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February 25, 1997 - Image 9

Resource type:
The Michigan Daily, 1997-02-25

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

(1) Kansas at
(4) Utah at
RICE, inc.
Wofford at
(19) COLO., inc.
San Diego State at
(25) STANFORD, inc.

MIAMI (Ohio) 86,
E. Michigan 77
Loyola (Chicago) 54
Oral Roberts 78
Youngstown St. 52

(6) LA. TECH 98,
(8) Tennessee 80
Golden State 100
Detroit 84
Portland at

Charlotte at
Boston 3,
Detroit at

February 25, 1997

4 Yo! Wanna know who's gonna make the tourney? The Bronx
Bomber plays the Swami, baby! Here's the rundown..

'M' penalties only hurt opponents

efforts, goals to
key the playoffs
Diy Sprts ne
It is a time of desperation. When an
average hockey team sends a player to
the penalty box, the situation becomes
But not at Michigan; it's not average.
This weekend, the nation's No. I team
reasserted its dominance on the penalty
kill with a remarkable showing against
Lake Superior.
Friday, the Wolverines pitched a
shutout, denying Lake Superior on all
nine of its power-play opportunities,
securing an 8-0 victory. Saturday, they
did more of the same, holding the Lakers
to one goal in nine chances.
Their outstanding record while having
fewer men on the ice is something that
becomes even more valuable as the play-
offs approach, according to Michigan
coach Red Berenson.
"Every penalty is a scoring chance -
particularly in close games;"he said.
The traditionally tight games of the
postseason are when it is critical to have
a solid defensive unit.
Last season, Michigan encountered
one-goal games in the CCHA champi-
onship, the NCAA regional final and the
NCAA championship game. And with
the playoffs starting in two weeks at Yost
Ice Arena, Berenson senses the impor-
tance in defending the net.
"Goals-against is probably more
important than goals-for (in the play-
offs)" he said.
And for that reason, Michigan has rea-
son to be secure.
Led by forwards Bobby Hayes and
Dale Rominski, the penalty-killing unit
for Michigan has prevented goalie Marty
Turco from being peppered with shots
while down a man.
Hayes and Rominski, sophomores
fighting for playing time on a team
loaded with talented players, routinely
throw their bodies to the ice to block
But there is a price to pay for routine-
ly using your body as a dartboard.
Hayes blocked one too many shots
Friday, sidelining him for Saturday's
game with a bruised hand.
"If he's going to have that role on the
team, he's got to live up to it and pay the
price," Berenson said.

e Wolverines should slide into the tournament - not exactly good news.
Mic /ikan' n, but so
are a lot of c t/er teams

With John Madden in the penalty box and Bobby Hayes out with a bruised hand, Dale Rominski saw more time than usual on
the Wolverines' penalty-killing unit Saturday night against Lake Superior. He is shown here against Bowling Green.

'm about to do something that I
could get a lot of praise for.
Something that can bring me acco-
lades that surpass those of the Nobel
and Pulitzer Prizes.
I'm going to tell you which teams
are going to make the NCAA
Division I men's basketball tourna-
Wait a minute, you might say.
You're not on that infamous commit-
tee which always seems to screw up
very March, leaving anywhere from
ne to a bunch of teams out of the
Big Dance.
But I have a quality that those com-
mittee members don't. I'm a college
basketball fan.
I want to see the best teams there
for the sake of watching a great 2 1/2
weeks of basketball. I have no eco-
nomic interests or alumni interests
clouding my decisions.
Not yet, at least.
But back to my task at hand. Here,
my friends, are the 64 lucky teams:
We start with the 30 teams that
receive automatic bids as a result of
winning their postseason conference
tournaments - or in the case of
Princeton, Minnesota and UCLA,
teams that get in automatically
because their conferences don't have
a' postseason tournament.
The Big Sky, Big South, Big West,
Sig ... whatever. You know which
ones I'm talking about. The confer-
ences which have schools that you
just have to laugh at. Tennessee-
Martin of the Ohio Valley
Conference, Northwestern State
(northwest in what state, I don't
know) of the Southland and Weber
State of the Big Sky are a few that I
happen to like.
But in any event, as I looked over
e 30 conferences, I took the liberty
no, not the school in first place in the
Big South Conference) of deciding
that 10 of those conferences are just
meaningless. They simply exist to fill
up spots in the field and make teams
with 18-12 records which don't make

the tourney really angry.
Ultimately, maybe three or four of
these teams will even make it out of
the first round, proving that as a
whole, this group of conferences has
no business placing teams in the tour-
So regardless of whether a team
that went winless in the regular sea-
son wins its postseason tournament,
the conference's regular-season
champ still won't get an invitation in
my book.
Seriously, if you put 20-5 South
Alabama on the same court as 16-Il
Virginia. youtknow that the ACC's
Cavaliers will just flick off that Sun
Belt powerhouse with their pinkies.
That leaves us with 44 spots left.
Forty-four teams that actually are
good and belong in a tournament
strictly reserved for the nation's elite.
Knock 25 teams off that list of 44.
Those are the teams in the top 25 poll
at the end of the season. Heck, if
you're one of the top 25 on one list,
you gotta be in the top 64 of another
which ranks on the same criteria.
The next 10 spots will be taken by
teams which are champions of what I
say are legitimate conferences - the
ACC, Big Ten, SEC, WAC,
Conference USA for example. Of
course, will be quite a bit of overlap-
ping with the top 25 in this group.
But there will be a few cases where
the current frontrunner won't win the
postseason conference tournament.
Playing the law of averages, and
knowing a bit about college basket-
ball, we'll say that takes care of five
more teams.
We're down to 14 and this is where
the fan in me, and more important,
the knowledgeable basketball critic,
shines through. We have to decide
which teams are the worst of the
nation's best.
I'm penciling in schools like
Providence, which has played second
fiddle to Villanova in the Big East all
season and has players both talented,

"It's an opportunity for a role on the
And it's not just an opportunity to gain
minutes for Hayes - he actually enjoys
filling the specialized role for Michigan.
"Bobby Hayes takes as much pride in
blocking shots and killing penalties as
any of our players do in scoring goals,
Berenson said. "He has shown the moxie
and courage it takes to play that role."
Hayes and Rominski serve only half
of the job necessary to halt a power play,
To score a goal with fewer men on the
ice than the opposition is often demoral-
izing for the power-play squad, and that
is an area where Michigan excels.
On the season, the Wolverines have
netted 21 shorthanded goals - 18 more
than they have allowed.

"If you can kill a key penalty at a key
time in the game - it's huge" Berenson
Saturday, it was center John Madden
who was huge for Michigan. Late in the
third period, Michigan forward Chris
Fox had just been sent to the penalty box
for high-sticking. And Michigan was not
only down a man, but it was also down a
goal. Madden controlled the puck in the
neutral zone and beat two Laker
Superior defensemen to the net for the
tying goal - shorthanded.
"When Madden scored the goal it was
huge,' Berenson said. "We couldn't
afford to give up a goal - and we scored
a goal. That's a double-edged sword, hav-
ing the ability to do that."
Madden is the NCAA leader in career

shorthanded goals with 22 - six more
than his closest challenger.
defensemen Blake Sloan and Harold
Schock have been stalwarts behind the
blue line for four seasons at Michigan.
Now they are candidates to represent
their nation in the same capacity.
The United States team for the World
University Hockey Championship,
which will be held April 4 at Joe Louis
Arena, will be selected by USA Hockey
general manager Jeff Jackson in"late
February Sloan, a native of Morton
Grove, Ill., and Schock, from Okemos,
are among 24 players under considera-
tion. Michigan State coach Ron Mason
will coach the team, which plays only
one game - against Canada.

John Carroll Iunlvcrslty,-
Summer 1909
Our catalog of summer classes is ready to be mailed to
you. The catalog gives you a complete listing of our
course offerings, special workshops, and travel programs.
Call today for our Summer 97 Catalog.

oMen's basktbal at Big Ten tournament, Indianapolis, TBA
In's swlmming and *Ing t Big Ten championships, Bloomington, noon/7 p.m.

Call 216-397-4257
or e-mail CGIBBONS@

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