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February 13, 2009 - Image 8

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40

8 - Friday, February 13, 2009

The Michigan Daily - michigandaily.com

I

SI's Davis: Michigan
tourney hopes still alive

For the first time since 1998,
the Michigan men's bas-
ketball team will make the
NCAA tournament.
Well, that's according to Sports
Illustrated's Seth Davis. The col-
lege basketball writer features a
weekly column, "Inside College
Basketball," and is a studio analyst
during CBS's
NCAA Tourna-ALEX
ment coverage.
"Right now, PROSPERI
they're on my On Mven's
board," Davis Basketball
said during a
teleconference Feb. 11to promote
his partnership with Coke Zero.
"They're probably going to be one
of my last teams in, certainly. But
right now, I have them in."
Davis was in Indianapolis on
Wednesday to participate in a
mock selection seminar for the
NCAA Tournament. The real
Selection Sunday is March 15. Of
the 65 spots, 31 are automatic bids
awarded to conference tournament
champions, while the other 34 are
at-large bids.
He pinned upset wins against
UCLA and Duke as keys to the
Wolverines' chances of dancing in
March.
"They're going to hang on to
that (UCLA) win and the win over
Duke at home for all it's worth,"
Davis said. "There are not going to
be a lot of teams in that situation
that are goingto have those quality
wins."
The Blue Devils are No. 6 and
the Bruins are No. 11, and the bet-
ter they play, the stronger Michi-
gan's wins will look.
"You give me 34 at-large teams
that are more worthy," Davis said.
"When you get to those last few
spots, you're really looking at some
very flawed resumes."
But how much stock can you put
in two games? Sure, both teams
were ranked No. 4 at the time, but
they both have one glaring weak-
ness - post presence. Defending
the paint has been one of Michi-
gan's biggest problems all season,

Sophomore Manny Harris and the Wolverines areonthe NCAA Tournamentbubble.

SAID ALSALAH/Daily
Sophomore Carl Hagelin will skate in front his father Boris this weekend as Michigan takes on Nebraksa-Omaha.
Sophomore finds comfort in
father's visit from Sweden

and if there were any highly-
ranked teams that could fall to
the Wolverines, it would be those
two. Plus, both games came before
conference play, when most teams
often hit their stride.
Michigan can point to those
two games as reasons to receive a
bid, but the Wolverines need to do
more.
Ultimately, Michigan's poor
road record night be the reason
they're in the National Invitation
Tournament in March. The Wol-
verines are an impressive 12-3 at
home, but just 1-6 on the road with
a 2-1 record at neutral sites. Their
lone road victory came against
lowly Indiana, who is 1-10 in the
Big Ten.
If Michigan (5-7 Big Ten, 15-10
overall) doesn't improve its play on
the road, it will find itselfaoutside
the tournament bubble. There are
two must-win road games left, and
the first is this Sunday when the
Wolverines take on Northwestern
(4-6,13-8) at Welsh-Ryan Arena in
Evanston.
The Wolverines have three more
games after Sunday's to rack up
more road wins - Iowa on Feb. 22
(another must-win), Wisconsin on
Mar. 1 and Minnesota a week later.
But to impress the NCAA Tour-
nament Selection Committee, wins
at Northwestern and Iowa won't
cut it. Michigan must win its regu-
lar-season finale against the Gold-
en Gophers, the final ranked team
the Wolverines face on the road. If

they lose, they'll be left without an
impressive road win.
And the work doesn't end there,
as Michigan must put on a strong
performance at the Big Ten Tour-
nament. The conference tourna-
ment is the last opportunity for
bubble teams to make their case
for the Big Dance. Last season, No.
10 Illinois, whose only shot at the
NCAA Tournament was to win
the conference title, made it to the
championship game before falling
to No. 1 Wisconsin.
Like the Illini, Michigan will
have to make a run during the
weekend. Michigan would be the
No. 8 seed if the tournament start-
ed today, meaning it would have to
win a game on Thursday to play in
the quarterfinals on Friday. Both
games are must-win. An early exit
will diminish whatever success
the Wolverines have over the next
three weeks.
The fact that Davis put Michi-
gan in his mock bracket shows he
is confident that Michigan will
finish strong. But he should be
cautious. There's little reason to
believe the Wolverines will make
a run in these last six games. They
squandered a golden opportunity -
to impress the Selection Commit-
tee when they lost 54-42 to Michi-
gan State on Tuesday, and have
lost seven of their last nine games.
But ifnthey can go as far as Illi-
nois in the Big Ten Tournament,
then Davis's prediction may come
true.

I

By NICOLE AUERBACH
Daily Sports Editor
At the end of Tuesday's hockey
practice, Michigan sophomore
Carl Hagelin walked off the ice,
saw his father in the bleachers
and called out to him in his native
Swedish.
Standing close to Hagelin as
he conversed with his dad, senior
forward Danny Fardig tried to
mimic his teammate.
After a couple of attempts, Far-
dig gave up with a smile, and the
father and son continued making
plans for the evening.
Boris, Hagelin's dad, has been
in town visiting from Hagelin's
hometown of Sodertalje, Sweden,
since last Thursday. Lastweekend,
he watched the Wolverines sweep
Lake Superior State, and he'll be
in the stands again tonight as they
take on Nebraska-Omaha.
And when Boris is around, it
usually bodes well for Michigan
- or at least his son. Last Satur-
day, Hagelin tallied the game-
tying goal with 28 seconds left
in the first period to swing the
momentum in Michigan's favor.
The Wolverines eventually won
the game, 2-1.
It's hard to quantify, but the
Michigan coaching staff agrees:
Hagelin plays better when his

father is in town. That could be
a good omen for this weekend's
series against the Mavericks (8-9-
7-3 CCHA, 13-11-7 overall).
"Some kids put too much pres-
sure on themselves when their
parents are here to really show
them what they can do," Wolver-
ine assistant coach Mel Pearson
said. "Obviously, in his situation,
it's different. He doesn't feel that
pressure to have to perform. It just
encourages him.... We might have
to get (Boris) to live over here per-
manently if that's the case."
Boris normally flies to Ann
Arbor about four times each year
for ten-day trips, during which he
stays with Hagelin and his room-
mate, sophomore forward Louie
Caporusso.
"It's me, him and Boris, the
three amigos," Caporusso said.
"He made us steak Monday night.
Unbelievable. Filet mignon, and
he made us mashed potatoes and
a nice salad with avocado. ... My
stomach's been well-nourished
since Boris has gotten here, for
sure."
Caporusso said they also like to
go to the movies together, adding
that the three of them recently saw
Madagascar: Escape 2 Africa at the
Dollar Movies at Briarwood Mall.
Hagelinsaidhis father alsokeeps
him and Caporusso in order. The

two rushed to clean up their apart-
ment last Wednesday evening, the
night before Boris flew in.
Despite the added chores,
Hagelin enjoys having his father
around. And even though Boris
attends practice each day when
he's in Ann Arbor and has previ-
ous coaching experience, he said
he hardly discusses hockey with
his son because Hagelin doesn't
like it.
"That's just something me
and my dad stopped doing when
I turned 17," Hagelin said. "He
used to talk alot about hockey. We
just stopped talking about hockey
because I can't think too much
about it. Still, he talks about hock-
ey everyday with my other broth-
ers, so he'll get his hockey talk in
every day."
Caporusso explained that each
player treats hockey differently.
Some like analyzing their play off
of the ice, but others prefer dis-
tancing themselves. Hagelin is one
of the latter.
"Carl doesn't like to think about
hockey too much during the week,"
Caporusso said. "When he's away
from the rink, he likes to stay away
from the rink. When he gets to the
rink, he gets pretty excited."
With his father in the stands,
Hagelin has even more of a reason
to be fired up tonight.

Why 'A'is worth your time

4

This Sunday will be the
44th anniversary of the
day that Canada adopted
the Maple Leaf flag. What are
your plans for honoring that
country on that day? A themed
party? Traveling north? Watch-
ing CBC?
Didn't think so.
But if celebrating Canadian
heritage is
something
that strikes CHANTEL
your fancy, JENNINGS
perhaps ---e -
you should OnWoa en's
consider B
attending the Michigan women's
basketball game against Min-
nesota.
Senior Stephany Skrba and
junior Krista Phillips, both native
Canadians, will be playing at Cris-
ler Arena this Sunday.
Still not sold on coming?
Well, how about the fact that
this Sunday is probably the last
chance you'll have to watch the
Wolverines play this year? Their
only remaining home game is
during Spring Break.
And trust me, despite its 10-14
record, this is a talented team
that you'll want to see play. Mich-
igan has beaten two top-25 teams
this year and nearly toppled a
third. Each game, it seems like
another player comes out of the

4

woodwork for Michigan.
Will freshman Courtney Boy-
lan drop 18 like she did against
Kentucky? Is freshman Carmen
Reynolds going to follow up her
20-point performance against
Penn State with something equal-
ly thrilling? How many threes
will senior Carly Benson hit?
You might think, why do I care
about the Golden Gophers?
Wolverine point guard Jessica
Minnfield will be taking on her
counterpart in Minnesota's point
guard Emily Fox. Minnfield,
Michigan's starting court gener-
al, will have her hands full with
Fox's quickness. Not only is Fox
a WNBA prospect, but she also
holds the world record in cup
stacking, which is actually a real
sport. Confused? Check out you-
tube.com or just come Sunday.

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- UARTS 250 -
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AN INTERDISCIPLINARY STUDIO-LECTURE COURSE
residency at the Abbey of Pontlevoy,.
FRANCE
May 18-June 12,2009
Four Weeks/Four Credits
Sat es the LSA Creative Expression Requirement
INFORMATION SESSIONS:
Tuesday, Febr ry 17, 5:00pm,Art & Architecture Bldg. Room2
Wednes y, Feb 18, 7:00pm, Michigan Union Pond Room
Making creativity an integral part of students' lives 'and work.
Learn more now: www.artsonearth.org/students
RS
osc asts
Thsr rairse is srppsrted by Othe Unvrity ofMichigae's MulidiscipiierysLernirgeandTeamTesbig Inimiaeivee

If you heckle her enough, maybe
she'll show you.
Are you intrigued yet?
Consider the fact that Michi-
gan coach Kevin Borseth is the
most animated coach in the Big
Ten. Each game, he paces up and
down the sideline shouting at the
players, refs and assistant coach-
es - sometimes even turning his
head toward the heavens.
But you've got to hand it to
him. He knows what he's doing.
In the past 18 years, teams he has
coached have been to 17 post-
season tournaments. He knows
what it takes to turn a mediocre
program into a championship
contender. Even John Wooden
didn't turn UCLA into a basket-
ball powerhouse overnight.
Still not convinced?
This Sunday's game is the Wol-
verines' Pink Zone Game. The
Pink Zone Game is part of the
Women's Basketball Coaches
Association's initiative to raise
breast cancer awareness and
support.
The Wolverines are work-
ing towards earning $20,000
for the University of Michigan
Women's Health Program.
At this Sunday's game, "Pink
Zone" T-shirts will be sold for
$10, and everyone at the game
wearing pink willzbe entered in
a raffle to win prizes. The play-
ers will even wear pink uni-
forms, which will be auctioned
off during the game.
What else are you doing on
Sunday?
Between the Canadians,
Borseth, the show of talent and
the charitable cause of this
game, you have no reason not to
be there. So, on Sunday, trade in
yourhomework for aticket, your
mnaize and blue for pink, and
even if you're not Canadian, con-
sider celebrating at Crisler. Eh?

4

I

4

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