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March 26, 2007 - Image 10

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Publication:
The Michigan Daily, 2007-03-26

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DAILY SPORTS BREAKS DOWN THE WEEKEND THAT WAS
2B - Monday, March 26, 2007

The Michigan Daily - michigandaily.com

SAID AND HEARD
"I have no regrets about coming
here, being a Wolverine. I'm still
proud as hell to be one."
- Former Michigan defenseman JACK JOHNSON on his decision
to play for the NHL's Los Angeles Kings and forego his final two
years with the Wolverines.

ATHLETE OF THE WEEK
ZACH PUTNAM
BASEBALL
The sophomore showed off his skills on the
mound and in the batter's box during Michigan's
four-game sweep of Oakland. Putnam was the
winning pitcher on Friday and collected seven RBI
over the weekend.

L
Cinderella-less Dance just isn't the same

01

Ifeel like I've been robbed.
March Madness is supposed
to be the
most exciting
time of the
year, when we
celebrate the
achievements
of people we've
never heard
of and schools
with unusual -
names like H. JOSE
Texas A&M- BOSCH
Corpus Christi
and Central
Connecticut
State.
But all we have this year is zero
double-digit seeds in the Sweet 16,
two No. 1 and two No. 2 seeds in
the Final Four and Joakim Noah
clapping after every play. Serious-
ly, what's the guy's problem?
Don't get me wrong, there
have been exciting games -- Ohio
State's come-from-behind win

over Tennessee was fun to watch.
And as much as it pains me to
admit, waiting for Greg Oden to
decide when he'd actually going to
show up was entertaining.
Southern Illinois' attempt to
knock off Kansas was compelling.
But even Bill Self and his players
couldn't mess up enough to drop
that game.
So while I enjoy seeing two
titans trading blows like Fore-
man and Ali, there is a part of me
that yearns for the little guy. Like
a coach who enjoys coaching at
a small mid-major and is finally
rewarded for his dedication to the
school.
Or the awkward 5-foot-6 kid
from a Nebraska farm who finally
reaches the big stage and catches
fire from beyond the arc, single-
handedly destroying a major
team's aspirations and everyone
else's bracket in the process.
I miss having the moments on
cheesy MasterCard commercials,

or featured every year when CBS
plays "One Shining Moment."
I want to have a Jimmy Valva-
no. A Bryce Drew. A Hampton.
What moments will we take
from this tournament? George-
town's Jeff Green blatantly travel-
ing to hita game-winning shot,
Louisville's Rick Pitino throwing~
freshman Edgar Sosa under the
bus despite the fact it was the kid's
first NCAA Tournament game
and Ohio State coach Thad Matta
sweating more than any normal
human being should.
Have fun with that "One Shin-
ing Moment" montage, CBS. It
should be riveting.
This past week there was more
excitement outside of the men's
Division I NCAA Tournament.
In the Division II final, Barton
broke Winona State's 57-game
winning streak when Anthony
Atkinson scored 10 points in the
final 39 seconds, including the
game-winning layup with .02 sec-

onds left on the clock.
And in the women's tourna-
ment, upsets have been the norm.
No. 13 Marist became the lowest
seed ever to reach the Sweet 16,
Bowling Green (a No. 7 seed) also
tasted Sweet 16 glory and Duke
become the first No. 1 overall seed
not to make the Elite Eight in 13
years.
I know, I know. I've already
complained about the lack of
upsets and underdogs, and this is
the Dance Floor and I'm supposed
to talk about the Division I Tour-
nament.
Like the best storyline of March
so far: Memphis' John Calipari
telling his players to not even
practice free throws, but instead
just visualize making them. Can
you imagine how bad a team must
be doing for a coach to just give up
and tell his players to pretend like
they're making them?
But it worked.
And when the Tigers' Antonio

Anderson stepped up to the line
with 3.2 seconds left and his team
trailing by one, he didn't remem-
ber his two missed layups or the
three straight missed free throws.
He just visualized making his
shots - and he made them.
Sure, the Buckeyes dismantled
Memphis in the next round and
the Tigers were a No.2 seed (not
exactly Bradley), but it's still a
touching moment. Right?
People who complained about
George Mason being in last year's
Final Four are finally getting what
they want: all the best teams in
the Tournament playing ina battle
royale.
Ask and ye shall receive every-
one. So prepare yourself for the
greatest Final Four of all time.
Because as fans, it's the least we
could ask for after such a dull
Tournament.
And if it doesn't happen, "One
Shining Moment" will be pretty
dim.

Water polo blows past Lions

By ADAM WOOD
Daily Sports Writer
The Michigan women's water polo team
harkened back 100 years Sunday to make
their best impression of the most prolific
football team in Wolverine history.
During Fielding Yost's first five seasons
as coach of Michigan, his teams were nick-
named "point-a-minute" offenses for their
proficient scoring. But this weekend, the
17th-ranked Wolverines nearly duplicated
the feat against Penn State-Behrend in Erie,
Penn., by averaging a goal every 83 seconds
in a 23-2 victory. They also convincingly
defeated five other teams for a perfect 6-0
record.
The 23-goal outburst came just 20 hours
after the Wolverines had tied the school
record of 22 goals against Washington & Jef-
ferson.
It was clear the mark would be within
reach after Michigan (6-0 CWPA, 19-10
overall) opened the game with four separate
players tallying two goals to help build a 12-0
lead.

In the second half, freshman Kimberly
Gero scored two goals while also recording
two saves in the game. The strongest per-
formance came from freshman Sarah Davila
who added onto her first half hat-trick with a
fourthgoal late inthegame. Her seven points
versus the Lions marked her career high in
points for a single game. But it was another
record that had the entire team excited after
the game.
With less than a minute remaining, soph-
omore Carrie Stover scored the final goal
of the game. The 23rd mark set the school
record for the seven year-old program, but
was not completely unexpected by Michigan
coach Matt Anderson.
"I did believe the team was capable of this
sort of success, but I wasn't sure it would
be this soon," Anderson said. "So it doesn't
totally surprise me. We're capable of good
things, but it's simply a question of when."
"When" occurred on many occasions last
weekend with Michigan outscoring its six
opponents in CWPA conference play 110-35.
The nearly "point-a-minute" Wolverines
were led by senior Shana Welch and sopho-

more Julie Hyrne, who combined for 38 goals
on the weekend and kept alive their streak of
recording a point in every single game this
season.
"Purely from an offensive standpoint we
were completely in sync," Anderson said.
"When a couple of the girls get it going,
it becomes infectious for the entire team.
(Hyrne and Welch) work so well together
that teams cannot key on either one individ-
ually, and they have definitely taken advan-
tage of that this season."
This was a key weekend for Michigan as it
had an underwhelming performance a week
ago in Ann Arbor at Canham Natatorium.
Their 3-2 record in the Wolverine Invita-
tional left the team frustrated, but Michigan
showed no ill-effects during their record-
breaking weekend. With their play, the Wol-
verines solidified their position inthe CWPA
Western Division by clinching a one or two
seed in the Western Division Championship
inAnn Arbor on April21 and 22.
The weekend that would make even Field-
ing Yost blush could prove to be the cross-
roads for the Wolverines in an up-and-down

The Michigan water polo team set a program
record with its 23 goals yesterday.
season thus far.
"We'll see if this is a turning point for us,"
Anderson said. "You never know with the
team in general. We just need to make sure
we don't hit any more bumps the rest of the
season."

Rowers
fall flat
at home
By ANTHONY OLIVEIRA
Daily Sports Writer
BELLEVILLE - If the Michi-
gan women's rowing team was
described in its recipe compila-
tion Crew'd Food, it would be
called raw.
But after Saturday's meet, the
15th-ranked Wolverines were
prepared like a fresh slab of
salmon: smoked.
Taking on Clemson, No. 11
Notre Dame and No.14 Michigan
State, Michigan found itself at
the bottom of the pile in its first
major meet of 2007. The Wolver-
ines finished in last place in the
four-team regatta.
The Wolverines started the
regatta on a bright note as the
second novice eight beat out
Notre Dame by seven seconds
for first place. But Michigan
wouldn't climb atop of the podi-
um again, instead registering a
last-place finish in the first var-
sity eight boat.
Edging Michigan State for
the third position by less than a
length midway through the race,
the Wolverines relinquished
their lead, falling in last place
with a time of 6:58.54.
Michigan's first varsity four
was blown away, trailing the
entire race and finishing 17.83
seconds behind second-place
MichiganStateand27.38 seconds
after champion Notre Dame.
"If we want to be competitive,
we have to get faster," Michigan
coach Mark Rothstein said.
Despite capturing second
place in each of the second var-
sity races, Michigan didn't make
an impressive showing at its only *
home meet of the season at Bel-
leville Lake.
But with a majority of under-
classmen on each boat, Michigan
knows there is much room for
improvement before the Big Ten
meet in three weeks.
"I think we raced OK on the 0
whole," Rothstein said. "We
need a lot of development that
needs to take place the next
couple months and I'm confident
our team will come back Monday
and work even harder."
Daily Sports.
We have updates
every day at our
blog The Game *

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