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WISCONSIN SPORTS ROUND-UP: UW men's basketball plays final home game this season

MADISON - The University of  Wisconsin men's basketball team will play its home season finale tonight against Purdue.  However, much of the talk involving the Badgers goes beyond the regular season, with an eye toward March 16th when the NCAA brackets come out.  

Wisconsin has won seven straight, and national pundits say the Badgers could get a No. 1 seed on Selection Sunday.  Wisconsin is ranked ninth in the two major polls, and sixth in the RPI rankings.  Previous-No. 1 Syracuse continues its downward slide, dropping four-of-five after falling to Georgia Tech 67-62 at home.  Michigan clinched the Big Ten regular season crown last night with an 84-53 romp at Illinois.  The Badgers remain tied with Michigan State for second place, and can still earn a Number-two seed in next week's Big Ten Tournament.  Wisconsin is 11-5 in the Big Ten and 24-5 overall.  Tonight, they'll face a Purdue team that's 5-11 in conference play and 15-14 overall.  It's also Senior Night, and Wisconsin's Ben Brust and Zach Bohannon will be honored -- along with junior Evan Anderson, who won't return next season.  


After 58 games, the Milwaukee Bucks believe they have finally have a little team chemistry.  The Bucks are 12-47, and they'll again play for their first back-to-back wins of the season tonight when they host Sacramento.  This time, it might not be a pipe dream.  Coach Larry Drew says the mid-February acquisitions of guard Ramon Sessions and forward Jeff Adrien have been a real pick-me-up for a squad that desperately needs it.  Drew said the Bucks needed Adrien's aggressive mentality on the boards -- and he has responded by snaring almost ten rebounds per game since coming over from Charlotte.  Sessions is adept at drawing fouls and getting to the line.  Drew says he's a good complement to rookie guard Nate Wolters.  Yesterday, the Bucks signed two-time Developmental League slam dunk contest winner Tony Mitchell to a 10-day contract.  For now, he's taking the place of Caron Butler -- the veteran Racine native who had his contract bought out and went to Oklahoma City.  Drew says he finally sees the players developing a bond.  The Bucks can still avoid having the worst season record in team history if they can go 9-and-14 the rest of the way.  Milwaukee's 1994 team has the season low in wins with 20.


The Milwaukee Bucks will have to guard the paint if they want to win back-to-back games for the first time this season.  The Bucks will host Sacramento tonight -- and the Kings are among the NBA's ten highest-scoring teams in the paint with just over 44 per night.  Sacramento also averages just over two rebounds more than their opponents.  But that alone has not translated into victories, since the Kings are 21-39.  Milwaukee is 12-47, and its dismal showing at the post is one reason.  The Bucks rank near the bottom of the league by averaging almost 38 points in the paint.  They also get three-and-a-third fewer rebounds than their opponents.  However, things have been looking up for Milwaukee -- at least a little bit.  They've won two of their last five, including a 26-point home rout of Utah on Monday night.


Yovani Gallardo will make his second start of the spring, when the Milwaukee Brewers play Oakland in an exhibition contest in Phoenix this afternoon.  Gallardo is a candidate for Milwaukee's Opening Day starting assignment on March 31st.  Kyle Lohse and the newly-acquired Matt Garza are also said to be in the running.  Skipper Ron Roenicke has not announced his choice.  The Brewers are 3-4 in the Cactus League, after a 6-4 loss yesterday to a split-squad from the A's.  Oakland will send right-hander Jarrod Parker to the hill this afternoon.  


Wisconsin's Mick Byrne has been named the Big Ten's coach of the year in indoor track.  Badgers' senior Reed Connor is the men's track athlete of the year.  Junior Michael Lihrman received the same honor for field events.  The Badgers won their second straight Big Ten indoor title last weekend.  Byrne received his first season coaching award for indoor track, after being a five-time cross country coach of the year.  Connor won the three-thousand meter event and placed second in the five-thousand.  Lihrman had the second-best weight throw in league history, with a meet record of 78-feet and one-quarter inch.


Two women's basketball players from Wisconsin are among ten finalists for the Jostens' Trophy.  Jill Van Eperen of Ripon College and Emily DeNoyer of Carroll University in Waukesha are in line for the honor, which is given to the outstanding men's and women's players in the NCAA's Division III based on their excellence on the floor, in the classroom, and in their communities.  No Wisconsin players are among the ten men's finalists.  The winners will be announced on March 20th.


Former UW-Milwaukee stand-out Sarah Hagen watched from the sideline today, as Team USA soccer played to a 1-1 tie with Japan in their opening match at the Algrave Cup.  Syndey Leroux scored for the Americans in the 59th minute.  Aya Miyama scored Japan's only goal in the 83rd minute.  Hagen said earlier it would be an honor if she just got into a game, with the likes of Abby Wambach and Christie Rampone -- who are both U.S. co-captains.  Hagen, an Appleton native, will have more opportunities.  Match-Two in Group-"B" action is set for Friday morning, when the Americans will face Sweden.


The UW-Milwaukee women's basketball team will play its final regular season road game tonight at Valparaiso.  A victory would give the Panthers a first-round bye in next week's Horizon League Tournament.  UWM is 4-10 in conference play, and 8-19 overall.  Valparaiso comes in a 2-12 in the league, and 4-23 overall after a four-point loss to UW-Green Bay last Saturday.  Charae Richardson leads the Crusaders with just over eleven points a game.  UWM is led by senior Angela Rodriguez, who broke the school's season record for assists last Saturday against Wright State, with a new total of 154.  The Panthers got crushed 94-70 in that game, as Rodriguez scored 19.  


WIAA Girls' state high school basketball regionals

Division 1 Stevens Point Sectional

Stevens Point 64, Wisconsin Rapids Lincoln 46

Sheboygan North Sectional

Waukesha South 43, Hartford 39

Sheboygan South 64, Green Bay East 29

Sun Prairie Sectional

Madison East 61, Watertown 42

Muskego 54, Kenosha Indian Trail 33

West Allis Central Sectional

Milwaukee South 48, Milwaukee Bay View/Lifelong Learning 31

West Allis Central 56, Milwaukee Hamilton 18

Division 2

Marshfield Sectional

Ashland 44, Menomonie 33

Antigo 41, Shawano 34

Holmen 48, Tomah 29

La Crosse Logan 46, Sparta 35

Medford 34, Lakeland 32

Rhinelander 73, Wausau East 36

Sheboygan South Sectional

Seymour 53, Green Bay West 33

Marinette 39, Menasha 37, OT

West Bend West 38, Plymouth 35

Janesville Craig Sectional

Fort Atkinson 34, Westosha Central 32

Burlington 45, Elkhorn 31

Milton 47, Delavan-Darien 32

Mount Horeb 42, Monroe 26

Reedsburg 49, Portage 32

Sauk Prairie 52, Baraboo 46

Brookfield Central Sectional 

Wauwatosa West 75, Milwaukee Madison 4

Waukesha North 36, Waukesha Catholic Memorial 29

Milwaukee Bradley Tech 51, Milwaukee Reagan 43

Milwaukee Lutheran 45, Milwaukee Washington/Career and Tech 43

Milwaukee Marshall/Juneau 55, Milwaukee Messmer 49

Division 3

River Falls Sectional

Bloomer 54, Black River Falls 37

Amery 54, Osceola 38

Elk Mound 56, Mauston 37

Gale-Ettrick-Trempealeau 47, Altoona 38

Prescott 47, Spooner 37

St. Croix Central 61, Maple Northwestern 51

St. Croix Falls 64, Ellsworth 47

West Salem 47, Viroqua 36

Ashwaubenon Sectional

Freedom 63, Berlin 38

Chilton 25, Southern Door 13

Omro 50, Winneconne 40

Peshtigo 72, Tomahawk 43

Manitowoc Roncalli 47, Luxemburg-Casco 40

Valders 45, New Holstein 33

Wittenberg-Birnamwood 36, Clintonville 20

Wrightstown 53, Sturgeon Bay 32

Middleton Sectional

Evansville 58, Walworth Big Foot 32

Clinton 54, Palmyra-Eagle 33

Jefferson 58, Lake Mills 44

Poynette 50, Platteville 29

Prairie du Chien 57, Nekoosa 43

Richland Center 60, Lodi 46

Beloit Turner 49, Edgerton 47

Westfield 43, River Valley 37

Wisconsin Dells 58, Wautoma 49

Whitefish Bay Sectional

Lomira 49, Kewaskum 29

Columbus 49, Mayville 42

Milwaukee North 55, Milwaukee Tenor/Veritas 19

North Fond du Lac 48, Winnebago Lutheran 42

Ripon 46, Campbellsport 44

Milwaukee St. Joan Antida 39, St. Francis 38

Sheboygan Falls 58, Watertown Luther Prep 46

Division 4

Chippewa Falls Sectional

Cameron 65, Webster 17

Augusta 55, Spring Valley 40

Flambeau 51, Cumberland 25

Hurley 44, Abbotsford 42

Osseo-Fairchild 58, Glenwood City 54

Stanley-Boyd 69, Chetek-Weyerhaeuser 33

Unity 47, Grantsburg 36

Phillips 57, Chequamegon 34

Boyceville 54, Cadott 46, OT

Waupaca Sectional

Brillion 55, Mishicot 24

Auburndale 61, Crivitz 9

Coleman 53, Stevens Point Pacelli 15

Edgar 35, Wabeno/Laona 32

Manitowoc Lutheran 68, Gibraltar 66

Menasha St. Mary’s 64, Rosholt 26

Shiocton 58, Manawa 10

Stratford 49, Spencer 29

Weyauwega-Fremont 47, Iola-Scandinavia 38

Crandon 64, Menominee Indian 16

De Forest Sectional

Fennimore 48, Darlington 39

Blair-Taylor 58, Necedah 35

Lancaster 55, Iowa-Grant 40

New Glarus 39, Belleville 33

Pardeeville 71, Princeton/Green Lake 20

Whitehall 51, Melrose-Mindoro 23

Wisconsin Heights 58, Orfordville Parkview 43

Plainfield Tri-County 38, Montello 34

Riverdale 46, Boscobel 37

Oconomowoc Sectional

Milwaukee Destiny 48, Milwaukee Hope Christian 43

Cedar Grove-Belgium 45, Ozaukee 29

Horicon 54, Waterloo 29

Howards Grove 69, Dodgeland 31

Racine St. Catherine's 64, Racine Lutheran 41

Random Lake 34, Deerfield 23

Somers Shoreland Lutheran 50, Kenosha Christian Life 20

Division 5

Spooner Sectional

Frederic 57, Solon Springs 32

Eau Claire Immanuel Lutheran 70, Prairie Farm 49

Greenwood 51, Gilman 25

Luck 55, Minong Northwood 31

Chippewa Falls McDonell 43, Bruce 30

Mellen 51, Bayfield 46

Mercer 43, Drummond 40

Owen-Withee 76, Rib Lake 21

Prentice 33, Cornell 27

Shell Lake 53, Birchwood 15

South Shore 81, Butternut 12

Thorp 43, Lake Holcombe 25

Turtle Lake 60, Clear Lake 16

Winter 66, Washburn 50

Schofield D.C. Everest Sectional

Bowler 41, Tigerton 37

Wisconsin Rapids Assumption 65, Granton 14

Marshfield Columbus Catholic 49, Pittsville 43

Elcho 48, Wisconsin Valley Lutheran 26

Green Bay NEW Lutheran 58, Marinette St. Thomas Aquinas 24

Lena 42, Sevastopol 34

Loyal 66, Almond-Bancroft 15

Marion 45, Gresham 13

Wausau Newman Catholic 88, White Lake 8

Phelps 37, Niagara 31

Port Edwards 39, Northland Lutheran 31

Suring 60, Wausaukee 44

Three Lakes 52, Florence 38

La Crosse Logan Sectional

Bangor 52, New Lisbon 27

Belmont 58, Pecatonica 15

Benton/Shullsburg 50, North Crawford 39

Cashton 50, Weston 38

Eleva-Strum 50, Elmwood 26

Gilmanton 60, Cochrane-Fountain City 53

Highland 61, Kickapoo 34

Hillsboro 26, Royall 14

Independence 50, Alma/Pepin 28

Ithaca 50, Hazel Green Southwestern 40

La Farge 40, Wonewoc-Center 28

Alma Center Lincoln 46, Plum City 44

Potosi 52, De Soto 22

River Ridge 58, Cassville 15

Wauzeka-Steuben 37, Seneca 35

Watertown Sectional

South Wayne Black Hawk 59, Burlington Catholic Central 29

Argyle 53, Albany 13

Waupun Central Wisconsin Christian 51, Beaver Dam Wayland 43

Fall River 84, Johnson Creek 38

Juda 32, Faith Christian 21

Milwaukee Academy of Science 48, Milwaukee Salaam School 7

Monticello 56, Williams Bay 12

Oakfield 48, Elkhart Lake/Glenbeulah 45

Randolph 50, Cambria-Friesland 19

Rio 52, Madison Abundant Life Christian/Country Day/St. Ambrose 40

Sheboygan Lutheran 61, Hustisford 46

Sheboygan County Christian 45, Stockbridge 27