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Tracking 'M' teams
Tickets for tomorrow's CCHA semifinal between the
Michigan hockey team and Ohio State are still availabj
from any TicketMaster outlet or the Joe Louis Arena by
office. Tickets get you into both of Friday's semifinals.
March 18, 1999
'M' icers go on the offensive
By Rick Freeman
GAME OF THE DAY: In this tourna-
ment, you're selling yourself short if
you miss a game. What did you do
last Thursday night? If you skipped
the Carolina-Weber State game, it's a
safe bet you kicked yourself for it.
Any of these games could be (and
probably will be) great. But, since
we don't take the easy way out of
picks (Connecticut in the first round
notwithstanding), let's say ... No. 1
Auburn vs. No.4 Ohio State, if you
like unpredictability and action. But
No. 1 Connecticut vs No. 5 Iowa, is
must-see TV if you like emotion. It
could be Tom Davis' final game as
Iowa coach. Iowa athletic director
Bob Bowlsby is showing Davis the
door after this season, in part
because of Iowa's poor tournament
performances in the past. Whether
he loses or wins, this game will be
all about him.
UPSET SPECIAL: The pick I'd really
like to make, of course, is No. 10
Miami (you shouldn't need to be
told which one by now) over every-
body's prodigal darlings, the top-
ranked Wildcats. The national
media have been sucking up to
Tubby Smith and Co. like MSA
members in University President
Lee Bollinger's kitchen. If Kentucky
wins, it's a tribute to Smith's ability
to keep his players from looking past
the RedHawks. If not, people will be
shocked. They shouldn't be.
The problem with Thursday's
games is there's not an underdog
among them, or more accurately,
they're all underdogs - Everyone's
down on Auburn, Jim Calhoun at
Connecticut hasn't been able to
reach a Final Four yet, Maryland's
overrated and the easiest pick of the
lot - Florida - still doesn't get the
recognition it deserves. You want
upsets? Don't give up on Iowa - the
only ones who have sign Davis' pay-
SURE THING: Despite all the upsets
and unpredictability that are the very
essence of this tournament, some
things are still certain. Top-seeded
Michigan State will play flat in the
first half, adjust at the break and win.
Afterwards, when asked about the
excitement of the Elite Eight,
Mateen Cleaves will say he "doesn't
get caught up in that." Money in the
bank, right there. As far as actual
games go, you'll see No. 3 Johnny
be good - much better than No. 2
See PREVIEW, Page 19A
By David Den Herder
Daily Sports Writer
Following last weekend's playoff
series with Bowling Green, Michigan
hockey coach Red Berenson said the
Wolverines were a better team than
they were even two weeks ago.
As Michigan prepares for a CCHA
with Ohio State HOCKEY
tomorrow, perhaps Notebook
the most notice-
able aspect is the ----~~~~~~~~~~~~~
team's surging offense.
After a string of midseason games
where goal scoring was at a premium,
the Wolverines have been finding the
net with impressive confidence
In fact, since Feb. 26, Michigan
has the best goals per game rating of
any team in the top 10.
To what can this offensive rolling
thunder be attributed? Berenson con-
tends Michigan has had the ability all
"I think we were right there,"
Berenson said. "As I said during the
slump, 'We're not playing that badly,'
but we had trouble buying a goal at
the right time."
Whether or not the talent was there
all along, it has certainly become
apparent in the last six games.
"The more you play in the other
team's zone, the more you force them
into making mistakes," Berenson
said. "Once they start going in,
there's a confidence that goes with
The timing of the goals may also
play a factor in that confidence.
When the Wolverines have been able
to notch the first goal in a game late-
ly, they have won big.
Michigan scored first Saturday
against Bowling Green, going on to
win 9-3, first against Northern
Michigan (won 5-2) and first in both
games against Miami (won 6-1, 9-4).
By contrast, when the opponent
manages to net the team's first score,
the games are closer. In last Friday's
Bowling Green game, the Flacons
scored first - and Michigan fought
its way to a 3-2 victory. Up north
against Lake Superior the Lakers lit
the first red light, and Michigan fell,
See GOALS, Page 17A
F .. ' t..
Scott Matzka and the eighth-ranked Wolverines will take on Ohio State this Friday
with a newfound offensive presence. Michigan leads the USCHO Top 10 in goals
per game since Feb. 26.
Surf and turf
Swimmers take eight
to NCAAs in Georgia
Wrestlers to battle
NCAA's 'Big Three
Daily Sports Writer
if one didn't know better, they might
look at the Michigan women's swim-
ming team's record this year and think it
to be an unsuccessful one. After all, it
did lose the Big Ten Championship for
the first time in 13 years.
But anyone who knows the team and
knows the injuries and illnesses it has
suffered through all season and how it
pulled off a surprising second-place fin-
ish at Big Ten's, is well aware how suc-
cessful the season really has been.
This weekend, the Wolverines will
have their chance to prove the doubters
wrong once again when they travel to
Athens, Ga. for the NCAA
Championships. Michigan will bring
seven swimmers to the meet, all Big Ten
champions, with the hopes of finishing
in the top ten for yet another year.
Although they are not the favorite this
year, the Wolverines have the chance to
This year, No. 1 Georgia and No. 2
Stanford have set themselves apart from
the rest of the crowd as the favorites to
win the title. Stanford, the 11 straight
time Pac 10 champion, is defending
NCAA champion and brings 16 swim-
mers and divers to the race.
Georgia, the events host, brings 18
swimmers, the most in the event, and
defeated Stanford in a dual meet is earli-
er in the year. Both teams are extremely
deep and have multiple defending
"You have to give the nod to Georgia,"
Michigan coach Jim Richardson said.
"They are swimming at home and beat
With spring just
around the corner,
two winter sports
aren't quite ready to
end their seasons
yet. As the Michigan
teams travel to the
here's a quick look at
HrTTING THE MAT
By Michael Shafrir
Daily Sports Writer
Seven Michigan wrestlers descend
on Penn State this weekend for the
NCAA Wrestling Championships.
Seven wrestlers who have endured
two-a-day practices, a grueling meet
schedule and their own fair share of
injuries. Seven wrestlers who will
have to deal with the Big Three of col-
lege wrestling - Minnesota,
Oklahoma State and Iowa.
"Those three teams are clearly bet-
ter than the rest of us," said Illinois
coach Mark Johnson, who is sending
nine wrestlers to the meet. "The rest of
the guys will look to do well individu-
Michigan's best chance for an indi-
vidual title is sophomore Otto Olson,
who finished third' at the Big Ten
Championship. That was a disappoint-
ing finish for Olson, who had been
ranked second in the country in the
174 pound weight class.
"Otto learned his lesson,"
Michigan coach Dale Bahr said. "But 4
he qualified for nationals and that's
One Wolverine who will miss the
NCAA's is senior Chris Viola - a two
time NCAA qualifier.
Viola finished eighth at Big Tens,
one spot away from qualifying for
"Chris had a great season," Bahr
said. "He just had a horrible tourna-
Other wrestlers travelling to Penn
State include Joe Warren and Damion
Logan - Michigan's other top hopes
for an individual title.
Waren and Logan both lost in the
See TURF, Page 18A
See SURF, Page 18A
MAKING A SPLASH
Sophomore Missy Sugar is one of eight Wolverines In Athens, Ga. for the 1999
NCAA Championships. Sugar, junior Shannon Shakespeare and senior Jennie
Eberwein are Michigan's best hopes for a title in the 100-meter freestyle.
As seven members of the Michigan wrestling team travel to Penn State for the
NCAA Wrestling Championships, they enter a field dominated by participants from
three wrestling powerhouses - Minnesota, Oklahoma State and Iowa.
Boys of summer headed south
fillI I I,
- 17int Sprint PCS*
AT THE JOE
By Daniel Reback
For the Daily
The Michigan baseball team, posting
a 5-6 record, hopes to elevate its game
this weekend in College Station, Texas.
Playing in the Texas A&M Tournament,
the Wolverines will gear up for some
With the six game tournament run-
ning from tomorrow to Monday,
Michigan is set to battle it out against
Cal State-Northridge, Nevada-Las
Vegas, and Texas A&M.
The road trip will allow the
Wolverines to see how they measure up
against some quality opponents,
notably Texas A&M, which enters the
tournament ranked No. 6 in the nation
by Baseball America.
"We're going against three pretty
good teams. We definitely want to do
well in this tournament," Michigan
coach Geoff Zahn said.
Returning six starters from last year's
squad, including 1998 Michigan MVP
Mike Cervenak, the Wolverines' enter
the event looking to cash in on their
experience this year.
But thus far the Michigan offense has
slumped. The team is batting .256,
nearly 30 points lower than their oppo-
nents'. In its last game, a 6-0 loss to
Southern Illinois, Michigan was held to
just five hits, all of which were singles.
Although the offense has been some-
what sluggish, there are some notable,
bright spots. Senior second baseman
Bobby Scales and senior center fielder
Brian Bush are enjoying I1 and six
game hitting streaks, respectively.
Seniors Mike Cervenak and Jason
Alcaraz are also swinging the bat well,
each holding their batting averaI
But Zahn recognizes the need for
other players to contribute if the
Wolverines are to have a successful sea-
See TEXAS, Page IA'
Fri.. March 19
Seed #1 vs. Seed #4
Seed #2 vs. Seed #3
Sat.. March 20
have an average score