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March 12, 2007 - Image 9

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Monday, March 12, 2007

Porter brings home NCAA title

By MICHAEL EISENSTEIN
Daily Sports Writer
If you had told Jeff Porter four
years ago that he would win a
nationalchampionship, he would've
laughed at you.
If you had told Porter at season's

start that he would win a national
championship, he would have
looked at you like you were crazy.
But this weekend at the NCAA
Indoor Championships, the senior
did win the 60-meter hurdles
national championship (7.64 sec-
onds). Porter finished .06 seconds

ahead of the field, a significantmar-
gin in such a short distance.
"I was ecstatic," Porter said. "It
almost seems like a dream. I don't
even think I've begun to realize it."
A couple pauses later, the Som-
erset, N.J., native reflected some
more.

"Wow. I mean, wow. It's pretty
amazing in perspective. It's truly a
blessing."
Porter's time broke the previous
school record, which he set just a
week ago at the Alex Wilson Invita-
tional. Just three other Wolverines
have won NCAA hurdling champi-

onships, the last of which was the distance strength, it's even more
1997 victory of Neil Gardner. amazing he's made it through this
His first-place finish was key in season - emotionally the longest in
No. 18 Michigan's sixth-place fin- his career.
ish at the NCAA Championships at On Michigan's first day of prac-
Randall Tyson Track Center in Fay- tice, Porter was changing bench-
etteville, Ark., this past weekend. press weights when one of the
But considering Porter's short- See PORTER, Page 3B

OHIO STATE 72, MICHIGAN 62
MI T

Blue back
in the NIT

By DANIEL LEVY
Daily Sports Writer
The NCAA Tournament
Selection show passed last
night without Michigan's
name being called.
For the ninth consecu-
tive season, the Wolverines
will watch other teams play
in the big games they can
only dream about, as they
continue to share a dubi-
ous distinction ofbeing one
of just two Big-Te-teams-
that have yet to take part in
college basketball's biggest
stage since 1998 (North-
western is the other).
The news came as no
surprise. Entering the
Big Ten Tournament last
Thursday, most experts
assumed the Wolverines
had to beat Minnesota and
then No. 1 Ohio State just to
re-enter the bubble discus-
sion. The Wolverines might
have still needed to beat
Purdue to seal their bid, but
any talk of the Tournament
was quickly squashed in a
72-62 loss to the Buckeyes
on Friday. Michigan coach
Tommy Amaker was vague
about his team's Tourna-
ment chances following the
loss.
"I'm not trying to make
a case," said Amaker, who
has yet to guide Michi-
gan to the Tournament in
six seasons. "I don't know
what case to make. We've
got 21 wins, we're .500 in
our conference. I think if
you asked anyone else if

that was a pretty darn good
year, I think that is."
While Michigan did win
21 games and finished 8-
8 in the Big Ten, it is also
true that 13 of those vic-
tories came against teams
ranked lower than 150 in
the RPI. Michigan's con-
ference record also left
them behind six other Big
Ten teams.
The Wolverines also
won just one game against
a ranked-opponent, defeat-
ing an Indiana squad which
has since fallen out of the
rankings. Unlike last year,
when the Wolverines stum-
bled down the stretch but
still felt they had accom-
plished enough during the
season to deserve a spot in
the field of 65, there was no
drama yesterday.
"We determined our
own future," sopho-
more Jerret Smith said.
"It's not like the NCAA
Tournament Selection
Committee controlled it."
Instead, the Wolverines
will take another crack at
the National Invitational
Tournament, sarcastically
referred to as the Amaker
Invitational by some local
columnists, given Michi-
gan's recent shortcomings.
Amaker led Michigan to an
NIT championship in 2004,
and took the Wolverines to
the finals last year.
This season's road to Mad-
ison Square Garden starts
out Tuesday night at Crisler
Arena against Utah State.

eniors Brent Petway (eft) and Courtney Sims can do nothing but regroup following a loss to No.1 Ohio State in the Big Ten Tournament. Michigan will now play in the NIT.
,Oden slams door on Michigan

By MARK GIANNOTTO
Daily Sports Writer
CHICAGO - For months, NBA
scouts have anointed Ohio State
freshman Greg Oden the consensus
No. 1 pick in June's NBA Draft.
And in the second half of Mich-
igan's 72-62 loss to the top-ranked
Buckeyes on Friday, Oden showed
why.
The loss ensured that the Wolver-

ines - still without a marquee victo-
ry away from Crisler Arena - would
be without an NCAA Tournament
appearance for a ninth-consecutive
season
After allowing Ohio State to jump
out to a 12-point lead to begin the
second half of its quarterfinal Big
Ten Tournament game. Michigan
narrowed the deficit to just three
following a 3-pointer by senior Les-
ter Abram.

That's when Oden ended any doubt
about his talent, and in the process,
any chance of the Wolverines reach-
ing the Big Dance for the first time
since 1998.
He poured in five consecutive
points to give the Buckeyes a cushion
they would never again relinquish.
"Every time they would bring it
down, they would get it to Oden, and
he would either get fouled or get a
layup," said Abram, who finished

with 13 points after going 1-for-10
from the field in Thursday's open-
ing-round win over Minnesota. "The
bad thing was that every time you
knew where the ball was about to go,
but we really just couldn't stop it. He
buries himself under the basket, and
once he gets down there, what can
you do with him?"
For the game, Oden had 22 points,
including 15 coming the second half.
See BIG TENS, Page SB

Icers sweep NMU en route to Joe 'M getsphysical
By IAN ROBINSON
Daily Sports Writer
The last time Michigan had a y

:.
.

chance to sweep Northern Michi-
gan, things didn't go as planned.
Michi-
gan NORTHERN MICH. 3
dropped MICHIGAN 8
a 2-1 deci-
sion on
Jan. 13 and didn't score a goal until
the final seven seconds.
But this weekend the Wolverines
finished the job.
Michigan completed its CCHA
quarterfinal series sweep of the
Wildcats with an 8-3 win Saturday
and a 4-1 victory on Friday at Yost
Ice Arena. The wins earned the
team a berth into the CCHA semi-
finals at Joe Louis Arena for the
19th-straight year and a date with
Michigan State Friday at 8:05 p.m.
Nearly two months ago, North-
ern Michigan shut Michigan out for
59 minutes to take the series finale.
Saturday, it took just three min-
utes for the Wolverines to turnonthe
red light, something they did often
early this weekend. The NCAA's
highest-scoring team notched seven
first-period goals in the sweep.
"When your best players are your
best players, you have a chance,"
Michigan coach Red Berenson
said. "When you are led by your

Bang, crash, thump!
You hear that?
That's playoff hockey.
And, boy, is it beautiful.
The open-
ing minutes
of each CCHA
quarterfinal
game this
weekend
were, of
course, cru-
cial. And in AMBER
both contests, COLVIN
the Wolver-
ines got the -
first scores of A Touch of
the night. Dutch
But while
establishing leads set the tone
for the evening, Michigan had
another important way to wel-
come Northern Michigan to
Yost Ice Arena: bone-crunching
hits.
Playoff hockey always calls
for more physical play, and the
Wolverines were dishing it out
this weekend. From the littlest
Wolverine, 5-foot-6 freshman
Anthony Ciraulo, to the tallest,
6-foot-4 senior Tim Cook, each

player stepped up with some
rough and tough hockey.
Fans of the team should be
relieved - and not just because
Michigan has ahot offense
that's firing on all cylinders.
After all the struggles down the
stretch, the Wolverines showed
they can put away their waver-
ing intensity and turn up the
heat when it counts most. They
can get in that physical playoff
mindset, even against a not-so-
tame Wildcat squad.
Who knew a swift check into
the boards could beso comfort-
ing?
"We wanted to establish a
physical presence at home, espe-
cially against their top guys,"
senior captain Matt Hunwick
said following Friday's 4-1 vic-
tory. "I think you really want to
put the body on those guys alot
and just let them know it's going
to be a long weekend."
When Andrew Sarauer scored
the first (and only) Northern
Michigan goal that night, the
Wolverines didn't take long to
See COLVIN, Page 4B

TREVOR CAMPBELL/Daily
Senior alternate captain T.J. Hensick recorded his second career hat trick in Saturday's 8-3 win to advance to Joe Louis Arena.
seniors, your team has an even bet- Hensick led the Michigan offensive said. "He's making the most of his
ter chance. I think that's what you outburst with his second career hat senior year."
saw this weekend." trick and added an assist. The How- In addition to Hensick's offensive
Each of the team's top-five scor- ell native, who is tied for the nation- exploits, sophomore Andrew Cogli-
ers registered at least three points al scoring lead, made a statement in ano scored two goals and tallied two
Saturday. The team displayed some his Hobey Baker award campaign. assists, sophomore Jack Johnson
of its best offense of the season, con- He moved up to eighth place in the notched a goal and two assists and
necting on numerous one-time goals program's career points list with junior Chad Kolarik also had a goal
and precision passes. 215.
Senior alternate captain T.J. "He's on a mission," Berenson See WILDCATS, Page 4B

4

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