The Latest – January 26, 2012 26 Jan 12

Gophers vs. Badgers 
(Minneapolis, MN)  –  The University of Minnesota women’s basketball team takes on rival Wisconsin this evening at Williams Arena.   Minnesota fell to 3-and-4 in Big Ten play following a 64-49 loss at Nebraska on Sunday.  The 2-and-5 Badgers routed Northwestern 75-55 Sunday in Madison but have lost eight or their last 10 games.  Taylor Wurtz leads Wisconsin in scoring and rebounding with 15.4 points and 7.5 boards per game.  Freshman Rachel Banham is averaging more than 15 points a night for the Gophers and has reached double-figures in 17 consecutive games.  Minnesota looks to snap a five-game losing streak to the Badgers at the Barn tonight.

Big Men Stand Tall in “Big D” 
(Dallas, TX)  –  The big men were the unsung heroes in the Timberwolves’ 105-90 win over the defending champion Mavericks last night in Dallas.  Backup center Nikolai Pekovic [[ PECK-oh-vitch ]] scored 13 points and grabbed seven rebounds, and starter Darko Milicic [[ MILL-ih-chitch ]] filled the stat sheet with eight points, seven boards and seven blocks.  Darko scored a season-high 22 points in last Friday’s 101-98 victory at the Clippers.  Both centers are averaging about six points per game this season.  Veteran center Brad Miller has been practicing with the Wolves but has yet to appear in a game after offseason knee surgery.  The Spurs come to Target Center tomorrow.

Wild All-Star Break 
(St.Paul, MN)  –  The Minnesota Wild are using the NHL All-Star break to get healthy for the remainder of the regular season.  The club has used 37 different players and 12 rookies this season which are the most of any organization in the league.  Only four skaters had played in every game through Tuesday’s win at Colorado.  The Wild sent forwards Matt Kassian, Jed Ortmeyer and Eden Prairie native Chad Rau back to the Houston Aeros Wednesday.  Captain Mikko Koivu [[ MEE-koh  KOY-voo ]] was Minnesota’s lone All-Star selection but will not play Sunday in Ottawa due to a shoulder injury.  Rookie forward Nick Johnson is taking part in the NHL All-Star Skills Competition Saturday night.  The Wild return to action Tuesday at home versus the Predators. 

“Big Ten Icons” Profiles Herb Brooks 
(Chicago, IL)  –  Legendary Minnesota hockey coach Herb Brooks is featured in the new episode of “Big Ten Icons” on BTN.  The program is scheduled to air at 9:30 Friday night following the Gophers-St.Cloud State men’s hockey game.  Brooks coached the 1980 Olympic hockey team’s “Miracle on Ice” after leading the University of Minnesota to three national titles.  The show includes new interviews with Olympic gold medalist Rob McClannahan,  U-of-M All-American forward Steve Ulseth, 1976 NCAA champion Tom Vannelli and author John Gilbert.  Brooks died in a car crash north of the Twin Cities on August 11th, 2003 at the age of 66. 

NFL:  No Moves To LA This Offseason 
(Undated)  –  The latest round of talks aimed at getting an agreement on a new Vikings’ stadium has received an apparent vote of confidence from the National Football League.  The NFL has announced that none of its franchises will receive permission to move to the vacant Los Angeles market until at least next year.  The announcement comes as the Vikings’ ownership and government officials continue exploring the location of a new stadium at the site of the Metrodome.  The team’s lease at the Dome expires next Wednesday. 

20th Anniversary of Super Bowl 26 
(Minneapolis, MN)  –  Today marks the 20th anniversary of one of the biggest sporting events ever held in Minnesota.  The Metrodome hosted Super Bowl 26 on January 26th, 1992.  The Washington Redskins defeated the Buffalo Bills 37-24 to win the Lombardi Trophy.  It was the northernmost Super Bowl ever played. 

St.Cloud State Remains Top-Ranked Wrestling Team 
(Edmond, OK)  –  St.Cloud State still holds the number-one ranking in this week’s NCAA Division II wrestling poll.  The Huskies were the unanimous pick of wrestling coaches from around the country.  SCSU’s Tad Merritt is the top-ranked wrestler in the nation at 165 pounds and the Huskies’ Jacob Kahnke is the number-one heavyweight.  Minnesota State-Mankato received some votes but did not crack the top-20. 

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Palm/rtm 

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