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The trials and tribulations of a Nebraska basketball fan

January 30, 2009 at 5:07am By: D.M.B. Posted in D.M.B. Sports Report

Hi, my name is D.M.B and I am a Nebraska basketball fan.

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Arena in limbo (sports POV)

January 14, 2009 at 11:24pm By: D.M.B. Posted in D.M.B. Sports Report

I thought I’d approach the arena issue from a sports point of view.

While what Mr. Wilson said was true, delaying the vote on the arena was necessary, that still does leave Lincoln without a sorely needed arena.  Mayor Buetler said its a must and while, again, Mr. Wilson is correct in saying that it isn’t a must, it is needed.  Pershing doesn’t seem to be exciting many big acts (Omaha just announced Billy Joel/Elton John and Fleetwood Mac were coming), Devaney is close to being one of the worst basketball arena’s in the Big 12.  Its at least in the bottom 3.

So where does that leave the university?  Well, they have one of the worst basketball arena’s in the Big 12. They are the only school without practice facilities or plans for practice facilities.  The Omaha World Herald writes an article today about “Plan B” for the Bob Devaney Sports Center.  A $20 million dollar makeover that would add a brick exterior, skyboxes, preferred seating and other amenities to upgrade the aging facility.  Then more importantly, a $10 million dollar basketball practice facility nearby.

So where would that leave the city facility?  Ever since the city decided that they were going to investigate the possibility of a basketball arena/convention center, I thought that the University had to be involved.  It would be a natural and much needed partnership.  If the university were to go their own route with a renovated Devaney, I seriously think that would put the city’s arena in jeopardy.  The arena would need a major tenant. And since the university is already a big part of the city it would make sense to have them at least be involved with the project.  A project now, that looks in jeopardy.

A valiant effort

December 19, 2008 at 5:07am By: D.M.B. Posted in D.M.B. Sports Report

It just wasn’t to be folks.  Nebraska gave Penn State all they could handle today but they came up just short in the national semifinal against Penn State 3 games to 2.

Penn State won the first two sets easily 25-17 and 25-18.  Penn State had not lost a set all year and Nebraska cruised to a 3rd set victory 25-15 and then got a huge 25-22 victory in set number 4.  Then came the thrilling 5th set.  Nebraska battled back and forth with Penn State in the 5th and actually had a bit of a lead but Penn State cruised at the end and won 15-10 to stay perfect and they will go to the national final against Stanford.

A great run by the Huskers at the end of the season and got about 1 match farther than anybody had thought they would before the tournament began.  The state got to see some great volleyball the past week and it was fun to follow.

Cardiac Kids

December 14, 2008 at 6:57am By: D.M.B. Posted in D.M.B. Sports Report

*photo courtesy of LJS*

Are you kidding me?  Seriously…are you kidding me?!?!?!!

The Nebraska Cornhusker volleyball team will go back to the Final 4 after one of the greatest comebacks in school history.  Nebraska wins the Washington regional after defeating host Washington 3 sets to 2.

Nebraska lost the first two sets 14-25 and 23-25.  Nebraska then came back to win sets three and four 25-17 and 26-24.  Then came an amazing game number 5.  Nebraska trailed 3-0 and 9-3 in the 5th set.  Nebraska then reeled off 9 straight points on the serve Kayla Banwarth.  Nebraska closed out the match with an ace serve from Jordan Larson winning game number 5, 15-13.

Nebraska will come back to Omaha and play at the Qwest Center for the Final 4.  Nebraska won the national championship in the Final 4’s previous appearance at the Qwest in 2006.  Their semifinal matchup will get much more difficult.  Penn State comes in at 36-0.  Wait…there’s more.  They have not lost a game (set)...ALL YEAR.  My college math tells me that is 108 (36x3) straight games.  On the other side it will be Texas vs. Stanford. 

But let us not dwell on the juggernaut that will be ahead of the Huskers on Thursday.  What an amazing comeback from the Huskers.  One of the best matches in Husker history.

Two days at the Coliseum

December 8, 2008 at 7:51pm By: D.M.B. Posted in D.M.B. Sports Report

I was privileged enough this weekend to attend both Husker volleyball matches this weekend thanks to Mr. Wilson.  I was trying to think of the last time I had been to the Coliseum to see a match and it had been quite some time.  This weekend I was thinking it was the thriller with South Carolina in the 2nd round of the NCAA tournament in 2000.  Then going back and looking, I’m sure I went to games in 2001 and I think I went to one more in 2002.  But its been a long time.

Friday - Huskers did not play well at all and Liberty, while out sized, was a scrappy team.  They blocked very well and played excellent defense digging up a good amount of Nebraska’s hits.  Nebraska did a good job coming out of the break after being tied 1-1 after 2 sets and put away Liberty.  It was closer than anybody would have liked it to be, but Nebraska got it done.

Saturday - Great seats 5 rows from the top on the main side of the Coliseum.  Nebraska played much better against UAB on route to a 3-0 victory.  I was telling Mr. Wilson during the match that teams like Liberty who play sports in unconventional ways tend to give the better teams more problems than teams like UAB who play it conventional, but just don’t play it as well as teams like Nebraska.  Meaning, Nebraska does things normally when it comes to playing volleyball, they just do it better than most everybody.  But when they’re playing teams who don’t play the game normally, like Liberty, sometimes they have a tough time adjusting and playing well.

Nebraska closed out their season at the Coliseum on the verge of history.  Nebraska has 87 straight home wins and that ties them with Penn State as the all time NCAA home court winning streak.  The first home match of the ‘09-‘10 season will be for the record.

Nebraska now goes to Seattle for the Washington regional for a chance to come back to Omaha for the Final 4.  Unfortunately, I don’t think its in the cards for the Huskers this year.  First up for the Huskers is Michigan who upset #13 seed St. Louis in the 2nd round.  Nebraska should be able to get by the Wolverines but a potential regional final matchup with host school Washington (who plays Utah in the other regional semifinal) might be too much to ask for an injury depleted Husker volleyball team.  I’d like to see them play at the Qwest but I don’t think its going to happen.

The pool is closed in 2012

December 3, 2008 at 5:43pm By: D.M.B. Posted in D.M.B. Sports Report

Omaha will not be the repeat host of the U.S. Olympic Swimming Trials in 2012 according to omaha.com.

The schedule for the trials overlapped with the College World Series and the two parties could not come to an agreement to move their dates.  USA Swimming selected to start on June 17th and the CWS was scheduled to start on the 16th.  USA Swimming decided they could move back 4 days but that would have meant the CWS would have had to move their tournament up at least 5 days.  With the new baseball stadium going up that close to the Qwest Center it would have been a logistical nightmare to put both events on.  Could the trials and the CWS coexisted had the CWS still been out at Rosenblatt in 2012?  My answer is no.  To have two huge events like that going on in one city at the same time is a bad idea and might have actually hurt the CWS.  I know there’s enough fans to fill both stadiums but since the trials are a once every 4 years type of event, the coverage might overshadow the CWS.  The reason why they both worked in Omaha this year was because of the later starting date of the olympics (8/8/08 instead of the 7/27/2012 of the London games)

Omaha might have caught the perfect storm this year when hosting the trials and will not see another one like it for a long time.  Why?  Micheal Phelps of course.  Phelps’ run for 8 gold medals started in Omaha.  The general public was introduced to Phelps in Omaha.  2012 is not going to create the same buzz that in Omaha that it did in 2008.  Phelps won’t be going for 8 gold medals (or more) again and while his celebrity status will be at an all time high, its just not going to be that big.  We have to keep the CWS #1 in this town and can’t give them a reason to leave.

Gator Bowl news

December 2, 2008 at 8:58pm By: D.M.B. Posted in D.M.B. Sports Report

Nebraska is all but locked up in the Gator Bowl like I said yesterday but the opponent is looking a bit different than it did yesterday.  It seems that Florida State is out and Clemson is in.

More on the Tigers when it becomes official.

Assorted leftover sports news

December 1, 2008 at 6:41pm By: D.M.B. Posted in D.M.B. Sports Report

Thought I would throw together everything left over from the Thanksgiving weekend:

-All indications are that Nebraska is going to the Gator Bowl.  That invitation could come as early as today.  Nebraska’s opponent though is still up in the air.  Indications are that the Gator Bowl would like to have Florida State as an opponent.  If that doesn’t work out then Clemson or Georgia Tech would be the likely opponents.  If for some strange reason, Nebraska does not go to the Gator Bowl, the Alamo Bowl is the next likely destination.

-The football team won the co-Big 12 North championship due to Missouri’s loss to Kansas over the weekend.  The Tigers and Huskers have identical 5-3 records, but of course due to the shellacking Mizzou put on Nebraska, they will go to the Big 12 title game.  I find it funny that if Nebraska were the one going to the title game that Nebraska fans wouldn’t be claiming a co-championship but since we’re not going and we’re looking for anything positive, we’re latching onto that like its our own.  Small victories, I know…small victories.

-As Mr. Wilson stated here the volleyball team will host the 1st and 2nd rounds of the NCAA volleyball tournament starting this Friday.  Nebraska’s opponent is Liberty.  UAB and Missouri State are the two other teams in NU’s 4 team regional.  Nebraska should have no trouble winning the 1st two rounds.  Then it would be on to Washington for the Sweet 16 and Elite 8.  Nebraska is the #4 overall seed in the tournament and Washington (the #5 seed) would be a potential Elite 8 opponent.  The Final 4 this year is at the Qwest Center in Omaha.

-The Nebraska mens basketball team defeated Creighton on Saturday 54-52.  It looked bleak in the 1st half but the Cornhuskers roared back in the 2nd half and with stood a late CU charge to remain undefeated on the season.  There was supposed to be a lengthy column over the weekend about the team but it was pushed aside after the dramatic ending to the football game.  The outlook for the rest of the non-conference season is easy, 8 left.  6 are at home and against opponents that NU should easily take care of but this Sunday NU starts a 2 game west coast road trip.  The first is a return trip to Tempe to play Arizona State in the Pac 10/Big 12 Hardwood Series and then a week later NU plays at Oregon State.  NU beat Arizona State last year in Lincoln but they are 5-1 this year.  Oregon State is 1-4 so far on the year.  If the Huskers can split that series it should be smooth sailing going into the conference opener against Missouri.

-Outside of Lincoln, the Creighton mens soccer team won their 3rd round game against Connecticut 2-1 and are 1 win away from going to the final 4.  A win in Maryland will do the trick for CU.  No small task in itself.

-Outside of Nebraska, Oklahoma got into the Big 12 title game despite losing to Texas.  I think its a horrible decision but it is what it is.

That will do it for now.  Hope everybody had a good holiday.

A classic ending

November 29, 2008 at 6:33am By: D.M.B. Posted in D.M.B. Sports Report

What a game to end the 2008 regular season.  Nebraska beats Colorado 40-31 highlighted by a 57 yard FG from Alex Henry and then Suh (no, I’m not going to attempt to spell his first name and I’m too lazy to copy and paste) gets a INT return for a TD and in the process he runs over Colorado QB Cody Hawkins.

I’ve seen 60+ games in Memorial Stadium since my first in 1997.  And there have not been many moments that tops that 10 minutes between the Henry’s FG and Suh’s TD.

Here are some of the one’s I remember, in no particular order:

1) Crouch’s TD catch against OU in 2001. (my all time favorite Husker moment)
2) Notre Dame game in 2001 (only about the 1st Q…the rest of the game was a snooze)
3) Pregame Rice after September 11th. (my all time favorite tunnel walk)
4) Colorado 2000 and the final drive.
5) Pittsburgh blocked FG in 2005 (only because I was in the locker room area right after it happened and it was pretty cool to see)
6) The USC game in 2007.  It had been so long since the stadium was that amped up for a game.  It was truly electric for the early part of the game.
7) Swift’s punt return for a TD in the Virgina Tech game this year.

Those are some of the few that I remember.  Like I said, I only started going to games in 1997 and then I was in marching band starting in 1998.  Then being part of the Husker Radio group for a couple years I have seen my fair share.

So I ask you, what is one of your fondest memories of a game attended at Memorial Stadium?

Football Final Firsts

November 23, 2008 at 9:58pm By: D.M.B. Posted in D.M.B. Sports Report

The fall sports season came to a close with 6 classes crowing champions on the Memorial Stadium turf.  I had made my picks here and I got one champion right, Class D1 Howells.

Class A:

Millard West def Millard South 21-8 (Millard West’s 2nd Class A championship, 2001)
Dubbed the Battle for “Q” St. after the street they both are on in Omaha.

Class B:

Aurora def. Beatrice 20-14 (Aurora’s first HS football championship)
Aurora shocked the whole state in the semifinals with a 37-33 victory over McCook

Class C1:

Pierce def. Boys Town 20-10 (Back to back state titles and the schools 3rd overall)

Class C2:

Blue Hill def. (Fremont) Archbishop Bergan 14-0 (After 2 consecutive runner up finishes, Blue Hill finally gets their first state title in football)
This is Blue Hill’s first state title in any sport since 1928 when they won the Class H boys basketball title.

Class D1:

Howells def. Axtell 46-21 (Howells’ 7th state title and first since their 6 straight from 00-05)

Class D2:

Ewing def. Humphrey St. Francis 49-24 (Ewing’s first state football championship)

3 schools won their first state title in football and 3 other schools (Axtell, Boys Town, Beatrice) would have won their first had they won.

Bowl Bound Big Red

November 19, 2008 at 6:24pm By: D.M.B. Posted in D.M.B. Sports Report

Well Nebraska will be going to another bowl game, its 45th in school history (5th all time) and with the demise of Michigan, (who’s 33 year bowl streak will come to an end) Nebraska’s record 35 straight bowl years is safe for now.  (Next closest is Florida State at 27 including this year)

Nebraska became eligible after their best win of the year over Kansas, 45-35 and then followed that up with a resounding victory over Kansas State 56-28.  The Huskers are seemingly riding high after winning the Kansas championship and have all the momentum going into the post-Thanksgiving matchup with Colorado. 

So what bowl game will we be going to?  It seems that Nebraska is being eyed by 3 bowls: the Sun, Alamo, and Gator Bowls are seriously looking at the Big Red.  Out of the 3 right now the Sun is looking the most likely.  Brian Christopherson details the bowl scenarios here and what Brian says is that while the Sun Bowl is the most likely destination, the Gator Bowl has a tough decision on its hands.  The Gator Bowl has a tie in with Notre Dame and might not be able to pass up on the Irish being bowl eligible and if there are teams out there that are a bigger draw than Nebraska, its Notre Dame.  A 7-5 Notre Dame and a 8-3 Nebraska is splitting hairs amazingly enough.

The Gator Bowl would be a HUGE coup for Nebraska and 1st year HC Bo Pelini.  Not only would it be the first time that Nebraska has ever been to the Gator Bowl (true story) but it would be a New Years Day bowl game and I think anybody would have been happy with that going into the season.  The Gator Bowl is widely considered one of the best bowls outside of the BCS games.  The Sun Bowl has hosted Nebraska twice in its history, once in 1969 and once in 1980.  The Huskers have a long history of going to the Alamo Bowl including their amazing matchup with Michigan in 2005.  You remember how that one ended right?  Boy and getting to 9 wins would be SO huge for the Huskers coming into the year i think you could realistically say 8.  I think 7 to 8 wins was the common thought in Husker Nation but I don’t see how you could be encouraged after a 9 win season.

Vollyball winners and a trip to Memorial Stadium

November 17, 2008 at 7:55pm By: D.M.B. Posted in D.M.B. Sports Report

The state volleyball finals were this past weekend in Lincoln.  And once again the finals were held at the Coliseum.  Why this wasn’t implemented a long time ago I have no idea.  The same goes for football playing at Memorial.  If there is one place girls dream of playing volleyball its the Coliseum.  Its a great idea and should be used whenever possible.

Class A:

Papillion La-Vista defeats Papillion La-Vista South (3-0)  (2nd straight and 5th state title)
Lincoln Southwest wins the 3rd place match

Class B:

Lincoln Pius X defeats Northwest (3-0)  (A 3-peat for the Thunderbolts, and the schools 6th overall)
Interesting note on Pius’ 6 state titles.  All 6 of them have come in 3-peats.  96-98 and now 06-08.  Look for Pius to win 3 more in 2016-2018

Class C1:

Columbus Scotus defeats Grand Island Central Catholic (3-0)  (13th state title in this volleyball powerhouse)
This was Scotus’ first trip back to the tourney after 18 straight trips from 89-06 and an astounding 15 straight trips to the finals

Class C2:

Ravenna defeats Cambridge (3-1)  (1st state title in volleyball)
Twice a bridesmaid in the last 5 years Ravenna finally hoists the trophy

Class D1:

Giltner defeats Bertrand (3-1)  (5th state title, 1st since 1998)
Their first trip to Lincoln since 1999.

Class D2:

Ewing defeats Chambers (3-0)  (1st state title in school history)
Just like Ravenna, they were runners-up the past two years and they finally get the job done.

State football finals are this week and here’s the schedule:

Thursday:

10:30am - Class D2:  Humphrey St. Francis vs. Ewing
7:00pm - Class D1:  Axtell vs. Howells

Friday:

10:30am - Class C2:  Archbishop Bergan vs. Blue Hill
7:00pm - Class A:  Millard West vs. Millard South

Saturday:

10:30am - Class C1:  Pierce vs. Boys Town
7:00pm - Class B:  Beatrice vs. Aurora

Prep Pigskin Prognostications

October 28, 2008 at 6:16pm By: D.M.B. Posted in D.M.B. Sports Report

On Thursday classes C1-D2 will begin their playoffs and on Halloween night the 2008 Class A and B state football playoffs will begin.  (Does anybody else find it odd that the NSAA chose to start the Class A and B playoffs on Halloween night?)

Here are my picks:

Class A:

Title game: Omaha Creighton Prep over Millard South
Dark Horse: Elkhorn
Longshot pick: Millard South
Lincoln team with best shot: Lincoln NorthStar

Class B:

Title game: McCook over Lincoln Pius X
Dark Horse: Anybody on the east side of the bracket
Longshot pick: Anybody on the west side of the bracket
Lincoln (area) team with the best shot: (other than Pius) Waverly

Class C1:

Title game: Hastings St. Cecilia over Boys Town
Dark horse: Grand Island Central Catholic
Longshot pick: Broken Bow
Lincoln (area) team with the best shot: Fairbury (a case could be made for Lincoln Lutheran cause they are in Lincoln, but 4-4 isn’t going to cut it. 

Class C2:

Title game: Elm Creek over Aquinas Catholic
Dark horse: Kearney Catholic or Camridge
Longshot pick: Ravenna
Lincoln (area) team with the best shot: Elmwood-Murdock (Lincoln Christian could have a case, but Murdock is the better choice)

Class D1:

Title game: Howells over Maxwell
Dark horse: Clearwater/Orchard
Longshot pick: Hartington
Lincoln (area) team with the best shot: Freeman (a.k.a. Adams, NE)

Class D2:

Title game: Humphry St. Francis over Anselmo-Merna
Dark horse: Bruning-Davenport
Longshot pick: Hampton
Lincoln (area) team with the best shot: Sterling

Run run as fast as you can, you can’t catch me, I’m…

October 26, 2008 at 8:37pm By: D.M.B. Posted in D.M.B. Sports Report

Jarren Heng of Norfolk Catholic and Kelli Budd of Omaha Marian.

The two fastest runners in Friday’s state cross country meet in Kearney.  Heng won Class C and had the fastest boys time overall, Budd won Class A and fastest girl overall.

In Class A:

Girls

Norfolk (team champion) (first state championship in XC in school history)
Kelli Budd - Marian (individual champion)

Boys

Millard West (team champion) (first state championship in XC in school history)
Parker Schoen -  Lincoln Southwest (individual champion)

In Class B:

Girls

Scottsbluff (team champion) (first girls state championship in XC in school history)
Aubree Worden - Scottsbluff (individual champion)

Boys

Ogallala (team champion) (4th boys state championship in XC in school history, first since 2006)
Joshua Harsin - Blair (individual champion)

In Class C:

Girls

Pierce (team champion) (first girls state championship in XC in school history)
Erin Curran - Wahoo (individual champion)

Boys

Norfolk Catholic (team champion) (3rd straight boys state championship in XC in school history)
Jarren Heng (individual champion)

In Class D:

Girls

Crofton (team champion) (3rd straight and 12th girls state championship in XC)
Andrea Weeder - Lindsay Holy Family (individual champion)

Boys

Lindsay Holy Family (team champion) (1st ever state championship in XC in school history)
Kevin Weeder - Lindsay Holy Family (individual champion)

Trophy time

October 18, 2008 at 5:14am By: D.M.B. Posted in D.M.B. Sports Report

Lincoln Southwest picked up their first state championship in softball on Friday as they defeated Class A power Papillion LaVista with a 4-3 victory in Hastings.  Lincoln Southwest avenged a loss to the Monarchs last year in the title game.  This is only the schools 3rd state title in any sport and the first in a girls sport.  (2007 & 2008 Boys Golf champion)
Other softball champions:
Blair (Class B)
Yutan/Mead (Class C)

Lincoln Pius X won the Class B boys tennis title on Friday as well.  The thunderbolts edged Omaha Skutt 40 1/2 to 36 points.  Lincoln Pius X got a #1 doubles victory from Kyle Conzemius and Garrett Sutton and completed an undefeated season.  This is Pius’ 9th boys tennis title and first since 2001.
Other tennis champions:
Omaha Creighton Prep (Class A)

Girls Golf champions:
Omaha Marian (Class A)
Scottsbluff (Class B)
Kearney Catholic (Class C)

Cross Country next weekend.  Football wraps up their regular season next week as well.  Volleyball postseason play begins after November 1st.

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