Archive for February 2013

Northwestern hoops postseason potential: NIT? CBI?

Northwestern hoops postseason potential: NIT? CBI?
For the last four seasons, Northwestern hoops inspired the media to contemplate the possibility of the Wildcats making the NCAA Tournament. Given how many sports media members are NU or Medill alums, you can understand why there was so much coverage. There will be no "will they make the big dance" speculation this year, but they can still make the NIT with a couple signature wins. A tourney bid requires a miracle run through the Big Ten Tournament, where they will likely be seeded 9th-11th. Chances are made even more poor when considering they’ve never even made it past the quarterfinals in the tourney’s 14 year history...

Illini basketball routs Northwestern: avenges loss with authority 62-41

Illini basketball routs Northwestern: avenges loss with authority 62-41
It may have been a home game for Northwestern on paper, but the crowd was about 75-80% cheering for Illini basketball. Sometimes in sports media you can start writing your story by halftime. And you can file it before the final horn. All you need then is the quotes to add in; tonight was one of those nights. Is Illinois vs Northwestern a real, true acrimonious rivalry? John Groce's team truly stomped on his opponent's throat as if they were. Although I was always thought the Indiana Hoosiers were the true rival of Illinois, as their all time series is dead even. The Illinois vs Northwestern series is now 130-38 in favor of the Illini who also lead in Evanston 60-24 all time. This was a big win for Illini basketball as they avenge their second of two bad RPI losses. Purdue was the other...

Blackhawks prospects, ND hockey on display in Soldier Field Victory

Blackhawks prospects, ND hockey on display in Soldier Field Victory
There are potentially five future Chicago Blackhawks on the 12th ranked Notre Dame hockey team. No wonder the Hawks sent scouts to the Soldier Field press box today to check out what ND hockey has to offer. And ND hockey prevailed 2-1 over the #3 Miami Red Hawks in the first of the Hockey City classic's two games. Wisconsin and Minnesota met in the matinee. Irish junior Stephen Johns (2 shots, 1 block) was drafted by the Blackhawks in the 2nd round of 2010. Vince Hinostroza will be in South Bend next year. But today was less about the future or prospects than it was the spectacle and event. Hawks ambassador Denis Savard entertained the frozen crowd in between intermission, and a Miami of Ohio fan ran onto the field put a couple on moves on security that Walter Payton (this is Soldier Field) would be proud of. Later after the press conferences, I saw him in handcuffs...
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Hometown star Jabari Parker headlines 2013 McDonald's All American game at United Center

Hometown star Jabari Parker headlines 2013 McDonald's All American game at United Center
Chicago doesn't have a dome, so it'll never host a Super Bowl or a Final Four; but it is quickly becoming the home for the nation's premier prep basketball All-Star game. The 2013 McDonald’s All American game will feature the top ranked player Canadian-born Andrew Wiggins (Huntington Prep, W.Va. deciding between Florida State and Kentucky) and the former #1 ranked player Jabari Parker from right here in the Chi. Parker from Simeon Career Academy, will be the crowd favorite. Kentucky may not make the NCAA Tournament this year, but they set an all time MAA record with 5 in this year's class. The previous record of four was held by the Michigan Wolverines (1991), Duke Blue Devils (1999) and Kentucky Wildcats (2011). The Boys Game begins at 8:30 p.m. CT April 3, and will broadcast live on ESPN. This years' All American game is stacked with talent and it's no surprise that a lot of experts in the sport of college basketball pick these teams to go far in the NCAA tournament next year With the exception of UK, only the Tar Heels and Blue Devils have more than one. The Hoosiers are the lone Big Ten school to recruit one. However, a few undecideds remain...

Northwestern loses Jared Swopshire for the season

Northwestern loses Jared Swopshire for the season
Can't Northwestern get a break? And not that kind of break, where something in the body breaks. Poor Bill Carmody, he's clearly on the hot seat, and the injuries keep piling up to hurt him. First it was the best player on the team, Drew Crawford. Both Alexs Olah and Marcotullio haven't been themselves. Reggie Hearn, a key scorer, has missed some time. And now this: Northwestern graduate student Jared Swopshire a transfer from Louisville, underwent arthroscopic surgery on his right knee on Tuesday and will miss the remainder of the 2012-13 season...

Hockey City Classic: College Hockey Doubleheader coming to Soldier Field

Hockey City Classic: College Hockey Doubleheader coming to Soldier Field
  Outdoor hockey is coming to Soldier Field for the first time in the venue’s legendary history.  On Feb. 17, 2013, Soldier Field will play host to the inaugural Hockey City Classic – an outdoor college hockey doubleheader featuring premier programs: University of Notre Dame vs. Miami University and University of Minnesota vs. University of Wisconsin.  Game times will be announced at a later date. The Hockey City Classic will be preceded by two weeks of winter festivities, including: two days of free public ice skating; youth, high school and adult hockey events; private ice rentals; and much more.  The Hockey City Classic is being organized by Chicago-based sports and entertainment marketing agency Intersport, in partnership with Soldier Field and the Chicago Park District...
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Illinois basketball upsets #1 Hoosiers; need more similar wins to reach NCAAs

Illinois basketball upsets #1 Hoosiers; need more similar wins to reach NCAAs
Tonight, Illinois basketball leads SportsCenter. Illinois Basketball is a trending term; so are the Illini and Tyler Griffey, who had his Jimmy Chitwood moment. (We're talking about Hoosiers after all). The Illini stunned No. 1 Indiana with a 13-2 run to close the game, capped by the Griffey layup at the buzzer you can watch below. And they pull off the upset in Champaign, 74-72. This is truly a rivalry as the all-time series is tied again at 45. Illinois was inbounding the ball with :00.9 left and Cody Zeller was completely lost on defense...

Northwestern football returning to Wrigley Field, Cubs and NU Hooking Up

Northwestern football returning to Wrigley Field, Cubs and NU Hooking Up
In some ways, the Northwestern Wildcats and Chicago Cubs were meant for each other. Both had/have major droughts. The NU college football team just won their first bowl game since 1949, and the college basketball has never ever made the NCAA Tournament, 70+ tries. As you’ve heard a million times, the Cubs haven’t been to... Read more »

Another terrible season for Chicago and Illinois college basketball

Another terrible season for Chicago and Illinois college basketball
What a shame. What a crying shame that Chicago, which every year has some of the best preps talent in the country, has zero going for it on the college level. Unless the Illinois Fighting Illini can somehow go 6-3 down stretch (and they face some brutal opponents so this is highly unlikely) what Land... Read more »
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Chicago connections to Super Bowl XLVII

Chicago connections to Super Bowl XLVII
You know what would be really cool? For the Chicago tie to the Super Bowl to be that the Bears would be in it. You know what’s not really cool? Reality. The Bears are on the outside looking in. Instead of preparing for an epic battle in New Orleans, most players are probably busy handing out Super Bowl party invites and making interesting Super Bowl prop bets. And even though some of those players are living it up in Hawaii for the Pro Bowl festivities, at the end of the day, no one cares about the Pro Bowl. That’s actually a proven scientific fact. Google it...