Local Sports 3-24-2021

The Big Ten Conference will be following local health guidelines when it comes to fans attending sporting events for the rest of the 2020-2021 season,   The policy is effective immediately.  Currently, the Lancaster County Health Department DHM lists occupancy for indoor and outdoor gatherings at 75-percent.  However, for any event over 500 people or more, a plan must be submitted to the Health Department.  The DHM is set to expire on April 12th.  The Husker football spring game is scheduled for May 1st and the Husker baseball and softball teams both have home openers scheduled for this weekend.


Creighton is opening up as a 13.5 point underdog to Gonzaga in Sunday’s “Sweet 16” matchup in the NCAA Men’s Basketball Tournament.  The Jays beat Ohio 72-58 on Monday to secure their first “Sweet 16” appearance since the tournament expanded in 1985 to 64 teams.  Gonzaga is the number one overall seed.  The Bulldogs are trying to become the first unbeaten team to win the national championship since Indiana in 1976.  Tip-off will be at 1:10pm.


The Saturday games will have Oregon State playing Loyola-Chicago, Villanova against Baylor, Oral Roberts will battle Arkansas and Syracuse will take on Houston.  The other games on Sunday will have Florida State playing Michigan, UCLA will face Alabama and Oregon will battle USC.


Nebraska head volleyball coach John Cook is unloading on the NCAA.  Cook says the NCAA Tournament field should be expanded from 48 teams back to the usual 64 teams.  This comes after Wisconsin volleyball coach Kelly Sheffield tweeted his disappointment with the organization on Monday, calling for expansion as well.  The national spotlight has been on the NCAA for most of the month, especially after an Oregon women’s basketball player went viral showing the difference in weight rooms at the NCAA Tournament for the men and women at separate locations in Indianapolis.  The NCAA Volleyball Tournament is scheduled for April 14-24 with all matches being played in Omaha.


The Nebraska-Kearney softball team will have to wait for its 2021 home opener as inclement weather has postponed the scheduled doubleheader with Metro State tomorrow.  The Lopers have been off since March 10th and scheduled the games against the Roadrunners in hopes of playing some home games before April.  Their home games last weekend were postponed until mid April.  UNK now heads to Emporia State on Friday and Washburn on Saturday.


Alexis Markowski of Lincoln Pius has been named the Nebraska girls basketball player of the year by MaxPreps.  The 6-foot-3 inch Markowski averaged 23.3 points and 13 rebounds per contest in leading the Thunderbolts to back to back Class A State championships.  She’ll play next year for the Huskers.


You can take the interim tag away from girls basketball coach Kevin Mayfield at Grand Island Central Catholic.  He’s been named the permanent head coach of the Crusaders after leading the team to the state tournament this month.  And former Seward head coach Tom Tvrdy will take over at Omaha Marion.  Tvrdy coached 18 years at Seward and led the Blue Jays to four straight Class B titles.  He compiled a record of 470-183.  His win total is 17th all time in Nebraska and seventh among active coaches.


Chris Yaw has resigned has the head women’s basketball coach at Northwestern College in Orange City, Iowa.  Yaw has been the head coach for the past ten seasons, leading the team to the national championship in 2011-2012 and reaching the semifinals three times.  He compiled a record of 224-94.  Before being named the head coach, Yaw was an assistant coach for the Red Raiders for seven seasons.  .


NFL> Marcus Mariota has agreed to a contract restructure to return to the Las Vegas Raiders as Derek Carr’s backup at quarterback.  Mariota signed a two-year, 17.6 million dollar free agent contract with the Raiders last March.  He was scheduled to make 10.6 million dollars in 2021 while carrying a salary cap number of 15.35 million dollars.  His new restructured one year deal is worth 3.5 million dollars that could top out at eight million dollar with incentives.


Quarterback Joe Flacco has agreed to a contract with the Philadelphia Eagles.  It’s a one year deal worth 3.5 million dollars guaranteed with the opportunity to make four million dollars more in incentives.  Flacco is expected to back up Jalen Hurts in Philadelphia after the Eagles traded Carson Wentz to the Indianapolis Colts.

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