April 2014

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51 Random Thoughts T he month of March has had more than its share of black-and-gold "Madness" moments, and at the top of my list is the effort of senior Tony Ramos in the championship match at 133 pounds on March 22 of this year's national championship. It was fitting that Ramos' last opportunity to add his name to that certain location on a certain wall inside the Dan Gable Wrestling Room inside Carver-Hawkeye Arena required the No. 3 seed to put in a little more time. Based on the smile on his face and that upliing post- victory celebration with his family in the stands, the overtime was worth it. No. 2 on that list? For me it was the performance by the freshman-who-no-longer-is-a-freshman-and- hasn't-been-one-for-quite-some-time, Ally Disterho, in the final game of the brilliant season for Bluder's Bunch. e Iowa City native scored a team-high 15 points in Iowa's loss to Louisville, 10 in the opening 20 minutes when the No. 3 Cardinals were doggedly determined to run away and hide from the good gals in black and gold. Disterho is one of the many reasons fans of the Hawkeyes have to be excited about what 2014-15 could be for Lisa's program. e Hawkeyes lose just one (very talented and very inspirational) player — eairra Taylor — off a team that won 27 games and will welcome two newcomers who were named the player of the year in their respective state. You can read the good news about Iowa's recruits HERE. What can I write that has not already written about Hawkeye seniors Roy Devyn Marble, Zach McCabe, and Melsahn Basabe? Not much more, other than a simple "ank you" for being big pieces of Fran McCaffery's puzzle that successfully returned the men's By RICK KLATT basketball program at the UI back to a position of national relevance. Each, four-plus years ago, decided to be difference-makers, and then went about the business of being difference-makers. For the record, my NCAA Tournament bracket features an all-Big Ten championship game. When that is accomplished later this week, that should put to rest all the chatter about which conference truly was the best in the country in 2013-14. Isn't this a wonderful world? A year ago, many across this great land of ours didn't think the Iowa football team was capable of tying its shoes, much less winning Big Ten Conference football games. Fast forward to today, and many across this great land have us squarely in the race for a trip to Indianapolis and the 2014 Big Ten Conference Football Championship. en and now, our head coach plows forward as he always does, squarely in the middle of the two extremes, working the plan. You can read every word of what Kirk shared with the media on the first day of spring practice HERE. We shared this earlier in the month and it's worth repeating: Iowa was one of only seven institutions across the country to have a football team participate in a January bowl game, and have both their men's and women's basketball teams receive invitations to their respective NCAA Tournament. Add to that the fact that Iowa sent 10 wrestlers to the national championship for the first time since 2010 and, if you're a fan of the Hawkeyes, you have good reason to smile. Go Hawks!

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