Hawk Talk Daily: Random Thoughts
March 11, 2013
IOWA CITY, Iowa - Random thoughts on the first day of another work week here in the Heartland...
Four wins in four days? Sure, why not? I agree wholeheartedly with Melsahn Basabe, who told Scott Dochterman of The Gazette after Saturday's regular season finale that his team had "great potential" and the schedule now reads "post-season" which, according to the likeable junior, is "the best time of the year."
Here's a link to the bracket for the 2013 Big Ten Conference Men's Basketball Tournament Thursday through Sunday at Chicago's United Center: HERE. I suggest you can count on two things: An upset here and there, and some really, really, really good basketball.
Speaking of being in agreement. I agree with Lisa Bluder who probably didn't even blink when she said the following after her team's second and final game in the 2013 Big Ten Conference Women's Basketball Tournament last week in the Windy City: "We have 20 wins, we have a 30 RPI, we have a strength of schedule in the 20s. We're not even a bubble team in my opinion." They aren't. They are also a host for first and second round games of the 2013 NCAA Tournament. Do you have your tickets yet? If not, help us give Bluder's Bunch the home court advantage is deserves by ordering yours today. You can do that online HERE.
And, lastly, I agree with Fran, who offered this after "May Day" at Carver last Saturday: "I definitely feel like we're one of the best 68 teams. I think to have gone through this league, clearly the best league in the country, and finished 9-9, I think you look at how we played in our losses, we had a double overtime loss, an overtime loss, we played Michigan State without our leading scorer (Marble), we won three out of four without our third leading scorer and our starting point guard (Gesell). So we've accomplished a great deal." You can read more of what Fran had to say late last Saturday afternoon HERE.
You guys know me....I'm Big Ten to the core. So, how about that game yesterday in Ann Arbor? Pretty exciting basketball...and it was just one of many great events played on the hardwood inside Big Ten basketball arenas including, of course, the wooden planks of Mediacom Court inside our very own Carver-Hawkeye Arena during the just-completed regular season.
If you look up the word "frustrated," don't be surprised if you see a picture of Jordan Mullen, a member of Coach Larry Wieczorek's UI track and field team. The senior from Atlantic missed qualifying for the finals of the 60-meter dash at the recent 2013 NCAA Men's Indoor Track and Field Championships by two thousandths of a second. Yeah. That hurts. It hurts even more when it was the second time -- two years ago in the same event Mullen missed the national finals by one thousandth of a second.
The end of an era... The game has passed him by... He should have hung it up when he was on top... Yeah, I was winless in three games of Scrabble during the family's recent getaway. I'm not ready to cash it in...but I have to be candid and suggest that I'm not too optimistic about the outcome of this year's summer-long challenge. In fact, it could be another long summer when it comes to my favorite board game.
As always, lots of great video HERE for your enjoyment. Check it out.
Fran talked a little about what it would take to run the table in the Windy City during his post-game chat after Saturday's 20th victory of the season: "You've got to have some guys step up, it might be one guy has one great game and six other people are really consistent, you don't turn it over, you rebound the ball, we make some threes. All those things together, and we have a team that's capable of doing it." This Iowa basketball team is so deep, it's a roll of the dice to suggest one player over another "stepping up," but, based on his play during the last few games, you have to think Gabe Olaseni is as good a choice as any. You can almost see his confidence growing with every step he makes. And, remember, he's only a sophomore...
I said before that I enjoy the work of Mike Hlas of The Gazette. He is, in my opinion, probably right on target with this one: HERE. And, this one - HERE - gives some important detail. And, if you believe history repeats itself, this -- HERE -- offers real -- eye-brow raising real, actually -- evidence to be excited about the Hawkeyes' prospects for success. I also feel compelled to add at this moment that we all should be enjoying the ride and the fact that the calendar reads "March" and the Hawkeyes are a part of the conversation.
Jack Dahm's Iowa baseball squad heads back to Iowa City for their 2013 home opener next weekend riding the momentum of a sweep of its games in the Snowbird Classic last weekend in Port Charlotte, Fla. Yesterday's victim was West Virginia in extra innings. You can read about it HERE.
Marla Looper's UI softball team also had a good weekend, taking three of four at the Miken Invitational at Maryland. The Hawkeyes are now 17-6 with four to play in Kentucky next weekend before opening their home schedule. Yesterday's victory was particularly sweet for the good guys in black and gold: An 8-0 romp past Big Ten rival Ohio State. You can read about that HERE.
UI wrestlers Matt McDonough, Tony Ramos, Mark Ballweg, and Mike Evans - four Hawkeyes who finished No. 2 at last weekend's 2013 Big Ten Conference Wrestling Championship - will be men on a mission later this month when the college wrestling world descends upon Des Moines. Well, let me amend that statement because I think I know a little about what makes our head coach tick. The Iowa Hawkeyes will be a team of nine (NCAA Tournament qualifiers) on a mission when they set foot on the mat inside Wells Fargo. You can read about the Big Ten Tournament HERE.
Speaking of Des Moines, kudos to the marketing and graphics design staff for their work on dressing up our capital city with a few strategically placed "Go Hawks!" Good stuff.
Like it or not, it's final scores like this that make the Madness in March: HERE.