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C HICAGO - In the biggest game of the
season thus far - a game Michigan's best
player dominated with everything from
no-look passes to breakaway dunks - the most
memorable moment took place after the sound of
the final buzzer. And it didn't even happen on the
After the game was over and the Wolverines
were officially champions of the first-ever Big
Ten Tournament, Robert Traylor, the leader of
this red-hot Michigan team, led his teammates
off the United Center floor and into the stands,
bounding over press row and into the arms of his
The rest of the Wolverines followed Traylor's
lead, just as they've done all
season and just as they did
this weekend. Big Ten offi-
cials looked at each other
blankly as the players
charged past the hastily
assembled victory platform
at center court, and Section
JI M 1 113 became one big maize
ROSE and blue party of players
Rose and their families,
Beef Only minutes later, after
Beef ___ the Wolverines got their fill
of hugs and kisses from
Traylor's grandmother, did the postgame return
to its regularly scheduled format, with the T-
shirts and the trophy presentation and the net-
cutting. And by then, the public address
announcer was already pronouncing Traylor the
But there was no doubt about that - Traylor
was unquestionably the best player this weekend.
And while everyone will talk of the electrifying
end-to-end fast break rushes and two-handed
chin-up dunks that make the highlight reels,
more important are the other ways in which
Traylor has matured in the past year. No longer is
he the foul-prone one-dimensional big man who
doesn't know what to do against the double team
or how to avoid the silly foul - instead, Traylor
has evolved into an intelligent centerpiece of an
offense that is no less than deadly on its best
days. And, of course, it doesn't hurt that he can
After yet another strong weekend, Jerod Ward
was named to the all-Tournament team in
Chicago. Ward scored 11 yesterday.
Traylor was named most valuable player of
do it all while weighing 300 pounds.
But it's not as if Traylor didn't have help this
weekend. Jerod Ward, the other Wolverine on the
all-Tournament team, looked like a first-round
NBA pick. He was hitting threes, blocking shots,
ripping down rebounds and basically looking like
a dominant player with front-line size and back-
Travis Conlan was superb all weekend, with 21
assists and two turnovers in three games, and if
See ROSE, Page 5B
Michigan guard Louis Bullock pulls down a rebound in front of Purdue's Chad Austin yesterday. The Wolverines won the inau-
gural Big Ten Tournament with a 76-67 victory over the Boilermakers yesterday at Chicago's United Center.
Gohers grab men S SWImm1ng
By Rick Freeman
Daily Sports Writer
It wasn't supposed to be like this.
The Michigan men's swimming and
diving team was supposed to bring
home its 31st Big Ten Championship
banner from Minneapolis and proudly
hoist it to the rafters of Don Canham
Michigan trailed after two days of
the Feb. 26-28 meet, but that happened
last year, and the Wolverines pulled out
out Blue in
ov e rtime
By Josh Kleinbaum
Daily Sports Writer
INDIANAPOLIS -Their faces said it
Long and pale, eyes red from recent
dejection painted all over them.
The Michigan women's basketball tean
81 overtime loss to Penn State in the Bi
Tournament semifinal was tough for Mic
coach Sue Guevara and guards Ann Lemi
Molly Murray to swallow. And it showed.
"The feeling I have in my gut right r
killing me," Murray said. "I know we ha
NCAA Tournament to look forward to, bi
got to get over this feeling first."
Penn State's Jamie Parsons sealed the N'
the victory in the meet's last event.
But the Minnesota team they duked
it out with last year wasn't about to let
that happen again, and the Golden
Gophers stole the golden moment,
beating second-place Michigan 714-
"It's not that we didn't do well,"
Michigan coach Jon Urbanchek said.
"It's that Minnesota did very well."
It's true. Michigan swam well, but
Minnesota's depth was simply too
much for the Wolverines to overcome.
The Gophers only came away with
one individual champion - Ty
Bathurst in the 50-yard freestyle.
But Minnesota took second, fourth
and fifth in that race, too.
And in every race Michigan won, at
least one Gopher placed high enough
to score points.
Urbanchek was right. Michigan
Tom Malchow swam well. He won
the 200 free and the 200 butterfly. He
was also honored with the Big Ten
Swimmer of the Year award. But no
Big Ten title.
Chris Thomspson swam well. He
won the 500 free and the 1,650 free,
setting the Big Ten record of 14:44.59
in the process. He earned Big Ten
Freshman of the Year honors for his
season. But no Big Ten title.
Derya Buyukuncu won Swimmer of
See SWIMMING, Page 7B
By Chris Duprey
Daily Sports Writer
Questions surrounded the. Michigan women's track team
before the 1998 season.
Could it mix a talented distance corps with raw young ability
and compete in the Big Ten? Would the injury bug affect the
Wolverines, as it did star distance runner Julie Froud?
In the end, any questions that lurked about Michigan's tenaci-
ty and heart were answered Feb. 28 and Mar. I when the
Wolverines captured the Big Ten championship in East Lansing.
"It's overwhelming'" said high jumper Nicole Forrester. "It
feels great. Finally, it all paid off. It makes us excited for the out-
Going head-to-head with favorites Wisconsin and Illinois, the
Wolverines earned 42 points on day one to take a three-point lead
over Wisconsin. But Michigan came out strong for the finals on
day two, cruising to the championship. The Wolverines finished
with 133 points, topping Wisconsin, who finished with 112.
Illinois wasn't far behind in third place with 110.
Bobby Hayes and the Wolverines won a pair of close games
this weekend to finish the regular season.
'M' squeaks by
twice to finSh
By Chris Farah
Daily Sports Editor
NOTRE DAME - The Michigan hockey team went into
last weekend having won or lost 14 games by just a single goal
- a style of play coach Red Berenson has often called "heart-
With the CCHA title potentially on the line, and matchups
against two low-fat, easily digestible teams like Bowling Green
and Notre Dame, it seemed like the Wolverines would end their
heart-attack habits for the last weekend of regular-season con-
But, apparently, Michigan (22-7-1 CCHA, 28-9-1 overall)
Michigan's Ann Lemire fights for the ball with
two Wisconsin players in Indianapolis.
With 1:27 to play in overtime, Penn State's
Helen Darling passed the ball out of bounds. As
Thorius took the ball upcourt off the inbounds,