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April 02, 2007 - Image 10

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Publication:
The Michigan Daily, 2007-04-02

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DAILY SPORTS BREAKS DOWN THE WEEKEND THAT WAS
28 - Monday, April 2, 2007

The Michigan Daily - michigandaily.com

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SAID AND HEARD
"I've been coaching 18 years and there's
no championship that's ever made my
heart feel as good as this one."
- Michigan women's gymnastics coach BEV PLOCKI
after her team captured the Big Ten Championship Satur-
day in State College.

ATHLETE OF THE WEEK
ROYA ST. CLAIR
SOFTBALL
The freshman catcher exploded with seven RBI
in Michigan's 11-4 win over Northwestern on
Friday. St. Clair went 3-for-4 batting fifth in the
order behind regular catcher Tiffany Worthy.

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Tonight is Oden's chance to clap back

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Florida deserves some credit
for reaching the title game
for the
second-consec-
utive season. In
retrospect, no
one should've
picked the
Gators to lose
earlier than the
FinalFour. They _
were returning H. JOSE
all five of their BOSCH
starters!
CBS
should've done
us all a favor and penciled the
Gators into the Final Four. Then
some of us (what? Me? Maybe ... )
wouldn't have picked them to lose
in the second round.
Alas, the Gators are still alive and
tonight they take on Ohio State. For
Michigan fans, watching another
National Championship game with
these two schools is about as fun

as a root canal during a stats exam
while being forced to sing "Across
the Field" (the Buckeyes' fight
song).
In other words, it sucks. A lot.
But if we're forced to watch
another match-up between two
schools with more narcissism than
the Oscars, the referees should give
us a chance to see one of the nation's
best players - Greg Oden.
The officiating of big men in this
tournament has been absurd. When
Oden breathes on an opponent, it's a
foul and one of the NCAA's bright-
est stars has to sit on the bench for
most of the first half.
Maybe I'm crazy, but watching a
star player sitting isn't exciting bas-
ketball.
The NCAA should take a page out
of the NHL playoff book. There's a
reason why players get away with
everything outside of taking off
their skates and slicing another
player's throat. The fans want to see

the best players decide the outcome
of the game, not the officials.
The referees have determined
they won't let a star player change
the way they'll call the game.. But
because they're so afraid of giving
Oden the star treatment, they're
tougher on him than anyone else
on the court. Sorry guys, but that's
letting a star player change the way
you call a game.
Please, let the players play
tonight. I want to see the over-caf-
feinated Joakim Noah bouncing off
of the sedated Oden.
I'd love to see Oden, in a rare
display of emotion, block Noah and
begin mocking him, saying stuff
like, "Yeah! How about I start clap-
ping all the time, too! Get that trash
out of here!"
The last scenario would be espe-
cially sweet considering I can't
stand Noah. It's kind of the same
hatred "American Idol" fans have
toward Sanjaya Malakar. Not only

has he butchered classics such as
"You Really Got Me" and "Ain't no
Mountain High Enough," but his
different hairstyles are proof of
how far idiocy can go. Even though
he probably can sing better than
most of us (myself included) we just
hate him for his eternal optimism
and ridiculous self-confidence.
Well, add some talent and height
and keep the ridiculous hair and
you have my sports equivalent of
Sanjaya - Noah. He just won't go
away, and every time I watch him
play, I wince the same way most of
America does when Sanjaya opens
his mouth.
It's not because I think Noah is
bad. The kid will be a lottery pick
for sure, and I admire the fact that
he and four of his other teammates
stayed an extra year, when some of
them could've easily been drafted'
in the NBA.
But that incessant clapping and
chest-pumping has got to stop.

People say he plays with passion.
Passion is screaming after a
game-tying dunk with less than
a minute to go. Passion is pump-
ing your chest when your team
has come back from a double-digit
deficit. Passion is diving for loose
balls, jumping over press tables and
essentially doing anything you can
to make sure your opponent has no
chance to score.
So yes, Noah does play with some
passion.
But when you're doing all that
stuff after every single play, when
it's not even necessary, you're just
being an ass.
This Tuesday, we will have to sit
through another gut-churning per-
formance by Sanjaya on "American
Idol," and tonight, I'll have to sit and
watch Joakim Noah in the National
Championship game against the
school I hate the most.
Thank god baseball season has
arrived.

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Men's track and field team splits
The Michigan men's track qualifying time in the 400-meter Former Michigan runner Nate
team hit qualifying time on both hurdles. Brannen finished first in the
coasts this weekend. Redshirt On the West Coast, sophomore 5,000-meter running for the Ree-
sophomore Dan Harmsen led the Lex Williams's NCAA regional bok team.
Wolverines to a second-place fin- qualifying time in the 5,000- The entire squad will com-
ish at the North Carolina Invita- meter topped Michigan's showing pete in the Texas Relays starting
tional with his NCAA regional at the Stanford Invitational. Thursday.

U

EaTPHILOSOPHICAL THINKER
A E A A CREEPY BEARDED GUY
Find a job before you outstay your welcome.
Post-grad careers, part-time jobs and internships.
Go online or text CBcampus to 68247.*

STEVEN TAI/Daily
Sophomore TiffanyOfili set a Michigan 100-meter hurdle record this weekend.

Soph sets
another
record at
Duke
Michigan sophomore Tiffany
Ofili has no respect for records. She
just keeps breaking them.
For the second straight week,
Ofili set the Michigan record in the
100-meter hurdles (13.01). The time
was nearly half a second better than
the record she set the week before.
In total, the Wolverines captured
12 NCAA Regional qualifying times
including three in the 1,500-meter
and two in the 800-meter.
. Michigan will be back on the
road this weekend at the Duke Invi-
tational.
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