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Articles filed under College Men

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  • NBA rumors swirl around Kentucky coach Apr 8, 2014 5:04 PM
    Kentucky’s talented freshmen shed a shaky regular season and then showed why the Wildcats were picked No. 1 in the preseason with an impressive run to the NCAA championship game. After falling short in a 60-54 loss to Connecticut, the annual question for Kentucky is who will leave for the NBA, including John Calipari.

     
  • Double duty has its rewards for Martin Apr 8, 2014 11:40 PM
    Baseball is a mentally grueling game for any player, but Wheaton’s Trey Martin is pulling double duty. Not only is the senior playing first base and pitching, he is doing both at an elite level.

     
  • Huskies again star in the underdog role Apr 8, 2014 5:06 PM
    The Connecticut Huskies lost their coach, their teammates, their chance to play at the NCAA tournament for a year. They were castoffs, unwanted mutts without a home, told they had no chance. Well, look who’s woofing now. Playing with a chip-on-their-shoulder mentality and poise down the stretch, UConn starred in the underdog role for the second time in four years, knocking off Kentucky 60-54 Monday night for the NCAA title.

     
  • UConn beats Kentucky for NCAA title Apr 7, 2014 10:45 PM
    Shabazz Napier scored 22 points and Connecticut won its second NCAA title in four years, beating all those Kentucky freshmen 60-54 in the championship game Monday night. Napier is among three UConn seniors who were part of the Huskies’ 2011 title. That trio stayed after coach Jim Calhoun’s retirement even when the Huskies were ineligible for the NCAA tournament last season.

     
  • Make the NCAA start over? Good plan Apr 7, 2014 5:30 AM
    NCAA president Mark Emmert conducted a news conference Sunday at the site of the NCAA basketball tournament’s Final Four. Naturally, among the topics was the attempt to unionize football players at Northwestern. Media reports quoted Emmert as saying, “To convert to a unionized employee model is to throw away the entire collegiate model for athletics.” So there would be a problem with that?

     
  • Wisconsin falls short in heartbreaking fashion Apr 6, 2014 12:51 AM
    A record night at the foul line had Wisconsin seconds away from a trip to the national title game. What the Badgers needed was perfection. Mundelein-area native Ben Brust and Sam Dekker each scored 15 points, but Traevon Jackson missed a free throw with 16 seconds left and Wisconsin was left stunned after Aaron Harrison's 3 with 5.7 seconds to play gave Kentucky the 74-73 win.

     
  • Role players key UConn's 63-53 win over Florida Apr 5, 2014 8:11 PM
    Connecticut will not ride a one-man gang into the national championship game this time. Shabazz Napier is still the leader, but DeAndre Daniels and Ryan Boatright have taken their turns at the wheel. Daniels carried UConn out of an early funk to finish with 20 points and 10 rebounds, and Boatright gave the Huskies a lift at both ends in a 63-53 victory over Florida in the Final Four Saturday night.

     
  • Wildcats’ Fitzgerald urges ‘no’ vote on union Apr 5, 2014 5:40 PM
    Northwestern football coach Pat Fitzgerald sided with his university against the formation of a players union in his first public comments Saturday, repeating what he already told his team: “I believe it’s in their best interests to vote no.”

     
  • Final Four preview: UConn vs. Florida Apr 4, 2014 5:06 PM
    The last time Florida lost there were still 23 shopping days until Christmas. The Gators have won every game since that loss at Connecticut on Dec. 2. The teams meet again Saturday in the Final Four. They both have changed and they both have stayed the same.

     
  • Final Four preview: Wisconsin vs. Kentucky Apr 4, 2014 5:03 PM
    Kentucky has a coach labeled a renegade, a rotating stable of McDonald’s All-Americans and sky high expectations every year. Wisconsin has a coach who has stayed firmly in one state for three decades, a lineup filled with juniors and seniors and an aw-shucks attitude about its first trip to the Final Four in more than a decade. They meet Saturday in the national semifinals.

     
  • Minnesota wins NIT over SMU Apr 3, 2014 9:59 PM
    Austin Hollins hit a tiebreaking 3-pointer with 46.1 seconds left and Minnesota won the NIT championship Thursday night, beating SMU 65-63 to give the Pitino family its latest postseason tournament title. Austin Hollins scored 19 points and Andre Hollins had 14 for the Golden Gophers (25-13), who took home the trophy for the third time.

     
  • Maturing Kaminsky helps Wisconsin to Final Four Apr 3, 2014 10:00 PM
    Frank Kaminsky took offense to the question: No, he is not funnier this year! “I think I’m a little more mature this year, thank you very much,” the Wisconsin big man said with a straight face this week. A little goofy around his teammates, Kaminsky has been all business on the court in leading the Badgers’ charge to the Final Four.

     
  • Judson baseball team fights through adversity Apr 3, 2014 5:40 PM
    Injuries can be an extremely unkind part of sports. In the case of the Judson University baseball team, unkindness has be thrown to the curb and replaced with optimism and results. The Eagles have weathered the loss of three key roster components and stood at 19-12 overall and 5-2 in the early stages of CCIW play through midweek. Judson recently swept its home conference doubleheader opener against Olivet Nazarene.

     
  • Mundelein's Brust savors making the Final Four cut Apr 3, 2014 8:36 PM
    Former Mundelein basketball star Ben Brust is going to the Final Four as Wisconsin's 3-point shooting whiz, just days after joyfully cutting down the nets for the first time in his career.

     
  • Big names like Kaminsky keep leaving Illinois Apr 2, 2014 10:24 PM
    Frank Kaminsky, a product of Benet Academy in Lisle, has helped Wisconsin into the Final Four. That's as good an explanation as any for the sorry state of college basketball in the state of Illinois.

     
  • Wisconsin tightens D in NCAA run Apr 1, 2014 6:23 PM
    Changing defense was one less thing the Badgers (30-7) had to worry about during an already memorable season that has Wisconsin facing Kentucky (28-10) in the Final Four on Saturday. Like any good coach still in the hunt, Bo Ryan will just as easily point to things to improve. The new rules emphasis, though, probably wasn’t on high on the list. “We haven’t been a ‘handsy’ team in the past, so we just need to keep working on our positioning and our footwork,” Ryan said in December.

     
  • Union question looms as Northwestern practices Apr 1, 2014 6:29 PM
    Northwestern running back Venric Mark says he is not sure all his teammates who signed union cards in January realized the ramifications. Mark says some players signed, some did not. He wonders if those who did “knew what they were or if they thought it was going to turn out the way it did.”

     
  • Final Four filled with good defensive teams Apr 1, 2014 6:18 PM
    After the all increases in scoring and shooting percentages and offensive flow, the season has come down to a Final Four of teams held together by one common thread: shutdown defenses.

     
  • Kentucky keeps Michigan out of Final Four Mar 30, 2014 6:59 PM
    Aaron Harrison made a 3-pointer from NBA range with 2.3 seconds left Sunday to lift Kentucky and its freshmen to a 75-72 win over Michigan and a trip to the Final Four. After Harrison’s teammate, Julius Randle, inadvertently tipped in the tying shot on Michigan’s previous possession, the eighth-seeded Wildcats got the ball to the 6-foot-6 guard, whose twin brother, Andrew, is another of the five freshmen in Kentucky’s starting lineup. Standing a good three feet behind the arc, Harrison elevated over Caris LeVert and took a bit of contact on the arm from the Michigan guard as he shot. No matter. The shot rattled in, and for the second straight game in the Midwest Regional, Harrison had the go-ahead points in a tense game for the Wildcats (28-10). In this one, he scored all 12 of his points off four 3-pointers over the last 8:05. “I hit a couple before that, so coach said to get the shot we were looking for,” Harrison said. “They put it in my hands and I wanted to deliver for them out there.” Nik Stauskas missed a halfcourt heave at the buzzer for second-seeded Michigan (28-9), and moments later, Harrison was under a dog pile or make that a puppy pile. This is the first all-freshman starting lineup to make the Final Four since another well-known group, the Fab Five of Michigan, did it in 1992. “I’m gonna see everyone in Dallas this year,” coach John Calipari said, with his version of a Texas twang, as he addressed the crowd before the nets came down. The Wildcats will play Wisconsin next Saturday outside of Big D. Stauskas finished with 24 points for the Wolverines, who finished a win shy of their second straight Final Four. Randle had 16 points and 11 rebounds for his 24th double-double and was named the region’s most outstanding player. But he was just one of the freshmen stars for the Wildcats Sunday. While Harrison was being completely shut down early, it was unheralded Marcus Lee keeping the Wildcats in the game. Lee, one of the six McDonald’s All-American freshmen on Calipari’s roster, had scored a total of nine points since the beginning of January. But he got minutes that would have normally gone to the injured Willie Cauley-Stein, and finished with 10 points and eight rebounds. Eight of those points came on put-back dunks that were part of Kentucky’s 18 offensive rebounds. Harrison’s first 3 gave Kentucky a 58-55 lead and was part of an 11-0 run that put the Wolverines in catch-up mode, behind 62-55 with 6:30 left. They fought back, and during a nine-possession stretch of sublime basketball that covered more than four minutes, each team scored every time they got the ball. The first stop in the sequence gave the Wolverines the ball with about a minute left, trailing 72-70. Stauskas missed a layup and a 3-pointer and Derrick Walton then missed an open 3. But the fourth attempt went in with 31 seconds left and got credited to Jordan Morgan on a scramble under the basket, though it was Randle’s hand that tipped the ball in. Calipari called a timeout. Michigan burned a foul. And the endgame started with 10 seconds left. The ball went to Harrison and it was clear he was going to take the shot. He spotted up from about 25 feet, and after he hit, he walked backward calmly before being hugged by Randle and Dakari Johnson. Moments later, Kentucky was celebrating, preparing for the program’s 16th trip to college basketball’s biggest stage.

     
  • Spartans fall; UConn going to Final Four Mar 30, 2014 4:10 PM
    Shabazz Napier scored 17 of his 25 points in the second half, and UConn beat Michigan State 60-54 to return to the Final Four a year after the Huskies were barred from the NCAA tournament. Napier, the East Regional’s most outstanding player, hit three huge free throws with 37.6 seconds left at Madison Square Garden to carry UConn to the Final Four just as Kemba Walker did in Napier’s freshman year. The Huskies (30-8) rallied from a nine-point second-half deficit to become the first No. 7 seed to reach the Final Four since the tournament expanded to 64 teams in 1985. Fourth-seeded Michigan State’s seniors become the first four-year players recruited by Tom Izzo to fail to reach the Final Four. Gary Harris led the Spartans (29-9) with 22 points. The undersized Huskies matched Michigan State’s physical play box-out for box-out, holding the Spartans to just six offensive rebounds and six points in the paint. UConn dared Michigan State to shoot 3-pointers, and the Spartans nearly made enough, going 11 for 29 from behind the arc. Trailing 51-49 with more than two minutes left, Michigan State had a chance to tie or take the lead. But Adreian Payne fumbled the ball away, and Napier drilled a jumper on the other end. After Payne hit a pair of free throws to pull the Spartans back within two, Keith Appling was called for a foul on Napier’s 3-point attempt. The senior extended the lead to 56-51, and after Travis Trice missed a 3, Michigan State couldn’t get to UConn to foul. Phillip Nolan slipped free for a dunk that clinched the victory and had thousands of Huskies fans in the Garden leaping up and down. UConn won its third national title in 2011, but the Huskies were ineligible for last year’s tournament because of previous low scores on the NCAA’s academic progress measure. Ryan Boatright made four steals as UConn used its quickness to force 16 turnovers. DeAndre Daniels shut down Branden Dawson, who scored 24 points in Michigan State’s Sweet 16 win over top-seeded Virginia. Dawson attempted just three field goals, making one, to finish with five points. The 6-foot-10, 245-pound Payne hit two long jumpers to put Michigan State up 32-23 less than four minutes into the second half. But Napier started driving, getting the bigger Appling in foul trouble and UConn back in the game. After hitting four straight free throws to tie the score at 32 with 12:38 left, Napier was struck in the face by Gary Harris the UConn guard was called for a foul on the play and left the court with his nose gushing blood. He was back less than minute later when Daniels completed a three-point play to give the Huskies the lead for good. Boatright hit a contested 3-pointer with the shot clock winding down to put UConn up 49-39 with less than seven minutes left. But the Spartans rallied behind their long-range shooting.

     
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