Minnesota Sports Briefs: Home wins help Gophs' move up in pollsMinnesota Sports
-- The University of Minnesota men's basketball team moved up in both national polls after a pair of home wins last week.
MINNEAPOLIS - The University of Minnesota men's basketball team moved up in both national polls after a pair of home wins last week.
Minnesota beat Nebraska last Tuesday and defeated Iowa on Sunday. The 17-5 Gophers are now ranked No. 18 in both the coaches and media rankings. Tubby Smith's team leaves tonight for East Lansing, Michigan, where it will play eighth-ranked Michigan State tomorrow night. Tip-off tomorrow is set for 6 p.m.
The University of Minnesota men's and women's hockey teams continue to hold down the top spots in the USCHO.com national polls. The Golden Gopher women are undefeated at 26-0 and have won 36 straight games. The Minnesota men are 18-4-4. Meanwhile, the WCHA-leading St. Cloud State men moved up from 12th to eighth in this week's survey after sweeping Bemidji State over the weekend. Minnesota State-Mankato is 11th this week. On the women's side, Minnesota-Duluth is ranked tenth. The Gustavus Adolphus women's team is ranked No. 2 in the NCAA Division III poll. The Gusties are 18-0.
The WCHA men's college hockey standings show St. Cloud State still atop the stack of teams with 29 points in the standings. The Huskies are 14-5-1 in league play and three points ahead of second-place Nebraska-Omaha. The top-ranked University of Minnesota Golden Gophers were idle this past weekend and are in third-place and five-points behind SCSU. The Gophers and Huskies play against each other this Friday and Saturday night in St. Cloud. Minnesota has played two fewer games this season than St. Cloud State.
The MIAC men's and women's hockey Athletes of the Week have been announced. Gustavus Adolphus junior forward Adam Smyth of Burnsville is the men's honoree after recording six points in two Gusties victories last week And, Concordia-Moorhead freshman forward Anna Westmark of Appleton, Wisconsin is the women's winner after tallying four points in two Cobber wins.
Southwest Minnesota State wrestler Jacob Begin of Anoka is this week's NSIC Wrestler of the Week. The 165-pound junior won matches over the third- and fourth-ranked wrestlers in his weight class over the weekend. Begin has now won 12 straight bouts and is 12-1 on the year.
The celebration from the Ravens' 34-31 win over the 49ers in Super Bowl XLVII will continue today. Baltimore will host a victory parade and celebration this morning. The parade follows, which will snake through downtown before ending up at the Ravens home stadium. St. Paul natives Matt Birk and Terrell Suggs are both members of the Ravens team.
NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell spoke yesterday about the power outage inside the Superdome during Super Bowl XLVII. The nearly 35-minute outage helped change the game's momentum early in the second half. Goodell said it doesn't tarnish what was a great Super Bowl. Goodell also noted that there is no indication that Beyonce's extravagant halftime show was related to the power outage.
The Detroit Lions have released troublesome wide receiver Titus Young. The 23-year-old did not play in the Lions' final six regular season games after causing problems with the team's coaching staff. A day after getting into an altercation with wide receivers coach Shawn Jefferson in a November 11th game against Green Bay, Young was sent home from practice by head coach Jim Schwartz.
Boston slugger David Ortiz, a former Twin, is on pace to be ready for the start of the regular season. General Manager Ben Cherington spoke to David Ortiz last week in the Dominican Republic and says he expects the veteran designated hitter to be good to go by Opening Day. Cherington told MLB Network Radio that Ortiz is hitting and running again after surgery for a torn Achilles tendon.
The Minnesota DNR is gathering public input across the state this week on proposed changes to the state's endangered, threatened or special concern species list. Endangered species coordinator Rich Baker says they're looking at status changes for 302 different species of plants and animals. He says some species initially put on the list like the grey wolf, bald eagle and snapping turtle are species are now in better shape and can be removed from the list. Baker says a lot of the species they're adding to the list are insects and lesser-known plants. The moose and Canada lynx are the most well-known animals proposed for special concern status. Public hearings are scheduled for tonight in Bemidji, Wednesday in Duluth and Thursday in Plymouth.
A Super Bowl could in Minneapolis' future. The Minnesota Sports Facilities Authority is teaming up with Meet Minneapolis to submit an application to bring the Super Bowl to the new Vikings Stadium. The Metrodome hosted the 1992 Super Bowl and NFL officials say that the big game could return to the Twin Cities in 2018 or 2019.