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April 06, 1992 - Image 9

Resource type:
Text
Publication:
The Michigan Daily, 1992-04-06

Disclaimer: Computer generated plain text may have errors. Read more about this.

Who are the only two frosh to
win MVP of the NCAA men's
basketball tournament? (For the
answer, see the bottom of page 2)

M' Sports Calendar 2
'M' Athlete of the Week 2
Sheran My Thoughts 3
Men's Basketball 4-5
Ice Hockey 6
Baseball 7
Men's Golf 7
Softball . T

1.' -
a+.

The Michigan Daily- Sports Monday April 6,1992

MR

U

7

9

* Big-man battle
highlights final
MINNEAPOLIS - There are so many angles, so
many underlying story lines at this Final Four, that it
seems a little contrived. Almost too good to be true for
basketball junkies.
Knight versus Krzyzewski Saturday. Duke's fifth
straight Final Four appearance. A shot for the Blue
Devils at a second straight national title. Michigan's
Fab Five title hopes. And the Wolverines' chance at re-
demption against Duke.
Buried somewhere in there is John
the story of Chris Webber's first
big game as a college basketball Niyo
player. It was the topic he seemed
most willing to talk about at yes-
terday's press conference bonanza.
It seems like ages ago, but the
arrival of Chris Webber on to the f
college basketball scene officially
took place Oct. 15, the first day of
fall practice.
The national prep player-of-the
year and the rest of "the best rec-
ruiting class ever" took the court
as the clock struck midnight. A S
Cinderella was born and the mad-
ness began.
But in the eyes of many, Webber's true arrival came
two months later, when Webber outplayed Duke's All-
American center Christian Laettner in the Wolverines
near-upset of the top-ranked Blue Devils Dec. 14.
That's when the madness really began.
Webber finished that contest with 27 points and 12
rebounds before fouling out in overtime, besting
Laettner's 24 points and eight boards in front of a na-
tional television audience.
"That game," Webber said yesterday, "I just wanted
to show people I can play too. Laettner knew that. I just
wanted to remind him on the court."
Looking back on that winter afternoon in Crisler,
Webber says now, shows hdw far he has come.
"That game, truthfully, I had so much resentment,"
Webber says shaking his head. "People kept asking me,
'What are you going to do.'
"It was just like, 'OK, forget about what you can do,
Chris, how are you going to control this monster?
You're going to foul out, he's going to score 30, he's an
All-American, he's played more years in college than
you, he's going to be a first-round NBA pick. What are
you going to do with him?"'
So Webber dunked on him several times, with em-
phasis. And he smiled a sinister smiled when he did it.
It was his way of sending a message to Laettner, and
the senior Duke standout understood.
"They weren't treated with that much respect be-
fore," Laettner said of Webber and the four other
freshmen. "I think they are now. "
Webber says he was upset over that lack of respect
back in December.
"I remember when Duke came in for warmups, and
all the reporters in our area went over and just looked,"
Webber says with a laugh.
It is a laugh that tells a lot about Webber, an emo-
tional leader on an emotional team.
Webber knew what he and his teammates were ca-
pable of. He told us. And everyone walked away to go
watch Laettner run through layup drills.
So the chip was firmly attached to Webber's shoul-
See WEBBER, Page 5

Wolverines wear out
Bearcats, 76-72

by Albert Un
Daily Basketball Writer
MINNEAPOLIS - 'Shock the
World II' had had its final run. The
limited engagement was about to
end and the Cincinnati Bearcats
knew it.
But someone forgot to tell
Michigan.
The Wolverines' size eventually
wore down and overcame the
Bearcats' ferocious pressure defense,
leading to a 76-72 victory in
Saturday night's NCAA national
semifinal game that puts Michigan
into tonight's national championship
tilt versus Duke.
Cincinnati (29-5) exited from its
first NCAA tournament since 1977
after a remarkable run. Despite being
the Midwest Region's No. 4 seed,
the Bearcats were still considered
underdogs, even after they had
reached the Final Four.
Cincinnati did its best to prolong
its Cinderella season, but the Wol-
verines were just too big and too
athletic for the scrappy Bearcats.
"I am very proud of the effort and
the character that our guys have
shown throughout the year," Bearcat
coach Bob Huggins said following
the game. "We will be back, and we
will live to fight another day."
The start of the gamevwas de-
layed so that a women's basketball
Final Four contest could be shown in
its entirety. The extra time seemed to
throw off both squads, as each side
came out of the blocks sluggishly.
"I think both teams wanted to
jump out and get a quick lead," said
guard Jalen Rose, who put in only 13
points on 4-for-13 shooting, but
grabbed nine rebounds and was
again a key ballhandler. "Everyone
wanted to make the pass that leads to
the basket, but in a close game, you
can't do that."
Cincinnati unleashed its trade-
mark trapping defense, rarely allow-
ing Michigan to get into its halfcourt
sets. The backcourt double-teams
forced the Wolverines to make
crosscourt passes, causing 12 first-

half turnovers.
"I think in the first half, it did
kind of mess with us," said guard
Jimmy King, who led the
Wolverines with 17 points. "We
were making dumb mistakes."
When the Wolverines were able
to break the press, the result was lots
of easy baskets. Michigan shot 57.7
percent from the field in the first
half, with over half its baskets com-
ing from layups and dunks. King
was the only Wolverine to shoot
from outside the lane.
But Cincinnati also got its share
of easy hoops, capitalizing on
Michigan mistakes to take a 41-38
halftime lead.
"You can't cry and moan about
turnovers, but in the first half that's
what we were doing," forward Chris
Webber said. "After Coach (Steve
Fisher) talked to us at halftime, we
realized we had played one of worst
halves in a long time."
But Michigan regrouped in the,
lockerroom, and when the second
stanza began, the Bearcats were no-
ticeably slower. Cincinnati did not
try to open up a big lead behind its
defense. Instead, Huggins called off;
his press to give his players a rest
and the Wolverines began to get
things going.
"I didn't think the team was frus-
trated at all," Rose said. "It was just
a matter of taking our time and mak-
ing better decisions, and that's what
we did."
While the task may have seemed
simple, actually getting it done was
more difficult. The five rookies
seemed a bit out of sync, so Fisher
needed to call on a new hero. Last
weekend, junior Eric Riley stepped
forward, and Saturday it was his
classmate, forward James Voskuil.
"Before the game, you have to
have the mental mindset to say, if
you're called on, you can do the
job," Voskuil said.
He certainly did his duty, spark-
ing the club with nine points and
four rebounds in the second half, and
See BEARCATS, Page 4
BACK DUKE, WE MUST TAKE
CINCINNATI IN THE
MINNEAPOLIS INVITATIONAL."
In front of 50,379 fans in the
Metrodome Saturday night, they
took care of that formality, while
Duke outlasted Indiana, 81-78.
"It's kind of like a little soap
opera," Ray Jackson said. "Every-
thing's working out perfect. Now we
just have to win."
See CHAMPIONSHIP, Page 4

Michigan's Jimmy King finishes off the fastbreak with a vicious slam to put the Wolverines
ahead of Cincinnati with 52 seconds remaining in Saturday's game to seal the victory.

M' cagers seek
revenge , NCAA
title tonight vs.
Blue Devils

by John Niyo
Daily Basketball Writer
MINNEAPOLIS - The wait is
over.
Ever since Duke escaped Ann
Arbor with an 88-85 overtime vic-
tory Dec. 14, Michigan has eyed a
meaningful rematch with the defend-
ing champs.
And it couldn't mean much more
than this. Michigan (25-8) will
square off with Duke (33-2) tonight
at 9:22 EST for the national title in

Minneapolis.
"Do you want to pay back Duke,"
Jalen Rose was asked at yesterday's
press conference.
"Yes," came the quick response.
Was there any doubt?
The Wolverines have hinted all
season long that they wanted Duke
again. And that desire was spelled
out in black-and-white in the
Michigan lockerroom after the Ohio
State game in Lexington, Ky., where
the chalk board read, "TO PAY

0 0,

1957
by Sharon Lundy -'R
Daily Sports Writer

Champions

Icers look for new end
to successful season
by Andy o eKorte

When most people think of
1957, no special events immedi-
ately come to mind. But every
member of the '57 Michigan men's
tennis team remembers that year as
a remarkable season.
In 1957 the Wolverines became
the only Big Ten team, and one of
the few teams from outside of the
Sunbelt to win an NCAA title. By
the end of that season, they had
built a 45-match winning streak and
won the conference championship
for the third year in a row. This
year, they are having their 35th re-
union.

IEV,

1' tennis team recalls
amazing season

later. What makes the streak all the
more remarkable is the fact that in
1954, when the streak started, the
majority of the players responsible
for it were first-year students. In
1954, first-year students were not
eligible to participate in varsity
athletics.
In 1955, three of the '57 team
members were in the starting
lineup. Barry MacKay began his
three-year reign at the No. 1 singles
position. Joining him at the No. 2
and 3 positions were classmates
Mark Jaffe and Dick Potter, respec-
tively, who both remained in the
Wolverine lineup through its cham-
pionship year, as well.
The '55teaim wn i1I m neppz

"It's in the past now. There's nothing I can do about it," senior forward
Mike Helber said. "I have to get up tomorrow and I'll still be Mike
Helber, I just won't be a Michigan hockey player."
That realization blanketed the Michigan lockerroom in Albany, N.Y.,
last Thursday night. It settled on the players in the form of blank expres-
sions and watery eyes.
"I feel bad for our seniors," coach Red Berenson said. "The best part
about college hockey is that the coaches and most of our players will get to

' '~'.. U

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