Image provided by: University of Nebraska-Lincoln Libraries, Lincoln, NE
About The daily Nebraskan. ([Lincoln, Neb.) 1901-current | View Entire Issue (March 7, 1997)
Blame Big 12
if not enough
If the Big 12 Conference does not
place at least six teams in the
women’s NCAA Tournament,
there’s only one place to point the
The conference office.
Anytime something new begins
there’s the opportunity to set a pre
cedent for raising the imaginary bar
at a high level on how things should
Instead, the Big 12 has started the
bar off too low, with hopes and prom
ises of improving the conference as
upcoming years approach.
The first fumble occurred last
summer when a consultant for Big
12 women’s basketball was not
named until late fall, and that put the
league a step behind on getting things
ready for the first season.
This was a new conference with
new teams that needed to be pro
moted and a direction needed to be
taken. With the late start, none of that
was accomplished early.
Then the second and the biggest
goof—the promotion of the league.
In January, Texas and Colorado
uccu iwvj aciiuuis iium uic rviiaiiuc
Coast Conference, which is per
ceived around the country as a very
These major victories for a young
conference weren’t promoted loudly
enough by the league office. These
victories should have highlighted ev
ery release coming from the Dallas
Second, Big 12 women’s press
releases weren’t ready to members
of the news media until late Tues
day afternoon. These releases pro
vide critical information about the
teams and individuals who are lead
ers in the conference.
This problem can’t be blamed
solely on a league representative.
Next Monday, after the season is
over and teams are complaining
about why they didn’t get in, the
women’s basketball media represen
tative will finally get a computer of
Almost as big a mistake by the
league was not getting the coaches
together to promote the conference,
especially to promote for spots in the
“We’ve had a couple of coaches
in this league say, 'Well, this is a new
conference and we shouldn’t even
think of the NCAA’s,”’ NU Coach
Angela Beck said. “We should allow
a new conference the opportunity to
have six or seven teams.
“It’s nothing about that. Yes, we
formulated a conference but we are
all individual institutions who have
worked our tails off and these kids
The kids deserve a postseason
shot and it would be a shame if the
conference has ruined that.
Kluck is a journalism graduate
student and a Daily Nebraskan se
I Beck: NU is in the NCAA Tournament
By Mike Kluck
KANSAS CITY, Mo. — Ne
braska Women's Basketball Coach
Angela Beck will not do any tossing
and turning in bed the next couple of
nights. Beck won’t even be sweat
Why should she?
She’s already done everything
possible to get the Comhuskers into
the NCAA Tournament. So Beck
said she will remain calm while
awaiting word if the Huskers make a
second consecutive appearance in the
The field of 64 will be announced
on ESPN at 6:30 p.m. Sunday.
“I really think we should be in,”
Beck said. “I don’t care if we’ve lost
eight of our last 11. We have 19 wins
and there’s a lot
of teams getting
in with 16 and
NU, which fin
ished the season
with a 19-9 over
all mark and a 9
9 record in
will qualify for the tournament that
she will not cheer on Sunday when
the Huskers gather to watch the se
lection of the 64 teams.
NU started the season 16-1 before
faltering near the end losing eight of
its last 11 games.
Thirty-one teams earn automatic
berths to the tournament by winning
their conference tournament. Because
NU lost to Texas 74-68 in the second
round of the Big 12 Conference Tour
nament, it will have to be one of the
33 teams to earn an at-large bid.
And the wait over the weekend
isn’t concerning the Nebraska play
“We are staying pretty positive,
real positive,” NU forward Tina
McClain said. “Coach Beck said that
we have done as well as the top teams
this year. I think we have a good shot
at going to the NCAA Tournament
and we’re not counting ourselves out
yet. We feel really good about it.”
Oklahoma State Coach Dick
Halterman said before the tourna
ment that he felt good about NU get
ting into the Big Dance.
That was before the Huskers de
feated Missouri 62-58 in Tuesday’s
first-round game at Municipal Audi
Beck said if the women’s tourna
ment was looked at in the same way
as the men’s tournament was, the
Huskers appearance was a sure bet.
“If I was 8-8 (in the conference)
and beat some of the teams we beat,
including Iowa which won the Big
Ten Conference it wouldn’t even be
a question. We would be in the
NCAA’s,” she said. “I think, we’ve
TYRONN LUE drives to the basket at the Big 12 Tournament in Kansas City.
Lue scored 22 points in MU’S 78-72 loss.
Nebraska will accept
an invitation to defend
its NIT title.
By Mitch Sherman
KANSAS CITY, Mo. — A som
ber group of Comhuskers and their
troubled coach left Kemper Arena
Thursday night defeated on more than
just the basketball court.
Nebraska finally lost hold of its
dream, falling 78-72 to Missouri in the
first round of the Big 12 Conference
Tournament before a crowd of 16,300.
In failing for the third straight year to
advance into the NCAA Tournament,
the Huskers resembled just a shadow
of the bright group they were 12 days
ago, when optimism filled the NU
camp following an overtime win at
On Thursday after Missouri
opened a 14-point halftime lead and
cruised home behind solid shooting at
the ffee-throw line, Nebraska’s locker
room sat silent. Players stared at the
grey floor, and pain oozed from the
eyes of each Husker who figured this
year would be different.
In the end, this year was the same.
At 16-14, NU will receive a bid on
Sunday night to defend the title it won
last March in the National Invitation
“That’s what we want to do,”
Coach Danny Nee said. “We will ac
cept the invitation. We will play.”
But will the Huskers play with the
spark that was missing for the first 20
“I hope so,” point guard Tyronn
Lue said. “We’ve got to get charged
up for it. Any chance you get to play,
you’ve got play. I think we have to,
but it’s kind of hard right now.”
Against 14-16 MU, which ad
vanced to face Texas tonight, Ne
braska crumbled without Larry Flo
rence and Alvin Mitchell. Nee sus
pended the sophomore duo for one
game after Sunday’s 20-point loss to
“We missed Larry a lot,” said Lue,
who led NU with 22 points. “He’s a
great defensive player.”
Nee started sophomore Troy
Piatkowski in place of Florence, and
the Tigers exploited the Husker de
fense by looking to forward Derek
Grimm. The 6-foot senior scored 15
first-half points, sparking Tiger runs
of 12-2 and 14-3 after Nebraska scored
six of the games first eight points.
Please see TIGERS on 8
Field events Huskers’ strong point
By Vince D’Adamo
The Nebraska men’s and women’s
track and field teams have competed
in what NU Coach Gary Pepin has
called miniature national-champion
ship meets all season.
Now that the Comhuskers have
passed those tests with flying colors,
the final exam starts today.
Fourteen Husker athletes — eight
women and six men — begin compe
tition today at the NCAA Indoor Track
and Field Championships at the RCA
I Dome in Indianapolis.
“It’s exactly what the meet im
plies,” Pepin said. “Only the elite ath
letes are there.”
Both Husker teams enter this week
end after winning the Big 12 Confer
ence title last month.
At the Nebraska Quadrangular
meet, the Husker
men beat Arkan
sas, who is on
Pepin’s highly re
garded list, 137
Pepin is proud of
ment, he said the
result will matter
little this week
PePm “It’s an en
meet.” Pepin said. “You could see a
team that lost the conference meet, like
the Texas women, win the indoor
The Razorback men are considered
the favorites to win the men’s crown,
while the Texas women — who Ne
braska beat 160-132.3 at the Big 12
meet — are picked to win the title.
The Husker men placed second last
year — the highest mark in school his
tory — behind George Mason. NU
scored 3IV2 points last season — also
the most in school history.
Junior Phillip Maiyo will represent
Nebraska in the 800-meter run. Maiyo
earned his trip to Indianapolis by post
ing a career-best time of 1:48.72 in last
weekend’s Cyclone Last Chance meet.
Senior Tom Fish will compete in
the 200-meter dash. Fish, a former
walk-on from Hastings, has the third
fastest mark in the NCAA this year
after setting the school record of 21.06
seconds at last weekend’s USTAF
The men will be strongest in the
Scott Warren enters the national
meet with the seventh-longest heave in
the 35-pound weight throw at 66 feet, 8
3/4 inches. High jumper Shane Lavy has
the highest leap in the country this sea
son at 7-514. Joe Laster and Chris Wright
will compete in the long jump.
Wright ranks eighth on the NCAA
long-jump chart at 25-7*4 and Laster
has a nation-leading jump of 26-3 3/4
despite being slowed by a back injury.
“He’s had a lot of tough luck,”
Pepin said of Laster.
The NU women finished in a
fourth-place tie with Florida last year
in Indianapolis. They are strong in the
Please see FIELD on 8
Powered by Open ONI