ranked fifth in Division-Three in the new poll released this afternoon by US College Hockey On-line. The Green Knights are 16-5-5, after advancing to the next weekend’s title game in the NCHA playoffs. Milwaukee Engineering is ranked 10th in the new poll. River Falls is 14th. And the other NCHA finalist, UW Stevens Point, is 15th. Oswego of New York is still the men’s Number One.
In the Division III women’s poll, UW-River Falls, which is hosting the NCHA semi-finals this weekend, is ranked seventh. UW-Superior is ranked ninth. The Rochester Institute of Technology remains the women’s leader.
In Division One, a new women’s poll did not come out by early afternoon. Wisconsin was ranked first for most of the season.
The NFL Scouting Combine continues today in Indianapolis. And Wisconsin receiver Nick Toon showed the scouts what he could do in a pair of drills. He ran the 40 ard dash in 4.54 econds, and had a vertical jump of 37 1/2 inches. Toon plans to conduct the rest of his drills at the Badgers’ Pro Day for scouts on March seventh in Madison. Toon, the son of NFL star Al Toon, said good hands are the best asset for a receiver. He said he believes he does a great job of catching the ball, and he’s polished in more aspects of the game than most. Toon had 64 catches for the Badgers last fall for 926 yards and 10 touchdowns. He said he’d love to join the Green Bay Packers. But it’s not likely, considering all the depth the Packers have at the wide-out and tight end positions.