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December 09, 1996 - Image 11

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Publication:
The Michigan Daily, 1996-12-09

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Forget the Alamo, Blue to face

'Bama at Outback

By Nicholas J. Cotsonika
Daily Sports Editor
After the bowl situation was finally settled last night, the
Wolverines didn't end up with a legendary bowl game.
But they did end up with a legendary opponent.
On New Year's Day, No. 15 Michigan (8-3) will play No.
16 Alabama (9-3) at I1 a.m. at the Outback Bowl in Tampa,
Fla. The Wolverines haven't played on New Year's Day since
1993, and they were very pleased to be back - no matter
how they got there.
"We are extremely excited to play a quality opponent like
Alabama on New Year's Day," Michigan coach Lloyd Carr
said. "I don't think we could have had a better matchup."
The Outback Bowl had the third choice in both the Big Ten
and SEC. Michigan, which finished fifth in the Big Ten, was
v ited after the Bowl Alliance placed Penn State against

Texas in the Fiesta Bowl, instead of the Outback, and
Outback officials passed up Iowa.
The Nittany Lions and Hawkeyes tied for third in the Big
Ten at 6-2. But Penn State finished the season ranked seventh
nationally, good enough for the Alliance
bid. The Hawkeyes finished ranked 21st Tckets
and were left to play Texas Tech at the Students interest
Alamo Bowl in San Antonio on Dec. 29. the Outback Bow.
The Wolverines' national following, Michigan Tickett
ranking and victories over Colorado and (313) 764-0247.
Ohio State were possible reasons why
they leapfrogged the Hawkeyes.
Alabama, which lost to then-No. 4 Florida, 45-28, on
Saturday in the SEC championship game, finished behind
now-No. 3 Florida (Sugar Bowl vs. No. 1 Florida State) and
No. 9 Tennessee (Citrus Bowl vs. No. 11 Northwestern) but

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still presents a challenge.
The Crimson Tide plays tough defense, and its losses were
all to quality opponents - Mississippi State, Tennessee and
Florida.
"Alabama has a great defense - one
of the best in the country," Carr said.
d in attending "Probably, our defense is the strength of
should call the our team. So it's going to come down to
apartment at the offenses."
ickets are $38. Perhaps more important, the Tide has
an emotional edge. Highly-respected
Alabama coach Gene Stallings has announced that the
Outback Bowl will be his last game.
"It's going to be a showdown, with the legendary coach
they've got and the respect Alabama has," Michigan co-cap-
tain Jarrett Irons said. "It's his last game, and they'll be excit-

ed. But for the seniors, it's going to be our last game, too."
Michigan and Alabama, for all of their history, have met
just once before. At the 1987 Hall of Fame Bowl - the
Outback's predecessor - the Wolverines held off the Tide,
28-24.
Of course, Michigan would rather meet Alabama at the
second-place Citrus Bowl or undefeated, No. 2 Arizona State
at the Rose. But considering the circumstances and their
record, the Wolverines said they will take the Outback, the
state of Florida, the sunshine and the Tide.
"We lost a couple of games we had control over, and «4
had some great wins,' Carr said. "We were an outstanding
football team that stumbled a couple times.
"Getting back to play on New Year's Day is important. it's
great to be the lead-in on that day. The exposure you get is
See OUTBACK, Page 5B

I

1

Michigan
comeback
drowns
Devils
By Danielle Rumore
Daily Sports Editor
DURHAM, N.C. - lie didn't break
the backboard this time, just Duke's
pride.
This dunk was even better, even more
monumental. And while it didn't
destroy the basket, it was certainly
earth-shattering.
Robert Traylor took a pass from
Travis Conlan, put the ball on the floor
for one dribble and delivered a slam
dunk with 6.2 seconds left that the Blue
Michigan 62
U Duke 61

THE FLIP SIDES OF THE SHORTHANDED
SENSATION - JOHN MADDEN
By James Goldstein
Daly Sports Writer
ohn Madden is a workman-like, blue collar, independent, joke-telling hockey
player, who keeps his personal life to himself. Now this may sound like an
odd assortment of characteristics and a lot to swallow, but if any of these traits
were not included, then people wouldn't get the full package that Madden holds.
The senior center displays an unrelenting work ethic on the ice during practices
and games. He plays an extremely competitive round of golf with his teammates,
even if he is not able to refrain from blowing his top and cursing on the links. He
often amuses his teammates with an animated joke in the Michigan locker room.
But once he leaves the ice and the hockey arena, a whole different side of
Madden appears - independent, reserved and serious.
"I don't really tell them any of my personal life or any of my problems,"
'4 adden says." I just keep it to myself. That's the way I've always been."
A common schedule after a game or a practice won't include Madden calling
his parents. He has been away from his folks since he was 15, and he doesn't con-
sider himself close to his family.
He won't head to his Ann Arbor house where he lives with five teammates.
Instead, he'll walk over to his girlfriend's house and spend time with her.
Madden has been seeing Michigan gymnast Lauren LaBranch for 1 1/2 years, and
they are very close, knowing what it is like to live the life of a Michigan athlete.
He walks down the campus streets without anyone noticing him - even after
winning last season's national championship. Madden likes it that way. He expects
players like captain Brendan Morrison to receive all the attention around campus.
"I have no clue if anyone notices me," Madden says. "I would rather have it that
way. Not that I'm some big celebrity. I'm no Juwan Howard.'
But he is Howard in a way. Fab Fivers Chris Webber and Juwan Howard could
be compared to Morrison and Madden. Both Webber and Morrison have received
all the attention for the dunks and pretty goals - entertaining skills that the two
possess. But like Howard, Madden gets the job done in a workman-like manner.
There may not be as much show, but the results are always there.
And it can't be more evident with Madden's numbers this year. Eight goals, five
shorthanded, 25 assists. Just this weekend against Ferris State, Madden picked up
six assists, a career-high mark. The 5-foot-11, 195-pound forward has scored at
least one point in all but two of the 17 games the Wolverines have played this year.
"(Madden) is not really big, he's not really small," Michigan coach Red
ierenson said. "He's not really conspicuous until he, gets on the ice and you watch
him outwork other players."
He's had to work all his life. In home, in the junior hockey leagues, in
Michigan, in his classes - all by himself.
Born on May 5, 1973, in Toronto, Madden did not live in a stable home.
His father, John Sr., who played hockey in his his childhood and now plays in a
senior league in Barrie, Ontario, left Madden's life when he was eight. Madden's
parents got divorced then, and tough times surrounded the Madden household
thereafter. His mother, Elizabeth, had two jobs and worked during the weekends.
Therefore, Madden and his two sisters, Lana and Brenda - now 25 and 21, -
ook care of each other at home.
With Madden so young at the time, he wasn't affected as much as his older sis-
ter. There was a two-year period right after the divorce when Madden's father did-
n't show, but Madden pressed on.
"I don't know why but I rolled with what was going on," Madden says. "I never
let it get to me. My older sister was older at the time, she knew what was going
on, so I think it affected her more than me."
Madden left home in Toronto for good when he moved on to play for the Barrie

MARK( FRIEDMAN/Daily
Surrounded by Blue Devils all game, Michigan forward Maurice Taylor picked up his fifth foul with 10:11 left. The Wolverines
played spectacular defense after that, coming from 12 points down to beat Duke 6261 in Cameron Indoor Stadium.
Big Blue winz all duet heart

Devils won't likely forget, giving No. 7
Michigan a 62-61 victory over 10th-
ranked Duke yesterday at Cameron
Indoor Stadium.
"(The lane) parted like the Red Sea,"
Traylor said.
Despite struggling with Duke's sti-
fling defense all afternoon, Traylor
managed to win the game for the
Wolverines and, in the process destroy
Duke's previous stellar 103-1 home
record against non-conference oppo-
nents.
"We're still searching for something
to identify this team with," Michigan
coach Steve Fisher said. "I'm hoping
that this will be it."
The Blue Devils' defense and patent-
ed transition game kept Michigan off-
balance all afternoon. But despite the
12-point lead, the Devils allowed the
Wolverines (5-0) back in the game with
poor shooting.
The game was marked by poor offen-
sive execution by both teams early on.
Duke's defense forced 10 turnovers in
the first half leading to eight points in
transition. But the Devils (5-2) were
missing a lot of their open shots, keep-
ing the Wolverines in the game despite
the loss of their top gun, Maurice
Taylor, for most of the contest due 1o
foul trouble.
After Taylor was benched with his
third foul with 9:09 left in the first,
Michigan led 20-15 in what would be
one of its last leads until the waning
seconds of the game.
After Taylor took the bench, the
Devils reeled off nine unanswered
points. Duke's Carmen Wallace hit two
foul shots to cut the Michigan lead to 20-
17. Then St. Johns' transfer Roshown
McLeod hit a jumper after receiving a
nifty pass from Steve Wojciechowski.
Jeff Capel buried a 3-pointer in transition
off a Michigan turnover.
After that, the Devils held the lead
going into halftime, 33-29. The lead
would have been larger, but the Devils
were having trouble in their half-court

URHAM, N.C., - When Maurice Taylor fouled out
ith 10 minutes left in the game and the Wolverines
trailing Duke by 12, just about everyone in the
obnoxiously raucous Cameron Indoor Stadium thought the
game was over.
The 9,314 in attendance were as act-
ing as Crazy as their nickname indicat-
ed. After all, the Blue Devils were
about to put away Michigan. The;
Wolverines looked rattled. Duke looked
poised.
But with their best player on the
bench and desperation as their only JOHN
hope for survival in a game that looked
as if it were about to be blown wide LEROI
open, the Wolverines played with more Out of
heart than they have since ... your Bounds
guess is as good as mine.

the bench and only a six-man rotation in Cameron Indoor
Stadium.
Duke was 103-1 since 1983 against non-conference oppo-
nents in Cameron.
103-1. Winning a game there is a monumental task.
Whoever says a crowd can't win a game has never set foot
in this arena. But if any team could do it, if any team was so
bold to ignore odds, so brash to disregard tradition, it was
this cock-sure bunch of kids.
When nobody thought they had a prayer, the Wolverines
proved they didn't need any sort of divine intervention to
slay the Devils, only a passion to prove to everyone that
they could win anywhere, anyhow and anytime they wanted
to.
"This one was for all the disbelievers who said we could-
n't get it done," Michigan center Robert Traylor yammered
to those reporters, who will remain nameless, who thought
Michigan didn't have a chance.

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