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MURPH'S 'MOTE: The Madness continues

Published: Saturday, March 23, 2013 12:09 a.m. CDT • Updated: Saturday, March 23, 2013 12:17 a.m. CDT

Northwest Herald sports copy editor Kevin Murphy picks his top sports events to watch this weekend:


Men’s college basketball: NCAA Division I tournament, third round, Virginia Commonwealth vs. Michigan at Auburn Hills, Mich., 11:15 a.m., CBS

Didn’t Michigan just look average against South Dakota State? Of course, the Wolverines have looked average since their first loss of the season. Trey Burke has not been great and he struggled against the Summit League squad Thursday. VCU, on the other hand, put away Akron easily and didn’t have to worry about this 12-seed over 5-seed typical NCAA bracket pick. The Rams put up 88 points. That’s ridiculous.

Men’s college basketball: NCAA Division I tournament, third round, Wichita State vs. Gonzaga at Salt Lake City, 7:40 p.m., TNT

So Gonzaga, a No. 1 seed, struggled against 16th-seeded Southern? The reward for the Bulldogs? A Wichita State team that pretty much took care of business against Pittsburgh on Thursday. Rockford Auburn’s Fred Van Vleet came off the bench for the Shockers, who have beaten Virginia Commonwealth and Creighton this season.


Baseball: Preseason, Cubs vs. L.A. Angels, at Mesa, Ariz., 3 p.m., WGN

Yes, it’s spring training. But it’s a welcome, relaxed pace after watching so many college basketball games. Sit back and relax and enjoy the last few innings of spring ball. After all, Opening Day is around the corner.


Pro basketball: Indiana at Bulls, 7 p.m., WGN

The Bulls are struggling, but Taj Gibson and Kirk Hinrich are back just in time against one of the best teams in the Eastern Conference. And Nate Robinson and Jimmy Butler still provide plenty of highlights to make the highlights still watchable this season.


College wrestling: NCAA tournament, 10 a.m. today, ESPNU

Illinois’ Jordan Blanton, a Richmond-Burton graduate, will wrestle Ohio’s Cody Walters for seventh place.

Women’s college gymnastics: Big Ten Meet, 5 p.m. today, BTN

Prairie Ridge graduate Jenny Covers will try to push the second-seeded Gophers to a Big Ten title in East Lansing, Mich. Covers helped No. 14 Minnesota wrap up one of its best regular seasons in program history Saturday night, as the Gophers defeated No. 20 Ohio State, 197.225-195.05, to tie for the 2013 Big Ten regular-season championship.

Minnesota (16-3, 6-1 Big Ten) tied with No. 3 Michigan for the first-ever regular-season title the conference has awarded, and the Gophers’ team total is the second-highest in the program’s history.

Women’s college basketball: NCAA tournament, Iowa vs. Miami, 6:35 p.m., Sunday, ESPN2

Johnsburg graduate and Iowa women’s basketball player Melissa Dixon has helped thrust the Iowa women’s basketball team into the NCAA tournament. The Sixth Player of the Year in the Big Ten will need to contribute for the Hawkeyes to advance in the NCAA tournament.

Agree? Disagree? Is someone from the Northwest Herald coverage area going to be on TV? Let Kevin Murphy know at kmurphy@shawmedia.com.

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