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March 30, 2004 - Image 8

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Tuesday
March 30, 2004
sports.michigandaily.com
sports@michigandaily.com

PORTSc~na

8

Cagers look to keep
rolling against Ducks

Baseball season will
be bright, I can see it

By Chris Burke
Daily Sports Editor
With the month of March winding
to a close, there are just eight men's
college basketball teams still play-
ing - and Michigan is one of them.
Tonight, the Wolverines (9-9 Big
Ten, 21-11 overall) will try to

tion's top offensive threat.
Tonight, that means Robinson
draws Jackson.
"I think he's similar in a lot of
regards to Bernard," Amaker said.
"He's bigger than Bernard, and he
shoots the three a little bit more and
better.
"I think (Jackson is) one of the
best all-around basketball players in

extend their season for
game, as they take on
Oregon (9-9 Pac 10,
18-12 overall) in the
semifinals of the NIT
at Madison Square Gar-
den in New York.
"We're in it to win
it," Michigan coach
Tommy Amaker said.
"It would be a very sig-
nificant achievement."
The Wolverines will1

one more

TONIGHT
Michigan vs.
Oregon
Tune: 9:30 p.m.
MadisonSquare Garden
ESPN2

the country. We've very
concerned - it sounds
like he took over down
the stretch against Notre
Dame."
Jackson scored the
final six points of the
Ducks' victory over the
Irish.
"I know he's a great
scorer and can really fill

RYN EIN E R aily
Michigan senior forward Bernard Robinson will attempt to shut down second-team
Al-American Luke Jackson at tonight's NIT semifinals against Oregon.

have their

hands full tonight against the
Ducks. Oregon is brimming with
confidence after a 65-61 road win
over Notre Dame in the quarterfi-
nals propelled the Ducks to the Big
Apple.
Front and center in tonight's con-
test will be the matchup between
two seniors: Oregon's Luke Jackson
and Michigan's Bernard Robinson.
Jackson, an All-Pac-10 performer
this year, averages 21.3 points and
more than seven rebounds per game
and also paces the Ducks in several
other statistical categories. Robin-
son, Michigan's "Mr. Everything,"
leads the Wolverines in rebounds,
assists and steals, while frequently
being asked to guard the opposi-

it up," Robinson said.
While Jackson will be a huge
challenge, perhaps the biggest test
for Michigan is proving that it can
grab a win away from the friendly
confines of Crisler Arena. The
Wolverines rode the raucous home
crowds in their three earlier NIT
wins, but they were a mere 5-8 away
from Crisler this season.
"We know that's the next step for
us to be successful, to perform the
same way (on the road)," Robinson
said. "I know that's what Coach is
going to be harping us, to play the
same way we've been playing at
home on the road."
Easing Michigan's transition is
the fact that the Wolverines have
already played - and won - at

Madison Square Garden this year, in
a 66-43 trouncing of Fairfield on
Jan. 3. The large Michigan alumni
base in New York helped turn the
arena into a pro-Michigan atmos-
phere on that day, and the Wolver-
ines are hoping for the same
reception tonight.
"I hope we have a great crowd,"
said Michigan point guard Daniel
Horton of the alumni in the area. "I
doubt it will be the same atmos-
phere as Crisler, but I'm sure it will
be pretty good."
The winner of tonight's Michi-
gan-Oregon game will be back at
the Garden on Thursday to battle
with the winner of tonight's Rut-
gers-Iowa State game. If the

Wolverines can come away with two
victories, then they will capture
their first postseason title since
1989's NCAA championship (the
1997 NIT title won by Michigan
was vacated due to self-imposed
sanctions).
"We would love to come out of
New York as NIT champs," Amaker
said. "We haven't been in the post-
season in a while - I think it's
obvious - some of the things that
we've gone through. We reminded
our players that it wasn't an NCAA
ban that was lifted; it was a postsea-
son ban. And so we're very fortu-
nate and pleased to have taken
advantage of that good fortune for
our ballclub."

0 WOMEN'S GOLF
Olin, 'M' both capture crown at Saluki Invite

By Seth Gordon
For the Daily

For the Michigan women's golf team, success
comes in bunches.
The Wolverines captured a tournament team
title, while junior captain Laura Olin earned indi-
vidual medalist honors. It is the second time Olin
has accomplished the feat this season. Michigan
turned in a strong performance and cruised to a
22-stroke victory at the Saluki Invitational, which
featured 17 teams. Olin carded a two-day total of
148 (73-75), which was good enough for a two-
stroke victory over Murray State's Cuyler Hedley.
Olin found herself one stroke behind Illinois
State's Hilary Anderson after shooting a first-
round 73. But Anderson stumbled with an 80 in
the second round, which opened the door for Olin
to post a 75 and take home the victory.
Once again the team's destiny seemed tied to

Olin's. The win was her first since the Wolverine
Invitational in October, which was also the last
win for the Wolverines.
The Wolverines have not finished out of the
top 10 in any tournament this season and are
improving in the spring portion of their schedule.
Coming off a fourth-place performance at the UC
Irvine Anteater Invitational, Michigan had high
expectations for this tournament.
"The quality of our play is significantly
improving," coach Kathy Teichert said. "Our goal
was to come in and win, and we did."
Michigan's performance also included two
other top-10 performances. Freshman Ali Stinson
captured seventh place, while sophomore Amy
Schmucker finished tied for 10th.
Despite feeling good about the team, Teichert
sees plenty of room for improvement. The
Wolverines took advantage of favorable condi-
tions, posting a tournament low score of 310 and

jumping out to a seven-stroke lead after the first
round on Sunday. Michigan followed this up with
a team total of 312 yesterday, but still won the
event.
"I'm a bit disappointed by how we finished,"
Teichert said. "You get to a point where you are play-
ing very well, and you want to see that continue."
Olin's sentiments about the tournament echoed
that of her coach: happy, but not satisfied.
"I feel like I played pretty well," Olin said. "I
felt really comfortable over the ball, hit the ball
well, and my putting was good. It was disap-
pointing that we didn't finish well, but it is
always a good feeling when you win."
The Wolverines will head out on the road again
the next two weekends, facing Big Ten foes Indi-
ana and Purdue to finish the season. The Wolver-
ines will then head for the Big Ten Tournament
from April 23 to 25, and possibly the NCAA
Regional Tournament from June 6 to 8.

KYLE O'NEILL
The Daily Janitor
Baseball starts today! And I'm
excited, even though the first game
will be played in Tokyo, and the sea-
son will be clouded by continuing
steroid accusations. The game will
feature the worst (Tampa Bay Devil
Rays) and best (New York Death
Star) teams in the league - likely
leading to Alex Rodriguez going 7-
for-9 with two jacks into the new
Tokyo Dome stands.
Despite some of the negatives, this
will be a season of positives for base-
ball in its continuing efforts to re-sup-
plant football as America's pastime.
How do I know this season won't be a
disappointment? Well, because I know
how this season is going to go, day-by-
day. It's nothing that I'm trying to
flaunt - it's just an extreme that makes
up for my complete lack of knowledge
of college basketball. So, let my prog-
nosticating begin.
April 4 (real Opening Day): Nomar
Garciaparra plays against Baltimore
despite his inflamed right Achilles'
tendon. By the seventh inning, he's 2-
for-3 with five RBI's, and the Red Sox
are up 10-2. New Boston manager
Terry Francona takes a phone call
from Grady Little, who tells him to
keep Nomar in, insisting there is noth-
ing bad that could happen. Francona
puts Nomar in a plastic bubble, pulls
Pedro and wins his first game.
April 5: Detroit is 1-0 after Pudge
Rodriguez and Rondell White combine
for two homeruns in their debuts. New
utility man Brandon Inge knocks in
three runs as well. Dominik Hasek is
in attendance.
April 11: The Giants play at San
Diego. Barry Bonds lights up for
the first three-homerun game of the
season. He tests positive for low
cholesterol.
April 16: The Yankees play at
Boston. Joe Torre cuts off Curt
Schilling's non throwing hand and
reveals to him that he is his father.
New York takes six of seven games
in 10 days as half of Boston falls
into a coma-like state of depression.
May 1: Enjoying a 15-8 April, the
Tigers enjoy a rain out at home
against Seattle. Hasek is seen at the
ballpark talking with owner Mike
Ilitch and general manager Dave
Dombrowski.
May 4: After a 4-for-4 day at the
plate (including two jacks) against
the Mets, Bonds is the homerun
leader with 18. He tests positive for
having a liver. Mike Piazza official-
ly hears the 15,000th joke about
him possibly being homosexual -
he responds by beating up Enrique
Iglesias and marrying Anna
Kournikova.
May 27: The Tigers complete a
sweep of Kansas City to take sole pos-
session of first place in the American
League Central Division. Hasek is seen
taking batting practice before the game.
June 7: Interleague play begins.
Cincinnati plays at Oakland. Ken Grif-
fey Jr. single-handedly wins the 3-0
game by going 3-for-4 with three
homers, making five over-the-wall
catches and by healing eight different
knee injuries that he inquired in that
game alone.

July 1: The Tigers sit eight games
up, Pudge is an MVP candidate and
Inge is looking to nab a Golden
Glove. Hasek signs a five-year, $3
million deal to be Paws, Detroit's mas-
cot. Hell, Mich., (it is a city) begins to
freeze over.
July 13: The All-Star Game is
advertised with the catch phrase, "It
doesn't matter if it counts, it's the
only All-Star game worth watching."
Bonds and Jason Giambi each hit a
homerun in contest. Bonds tests posi-
tive for taking protein supplements
while Giambi shows the world his
new 180-pound frame.
July 23: The Yankees freeze Garcia-
parra in carbonite and turn him over to
Jabba the Hutt. Mia Hamm is captured
by Jabba as the Yankees sweep the
three-game series.
August 6: Barry Bonds hits his
55th homerun against Chicago. He
tests positive for a hang nail. Sammy
Sosa's bat breaks in the loss to reveal
the remains of Steve Bartman.
August 31: Detroit clinches the
Central and the NHL goes on strike.
Sept. 17: Despite losing three to the
Yankees, Boston clinches a playoff
spot. Schilling rescues Nomar and Mia
from Jabba's clutches and declares
himself a full-fledged Jedi.
Oct. 1: Detroit 4, Tampa Bay 3.
Despite blowing most of their lead in
the Central, the Tigers clinch with two
games remaining. Steve Yzerman,
Pavel Datsyuk, Manny Legace and
Brett Hull all join their Detroit
brethren as middle-relief help.
Oct. 5: On the National League
side of the playoffs, Philadelphia
plays Houston and San Francisco
faces Chicago. In the American
League Divisional, the Tigers begin
play against New York. Top-seeded
Oakland begins play against Boston.
Oct.11: Bonds uses steroids for the
first time ever in game three against
the Cubs and loses, proving that
cheaters never win. The Cubs, Astros,
Yankees and Red Sox all advance.
Oct. 12-21: The Red Sox are
down 3-0 when Ewoks put Kevin
Brown's back out of commission for
a game four win. In game five, the
Red Sox ground crew uses blasters
to clear the Yankees off the field
and bring the series to 3-2. The next
day, Manny Ramirez and Chewbac-
ca homer off the Yankees to even
the series at three. In the deciding
game seven, Schilling throws a per-
fect game into the ninth when Stein-
brenner offers him a contract to join
the dark side. Schilling refuses as
the Boss electrocutes the pitcher
with his hands. Torre throws Stein-
brenner into a thousand-foot
crevice, and Schilling completes his
perfect game.
Oct. 18: The Astros win in six -
Steve Bartman's family is reported
missing.
Oct. 22: Griffey and Pudge split
MVP awards. Inge wins a Gold Glove.
Mark Prior wins a Cy Young, as does
Barry Zito.
Oct. 23: Andy Pettitte and Roger
Clemens combine for four wins and
the World Series title after six games.
Boston spontaneously combusts.
Trust me, it happens.
- Kyle O'Neill was wrong about the Big
Ten. His argument/orrthe conference get-
ting screwed over on the lack of bids looks
as good as his bracket right now -
women's bracket, too. But, Michigan's still
alive and throwing it up strong. Isn't that
all that really matters? He thought so and
can be reached at kyleo@umich.edu

40

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