Tuesday March 14th Local Sports

AM-1300 KGLO — Minnesota Twins vs. Pittsburgh — 12:00



IOWA CITY — Iowa coach Fran McCaffery says the NCAA Tournament is a new beginning for the Hawkeyes. Iowa’s last two games were losses to Nebraska and Ohio State and they play Auburn in Birmingham Thursday afternoon.

Even though an early exit from the Big Ten Tournament meant extra rest for his team, McCaffery would always prefer a deep run in the league tournament.

Iowa is 19-13. Auburn coach Bruce Pearl calls his six years as an assistant coach at Iowa under Tom Davis a special time. The Tigers and Hawkeyes collide Thursday in Birmingham, in the opening round of the NCAA Tournament.

Current Hawkeye assistant Matt Gatens served on Pearl’s staff at Auburn.

Auburn is known for its defense and Pearl says the Hawkeyes offer a big challenge.

Tipoff on Thursday is scheduled for 5:50 PM, with the pre-game starting at 4:45 on AM-1300 KGLO





AMES — Iowa State will be watching Tuesday night’s First Four action from Dayton with added interest. Mississippi State plays Pitt in the second of two games and the winner heads to Greensboro to play the Cyclones Friday.

That’s senior guard Gabe Kalscheur. Fellow senior Jaren Holmes is back in the tournament. He went dancing while playing at St. Bonaventure.

Holmes says he is excited to get started.

Tipoff for Iowa State’s game on Friday is scheduled for 2:10 PM





MIAMI — Miami coach Jim Larranaga says forward Norchad Omier is questionable for Friday’s NCAA Tournament against Drake. The six-seven forward is averaging more than 13 and-a-half points and nearly 10 rebounds per game and suffered an ankle injury in the Hurricanes loss to Duke in the semifinals of the ACC Tournament.

Larranaga says Omier is going through the treatment needed to get him back on the court.

Larranaga says Drake will provide a challenging opener.

Miami won a share of the ACC regular season title.




DES MOINES — Iowa’s capitol city is among the hosts of the opening rounds of the NCAA men’s basketball tournament this week. Catch Des Moines president and CEO Greg Edwards says the games Thursday and Saturday will feature eight of the nation’s top teams in college hoops.

(As above) “We estimate, at least for the last couple times we’ve hosted this, it’s brought in over $8-million in economic impact,” Edwards says. “We anticipate about 20,000 people being in and around the Des Moines metro, so it’s going to be a great week.” This marks the third time Des Moines has hosted the March Madness games, which is a tremendous boost for the area’s restaurants, hotels and parking decks.

(As above) “So many places benefit. You figure people travel, they’ll probably hit some grocery stores, convenience stores, they’ll shop,” Edwards says. “They may do some other entertainment venues while they’re here, do a show at the Civic Center or all kinds of different activities, because there’s a lot of downtime between games as well.” Since the tournament’s opening rounds have already been staged at the Iowa Events Center twice before, Edwards says he’s pretty confident they have all of the bugs worked out of the process.

(As above) “I think we’ve got all bases covered,” he says, “everything from actual tournament operations to outside the Event Centers stuff, you know the hotels and getting things into the restaurants and bars, and just really making Des Moines a welcoming place for all the fans, and especially have a great experience for the student athletes that are coming here.” This is the third time Des Moines has hosted the -opening- rounds of the tournament, and Edwards says it’s possible they’ll bid on hosting -regional- rounds in the future.

(As above) “We’ve always looked at it, you know, you get eight teams coming in for the first two rounds, and you’ll only get four teams coming in for the regional rounds,” he says, “so I think our impact is probably a little bit stronger hosting rounds one and two, but we’d certainly be open to hosting a regional as well.” Could Des Moines host a Final Four? That would be a long shot, Edwards says, at least not until we have an N-F-L team here with an 80-thousand seat stadium. Iowa is sending six teams to the tournaments this year, both the men’s and women’s teams from Drake, Iowa State and Iowa, which is significant for a state our size.

(As above) “It is a big deal. I think it is so cool. We’re excited about our hometown team Drake getting both the men and women’s teams in there and and both Iowa and Iowa State as well,” Edwards says. “So I don’t know if you go back in history, if there was ever a time prior to this or if this is a first.” Play opens at 1:00 PM on Thursday with Howard versus Kansas, followed by Arkansas versus Illinois at 3:30 PM, Colgate versus Texas at 6:25 PM, and Penn State versus Texas A&M at 8:55 PM.




MINNEAPOLIS (AP) — The Minnesota Vikings have ramped up their pass rush and run blocking by agreeing to terms with former New Orleans defensive end Marcus Davenport and former Baltimore tight end Josh Oliver. The deals were confirmed by two different people with direct knowledge of each deal who spoke to The Associated Press on condition of anonymity because free agent contracts can’t be finalized until the new league year begins on Wednesday. Davenport was the 14th overall pick in the 2018 draft. Oliver was the highest-ranked tight end in run blocking in 2022 by Pro Football Focus.



MASON CITY — The NIACC softball team is ranked 18th in the latest National Junior College Athletic Association Division II rankings released on Monday. NIACC was 15th in the March 6th poll and went 3-3 at the Midwest Bash Juco Classic in Evansville Indiana over the weekend, beating #19th-ranked Danville Area Community College, Olney Central College and Shawnee Community College. NIACC entered the rankings in the February 27th poll at #17. Other Iowa Community College Athletic Conference teams in the rankings include DMACC at #3, Kirkwood at #11 and Iowa Lakes at #20. NIACC returns to action today in a doubleheader at Fort Scott Kansas Community College, and then will play a pair of games in Overland Park Kansas on Wednesday against Indian Hills and Johnson County Kansas Community College.