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MIAC Men's Basketball: Hot Action on a Frigid Day

floated rightby Rich Mies, CSN Mapping the MIAC Columnist

The members of the Minnesota Intercollegiate Athletic Conference returned to the basketball courts for league play after a nearly three-week hibernation. Despite frigid temperatures, the league got the 2010 portion of its schedule off to a rousing start. Reigning champion St. Thomas sizzled en route to a 76-52 win over Macalester. Saint John’s kept pace with a 69-62 win at Saint Mary’s. Augsburg toppled St. Olaf 77-64 and Hamline tipped Carleton 77-65. In the day’s nightcap, Concordia used a strong second half to breeze by Bethel, 68-53.

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MIAC Profiles of Excellence: Dan Andersen, Hamline University

floated rightby Rich Mies, CSN Mapping the MIAC Columnist

In 1993, Hollywood released a movie about a young man who, despite significant obstacles, harbored the dream of playing football for the University of Notre Dame. Undeterred, the film’s star works long and hard. First, he earns a spot on the team. Then in the dramatic climax, he gets a chance to take the field for the Fighting Irish. Rudy, which is widely acclaimed as one of the top sports films of the past 25 years, has served as an inspiration to millions in all walks of life.

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Permalink 12/16/09 , The CSN Way, CSN Columns

The CSN Way: Record Breaking Viewership for App State/Montana

floated rightBy Chuck Burton, The CSN Way Columnist

The Saturday Appalachian State/Montana thriller got a 1.87 cable rating on Saturday on ESPN, making it the highest-rated Division I semifinal game ever, the highest-rated FCS game on ESPN and the highest rated Division I playoff game since 1994.

In addition to this milestone, this Saturday’s game reached the highest number of estimated households (1,857,000) and viewers (4,735,350) than any previous Division I playoff contest on cable television, thanks to ESPN, ESPN360 and syndication.

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Permalink 12/16/09 , CSN West, CSN Columns

CSN West: Three is A Magic Number

floated rightBy Kent Schmidt, CSN West Columnist

Growing up, the song “Three is a magic number” was one I would sing along to while watching “Schoolhouse Rock” Saturday mornings on ABC Television. The song was written and recorded by Bob Dorough.

That song came back to memory as I watched Montana triumph last Saturday to return to the FCS Championship game for a second consecutive year.

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MIAC Profiles of Excellence: Wade Ekstrom, Macalester College

floated rightby Rich Mies, CSN Mapping the MIAC Columnist

Frequently, athletes from small, rural high schools are at a disadvantage competing at the college level, even in Division III. They have not had the same degree of exposure to weight training and competition as their larger school counterparts, and are often not on the radar of most coaches, who tend to look to larger suburban schools when recruiting.

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CSN So South: Game of Inches Just a Bit too Far for Mountaineers

floatedleftfloated rightBy Myron Hosea, CSN So South Columnist

Football often has been called a game of inches. That moniker played out a little too close to reality for Appalachian State on a snowy football field Saturday in Montana.

The Mountaineers fell just short of a last-second comeback and dropped the FCS semifinal contest to Montana 24-17. With the victory, the Grizzlies head to Chattanooga, Tenn., for the national title game while Appalachian State missed a shot at a fourth title in five years. Also, the loss ends the stellar careers of the Mountaineer senior class, led by quarterback Armanti Edwards.

On the stat sheet, Appalachian State dominated to a large degree, running 92 offensive plays to Montana’s 60 while leading 497 to 373 in total yards. But the Grizzlies found a way to outscore the Mountaineers 17-7 in the second half, and the most significant of those points came with 1:31 remaining.

Runningback Chase Reynolds, who ran for 193 yards on 23 carries, slashed the Mountaineer defense to move the Grizzlies down the field. His three runs on the winning drive covered 43 yards and, with a face mask penalty against Appalachian State, put Montana at the 15. After a holding penalty, Montana quarterback Andrew Selle hit Javin Sambrano for a 25-yard touchdown pass. Sambrano caught the ball inches (there’s the word) from being out of bounds, but it counted for seven and the lead.

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Permalink 12/14/09 , CSN Diary, CSN Columns

CSN Diary: Villanova Freezes William & Mary To Clinch First FCS Championship Appearance

floatedleftfloated rightThe game had all the earmarks of playoff football. Frigid temperatures. Familiar opponents. Leg cramps. Two coaches with over 400 career wins between them. Two CAA teams that know each other like the backs of their hands. And two powerful defenses that would see their mettle tested on the hard turf at Villanova stadium.

Amidst the muffled sounds of hands clapping with padded gloves, it ultimately was a tale of two halves. After a dominating defensive performance by William & Mary’s defense in the first half, Villanova’s offense finally broke through in the second half, and finally took the game over in the final quarter with two clock-chewing drives to seal the 14-13 victory.

It was an evening of old-fashioned football, where offensive and defensive lines, special teams, field position and time of possession were the story. Add to that some razor-close plays that required replay to solve, and you have a thrilling “Freezeball” semifinal, if you will.

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