Joe's Morning Sports-Friday, February 7, 2020

The Nebraska-Omaha baseball team was picked second in the Summit League preseason poll.  Oral Roberts was selected in the top spot with 23 total votes and three first-place votes.  The Mavericks, who aim to defend their Summit League Championship crown, were voted second with 19 total votes and one first-place vote.  Junior pitcher Joey Machado and senior Parker Smejkal were selected to The Summit League Players to Watch List.  Last season, Machado finished with a 6-3 record with a 4.65 ERA as a starting pitcher.  He recorded 64 strikeouts through 69.2 innings.  Smejkal earned All-Summit First Team honors a year ago after a campaign where he batted .329 with 54 hits, 43 RBI and seven home runs.  The Mavericks begin their regular season with a three-game series against Northwestern Feb. 14-16 in Glendale, Ariz.

Creighton senior Parker Upton was selected as a Second Team Preseason All-American by the National Collegiate Baseball Writers Association yesterday.  The complete All-American list is comprised of three teams, with 20 different conferences represented.  Upton is the lone choice from the BIG EAST conference.  Last season he helped the Bluejay squad return to the NCAA Tournament for the first time since 2012.  Upton closed his junior season second on the Creighton squad with a .324 average.  Starting 50 of 51 games in the outfield, Parker led his team with 65 runs scored, was third on the team with ten home runs, third with nine stolen bases, and fourth with 14 doubles.  This season Upton is being asked to move to shortstop, the position he was chosen as the Second Team Preseason All-American.  Upton and the Bluejays open the 2020 season on Feb. 14th as Creighton begins a three-game series at Seattle University.

The Norfolk Catholic wrestling team finished eighth at the Mid State Conference Meet at Battle Creek yesterday.  Pierce was the champion with 188.5 points.  They won by 31 points.  The Knights totaled 66.  Norfolk Catholic’s Francisco Mendez (160) recorded his 100th career win and finished second.  Issac Wilcox (220) took third.  Clayton Christensen (113) finished fourth.

The Mid State Conference Boys Basketball Tournament continues today with semifinal action.  In games at Northeast Community College, in a game that can be heard on 97.5 KEXL & KEXL.com, 14-3 Battle Creek faces 11-6 Pierce at 6:15.  Pregame coverage at 6:00.  The other semifinal has 14-6 Wayne meeting 10-5 Hartington Cedar Catholic at 7:45.  In consolation games at Norfolk Catholic High School, 4-14 Boone Central/Newman Grove takes on 8-9 West Point Guardian Angels Central Catholic at 6:15 and 7-10 Norfolk Catholic hosts 8-9 O’Neill at 7:45.  Elsewhere in basketball, in games that can be heard on Newstalk WJAG 105.9 FM & WJAG.com, Norfolk High visits Lincoln Southeast in a girl/boy doubleheader starting with the girls contest at 5:30.  Pregame coverage at 5:10.  In other basketball games, Lutheran High Northeast entertains Omaha Nation in a girl/boy twin bill starting with the girls contest at 6:00, the Wayne State women & men are at St. Cloud State in Minnesota starting with the women’s game at 5:30, and the Nebraska wrestling team visits Purdue in West Lafayette, Indiana in a 6:00 dual.

Saturday Morning:  Sportstalk on 106 KIX & 106KIX.com from 9:00-10:00 live from Market Grille at Hy-Vee East.  This week:  Nfk High’s Justin Grey & Jared Oswald; NC’s Kevin Manzer; LHNE’s Mike Wiederin; NECC’s Dan Anderson; Ponca BB’s Adam Poulosky & Columbus Lakeview WR’s Jeff Bargen.  The show is podcasted to listen to anytime afterwards.

Girls Mid State Conference BB Tourn:  NC 54 West Point GACC 47; Crofton 66 Battle Creek 39 (Semifinals); Hartington CC 46 Pierce 42 (OT); O’Neill 48 Boone Central/Newman Grove 40 (Consolations).

Local Scores:  (20) Iowa 76 Nebraska 60 (WBB); North Dakota St. 76 Nebraska-Omaha 65 (WBB).

Newstalk WJAG 105.9 FM & 780 AM the home of Kansas City Chiefs football & Kansas City Royals baseball!

NATIONAL BASKETBALL ASSOCIATION

Final    New York    105    Orlando    103

Final    New Orleans    125    Chicago    119

Final    Milwaukee    112    Philadelphia    101

Final    Portland    125    San Antonio    117

Final    Houston    121    L.A. Lakers    111

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NATIONAL HOCKEY LEAGUE

Final    New Jersey    5    Philadelphia    0

Final OT    Montreal    3    Anaheim    2

Final    Vegas    7    Florida    2

Final    N-Y Islanders    5    Los Angeles    3

Final    Tampa Bay    4    Pittsburgh    2

Final SO    Detroit    4    Buffalo    3

Final    Colorado    4    Ottawa    1

Final    Minnesota    4    Vancouver    2

Final    Winnipeg    4    St. Louis    2

Final    Nashville    3    Calgary    2

Final    Carolina    5    Arizona    3

Final    San Jose    6    Edmonton    3

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TOP-25 COLLEGE BASKETBALL

Final    (2)Gonzaga    85    Loyola Marymount    67

Final    (23)Arizona    85    Southern Cal    80

Final    (24)Colorado    71    California    65

Final    (25)Houston    75    Tulane    62

In other news

Trae Young poured in a career-high 50 points and the Atlanta Hawks closed on a 10-0 run to beat the Miami Heat, 129-124.  Young made 18-19 free throws and 8-15 three-pointers to help Atlanta overcome Bam Adebayo’s 28 points and season-high 19 rebounds for Miami.