Page 10- The Michigan Daily -Wednesday, February 7, 1990
Parity soaks through the
k Marymount, regularly running up
y triple digit scores. But it has yet to
by Taylor Lincoln
Daily Baskeball Writer
Last week, the Big Ten's second-
division basketball teams continued
to establish the league's tremendous
balance and strength from top to
bottom. On Sunday, seventh-place
Ohio State rallied from 17 points
behind to upset Louisville, ranked
No. 11 nationally. Then, last place
Northwestern gave ESPN's "Big
Monday" viewers a thrill when they
led first-place Purdue with three min-
utes left before bowing by seven.
"We see that kind of competition
night in and night out," Ohio State
coach Randy Ayers said of the
Cardinals. "We're seventh in the
league and the fact that we can go
out and beat a team as tough as
Louisville says a lot."
The Buckeyes also enjoyed hav-
ing first-year swingman Jimmy
Jackson named conference player-
of-the-week for the second time this
year. Jackson averaged 24 points in
wins over Northwestern and Louis-
ville. He's averaging 19 points and
eight rebounds for the season.
Great balance and a strong nat-
ional image aren't new to the Big
Ten. Since 1976, Big Ten teams
have won five national champ-
ionships - no other conference has
more than two. Only Wisconsin and
Northwestern failed to make the
NCAA tournament in the last dec-
Despite the 'Cats futility in the
80's, they haven't been so mild in
the 90's. They are better than their
1-9 conference record indicates.
Northwestern led Illinois, Michigan,
Indiana, and Purdue in the second
half of their games in Evanston. "I
don't seen any signs along the road
saying 'break up Northwestern,"'"
coach Bill Foster said. "We're not
there yet, but we're on our way.
With our recruiting, we have a
chance to get a charge."
So where does this new balance
Michigan State coach J u d
Heathcote thinks it's because of
the high school players' will to step
into college ball and contribute im-
mediately. "Freshmen come in and
they want to start," he said. "And
drop the 't' - they want to star.
That keeps the big programs from
stockpiling all the players."
Michigan coach Steve Fisher
credits television. "(It's because of)
the exposure that television has
given. You don't have to go to a top
10 team to be seen - everybody's
After getting off to a surprising
non-conference start, Iowa struggled
through the first half of the Big Ten
season with only three wins. Still,
Hawkeye coach Tom Davis remains
hopeful that two of his seniors -
Les Jepsen (16 points, 9.6 reb.)
and Matt Bullard (19.8, 3.0) -
will hook on in the pros. "I think
both of them are going to go fairl)
high in draft," he said. "They're bott
going to have an opportunity to pla3
in the NBA."
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'Freshmen come in
and they want to
start. And drop the 't'
- they want to star.
That keeps the big
stockpiling all the
- Michigan State men's
come to the Big Ten. Coach Gene
Keady of first place Purdue offers
"If someone can win a national
title by scoring over 100 points,
people will probably start going that
way," he said. "I tried that for 16
years (in high schools and junior
colleges) and always got beaten in
the championship game by some
team that was a little smarter or
played better defense... that's part of
the reason I started going the other
This will be a make-or-break
week for two 6-3 Big Ten teams
chasing 9-1 Purdue. Minnesota, who
Keady calls the best team in the
league, must travel to Illinois and
then host Purdue. Michigan hosts
Indiana and Illinois. The Boiler-
makers, meanwhile, are off until
they face Minnesota Sunday.
Ayers, whose Ohio State team
plays Iowa Thursday, agrees, at least
in the case of Jepsen: "I was very
impressed with the way he played at
the end of the Illinois game. For a
seven footer to make a move like
that is remarkable." Ayers said
referring to the open-court move and
basket that Jepsen made to beat the
Illini last week.
Outside the conference, powerful
teams like Oklahoma and LSU have
followed the lead of Loyola-
Gotta Love It
Sports oughta sti~ck.
to just the fun stuff
On ESPN's SportsCenter Monday night, host Bob Ley reported that
Notre Dame signed a unilateral television contract with NBC for the
school's home football games.
Ley summed up the controversial story by saying, "There always was a
free market, but now it's freer than ever."
This line made me realize what's been bugging me about sports during
these two relatively quiet weeks between the Super Bowl and the NBA All-
"Bob," I would have responded if I could talk back to my television set,
"sports aren't a market at all; sports are games.
So let's remember when the foul line mattered a whole lot more than the
bottom line. Imagine back to the fourth grade kickball game, when you
didn't know what a debit was.
I realize professional sports are a business. But I wish the owners would
worry about profit averages behind closed doors and let the fans concentrate
on batting averages. Then maybe the sports page could report the games and
leave the other stuff for the business section.
I hate reading about NFL commissioner Paul Tagliabue's prowess as a
negotiator, especially in the sports pages. In fact, I hate hearing about Paul
Tagliabue, period. Just like a good umpire isn't noticed on the field, a good
non-athlete shouldn't be in the news more than the players.
After all, the purpose of being a sports fan is to follow athletes or teams
and enjoy or evaluate their performances, not to relish their financial ledgers.
Try to picture this conversation between two bleacher bums:
"Excuse me, Harold, but don't you think the Athletics have just a
fabulous profit-loss ratio."
"Au, contraire, James, their budget is fantastically overextended..."
But I've learned this week that people do take an interest in more than
just the score.
While we used to talk about predictions and trades during the Hot Stove
League, today we estimate how long a lockout will last or how much a
player will have to pay to buy his way out of a contract.
Do fans really care about this "sports news?" I don't see any hysterical
people running through the streets shouting: "Oh my God, Mortimer, NBC
just got college football. Sell, sell, sell..."
But what's next? Will the Free Press' crack sports staff report on a
Kathy Ireland contract dispute with Sports Illustrated?
All of these news stories invading sports territory have only served to
disenchant me. You know, I used to love the NBC Baseball Game of the
Week's opening. It was composed of great baseball moments that sent
shivers down your spine and actually made you believe major leaguers really
played a kid's game as adults.
Well, after reading the papers this week I quickly realized that the Major
Leagues aren't playing my game at all.
Playing my game - hell, the owners won't even let them practice. They
plan on locking their so-called overgrown kids out of spring training
beginning next Tuesday. But take heart - at least the media will have a
news story to report.
Back in elementary school, sports were played as games purely for
enjoyment. The winners didn't receive a greater tangible award than the
losers and the best athletes gained basically the same thing as the mediocre
ones: a period of fun between learning about fractions and learning about
Maybe we could look at the games we care about as adults in the same
child-like way: a good time allowing us to forget the real world for awhile.
Saturday Feb. 10th
MLB Auditorium 3
7 pm-8 pm
7 pm, Wednesday, February 7
Pond Room, Michigan Union
Staff positions are available in Editing,
Advertising, Publicity, and more, for one-
year terms beginning in March.
For more information please visit Consider at the
Michigan Union, room 4317, or call 663-3148.
Always Two Points of View
e this car."
Mary Frasco, a grad student in Education
at the University of Detroit, talks about
falling in love with her Volkswagen.
"Thirty seconds. That's how long it
takes to put the top down on my Cabriolet.
And that's how long it took me to fall
"There's nothing quite like the feeling
you get driving a convertible. And there's
no convertible quite like my Cabriolet.
"Sunglasses on, wind in my hair- I
love driving this car. And it's a good thing.
Because when I go out with my friends
there's never any question of whose car
"Everybody just hops in my Cabriolet.
"I can't imagine driving anything else."
The Volkswagen Cabriolet. It's the
distinctive European convertible with the