Throughout this season, we’ve been following the return of Richland’s award-winning wrestling program. While on spring break, the T-Ducks and 200 other colleges participated in the National Collegiate Wrestling Association (NCWA) National Tournament in Allen. Maripo Gasarabaga, Yaritza Arteaga and Alexus Sauceda left the tournament as All-Americans. Richland finished fourth in in the Division II women’s and eighth in the men’s team brackets. Bill Neal was namedSouthwest Conference Coach of the Year.
From a college that dominated the wrestling world in the ‘70s and ‘80s, it’s great to see Richland back on the map. Congratulations to the entire team for an outstanding season. Even though the guys fell short in several matches, they gained a ton of experience and are already preparing for the next season.
The other big story is March Madness. This year’s NCAA basketball tournament, like in the years past, have produced major upsets before the Sweet Sixteen. In the men’s tournament, defending national champion Villanova is already out, losing to eighth seed Wisconsin, 65-62. The Pony Express that won the American Conference regular season and tournament titles got their ride cut short, AGAIN!! Sixth seed SMU lost to eleventh seed Southern California, 66-65. Even the two seed Duke Blue Devils got upset by seventh seed South Carolina, 88-81.
Second seed Louisville...OUT! They lost to seventh seed Michigan, 73-69. Third seed Florida State...OUT! Eleventh seed Xavier literally speared the Seminoles, 91-66. The NIT had its upsets as well. All four of the top-seeded teams are out. Normally you hear about the powerful TCU football team. Well now you can add in their basketball squad making it to the semifinals of the National Invitation Tournament (NIT) after upsetting top seed Iowa and blowing out sixth seed Richmond.
Fort Worth is home to Texas Wesleyan University and its Rams, whom by the way won the National Association of Intercollegiate Athletics (NAIA) Division I men’s basketball national championship in Kansas City defeating Life University from Marietta, Gs. by the score of 86-76. This is the school’s second-ever national title. Fifteen miles east of Fort Worth, the UT-Arlington Maverick’s Cinderella season came to an end, losing to Cal State Bakersfield, 80-76.
On to the women’s bracket, all of the favorites are still in including the top seeds Connecticut, Baylor, Notre Dame and South Carolina. The people in Durham, N.C. are stunned because just like the men’s team, the two seed Duke women’s squad was upset by Oregon, 74-65. Stay with the Chronicle to find out what’s happening throughout both b-ball tournaments.
It’s shocking to say that both the Mavericks and Stars have a shot at a playoff spot, though it won’t be easy. Major League Soccer is already under way as FC Dallas is looking to retaliate from a previous disappointing season. And spring training is still going for the Texas Rangers. They’ll open up the season in Arlington on April 3 against the defending AL champion Cleveland Indians.
The Richland men’s basketball team has picked up some honors as Chris Murphy made first team all conference. Murphy also picked up an honor as one of two Most Improved Players. Wesley Franklin made second team and David Beck made third. Curk Harris and Greg Schexnayder were honorable mentioned. Although North Lake received a few top honors in the M.A.C. and Region V, the best team (Richland) did not win. No question!!