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The Bounce: Years at UA precious to Murray

<h4>Watch the bouncing ball </h4></p>
<p>Novak Djokovic of Serbia returns a shot from Andy Roddick of the United States during a quarterfinal at the BNP Paribas Open tennis tournament on Friday in Indian Wells, Calif.

<h4>Watch the bouncing ball </h4>

Novak Djokovic of Serbia returns a shot from Andy Roddick of the United States during a quarterfinal at the BNP Paribas Open tennis tournament on Friday in Indian Wells, Calif.

He competed in the 100-yard dash when a clocking of less than 10 seconds was something special.

Dave Murray ran the 100 in 9.9 seconds when he started his University of Arizona career and did the 440 in less than 50 seconds.

That was in 1963, when Arizona Stadium was more of an obstacle course than a track.

“The worse facility in college track,” said Murray, 66. “You started in the northeast corner, ran straight ahead and made a left turn and ran down the west side and the track veered from an eight-lane to a four-lane.”

Murray would come back after graduation and spend 35 years as a UA track coach and cross country coach – 19 years as men’s head track coach and 10 as the combined men’s and women’s coach.

His teams moved out of the worst facility to the best, he claims, when the present Roy P. Drachman Stadium was built in 1981.

On Saturday, it will be the site of the annual Willie Williams Classic, of which the Dave Murray Distance Classic is part.

Although he was a sprinter in college, distance running was Murray’s passion and he looks today as if he could run a marathon.

He’s trim and fit, although running has yielded a little more to bicycling. He’s riding three to five times per week in Jim Click’s cycling group.

Murray was the 1984 NCAA Coach of the Year. He has been Abdi Abdirahman’s private coach since Murray’s retirement from UA in 2001, and guided him through three Olympics in the 10,000 meters.

The two are readying for the “big one,” Abdirahman’s chance to qualify for the 2012 London Olympics in the marathon.

Murray believes the marathon will be Abdirahman’s crowning glory.

Murray coached every event when he began in an era of non-specialization.

He had to recruit 12 months a year. When he got a break and he took his family camping in the summer, he had to interrupt things and find the nearest phone to convince a recruit it wasn’t 110 degrees in Tucson year round.

“I wouldn’t trade my years at Arizona for anything,” he said, as fond of the place as ever.

Big 12 off to perfect start

KANSAS CITY, Mo. – The Big 12 is off to a big start in the NCAA Tournament.

When Missouri finished off Cornell 78-59 Friday, it gave teams from the Big 12 a perfect 6-0 record through the first round.

Defending champion Kansas, Oklahoma, Oklahoma State, Texas and Texas A&M also won their opening games.

“First of all, that’s great for the conference,” Oklahoma senior Taylor Griffin said. “We know how tough the Big 12 is, even though the Big East got a lot of attention this year and rightfully so. But at the same time, you know, the Big 12 has been tough this year.

“I know a lot of people said it’s kind of been a down year. But I think it’s been just as tough as ever. But that’s great for us, great for the program, great for the conference, actually. Best of luck to everybody out there.”

The Pac-10 is a step behind at 5-1. Only California lost in the first round.

Hook ‘em Heels?

There’s so much reverse psychology being used in Greensboro, N.C., this weekend that it’s tough to keep track of who’s rooting for which team.

The North Carolina fans who packed the arena are expected to take up the cause for Texas in the second round Saturday night because the Longhorns are playing Duke, the Tar Heels’ fiercest rival.

That’s after their efforts to cheer on 15th-seeded Binghamton in the first round were fruitless.

Still, it’s probably a safe bet that the Blue Devils’ fans will pull a switcheroo, too, and pull for LSU in the early game when the Tigers take on North Carolina.

“You don’t go into a season thinking at the end of the season, you’re going to have North Carolina fans yelling for you,” Texas guard A.J. Abrams said.

Obama’s bracket busted

Well, there’s always the approval ratings.

Because the upsets and buzzer-beaters just aren’t going Barack Obama’s way.

The president’s bracket took a precipitous plunge Friday night when two of his Sweet 16 teams were upset.

Wisconsin – one of three 12 seeds to knock off a No. 5 – needed Trevon Hughes’ spinning bank shot to take down Florida State 61-59 in overtime, costing Obama one of the 16 teams he picked to reach the regional semifinals.

Earlier Friday, No. 12 seed Arizona beat No. 5 seed Utah, and the president’s home state of Illinois lost to Western Kentucky the night before.

The prognosticator-in-chief missed all three upsets. And didn’t call Cleveland State’s either.

As if that weren’t enough, No. 9 seed Siena outlasted No. 8 Ohio State in double overtime in Dayton Ohio, dropping the presidential bracket all the way down to the 4.23 percentile – 4,434,808 spots off the lead in ESPN.com‘s contest.

Soccer embracing Twitter

In-game Twitter posts might be a technical foul of sorts in the NBA, but at least one sports league is embracing the idea of having players use the social networking Web site during a game.

The new Women’s Professional Soccer league will allow selected players to post short Twitter notes, called “tweets,” during its inaugural game between the Los Angeles Sol and Washington Freedom on March 29, league communications director Robert Penner said.

General managers from the new seven-team league approved the idea in a conference call Friday. Depending on fan response, league officials are considering allowing players to tweet during games all season.

They still must work out some of the details, including which players will tweet and when they’ll be allowed to do so; starters, obviously, likely would be limited to pregame, postgame and halftime.

The league’s decision stands in sharp contrast to the NBA, where Milwaukee Bucks coach Scott Skiles reprimanded forward Charlie Villanueva for posting a tweet during halftime of Sunday’s victory over Boston. Skiles said it could be interpreted as a sign that Villanueva wasn’t focused on the game.

Villanueva agreed to stop tweeting during games but still isn’t sure he did anything wrong; he argued that posting to Twitter isn’t much different from doing a short television interview at halftime.

The Associated Press

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<h4>QUOTABLE </h4>
<p>‘We surprised them. It took them a while to realize what was occurring out there, and then it became a ballgame.’</p>
<p>Cleveland State coach, on his team’s win over Wake Forest on Friday.” width=”580″ height=”640″ /><p class=


'We surprised them. It took them a while to realize what was occurring out there, and then it became a ballgame.'


Cleveland State coach, on his team's win over Wake Forest on Friday.



1959: California edges West Virginia 71-70 for the NCAA basketball title. Jerry West scores 28 points for West Virginia.

1964: UCLA caps a 30-0 season with a 98-83 victory over Duke in for the NCAA basketball title

2002: Missouri becomes the first 12th-seeded team to reach the round of eight by beating UCLA 82-73 in the NCAA men’s basketball tournament.

2008: Alex Ovechkin becomes the NHL’s first 60-goal scorer in 12 years by netting two in the Washington’s 5-3 win at Atlanta.



Nice win for Wildcats in NCAAs

• Nice win. Cats 1, Naysayers 0. TOMBSTONE CAT

• Cats, I am proud of you for not letting fatigue get in your way of winning. And Sunday, you will make Jim Livengood reanalyze his thinking for head coach. I can’t believe how lucky we have been all season to have had Coach Pennell and his staff. Pitino, Izzo, Few and the rest need to stay where they are . . . allow Coach Pennell and staff to start the next dynasty. SIMPLELIFE2

• Yahoo, the Cats are now at least the 32nd best team in the nation. TOM HARVEY




Sweet 16s for the Arizona basketball team in the last 25 years: 1988 Reached Final Four 1989 Lost in Sweet 16 1991 Lost in Sweet 16 1994 Reached Final Four 1996 Lost in Sweet 16 1997 Won NCAA title 1998 Lost in Elite Eight 2001 NCAA runner-up 2002 Lost in Sweet 16 2003 Lost in Elite Eight 2005 Lost in Elite Eight

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