Almost lost amid the excitement of the girls and boys high school tournaments the past 2 weeks was the continuation of college playoff action from D1 through the junior colleges. I'll start with something you didn't know.
The Anoka-Ramsey and Northland Community College women played in the NJCAA D3 tournament at Rochester. ARC lost in the 1st round to Montgomery College, MD 84-77, then won 2 games to finish in 5th place. Kelli Schramm, from Mounds View, earned all-tournament honors.
Northland also lost in the 1st round to Roxbury CC, MA 72-65, and finished 7th.
Rochester CTC played in the men's tournament in New York and lost all 3 games to finish 8th. Justyn Galloway, from Kenosha, WI, won all-tournament honors.
The St. Thomas men and women are both done for the year.
The men got to the D3 semi-finals before losing to Mary Hardin-Baylor 74-67. St. Thomas led 54-40 at 10:22 of the 2nd half before ripped off a 23-8 run to take the lead at 63-62. St. Thomas led 67-66 with 36 seconds left but Hardin-Baylor hit 8 FT down the stretch.
The Tommies, rated #1 going into the post-season, finish at 30-2. Mary Hardin-Baylor plays Amherst for the national title next week.
The women got to the Sweet 16 before losing to Hope 71-61. The unranked Tommies led #2-ranked Hope 32-31 at the half and 50-49 at 8:44, but Hope put a 12-2 run on the Tommies to pull away. Hope shot 57 percent, St. Thomas just 42. The Tommies finished 24-6.
The Winona State men are the last Minnesota basketball team still standing, well, this side of the Minnesota Timberwolves. They will meet #1 rated West Liberty on Thursday afternoon of this week in the Elite Eight. The Warriors defeated Mankato State 76-73 at Mankato to advance to this round of play. If Winona wins on Thursday, the semi-final is Saturday. The national championship will be played on Sunday, April 7.
Senior post Clayton Vette leads Winona with 21 ppg and 8 rebounds. Xavier Humphrey adds 11 points and 2 assists, Grant Johnson 11 points, and Taylor Cameron 10 points, 5 boards and 3 assists.
Winona is rated just #28 in the final D2 poll, but defeated #6 Mankato to advance.
The men defeated UCLA 83-63 in the NCAA tournament, then lost to Florida 78-64 to finish 21-13 incluring 8-10 in the Big 10. And coach Tubby Smith was fired.
Then there's the Gopher women who lost to Ball State at home in the NIT 54-51 to finish 18-14 including 7-9 in the Big 10. And coach Pam Borton was not fired.
In 6 years as Gopher coach Tubby Smith won 124 games while losing 81 (.610). In the Big 10 he went 46-62 (.426). In 10 years as Gopher coach, Coach Borton has won 189 games while losing 132 (.589). During the past 6 years she is 102-90 (.537). In the Big 10 for the past 6 years she is 45-57 (.441).
Top College Players
C- Clayton Vette, Winona State men
C- Tommy Hannon, St. Thomas men
F- Taylor Hall, Bethel men
G- Andre Hollins, Minnesota Gopher men
G- Rachel Banham, Minnesota Gopher women
C- Assem Marei, Mankato State men
F- Ali Wilkinson, Mankato State women
F- Annika Whiting, Concordia (St. Paul) women
G- John Nance, St. Thomas men
G- Rachel Hanson, Concordia (St. Paul) women
College Coach of the Year
1. Mike Boschee, Bemidji State men
2. Mike Leaf, Winona State men
3. John Tauer, St. Thomas men
4. Mandy Pearson, St. Mary's women
5. Ruth Sinn, St. Thomas women