Cubs

DePaul ousted from Big East Tourney with loss

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DePaul ousted from Big East Tourney with loss

Tuesday, March 8, 2011
Posted 1:43 p.m. Updated 9:43 p.m.

Associated Press

NEW YORK - Kemba Walkerscored 26 points and Connecticut won a Big East tournament game for thefirst time in six years, beating DePaul 97-71 on Tuesday in the openerof a conference showcase loaded with NCAA contenders.Jeremy Lamb,playing on a sore knee, had 17 of his 19 points in the first half forthe 21st-ranked Huskies (22-9), who got back on track after losing fourof their final five regular-season games. No. 9 seed UConn advanced toplay Wednesday against No. 22 Georgetown, the No. 8 seed at MadisonSquare Garden.The Huskies had lost six straight BigEast tournament games since beating Georgetown in the 2005quarterfinals, a surprising streak of futility for a school that haswon two national championships and six Big East tourney titles underHall of Fame coach Jim Calhoun.
Boxscore Complete RecapBowling Green tops Northern Illinois 74-54 in MAC

BOWLING GREEN, Ohio - A'uston Calhoun had 25 points and nine rebounds as Bowling Green routed Northern Illinois 74-54 Tuesday night in the first round of the Mid-American Conference tournament.

The seventh-seeded Falcons (14-18) defeated the 10th-seeded Huskies (9-21) for the fifth time in a row by shooting 51.7 percent (31 for 60) in their final game at Anderson Arena. Northern Illinois, which sought its first MAC tournament win since 2003, had held its previous six opponents to 35.8-percent shooting.

Bowling Green, which will play No. 2 seed Western Michigan in the quarterfinals Thursday, broke the game open in the second half, after leading 34-32 at halftime. The Falcons scored the first seven points of the second half to open a nine-point lead and, once they expanded the lead to double-digits, went on a 14-3 run to push the lead to 21 points.
Tim Toler led Northern Illinois with 13 points.
Box ScoreCopyright 2011 Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

Anthony Rizzo is ready to be the leading man 

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USA TODAY

Anthony Rizzo is ready to be the leading man 

When discussing his unconventional lineup choices, Joe Maddon had this to say, "It's almost a backwards way of doing this right now that I'm finding fascinating.....So I'm just gonna let it play for just a little bit and see where it takes us."

And it is hard to blame Maddon for letting his experiment ride out longer.

Via our Chris Kamka, Rizzo has hit in the leadoff spot seven times this season. In those seven plate appearances he has a single, double, triple (July 21), home run, walk, hit by pitch and a groundout. Rizzo’s numbers as a leadoff hitter are staggering:

And it appears the Cubs agree.

After their 7-2 win over the St. Louis Cardinals on Saturday, Ben Zobrist joked that Rizzo is the “self proclaimed greatest leadoff hitter...”. And while on paper, having Zobrist bat fourth in the order and Rizzo lead off seems contradictory, the move has definitely energized the offense. Immediately following all the lineup shuffling, the Cubs reeled off four straight wins before the Cardinals 18-run, 18-hit explosion, but even in that game Rizzo did draw a base by HBP.

And sure enough, in Saturday’s game, there was Rizzo, dominating to the tune of three walks and a triple. There is no telling if Maddon will continue to keep him in the leadoff spot. The move was originally made to help Rizzo get his groove back, which if Saturday’s win was any indication, he has.

But with Jason Heyward having a great offensive season, Jesse Chavez looking good in his Cubs debut (two clean innings with one strikeout) and Baez continuing his MVP-like play, Cubs fans should be as optimistic as one certain fan at Wrigley Field.

Training Camp Daily: Peter King Talks Bears Upside

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USA TODAY

Training Camp Daily: Peter King Talks Bears Upside

Training camp Daily: Peter King joins the Under Center Podcast on Day 2 of practice in Bourbonnais. King and John "Moon" Mullin talk Trubisky year 2, Trubisky comparison, Bears upside this season and Urlacher's Hall of Fame Induction.

Listen to the full podcast here or via the embedded link below: