Simeon tops Orr, advances to title game

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Simeon tops Orr, advances to title game

By Michael O'Brien
YourSeason.com

Simeons Jabari Parker has been involved in a lot of elite basketball games in his basketball career, but getting to the title game of Public League tournament has eluded the junior until Wednesday night.The top-ranked Wolverines beat Orr 61-51 in the second semifinal behind Parkers 19 points and six blocks. Simeon reached the Public League final for the first time since 2007.The Wolverines led 37-18 at the half, but were actually outscored by Orr in the second half.Our third quarters have to be better, Simeon coach Robert Smith said. We cant let up because we are up 20. We need to get 30. This is Chicago, teams arent going to quit out there.Senior Steve Taylor scored 13 and grabbed eight rebounds and Kendrick Nunn added nine points and seven rebounds.If we are going to win the whole thing we are going to need more from Steve Taylor, Smith said.Deshawn King led Orr (19-4) with 15 points and Marquise Pryor scored 14 and grabbed eight rebounds. The Spartans shot 7-for-28 from three point range in the game.Simeon (24-1) and Curie (24-1) will play for the city title on Friday at Chicago State. The two teams met in late December for the championship of the Pontiac Holiday Tournament, a game Simeon won 44-27.Thats going to pump them up more, Smith said. They might try to say they were tired (after losing to Warren in double overtime in the semifinals earlier in the day) but we had a tough one that day too and actually had less rest than they did.

At Cubs' White House visit, President Obama touts Michelle Obama's Cubs fandom, shouts out Jose Cardenal

At Cubs' White House visit, President Obama touts Michelle Obama's Cubs fandom, shouts out Jose Cardenal

Unlike her husband, Michelle Obama hasn't made a big deal out of her baseball fandom over the past eight years.

But as President Obama mentioned while he honored the World Series champion Cubs on Monday at the White House, it turns out the First Lady is a pretty big Cubs fan and watching the Cubs win the World Series meant an awful lot to her.

"It is no secret that there's a certain South Side team that has my loyalty," the president said. "So I can't claim that I have the same visceral joy of some in this White House. But FLOTUS is a lifelong Cubs fan, and I will tell you ... in the eight years that I've been here, we've hosted at least 50 teams. Football, baseball, basketball, soccer, you name it. Michelle has never come to a single event celebrating a champion until today. She came and shook hands and met with every one of these members of the Cubs organization and told a story about what it meant for her to be able to see them win. She remembers coming home from school, and her dad would be watching a Cubs game, and the bond and the family, the meaning that the Cubs had for her in terms of connecting with her father and why it meant so much to her. And I almost choked up listening to it. And it spoke, I think, to how people feel about this organization and that it's been passed on generation after generation. It's more than just sports."

And one ex-Cub even got a special invite to the White House so the First Lady could meet her all-time favorite player. That was former pitcher Jose Cardenal, once famous for his large afro. According to President Obama, his wife used to try and wear her hat over her afro just like Cardenal did.

So while President Obama was presented with a lifetime pass to Wrigley Field, perhaps it's Michelle who will get more use out of it.

Check out more from the president in the video above.

Big Ten poll update: Northwestern on the verge of top 25 in coaches, AP polls

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USA TODAY

Big Ten poll update: Northwestern on the verge of top 25 in coaches, AP polls

Northwestern ranked? Hey, it could happen.

In a year when folks are talking about the Wildcats perhaps finally receiving their first-ever invite to the NCAA tournament, the team is also about to crack the top 25.

Northwestern was the de facto No. 26 team in the coaches poll and the de facto No. 30 team in the AP poll when both sets of rankings were released Monday.

After beating Rutgers on the road and pummeling Iowa at home, Northwestern is 15-4 overall and 4-2 in Big Ten play.

The Cats have one game this week, against Ohio State on Sunday, and should they win they could put themselves to have a number in front of their name come this time next week.

The last time that happened? Well, at least in the AP poll, Northwestern hasn't been ranked since 2009, and prior to that, you have to go all the way back to the 1968-69 season.

Elsewhere in the conference, Maryland re-entered the top 25, No. 25 in both the AP and coaches polls. The Terps stand at a somewhat quiet 16-2 overall and 4-1 in league play after wins last week over Indiana and Illinois.

Wisconsin was the No. 17 team in both polls, keeping its place in the coaches poll and moving up a spot in the AP. The Badgers scored a blowout win over Ohio State last Thursday and are 14-3 overall and 3-1 in conference play this season.

Purdue was ranked 21st in the AP poll and 22nd in the coaches poll. After a loss to Iowa, Purdue dropped four spots in the AP and three spots in the coaches. The Boilers are 14-4 overall and 3-2 in the Big Ten.

Minnesota, which lost twice this week to Michigan State and Penn State, fell out of the top 25 in both polls.

Northwestern was the only Big Ten team also receiving votes in the AP poll, while Northwestern, Indiana and Minnesota also received votes in the coaches poll.