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RCESTER, Mass. - It's a
tired statement to make, but
an appropriate one: What
Michigan lacked in talent this season, it
made up for in character.
Granted, this doesn't change the bot-
tom line. The season's over.
not be playing in ~
the Frozen Four
for the first time
since 1994 -
e end of a bril-
nt string of
appearances that ,
put this program CHRIS
on the national DUPREY
map. And this D
year's senior scoop
was its roughest.
But if those are the only memories
at fans and University students will
e from this season, than they have
been spoiled with success
these past few years..They forget the
early years of the Red Berenson era,
when winning was a struggle and the
NCAA Tournament was a long-dis-
They weren't outside the lockerroom
after Saturday night's overtime loss.
They didn't see the pain on the faces of
the Michigan seniors.
They didn't see assistant captain
Bobby Hayes choke back the tears as
he was talking to reporters.
Those events took place after the
television and radio broadcasts were
over, while the rest of the world went
on with their lives.
This year's team was made of win-
ners top to bottom, who never settled
for what fate tried to hand them. Even
lifying for the tournament was an
complishment, given the Wolverines'
d in this pro-
their job and
be reached via
ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. (AP) -
With a team like Duke, even an off-
night can't keep it from playing for the
The top-ranked Blue Devils were
finally tested but answered well enough
for a 68-62 victory over Michigan State
on Saturday night and a chance to win
their third title this decade.
No one had come close to Duke for
most of the season, let alone in this
NCAA tournament, but Michigan State
was within three points with 8 1/2 min-
utes to play and All-America center
Elton Brand on the bench with foul trou-
The guards and defense came
through and the Blue Devils (37-1)
beat the Spartans for their 32nd
straight victory and a berth in Monday
night's championship game against
"One of the biggest adjustments we
need to make for UConn is to get our
team rest. This was a banging, physical
See SPARTANS, page 6B
an Page Uk
W Former Michigan coach Steva
Fisher rejoirs the ranks of chege
W' Athtetic Directot Thm Goss is
orte.dabout false rum.rs s .g-
gesting coaeth Bnan Ellerbe might be
W Connecticit set up hompw
onship showdown with 04ka by beat-
ing tipstart Qhko State.
W flaity Sports Eitor Pranay
Reddy examines the dIfferent tpe
of "fans, that come out of the wo.d
work .u.ng tourament time.
Mark Kosick and the Michigan hockey team came painfully close to defeating New Hampshire and advancing to the Frozen Four in Anaheim, Calif.
position in mid-February.
Yet Michigan was never "just happy
to be there," as tournament teams
sometimes profess. It was there to win
a championship, even if it
had to advance through the
bracket without the benefit of Thi
a first-round bye. And though New I
the Wolverines fell short in to-bac
that goal, it can never be said Wolv
that they failed this season - S Ch
because they didn't. Page4
As little consolation as it
may be for anyone involved, NC
Michigan's seniors helped to
give its freshman class a valuable expe-
rience this past weekend.
Berenson said before the tournament
that going to NCAAs and losing in the
first round might not do much for his
e End of the Season
Hampshire ended Michigan's hopes for bad
ck NCAA titles with a 2-1 victory over the
rines on Saturday night
heck out the Daily's full coverage beginning on
CAA bracket and other results are on Page 56
Certainly, having his freshmen deal
with the emotional elevator of winning
a tournament game one night and los-
ing one the next will prepare them well
for the three seasons to come.
The seniors have been an integral
part of this program, and whether
or not postseason awards like the
All-CCHA team recognize this is
k- immaterial. The class of 1999
was a group of winners - two
national championships and three
CCHA Tournament titles prove
They've raised the bar by
which Michigan teams will forev-
er be judged, all while mentoring
the future of the program.
Those seven careers weren't put to
waste, that's for sure.
They did it professiona
acting like robotic, uncari
sionals." The seniors inve,
emotions in this team, an
gram. They didn't just do
go home; they weren't at1
They stepped on the ic
with the unflappable goal
and most often they did.
The outcome of their fi
shouldn't be their defininj
And for true Michigan
it won't be.
- Chris Duprey can)
e-mail at cdupT
For the women, it's the same old story
By Vaughn R. Klug
Daily Sports Writer
EAST LANSING-The No. 4 Michigan women's
gymnastics team reigned supreme at the Big Ten
Championship for the seventh time in eight seasons with
a team score of 196.300.
While seven Big Ten teams crowded the Jenison
Fieldhouse, the evening belonged to the Wolverines. In
addition to winning the Big Ten crown, Michigan also
claimed the all-around title, coach of the year honors and
the only perfect 10.0 of the evening.
"It is a great feeling to regain the Big Ten champi-
onship," Michigan coach Bev Plocki said. "So much of
the credit goes to these ladies who have persevered all
season and gave a championship effort."
Heading into the fourth and final event, the uneven
bars, Michigan was trailing Penn State 147.200-147.000.
Competing with a full understanding that the Big Ten
title was hinging on her performance, senior Nikki Peters
closed competition for the Wolverines by delivering a
perfect score of 10.0 for the seventh time in her career.
"It was just an unbelievable performance by Nikki in a
tense situation," Plocki exclaimed. "Yet it is something
we have come to expect from her. She has been coming
through for us for four years now."
The 10.0 on the uneven bars was the first in Big Ten
Championship history and earned Peters her fourth con-
secutive Big Ten title.
Displaying an equally impressive performance for the
Wolverines was individual all-around champion Lisa
Simes. Simes' score of 39.435 was highlighted by her tie
for first-place on the vault and a second-place tie on the
"Lisa has always been at the top of the pack," Plocki
said. "This is great Big Ten finish for her career."
Michigan is ranked second in the nation on the floor
exercise, and proved it by securing the top four scores in
Junior standout Sarah Cain, who is also ranked second
in the nation in the floor exercise, scored a season high 9.975
en route to a first-place finish.
See BIG TENS, page 6B
Freshman Tim Siciliano led the promising Michigan men's swimming squad to an
Sth-place finish at this weekend's NCAA Championships in Indianapolis. Siciliano
k first place in the 400-yard Individual Medley, and placed in two other events.
Men's ns happy
with eighth at NCAAs
The women celebrate ... again.
... but for the men, its history in the making
1NDIANAPOLIS - Not a bad week-
end. Not a bad weekend at all.
The Michigan men'4 swimming and
diving team left the NCAA champi-
onships in Indianapolis late Saturday
evening feeling pretty good about them-
selves and the future ahead of them. The
young Wolverines finished as the No. 8
team in the country. Auburn knocked off
defending champion and perennial
*onal power Stanford to capture the
1999 NCAA swimming and diving
Michigan took six swimmers and two
divers to the 1999 NCAAs - - and of the
eight athletes, only two were seniors.
"The future looks great," Michigan
real good year down the road."
One of the shining stars in Michigan's
bright future is co-Big Ten Freshman
Swimmer of the Year, Tim Siciliano.
Siciliano became Michigan's NCAA
record 144th individual national cham-
pion when he won the 400-yard individ-
ual medley on Friday night.
Not only did Siciliano win the event,
he dominated it. The second place fin-
isher was 2.5 seconds behind him, and
his winning time of 3:43.54 was the fifth
fastest time ever in the 400 IM Siciliano's
performance bumped assistant coach
and Olympic silver medalist in the 400-
meter IM, Eric Namesnik, to No. 3 on
Michigan's all-time list in the event.
Now, the only swimmer in Michigan his-
tory that has swum the 400 IM faster
By Dan Dingerson
Daily Sports Writer
IOWA CITY - The Michigan men's gymnastics
team has completed a turnaround. On Friday night
in Carver-Hawkeye Arena, the Wolverines captured
its first Big Ten Team Championship in 24 years.
This championship follows a sixth-place finish
last year in Ann Arbor, and two years of finishing
seventh out of seven teams. It is also the first team
championship for Michigan since 1975, when coach
Kurt Golder was a gymnast on the team.
The 1999 Big Ten men's Gymnastics
Championships opened with a great deal of fanfare.
The teams marched onto the floor in Olympic style
as the Iowa Pep Band played the Olympic Games
The introduction may have been fitting, as it was
certainly a competition featuring the best competi-
tors in the NCAA. The field was one ofthe strongest
team's status as one of the best in the country.
Although the Wolverines gained the No. 1 rank in
the nation last week, there may have been uncertain-
ty around the country - especially in Columbus
and Iowa City. The team had not beaten third-ranked
Ohio State or fourth-ranked Iowa. But thanks to this
weekend, the Wolverines have beaten every team in
the conference this year.
In addition to determining the team title, Friday's
competition also determined the individual finalists
for each event and the all-around champion. The top
eight gymnasts in each event qualified for
The all-around was expected to be one of the
most interesting duels of the weekend. Top-ranked
Travis Romagnoli of Illinois was out of the compe-
tition due to an injury sustained early last week. That
opened the competition even more.
Throughout the meet, four Wolverines - Justin
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