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Butler not biggest Cinderella story in 2011 tourney

Wednesday, March 30, 2011  
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By Jay Taft
RRSTAR.COM
Posted Mar 30, 2011 @ 09:44 PM

Butler’s back-to-back appearances in the Final Four is pretty impressive, but the Bulldogs are being overshadowed — and for good reason — by the new Cinderella of the tourney.

If you were one of the many who said Virginia Commonwealth did not belong in the NCAA Tournament — that would include me — than it’s past time to admit defeat. The 11th-seeded Rams made the Final Four after losing the last four regular-season conference games headed in.

Hitting a season-high 12 3-pointers in its second-round win over Georgetown — and then again against Florida State, and again against No. 1-seed Kansas — is a big reason why they are the hottest team in the nation.

And it’s not over yet: My prediction says VCU 73, Butler 70. The fun will then end in the finals, but the Rams’ run will not be forgotten.

Devine shines again

University of Wisconsin-Oshkosh junior Philip Devine (Winnebago) broke the national three-meter diving record last week, but he still finished second at the NCAA Division III Swimming and Diving Championship in Knoxville, Tenn.

Devine finished ninth in the 1-meter championships last Wednesday with a score of 418.75. His point total would have been enough for fifth — the same place he finished last year — but he didn’t make the finals and was in the consolation bracket.

Three-time national champion Nick Halbach then held off a strong surge by Devine in the 3-meter finals as both divers eclipsed the NCAA D-III record for points scored. Halbach posted 591.65 while Devine, last year’s 3-meter national champion, came in second at 588.75.

King posts 300th victory

Rockford College softball head coach Kristyn King earned her 300th victory when the Regents swept Maranatha in a double-header Tuesday. Rockford (4-8, 2-0 NAC) plays its next eight games on the road before a twin bill at home April 10.

Nauman catches fire

Sparked by a no-hitter from Lindsay Nauman (Byron), the Elmhurst College softball team snapped an eight-game, season-opening skid with an 8-0 win over Colby College. The junior right hander, who improved to 2-3, tossed her first collegiate no-hitter. She faced only two batters over the minimum.

NIU gymnast back to regionals

Northern Illinois senior gymnast Holly Reichard has been selected to compete in the NCAA South Central Regional as an individual for the third time in her four-year career, as the NCAA announced the 2011 National Collegiate Women’s Gymnastics Championships regional selections Monday.

She will compete at the Norman Regional at the University of Oklahoma on Saturday. The top two teams, top two all-around performers not on an advancing team and individual event winners move on to the NCAA Championships in Cleveland on April 15-17.

College Quick Shots finale

This is the last College Quick Shots this season. We will continue to keep you updated on locals involved in college sports, as well as local college sports, inside the regular sports section. Matt Trowbridge’s Golf Quick Shots begin next Thursday.

This story appeared at http://www.rrstar.com/sports/college/x1672076011/Butler-not-biggest-Cinderella-story-in-2011-tourney on March 30, 2011.

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