Joe's Morning Sports-Thursday, March 12, 2020

The NBA season has been suspended until further notice over concerns about the virus outbreak.  The decision was announced after the Utah Jazz’ Rudy Gobert tested positive yesterday for the coronavirus, and only hours after the majority of the league's owners were leaning toward playing games without fans in arenas.  The league says it will use the hiatus to determine next steps for moving forward regarding the pandemic.

The Nebraska men’s basketball team’s season has come to an end.  They dropped their opening round game of the Big Ten Tournament last night to Indiana 89-64 in Indianapolis, Indiana.  Kevin Cross scored 23 points and had nine rebounds to lead three players in double figures for the Huskers.  Five players scored between 11-13 points for the Hoosiers.  Trayce Jackson-Davis recorded a double-double of 11 points and 17 rebounds along with four blocked shots.  Indiana led at halftime 43-34 before outscoring the Huskers in the second half 46-30.  The Hoosiers improve to 20-12 while Nebraska’s season ends at 7-25.  They lost their last 17 games.  Husker coach Fred Hoiberg was diagnosed with influenza after being taken to a hospital following the game.

Heisman Trophy winner and Nebraska great Eric Crouch is one of 19 individuals who will make up the 2020 College Football Hall of Fame Class.  The 17 players and two coaches were announced yesterday by the National Football Foundation and the College Hall of Fame.  The 2020 Hall of Fame class includes five winners of major college awards, led by Crouch's 2001 Heisman, and ten conference players of the year, including Crouch, a two-time Big 12 Player of the Year.  Crouch is among the group of players selected from the national ballot that included 76 All-Americans.  Crouch becomes the 19th Nebraska player to earn induction into the College Hall of Fame and gives NU 25 overall members of the Hall including six coaches.  He is the first Husker selected since Aaron Taylor was inducted in 2018.  Crouch is the seventh Husker inducted into the Hall in the past 14 seasons joining Taylor (2018), Trev Alberts (2015), Tommie Frazier (2013), Will Shields (2011), Grant Wistrom (2009) and Mike Rozier (2006).  The 2020 College Football Hall of Fame Class will be officially inducted on Dec. 8, 2020, at the New York Hilton Midtown.

Creighton’s Greg McDermott was named BIG EAST Coach of the Year yesterday at an awards reception inside the World's Most Famous Arena, Madison Square Garden.  McDermott becomes Creighton Basketball's first Conference Coach of the Year since Dana Altman in 2001-02 when CU was a member of the Missouri Valley Conference.  McDermott has led a Creighton team that was picked to finish seventh in the BIG EAST Conference to the seven national ranking, a 24-7 overall record, and a share of its first BIG EAST Conference title.

The Greater Wichita Area Sports Commission released the official watch list for the 2020 Buster Posey National Collegiate Catcher of the Year, with senior Brett Bonar as one of the sixty names included.  Bonar has started all 14 games this season and helped the Mavericks to a 10-4 record, which is the best start in Division I era program history.  The senior also has eight hits with ten RBI, six doubles and six runs scored at the plate.  The Mavericks open the Summit League season with a three-game series against North Dakota State this weekend.

The Boys State Basketball Tournament gets underway at various sites today in Lincoln.  Nebraska school officials say they're limiting spectators to players' immediate family and media due to the corona virus outbreak.  Regarding area teams, in Class ‘C-1’, Wayne faces Lincoln Christian at the Devaney Center at 3:45.  In Class ‘C-2’, in a game that can be heard on 106 KIX & 106KIX.com, BRLD meets Doniphan-Trumbull at 7:00 at Lincoln Southeast.  Pregame coverage at 6:45.  In another ‘C-2’ contest, Ponca plays Yutan at 3:45.  In Class ‘D-1’ at Lincoln East, in games that can be heard on 97.5 KEXL & KEXL.com, Laurel/Concord/Coleridge tangles with Paxton at 10:45, Humphrey/Lindsay Holy Family battles Fullerton at 2:00, and Osmond takes on Southern Valley at 3:45.  In Class ‘D-2’ at Lincoln Southeast, in a game that can be heard on 106 KIX & 106KIX.com, Randolph plays Humphrey St. Francis at 9:00 AM.  Pregame coverage at 8:45.  Also, O’Neill St. Mary’s faces Mullen at 10:45.  Elsewhere on the local schedule, the Creighton men play St. John’s in the quarterfinals of the BIG EAST Tournament at New York City at 11:00, and the Northeast Hawks baseball team hosts Hesston College of Kansas in a 1:00 doubleheader.

This week’s Hausmann Physical Therapy Star Athlete of the Week goes to Allison Weidner of the Humphrey St. Francis girls basketball team.  At last weekend’s State Tournament in Lincoln, she helped her team to a Class ‘D-2’ State Runner-up finish.  In an opening round 60-53 victory over Sterling, Weidner had 20 points, 13 rebounds, nine assists, and six steals.  In a 68-38 semifinal win over Mullen, she had 39 points, six boards, five assists, and three steals.  In a 59-51 loss to Wynot in the Championship Game, Weidner had 24 points, four rebounds, four assists, and three steals.  She was nominated by coach Bryan Reichmuth.  Congratulations to Allison Weidner of the Humphrey St. Francis girls basketball team, she is this week’s Hausmann Physical Therapy Star Athlete of the Week.

Local Scores:  Nebraska 8 Northern Colorado 1 (Bsbl); Minnesota 5 Creighton 4 (Bsbl); Ashland (OH) 8 WSC 6 (Bsbl); Creighton 8-8 Niagara 1-13 (SB DH); WSC 2 Slippery Rock (PA) 0; WSC 5 Urbana (OH) 1 (SB).

Hausmann Physical Therapy Star Athlete of the Week:  Allison Weidner of the Humphrey St. Francis girls basketball team.

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

NATIONAL BASKETBALL ASSOCIATION

Final    Philadelphia    124    Detroit    106

Final    Charlotte    109    Miami    98

Final OT    New York    136    Atlanta    131

Final    Dallas    113    Denver    97

___

NATIONAL HOCKEY LEAGUE

Final    Chicago    6    San Jose    2

Final    Winnipeg    4    Edmonton    2

Final    St. Louis    4    Anaheim    2

Final OT    Colorado    3    N-Y Rangers    2

Final    Los Angeles    3    Ottawa    2

In other news

ESPN is moving up the release of its Michael Jordan documentary "The Last Dance" from June to April.  The ten-part series will now begin April 19.  The move was announced on Good Morning America today, in response to fans asking for more programming while sports are on hold because of the co…

The Tokyo Olympics will open next year in the same time slot scheduled for this year's games. Tokyo organizers say the opening ceremony will take place on July 23, 2021. That is almost exactly one year after the games were due to start this year. The IOC and Japanese organizers last week pos…

Commissioner Roger Goodell told NFL teams the draft will go on as originally scheduled for next month.  The draft will still take place April 23-25.  Goodell said in a memo obtained by The Associated Press that public health conditions are highly uncertain and there was no guarantee of signi…