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March 10, 2003 - Image 16

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8B - The Michigan Daily - SportsMonday - March 10, 2003

March 13
#8 Ohio State

March 14
#1 Wisconsin
Game 4 - 12 p.m. !

March 15
Game 4 winner

March 16

Tanya Brown
Energy Reporter, Bloomberg
(Step Aerobics Superstar)

ESPN

pions

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came z men-4
Game 9 - 4:05 p.m
#1 NorthwesternCBS
#3 Michigan
#6 Indiana Game 7 - 9:10 p.m.
- - __I ESPN Plus Game 7 winner

Game 9 winner

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Game 3 - 5:05 p.m.
ESPN2

#11 Penn State

Game 3 winner

6

2003 Big Ten Tournament
United Center - Chicago

A

L

Big Ten battle heads to Chi-town

Bloomberg wants to meet the real you.

Owis BURKE
ON THE BIG TEN
There's only one real thing that you
can bank on in relation to the Big Ten
basketball tournament that begins on
Thursday in Chicago. There are no cer-
tainties.
If this year's helter-skelter Big Ten
race has shown anything, it's that any-
one is capable of winning at any time.
VS.
No. 8 Ohio State vs. No. 9 Iowa:
Talk about a matchup of two teams
stuck in a downward spiral.
Ohio State was expected to chal-
lenge for an NCAA Tournament spot,
while Iowa was up near the top of the
coference for much of the year. Both
teams have struggled massively in the
second half.
The winner gets to play regular sea-
son champion Wisconsin. Congrats.
Ohio State 74, Iowa 60
f t VS.
No. 7 Minnesota vs. No. 10 North-

western: The Golden Gophers are
clearly on the NCAA Tournament bub-
ble, sitting at 16-11 overall.
Northwestern has played better bas-
ketball as of late, but the Gophers
ought to be desperate.
They're going to need to knock off
both Northwestern and Illinois to get
to the Big Dance.
Minnesota 83, Northwestern 69
9 s.
No. 6 Indiana vs. No. 11 Penn State:
This one looks a lot more interesting
after the Nittany Lions stunned Indiana
in Happy Valley on Saturday night.
The Hoosiers are in the same boat as
Minnesota, desperately in need of a
victory - and probably two - to get
to the NCAA Tournament.
The winner gets Michigan.
Indiana 77, Penn State 71
So there's the first round. But the real
focus will be on who gets out of the
second round - the four teams that
will get to the Big Ten's Final Four:
No. 1 Wisconsin: The Badgers are

red hot, and always dangerous in tour-
nament play because of their ferocious
defense. They should cruise into the
weekend.
5
No. 5 Michigan State: The Spartans
are scorching, and have an NCAA
Tournament berth wrapped up. Pur-
due's in trouble on Friday.

Our unbelievable

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village makes

a stop at the Sports Coliseum at University
of Michigan on Wednesday, March 12, 2003.

No. 7 Minnesota: Here's the sleeper.
The Gophers, assuming they get by
Northwestern, will get Illinois for the
second time in a week. That proposi-
tion could be a very dangerous for the
Illini, despite the home court advan-
tage in Chicago.
No. 3 Michigan: Don't count the
Wolverines out just yet.
Sure, they've struggled lately,
including Saturday's disastrous loss at
home to Purdue. But you can't count
out the aura of desperation - this is
Michigan's NCAA Tournament.

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Wednesday, March 12, 2003
10:00 P.m.-5:00 p.m.
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KYLEa O'Ni
ON 1E CIA
BOWLING GREEN - "You see,
he's not a machine, he's a man!"
As Duke said to Balboa in "Rocky
IV," so has first-year Bowling Green
coach Scott Paluch said to his Falcons.
Every game for them is like going
against the massive Ivan Drago. Every
team they face seems to be laden with
NHL-bound talent. Michigan has seven
drafted players to the Falcons' three. But
where Bowling Green has fifth-, sixth-
and seventh-round picks, the Wolver-
ines have first rounders like Eric Nys-
trom, third rounders like Jason Ryznar
and used to have players like Mike
Cammalleri and Mike Komisarek, who
are at least believed to be good enough
to leave school early.
The only way Paluch's players are
leaving early for anything is by having a
doctor's note to excuse them.
The Falcons' stars who weren't draft-
ed aren't that much to glare at, as Ferris
State's undrafted leading scorer, Chris
Kunitz, has the same amount of goals as
Bowling Green's top line.
Yet, despite having very little punch
offensively, Paluch seems to have his
players believing in the Eye of the Tige
... errr, Falcon.
"Our style is based on the foundation
of hard work, and I think when you can
will yourself to move your feet hard and
make contact, you can be successful
against some pretty good teams,"
Paluch said. "When we're doing that,
we can make it difficult for some
teams."
Though it sounds simplistic and a bit
corny, "hard work" is an understatement
for what the Falcons do on the ice.
If the Detroit Pistons are "Goin' to
work," Bowling Green is pulling the
graveyard, overtime shift. And now
Michigan has to deal with it again.
These are the same Falcons that
fought to get their fourth goal in a 6-4,
Nov. 8 loss to Michigan and then came
out the next night to tie the Wolverines
1-1.
These are the same Falcons that over-
came two different leads against Michi-
gan State to get a 3-2 overtime win over
the Spartans.
And these are the same Falcons that
were embarrassed, 10-1 and 5-1, by the

think that this weekend at home against
the Bulldogs wasn't just a way to train
for Michigan. With barely any home
crowd to watch them, the Falcons got a
little taste of what Yost can be like when
Ferris State fans overtook the Falcons'
faithful.
"It's a great test for us. We were using
that (series to prepare us)," Paluch said.
"Our goal remains - we want to get to
Joe Louis Arena (for the Super Six).
The only way to do that for us is to pre-
pare against a team like Ferris for what
we're going to face in Ann Arbor. It's
quite a challenge going up to Ann
Arbor, but we're going to work hard all
week, and we're going to bring a good
effort up there."
As for mistakes made in the last
meeting against the Wolverines, Paluch
knows some problems that need to be
worked out for this weekend.
"From Friday night to Saturday'night
in that series ... in the offensive zone
we were controlling the puck down
low," Paluch said. "When we got into
any type of transition game, that's
where Michigan can really excel
because they have so many skilled play-
ers that can really turn a turnover into
something dangerous."
Michigan needs to be afraid. If the
Wolverines thought Lake Superior State
coming in and almost pulling off a first-
game upset in the best-of-three series
last year was something, then they need
to realize that Bowling Green is more
likely to lose that first game and pro-
duce second and third-game upsets.
Doubters of Paluch and his 9-22-3
record need to look no further than
Crisler Arena. Michigan basketball
coach Tommy Amaker turned an 0-6
team into a heart-warming story. Paluch
has the same kind of personality and
knowledge for his game as Amaker
does for his, and when the talent may
not be there, knowing what you're
doing in training a player mentally and
physically goes a long way.
Daniels should win this year's CCHA
Coach of the Year award, but it's safe to
say Paluch is a few years, at most, away
from winning his own.
With all that said, this is not "Rocky
IV" Michigan will not fold as badly as
Ivan Drago did. And although Bowling
Green is likely to win one game, the
Wolverines will not drop two at Yost.
Michigan advances In three games.

his team back into a contender, this is
not the team to help him. And with a
healthy Chris Kunitz on the wing and
Mike Brown in between the pipes for
the Bulldogs, there should be no diffi-
culty getting on to the next round. Fer-
ris State advances in two games.
No. 10 Nebraska-Omaha at No. 3
Ohio State: The key to this matchup
is Nebraska-Omaha goaltender Dan
Ellis. And although he has two recent
wins against the Buckeyes, he and his
Mavericks have been outscored 25-6
in their last six games in which they
are 0-5-1. Ohio State isn't playing
exceptional hockey by any means,
but as this weekend against Michigan
showed, it is playing at a high level
- something Nebraska-Omaha is
not. Ohio State advances in two
games.
No. 9 Alaska-Fairbanks at No. 4
Michigan State: Alaska-Fairbanks was
picked by many to be the surprise team
in the CCHA this year. Well, surprise,
surprise - the Nanooks didn't live up
to that expectation. But on the bright
side, they didn't finish where they have
usually been picked to finish: last place.
Despite the rough season, Alaska-Fair-
banks is unbeaten in seven games,
including a sweep over Ohio State. The
Spartans have lost just four of their last
18 games and look to continue their
recent hot streak after its own beginning
of the season slump. While the seeds
aren't close, this looks to be the best
matchup of the first round, and just
because most everyone picked the
Nanooks to surprise this year, I'm going
to pick them here. Alaska-Fairbanks
advances in three games.

I

VS.

U

S.

No. 8 Western Michigan at No. 5
Northern Michigan; No. 7 Notre
Dame at No. 6 Miami: All four of
these teams are quite similar in that
they're your typical middle-of-the-

I

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