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Cougars open with tough test

With all the hoopla surrounding the NCAA men’s basketball tournament each March, it’s easy to forget about the sport’s original extravaganza.

The NAIA Tournament began in 1937 with an eight-team field. The next season, the tournament adopted its 32-team format. The tournament’s five rounds are played during a seven-day span, compared to the NCAA’s six rounds in 19 days.

Clark nuts about oddlifting

It isn’t the weights that are odd at Clark’s Championship Gym. It’s the lifts. Common sense might also argue that any weightlifter who engages in an exercise named the crucifix would have to be an oddity, if not downright crazy.

“A man is essentially nuts that does this,” owner Bill Clark said with a smile on his face after pounding out 20 repetitions of 1,005 pounds in the Harness lift.

MU’s mixed message

At the end of the 2003-04 season, the Missouri women’s basketball team finds itself at a crossroads.

Inconsistency plagued the Tigers’ 17-13 season, but the Tigers achieved measured success.

Standout scorer benched

Basketball fans crave marquee individual matchups.

Thursday’s first-round NAIA Championship Tournament game between Columbia College and Oklahoma City was supposed to feature two of the nation’s premier scorers.

Weather no longer a problem

Outdoor athletes of all kinds share a common opponent: inclement weather.

Stepping on the field can be a challenge in mid-Missouri’s often unpredictable climate. The opportunity to play without braving cold or rain is growing for some athletes.

Opponents gave Tigers tough tests

All season Big 12 Conference coaches praised the talent and competition their teams faced in the league.

When choosing the best players Missouri faced this year, it would be easy to pick Kansas State’s front four of Kendra Wecker, Laurie Koehn, Nicole Ohlde and Megan Mahoney. To do so, though, would overlook many other great players.

NCAA keeps lid on investigation

No one is saying how soon the National Collegiate Athletic Association will reveal details of its nearly 6-month-old investigation into MU’s troubled men’s basketball program.

The NCAA won’t discuss its investigation, and it also bars MU officials from discussing it. And even if investigators do discover the team violated NCAA rules, depending on how serious the infractions are, details might never be revealed.

Unfulfilled potential

No one could have predicted this.

A 16-14 record? A trip to the National Invitation Tournament, the lesser of the two postseason tournaments? A quick, disappointing exit from that?

Paulding’s future unclear

Rickey Paulding learned a few things about certainty this season.

When Missouri finished its most up-and-down season 16-14, he found out that, in college basketball, it doesn’t exist.

MU’s Woodley suspended

Chad Moller, Missouri’s sports information director, confirmed Monday that MU suspended Alex Woodley, a redshirt freshman defensive back, from the football team.

MU police arrested Woodley on Thursday for theft of more than $750 and fraudulent use of a credit card.

Cougars’ Hawaii trip isn’t just fun in sun

For spring break, Megan Kuntze wants to go snorkeling.

Krista Viefhaus wants to escape the drizzle and work on her tan.

Hockey team hits the road

A quest for tougher competition found the Jefferson City Capitals in Chicago.

A league championship wasn’t enough for them; coach Matt Hart and his players wanted to test their skills against teams from the northern part of the country, where winter weather is synonymous with youth hockey.

Task too tall for Tigers

TEMPE, Ariz. – Although perseverance and overcoming the odds defined Missouri this season, both were absent in the Tigers’ past two games.

Neither Saturday’s 68-44 loss to No. 6 seed Stanford in the first round of the NCAA Tournament, nor the 79-58 loss to Kansas State on March 10 in the second round of the Big 12 Conference Tournament were how Missouri wanted to end its season, but it happened just the same.

Kewps savor chance to bowl

In less than one year, Jim Trainer overcame one obstacle after another to create the Hickman bowling teams and bring them to the district finals.

Trainer, with the help of an eager group of young bowlers, organized two Kewpies teams, which competed March 7 at the district finals in St. Louis.

Tough opposition

As much as some would like, not all of the blame for Missouri’s disappointing season can be placed on the shoulders of the Tigers.

From bruising interior play to clutch, late-game heroics, several Missouri opponents deserve recognition for their memorable performances.

Missouri offense sparkles

There was one zero on the scoreboard for the Missouri baseball team after its game against Chicago State on Sunday.

The Tigers won 21-1 and scored in every inning, except the fourth, to complete their first three-game series sweep this season.

Missouri tennis team falls to No. 14 Fresno State

The Missouri tennis team lost 7-0 to Fresno State on Sunday in Fresno, Calif.

Hana Kraftova and Lucie Ruskova had the only Tigers victory, an 8-6 doubles win. No. 14 Fresno State won the other two doubles matches. A knee injury to Urska Juric caused the Tigers to default a singles match.

Two sports, two titles and one proud small town

The Centralia Panthers brought home their second Class 3A state championship trophy of the school year on Friday, becoming only the fourth team in Missouri to capture state championship titles in football and basketball in the same school year.

The Panthers not only made history, they made a small town beam with pride.

So close

ST. LOUIS — Ben Askren fought back the tears after his loss Saturday to Oklahoma State’s Chris Pendleton in the finals of the 2004 NCAA Championships.

Missouri’s redshirt freshman finished second after losing 11-4 to Pendleton at 174 on Saturday at Savvis Center. Askren had defeated Pendleton at the Big 12 Conference Championships.

Cardinal too much for Tigers

TEMPE, Ariz. – A glimmer of hope wasn’t enough to keep Missouri around for a second day of play.

An early departure probably isn’t what No. 11 seed Missouri women’s basketball team wanted, but No. 6 seed Stanford didn’t give the Tigers much choice, winning 68-44 in the first round of the NCAA Tournament on Saturday in Wells Fargo Arena.

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