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April 01, 2004 - Image 10

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Publication:
The Michigan Daily, 2004-04-01

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4

Thursday
April 1, 2004
sports.michigandaily.com
sports@michigandaily.com

SPORTS

1OA

'M' tennis
0
survives
State Scare
By Matt Singer
Daily Sports Writer
So long, Sparty.
In front of a large and noisy crowd
at the Varsity Tennis Center, the
Michigan men's tennis team
squeaked past Michigan State, 4-3.
The victory
ended a three- M
match skid for
the Wolverines
(1-2 Big Ten, 9-4 overall).
"It's always going to be pretty
emotional," Michigan coach Mark
Mees said. "In any sport between
Michigan and Michigan State, it's
very competitive, and today was no
different."
After the Wolverines split their
first two doubles matches, junior
Vinny Gossain and freshman Steve
Peretz came through with an emo-
tional 8-4 victory at No. 3 doubles.
The all-important doubles point
would end up being the difference-
maker in the match. For Gossain, an
East Lansing native, the win was
especially sweet.
"It'll be a nice feeling to go home
and say Michigan got it done this
year," Gossain said.
After picking up the doubles point,
the Wolverines needed three singles
wins to clinch the match. But it
would not be easy. Four of Michi-
gan's six singles players dropped the
first set of their respective matches.
"Was I concerned? Absolutely,"
Mees said.
Of the four, only junior David
Anving ended up with a win. With a
strong forehand down the line, he
completed his comeback (5-7, 6-1, 6-
2), and clinched Michigan's victory.
"David came out and he was a little
tight in the first set," Mees said. "To
his credit, he picked it up and hung in
there. He's a tough kid."
Anving wasn't the only Wolverine

What am I? Tired of the

NCAAs

new ad campaign

COURTNEY LEWIS
Full Court Press
There are a lot more than 360,000
NCAA basketball fans, and just
about all of us would like to hurl our
televisions at whoever created the
NCAAs latest advertising campaign.
OK, I don't have any proof of
that, but I'm fairly sure it's true. I,
for one, cannot take it anymore. I
just might snap the next time I have
to listen to the pyschology
major/basketball player ask, "What
am I?" (Answer: Nobody cares!!
Seriously.)
These irritating ads debuted dur-
ing last year's basketball postseason,
and by April, they were so popular
that every time they appeared on the
Jumbotron at the 2003 Frozen Four,
the crowd booed. The Michigan fans
were more hostile toward the com-
mercials than they were toward the
Golden Gophers.
But were the people in the
NCAAs marketing department dis-
couraged? Of course not! They just
poured it on even more this year.
Give them points for persistence, I
guess. Now, those of you who aren't
basketball fans (I've heard you
exist; I'm not sure if I believe it.)
are probably wondering why I don't
just change the channel or turn off
the television. That's the thing - I
can't. And I have to admit that
there's a certain genius in cramming
as many ads as possible into the
March Madness television cover-
age. This is one of the very few
events for which I implement a no-
channel-surfing rule (unless I'm
flipping between CBS affiliates).
These ads appear during the one
event where I won't risk flipping
during commercials because I

always end up missing a buzzer-
beater or a bricked free throw.
Besides, what else would I possibly
want to watch?
Even if I could pull myself away
from the television during the month
of March, it wouldn't matter. You
see, the NCAA prepared for that. Its
campaign of monotony goes way
beyond hoops games on TV.
On Sunday, I drove two hours to
Grand Rapids to watch the hockey
Midwest Regional final only to find
the messages waiting for me at Van
Andel Arena. I think the ads played
on the video boards during intermis-
sion, but I'm not sure (see, my brain
cells are already starting to curl up
and die rather than be subjected to
any more of this.) What was disturb-
ing was that an all-text version of
the ads scrolled down the center-ice
jumbotron throughout the ENTIRE
GAME.
It was like the NCAA was trying
to brainwash the crowd or some-
thing. Somewhere in the arena, an
unsuspecting Minnesota-Duluth fan
looked up in search of a replay, and
instead, quickly slipped into a trance.
"Did you see that move? That
guy - and just about all of us will
be going pro in something other
than sports. Will be going pro in
something other than sports. Will
be going pro... "
But that's not all! Apparently the
enterprising NCAA didn't think
sports fans' lives were quite saturat-
ed enough with its campaign, and it
went in search of even more places
to stick the ads.
Thus, when I went to the NCAA
administrative website (ncaa.org) on
Monday, I couldn't find the Frozen
Four media information that I need-
ed, but I was given the chance to
watch an online version of that poor
psych major, who still hadn't fig-
ured out what she was.
At that point, I was starting to
worry that I would soon be mum-
bling the slogan in my sleep and
having hallucinations of the other
See LEWIS, Page 13A

WILLA TRACOSAS/Daily

Senior Anthony Jackson's straight-set victory helped boost Michigan over the Spartans last night.

to fight back from an early deficit.
Freshman Brian Hung turned it on
in the second set, only to fall in the
third (3-6, 6-1, 3-6). No. 49
Michael Rubin, who recently
returned from injury, locked horns
with No. 100 Andrew Formanczyk.
The players played a fierce No. 1
singles match, with Rubin eventual-
ly succumbing in a third set
tiebreaker (4-6, 6-3, 6-7[5]).
"That's the best tennis Michael has
played since his injury," Mees said.'
While his teammates were strug-
gling through three-set matches, sen-
ior Anthony Jackson hurried to
complete his No. 2 singles match.

When his opponent Cameron Mar-
shall stalled and caught his breath,
Jackson called for the umpire to
resume the match.
"I wanted to finish," Jackson said.
And finish he did, doing away with
Marshall 6-3, 6-2. Peretz joined Jack-
son in the win column. He cruised
through the first set, before surviving
a much tougher second set to beat
Joseph McWilliams 6-0, 6-4. The
more competitive second set came as
no surprise to Peretz, who had prior
experience playing McWilliams.
"I lost to him once where I won the
first set," Peretz said. "Then he really
stepped up his game."

A win's a win, but the Wolverines
believe they are capable of much more.
"We've got to play better tennis -
we've got to take care of some little
things," Mees said. "I've stressed all
year long we've got to be able to put
nine matches on the court where we
play good tennis."
With Minnesota and Iowa coming
to town this weekend, the Wolverines
will have to be on top of their game.
But for now they can savor their vic-
tory over the Spartans (0-3 Big Ten,
13-8 overall).
"Any Big Ten win is big," Gos-
sain said. "Especially against
Michigan State."

Cagers aim for NIT title in Big Apple

By Daniel Bremmer
Daily Sports Editor
NEW YORK - It might not be where
Michigan hoped it could be, but at least the
Wolverines are playing in April.
Tonight, Michigan looks to be one of two
division I teams ending its season on a win
when it takes on Rutgers in the NIT Cham-
pionship in Madison Square Garden.
A victory for the Wolverines would be
their first title in a national postseason
tournament since the 1989 NCAA Cham-
pionship. Michigan won the NIT in 1997,
but all of the games played in that tourna-
ment were forfeited as a result of NCAA
sanctions.
Standing in the way of Michigan's first
tournament victory in 15 years is Rutgers,
which defeated Iowa State 84-81 on Tues-
day to reach its first-ever NIT final.
The Scarlet Knights (7-9 Big East, 20-12
overall) are strong on the perimeter and
aren't afraid to launch from downtown, as
evidenced by their 23 attempted 3-pointers
on Tuesday.
The squad from New Brunswick, N.J.,
has several main scoring options. Though
junior guard Ricky Shields and 6-foot-10
senior Herve Lamizana led the team in
scoring, averaging 16 and 13 points per
game, respectively, guard Quincy Douby
has recently emerged as Rutgers' best scor-
ing option.
The freshman spent all season coming off

of the bench, but has started each of the
team's four previous NIT games and has
been red-hot for the Scarlet Knights. Douby
has scored 96 points in the tournament,
including 35 points in Rutgers' overtime
win on Tuesday. He dished out just one
assist in the game and grabbed just one
rebound, but both came in the final 1:09 of
overtime.
"Their guards are really fast and they can
shoot," Michigan senior Bernard Robinson said.
"We have to make sure that we get out on
them on every shot and make sure we get
back on defense because they are a very
explosive team."
The Wolverines (9-9 Big Ten, 22-11)
have also been explosive over their past
few games. After a long season of inconsis-
tency, the Michigan offense has finally
been running on all cylinders since the NIT
began, especially over the team's past two
contests. The Wolverines put up 88 points
on Hawaii last Wednesday and dropped 78
points on Oregon on Tuesday - both well
above their season average of 69 points per
contest.
Michigan has benefited from a solid
effort on offense all across the board. Six
Michigan players have already posted dou-
ble figures in at least one NIT game. Fresh-
men Courtney Sims and Brent Petway have
both contributed in each game, while fail-
ing to hit double digits.
"I think (with balanced scoring) we
become a very dangerous team - a team

where you can't key on one or two guys
because there are many other weapons that
can hurt you," Michigan coach Tommy
Amaker said. "I think the team is starting to
feel that and is playing really unselfish
right now."
In addition, Michigan's defense has also
been peaking at the right time. The Wolver-
ines held the Ducks to 53 points - 22
points below their season average - in
their semifinal win.
"I think we're finally getting to the point
where we're just getting better and better
and where we're competing every night,"
Michigan guard Daniel Horton said. "We're
really concentrating on giving it our all on
the defensive end, and I think it's really
starting to pay off for us."
While Madison Square Garden is techni-
cally a neutral site, Michigan will have to
contend with a strong Rutgers following.
Many Scarlet Knight faithful made the trip
across the Hudson River on Tuesday for the
semifinal game, and they were easily the
loudest crowd in attendance among fans of
the four teams in New York. And with
Michigan's road woes this season - the
team is just 3-7 in games played in oppo-
nents' arenas - these fans could be a rea-
son for concern.
But if the Wolverines keep playing like
they have been as of late, Michigan may be
one of those two teams that ends its season
with a win, regardless of what type of
crowd is in the stands.

4

RYANWEINER/Daily

a

Sophomore guard Daniel Horton is playing his best basketball of the season.

---- --------

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