Sports

Sports
1:32 am
Fri April 12, 2013

From out of the sewers, Michigan finds its man in John Beilein

John Beilein, left, applauds his team.
NCAA

It wasn’t that long ago that Michigan’s basketball program was not merely unsuccessful, but the shame of the athletic department.

Bo Schembechler fired basketball coach Bill Frieder on the eve of the 1989 NCAA tournament, famously barking, “A Michigan Man will coach Michigan.”

Assistant Coach Steve Fisher filled in, and the team “shocked the world” by winning Michigan’s first-ever national title in basketball.

But on the eve of Fisher’s ninth season, he too was fired in disgrace, because some players had been paid by a booster.

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Sports
12:06 am
Tue April 9, 2013

Michigan falls short in NCAA men's basketball championship game

Wolverine fans filled the Georgia Dome in Atlanta for the NCAA men's basketball championship game
Denise IlitchFacebook page

An impressive run through the NCAA tournament came up short for the Michigan Wolverines last night in Atlanta. 

After running up a double digit lead in the first half, the Wolverines succumbed to Louisville’s pressure defense.   The Cardinals kept up their hot shooting on offense and did just enough to put away Michigan down the stretch.

The final score: Louisville 82-Michigan 76. 

The Wolverines did have some standout performances.

AP player of the year Guard Trey Burke had 24 points for Michigan (31-8).  Little-used freshman Spike Albrecht added 17 points.

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Stateside
4:37 pm
Mon April 8, 2013

Why the Wolverines are at the Championship, and what fans are wearing

Michigan plays top-seeded Louisville for the NCAA championship title tonight
Michigan Basketball Facebook

Wolverines across the country will be watching the NCAA championship game tonight, but what's happening with the team when their off-screen?

There's no doubt that this team has some extraordinary players. What are they doing that works so well?

Is it the combination of a veteran coach and a young team?

Michigan Radio's Sports Commentator John U. Bacon gave us insight into what has made this team bring the University of Michigan to the championship for the first time since 1989. 

Well, whatever it is, they've got fans buying new gear. Wolverines are sporting apparel with new slogans like, "We on," and "Rise to the occasion." 

They aren't the only ones happy about the championship. Sports apparel shops in Ann Arbor are experiencing a very healthy surge in sales. 

Todd Goetz is the manager of the Ulrich's Bookstore in Ann Arbor, which also sells Wolverine merchandise.

To listen to the audio, click the link above. 

Sports
12:44 am
Mon April 8, 2013

Wolverines play for NCAA title tonight

Michigan senior Jordan Morgan takes a charge in the final minute of the semi-final against Syracuse.
Michigan Basketball Facebook

The Michigan Wolverines will play tonight for what would be the Ann Arbor school’s first NCAA men’s basketball title since 1989.

It’s been 20 years since the Wolverines last played in a national championship game.  They lost that game to North Carolina. The year before the team lost to Duke.

In the two decades since, U of M has made quick exits from the March Madness tournament.

The Louisville Cardinals have been more successful lately in the tournament, but their last national title was in 1986.

Tip off for tonight’s game will be after 9.

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Sports
12:22 pm
Sun April 7, 2013

Michigan Stadium will host the NHL's Winter Classic next year

Professional hockey is coming to Ann Arbor after all.

The National Hockey League announced today that the Toronto Maple Leafs and the Detroit Red Wings will play next year at Michigan Stadium.

The NHL's Winter Classic was scheduled to be played in Ann Arbor this past January.  But the game was canceled due to a contract dispute between team owners and the players.

When this year's event was canceled, the league had said it would schedule the next Winter Classic at the stadium, which holds more than 100,000 people.

Sports
12:08 am
Sun April 7, 2013

Michigan defeats Syracuse, Wolverines will play Louisville in NCAA title game

U of M fans packed the Georgia Dome in Atlanta for Saturday's night national semi-final game against Syracuse
Denise Ilitch/Facebook page

Michigan is headed to Monday’s NCAA men’s basketball national championship.

The Michigan Wolverines survived a late surge by the Syracuse Orange to win Saturday night’s national semi-final .   The final score was 61 to 56. 

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Sports
9:39 am
Sat April 6, 2013

Final Four Time-Michigan Wolverines play Syracuse Orange tonight

The Michigan Wolverines are just one game away from playing for the NCAA men’s basketball national championship. But first, they must play the Syracuse Orange in tonight’s national semi-final in Atlanta.

The Wolverines will have to solve the mystery of Syracuse's zone defense, which has perplexed all their opponents so far in the March Madness tournament.

“You can’t simulate it in practice,” U of M coach John Beilein told reporters earlier this week, “It’s a thing we have to work at and we’ll be as ready as we can be.”

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Sports
6:06 pm
Fri April 5, 2013

The Tigers are back! And Detroit celebrates

Fans without tickets try to see some of the action on opening day
Credit Sarah Cwiek / Michigan Radio

The Detroit Tigers beat the New York Yankees 8-3 at their home opener Friday.

More than 45,000 fans jammed Comerica Park to see the game—an opening day record.

But tens of thousands more came to downtown Detroit just to enjoy the festival atmosphere, in what has become a semi-official holiday in southeast Michigan.

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Sports
4:41 pm
Fri April 5, 2013

Detroit's mayor rooting AGAINST Michigan in Final Four matchup Saturday

Detroit Mayor Dave Bing (file photo)
Steve Carmody/Michigan Radio

Detroit Mayor Dave Bing will be at Saturday night’s Michigan-Syracuse basketball game in Atlanta.

He will be rooting against the Wolverines.

Dave Bing is a Syracuse graduate.  In fact he played on the same basketball team as current Orange coach Jim Boeheim.

“At the beginning of March Madness, I thought Louisville was the best team. But both Michigan and Syracuse have played much better than I anticipated. They deserve to be there,” Mayor Bing said in a written statement,  “If Syracuse wins, it’s not going to be an easy win for them.”

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Sports
11:45 am
Fri April 5, 2013

Tigers' opening day affected by sequestration

It's opening day!
Keith Allison Flickr

If you're going to the Tigers' opening day, one thing you won't be seeing this year is the traditional flyover from Selfridge Air Force Base. 

Tammy Stables Battaglia writes in the Detroit Free Press that it's a "result of 2013’s federal budget sequestration."

Selfridge Air National Guard Base Technical Sgt. Dan Heaton said the grounding of the 127th Wing’s 18 A-10 Thunderbolt II single-pilot fighter jets' goodwill flights is a result of 2013’s federal budget sequestration.

“The Air Force has decided flyovers have been cancelled as a result of budgetary considerations,” Heaton said. “So we’re not participating in any flyovers or participating in any air shows in fiscal year 2013.”

Sports
12:22 am
Tue April 2, 2013

Michigan fans scrambling to find tickets and hotel rooms in Atlanta for the Final Four

H. W. Sands Corp

The University of Michigan’s allotment of tickets to this weekend’s Final Four basketball games is going quickly.

The last of the more than three thousand tickets might be scooped up by season ticket holders and students by the end of today.

Wolverine fans are not only scrambling for tickets.  They are also looking for places to stay in Atlanta for Saturday’s semi-final game against Syracuse and hopefully Monday’s national championship game.

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Stateside
4:47 pm
Mon April 1, 2013

Michigan won, let's talk about what's next

www.mgoblue.com

Yesterday, Ann Arbor was buzzing with maize and blue fans as Michigan made its way to the Final Four for the first time since the Fab Five era.

Now, we all want to know what will happen next.

Will Trey Burke win the College Player of the Year award? What will Michigan need to do as they face Syracuse?

Michigan Radio's sports commentator John U. Bacon joined Cynthia Canty to relive yesterday's greatest moments and talk about what we should expect from the Wolverines.

To listen to the full audio, click the link above.

Sports
4:55 pm
Sun March 31, 2013

Wolverines headed to the Final Four

Wolverine Tim Hardaway Jr sails to the basket in Sunday's Elite Eight win over the Florida Gators
MGOBLUE.COM

There will be one Michigan team playing in the Final Four in next weekend’s NCAA’s men’s basketball tournament. 

The Michigan Wolverines jumped to a double digit lead early in their Elite Eight game against the Florida Gators on Sunday. And they never relinquished their lead. The final score was 79 to 59. 

Michigan is the only Big Ten team to reach the Final Four. Michigan State and Ohio State both lost tournament games over the weekend.

U of M will play the Syracuse Orangemen in one of next Saturday’s national semi-finals in Atlanta.  

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Sports
1:00 am
Fri March 29, 2013

Michigan Hockey: A salute to consistency, the most unheralded virtue

Wolverine players swarm goalie Shawn Hunwick after U-M won the CCHA hockey tournament to keep alive its streak of 20 consecutive NCAA playoff appearances.
Scott Galvin UM Photo Services

Sports columnist Rick Reilly once wrote that weekend golfers invariably claim, “I’m a good golfer.  I’m just not consistent.”

Well, he said, if you’re not consistent, you’re not a good golfer.  

Americans are great at building things, and rotten at maintaining them. 

We admire winners and celebrities, but we overlook the loyal spouse or the honest accountant or the people who maintain our bridges – that’s why they’re falling apart. 

So, let this be a salute to consistency – that most unheralded virtue. 

In 1984, Red Berenson took over Michigan’s moribund hockey program, which had not been to the NCAA tournament in seven years.  Berenson thought it would be easy, but it took seven more years to get Michigan hockey back to the big dance in 1991. 

Once they got into the tournament, they made it a point to stay there.  Year after year, they kept coming back. 

Finally, in 1996, they won Michigan’s first national title in 32 years – and they did it again in 1998.   They’ve come close a few times since, but they have yet to win another. 

This bothers Berenson, one of the most competitive men I’ve ever met.  When he visited my class, I listed his many accomplishments on the board.  

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Sports
1:52 pm
Wed March 27, 2013

Story of Flint boxer Claressa Shields wins a Peabody Award

Claressa Shields
Steve Carmody Michigan Radio

The public radio production Radio Diaries was recognized today with a George Foster Peabody Award for its production 'Teen Contender.'

The first-person diary followed Flint boxer Claressa Shields as she prepared for the 2012 Summer Olympics in London. The 2012 games were the first to allow women's boxing.

Shields won gold, by the way. Here is her Mom reacting to her win:

And here's a trailer for the radio diary that won the Peabody award:

And here's the diary itself:

The diary aired on NPR's All Things Considered in February 2012.

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Stateside
4:08 pm
Thu March 21, 2013

The Detroit Derby Girls roll into Stateside

Detroit Derby Girls Facebook

When you think of Masonic Temple, chances are you think of the shows you've seen in the grand theater or the smaller Scottish Rite Cathedral.

But to a growing group of fans, the Masonic Temple is the arena for roller derby.

Masonic Temple is the home rink of the Detroit Derby Girls, the official roller derby team in Detroit.

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Stateside
3:49 pm
Thu March 21, 2013

March Madness has begun!

The University of Michigan basketball team plays Bryant, December, 2010
Cseeman Flickr

March Madness here!

For many of us, it's like Christmas in March. Sixty-eight teams vying to make it to that Final Four.

For others, it's time to say goodbye to the sports fans in your house, and prepare for three weeks of non-stop college hoops on the TV.

Maybe while you're reading a book or watching another TV in another room.

When it comes to March Madness, most people talk brackets.

The odds of picking a perfect bracket in the annual NCAA men’s basketball tournament are one in 9.2 quintillion (that's 18 zeros).

That's  according to calculations by Jeff Bergen who's a mathematics professor at DePaul University.

Michigan and Michigan State both play today at the Palace of Auburn Hills.

They've both spent most of the season in the Top 10.

Michigan in the #1 spot for a while. Michigan State in the Top 5 for a while.

The Big Ten Championship tournament last weekend was disappointing for both.

But what makes March Madness different from the World Series? Or the run to the Super Bowl? Or the NHL Stanley Cup playoffs?

Today we talked March Madness with our sports commentator John U Bacon.

He'll gave us the scoop on how the Big Ten teams will fare in the tournament, and who from the Michigan and Michigan State teams will make it to the NBA.

To hear the full report, click the link above.

Sports
7:37 am
Thu March 21, 2013

Maps show U-M sweeping up MSU in Facebook madness

Credit Facebook

March Madness tips off for Michigan and Michigan State on Thursday at the Palace of Auburn Hills, but for fans of the two schools, the madness has already started online. 

Earlier this week, Facebook unveiled a set of maps showing the most-liked college basketball team in every county across the United States. The map is based on more than 1 million Facebook likes.  

And while U-M and MSU were pretty evenly matched on the court this year — the teams split two meetings during the regular season — Wolverine fans are delivering a butt-kicking on Facebook. 

Only seven counties in the whole state support the Spartans over the Wolverines, according to a map comparing the two schools directly. Nationally, wide swatches of the country are painted maize, showing support for Michigan, with only a few patches of green. 

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Sports
11:20 am
Thu March 7, 2013

Detroit just can't support a bid for the 2024 Olympics, says Mayor Bing

It's not too likely that Olympic rings will be hanging in Detroit (the Olympic rings in London).
John Curnow Flickr

Detroit was one of 35 cities to receive a letter from the U.S. Olympic Committee asking for a bid on the 2024 Olympics.

ABC News reported the letters were sent "to gauge the interest of cities that may have the ability to host an event with the scope and scale of the Olympic Games."

Maybe they haven't been reading the headlines about Detroit lately.

Mayor Bing politely declined their invitation this morning.

Here's his statement:

“While we appreciate the opportunity and recognize that we have successfully hosted many major sporting events, including the NCAA Final Four; MLB All-Star Game; NFL Super Bowl; two World Series; and nine NHL Stanley Cup finals, this decision is not an easy one. With our rich history of hosting major events and Detroit’s prime location on an international border, we recognize that this makes Detroit an appealing candidate to potentially host the 2024 Olympics and Paralympics.

"However, the bid calls for a $10 million upfront bid process payment and adding more than a $3 billion operating budget commitment -- not including cost associated with venue construction and other infrastructure cost.

"Unfortunately, due to the timing and uncertainty of Detroit’s long-term financial stability, we must respectfully decline to participate.”

Some supporters aren't giving up. On the "Detroit 2024 Summer Olympic Games Support" Facebook page, this was posted: 

Pay no attention to what Mayor Dave Bing said about Detroit not bidding for the 2024 Summer Olympic Games. We all agree that he won't be Mayor of Detroit next year. Financial issues or not the Detroit Olympic Movement will keep moving.
Sports
1:00 am
Fri March 1, 2013

A tip for amateur athletes: The pros are way better than you think

The Vipers were Detroit's IHL hockey team
www.bestsportsphotos.com

A lot of amateur athletes think they’re not that far from the people who play their sports for a living. 

Well, when Michigan Radio Sports commentator John U. Bacon tried out for Detroit’s minor league hockey team, he found out that just isn’t so – and he found out the hard way.

A few years ago – okay, a bunch of years ago – I bit on a bet I never should have touched. 

I was writing for the Detroit News, and a top minor league hockey team called the Detroit Vipers played at the Palace. 

So, I got to thinking: just how big is the gap, really, between the pros, and beer league players like me?

Good question. And even better if I didn’t try to answer it.  But, being the hard-hitting investigative journalist that I am, I had to go down to the Palace, and find out.

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