The Dean's List
Bison Ben has free-throw shooting skills that would give Pistol Pete chills
Perhaps we've all been too harsh on Eric Devendorf ... but perhaps not
Nathan Williams will regret being a good friend when he's sitting in jail
Welcome to this week's Dean's List, where we're offering Governor Blagojevich a night with Sam Bradford's Heisman Trophy in return for Obama's Senate seat.
If North Dakota State Bison guard Ben Woodside walked into a room of strangers, no one would suspect he's one of the most potent offensive threats in college basketball. But the 5-foot-11, 185 lbs. senior is averaging 26.9 points per game this season, including a 60-point, 30 free-throw performance in a 112-111 loss to Stephen F. Austin on Friday night. Woodside tied Pete Maravich's single-game record for free throws and became the first D-I player in eight years to score 60 in a game. (ASU's Eddie House was the last player to reach 60.) Even more impressive than the quantity of points is the way Woodside scored them. With nine minutes left in regulation and his team down by 19, the pride of Albert Lea, Minn., had only notched 11 points. Woodside then went on a 22-point scoring binge to tie the game at the end of regulation. He scored seven more points in the first overtime, nine in the second overtime and 11 in the third overtime. That means that after a slow start, Woodside dropped 49 points in 24 minutes. To this average-sized reporter, there's nothing more beautiful than an average-sized athlete putting up above average numbers.
In a physical contest, the Georgetown men's basketball team beat Memphis 79-70 in overtime on Saturday. It was a big win for the Hoyas and gives me the opportunity to recount my favorite John Thompson, Jr. story. Back in the late 1980's, the former coach found out that his star player, Alonzo Mourning, was a friend of notorious DC drug lord Rayful Edmond III. Thompson called Edmond to his office at McDonough Gym and laid into him, telling the thug in no uncertain terms to stay away from Georgetown players or he'd suffer serious consequences. There have even been reports that Thompson jabbed Edmond in the chest and threatened to kill him if he didn't leave the Hoyas alone. Legend has it that Edmond, who was eventually sentenced to life in prison without parole, never retaliated and never talked to another Georgetown player again. No kidding. If Big John ever threatened me, I'd wet my pants first, then cry and then finally close my eyes and pretend to disappear.
The championship game was played in a 25-mph gusting wind, but that didn't seem to bother the Maryland men's soccer team. The Terrapins beat North Carolina 1-0 in Sunday's NCAA College Cup final to win their third national championship. It was a school-record 16th consecutive win and 15th shutout for Maryland. North Carolina entered the game having upset top-seeded Wake Forest in the semifinals, but Maryland midfielder Graham Zusi, who scored the game-winning goal against St. John's in the Terrapins' semi-final game, was not intimidated. At the 67-minute mark, the senior booted in a deflection from above the 18-yard box for the game's only goal and Maryland's third win of the season over North Carolina.
It's one of those common phrases everyone repeats, but no one means -- "There's a first time for everything." No, there really isn't. There's a first time for some things. The fact that these things don't happen to everyone is what makes them special, like Saturday's D-II football championship. The University of Minnesota-Duluth, which had never won a national title in any sport, beat Northwest Missouri State 21-14 to win the D-II national title. The victory capped an amazing turn-around for the Bulldogs, who went 4-7 in 2007, but didn't lose a game in 2008. To make the story even more compelling, Northwest Missouri State is a fully-funded D-II program with 36 scholarships. UMD, on the other hand, plays in the Northern Sun Intercollegiate Conference, which allows members to have just 24 scholarships.
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