Pitchin' with Pritch: A great week in sports

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Another great week for sports fans and a lot of really competitive games plus a few upsets, some blow-outs, but in most cases just great games to watch in a number of sports. 

The Husker volleyball team swept their opponents Hofstra and Missouri at Devaney and advanced to the Sweet Sixteen. Their first opponent, Hofstra, started like they were going to make it a tough contest but that didn’t last very long and the sweep was on and over. The Huskers second opponent was old Big 12 member Missouri. 

Devaney, even with the threat of bad weather outside, was bright and clear inside and the Huskers again swept the contest 25-14, 25-22 and 25-18 to advance. Now next Friday they will get to take their 10-match winning streak and go to Minnesota and open up with Kentucky. 

Another Big 10 team, Minnesota, is playing in the other bracket if the Big 10 teams win, then the Huskers and Minnesota will meet for the third time this season. 

The Huskers are playing pretty well right now and this is a great time to be doing that. Plus, if they do beat Kentucky and the Gophers win, the Huskers will be meeting a team that swept them this season. 

The Huskers Mikaela Foecke turned in an outstanding two games this past weekend. She had 16 kills on a season-best .667 hitting clip. Her play was as close to perfect as one could ever hope for and the Huskers need great play to continue in the NCAA tournament.

There were also some outstanding football games Saturday as the conference championships were being played and the final four teams will be PICKED by committee. Some of the favorite teams in the running pretty well took care of their situation in the playoffs. 

Alabama had to come from behind, but they did just that, and defeated Georgia and stayed undefeated. Georgia looked like the better team most of the time, but their choice to fake a kick at mid-field backfired and when you give a team as good as Alabama a second chance they usually make you regret it and they did. Notre Dame is undefeated and probably will make it and Clemson won and will make it. 

The fourth spot will be the one where it will get dicey. Oklahoma defeated Texas in the Big 12 play-off and made up for their loss to Texas earlier in the season. Oklahoma has a super offense and scores a bunch of points but most of the time their defense gives up a bunch of points but still OU has lost only one game. Georgia, on the other hand, lost two games and they did not win their conference. 

Then you have Big 10 Champion Ohio State with one loss, but if you look at that loss it will take your breath away. They lost to Purdue 49-20. That might blind a committee. It is too bad the NCAA can’t figure out how to play out the tournament and add a few more teams. The Division 2 teams do it and the NAIA does it but the NCAA can’t figure out how to work it in.

I started this column Sunday morning and was going to wait until the committee made their choice but decided not to and just put what I thought on paper, but I should have waited 30 minutes longer and I would have had the results of the committee. 

Alabama, Clemson, Notre Dame and Oklahoma made the playoff for this year and the old trick play team Georgia and these Bulldogs might be better than all the other teams but got beat twice when they tried fake kicks and neither time did they work, will be playing in some other bowl game. 

Also the Big 10 gets shut out again. Ohio State was the sixth team so they must not have impressed anyone on the committee. Now the match ups are set and Alabama gets Oklahoma and Clemson gets Notre Dame. I am already pulling for OU and Notre Dame and that pains me just a little to put that in print.

The weekend had some exciting basketball in it also. Nebraska got a Big 10 win in their first conference game of the year defeating Illinois in Lincoln. At times they looked pretty good and at times it looked like it might be difficult to duplicate the same number of wins this year that they had last year. 

Illinois isn’t the best team they will face and that is an understatement, but Nebraska made enough runs in the game to pick up a 75-60 win. I still think that in the end, Nebraska will get hurt with any team that has a good post player because the Huskers will not always have someone to guard the post and it could hurt the Huskers ability to rebound. 

Time will tell for sure. This coming week the Huskers play Creighton in Lincoln and hopefully if the weather will cooperate, I can get to that game. Although watching from the comfort of my Lazy Boy isn’t all that bad. 

Creighton played the number one team in the nation this week at Omaha and played Gonzaga really well before losing the contest in the last six or seven minutes. They will be a handful for the Huskers and actually the Huskers have not had much success against Creighton the last few years. 

This is a tough one for me to watch because I like the Huskers but the Creighton coach is a friend of mine who helped me in a lot of different ways while I was coaching. 

And then this week there was KU. KU played Stanford at Allen Field House where they don’t lose very often and they stumbled and bumbled around and just couldn’t get much of anything going. With about three seconds left in regulation, LaGerald Vick hits a three pointer to tie the game and the Jayhawks win in overtime.


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