'Three Amigos' are IBCA Hall of Fame inductees

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'Three Amigos' are IBCA Hall of Fame inductees

The Illinois Basketball Coaches Association's Hall of Fame inductees for the class of 2013 will include former Simeon stars Ben Wilson and Nick Anderson, Dusty Bensko of Pleasant Plains, Michelle Hasheider of Okawville, Terri Zemaitis of Downers Grove South, Carver's Ken Maxey and Proviso East's famed Three Amigos--Donnie Boyce, Michael Finley and Sherell Ford.

Although the IBCA's Hall of Fame has been moved to Danville, the organization's annual Hall of Fame induction banquet will continue to be conducted at Braden Auditorium on Illinois State's campus in Normal. The 2013 event will be Saturday, April 27.

As a junior, Wilson led Simeon to the 1984 Class AA state championship. A few months later, he was acclaimed the No. 1 player in the nation after participating in the Nike camp. On the eve of Simeon's first game of the 1984-85 season, he was shot to death by a gang member outside his school.

Anderson was a two-time All-Chicago Area selection at Prosser, then decided to transfer to Simeon as a junior so he could play with Wilson. As a senior, he was named Illinois' Mr. Basketball and went on to outstanding careers at Illinois and the NBA.

Bensko was one of the best all-around athletes in state history. In an unprecedented achievement, he led Pleasant Plains to the Class A state titles in basketball and baseball as a junior in 2000. He was named to USA Today's All-America team. He scored 2,488 points in his basketball career.

Hasheider was Illinois' Ms. Basketball in 1994, was a two-time All-Stater, scored 2,026 points in her career and led Okawville to the Class A championship in 1994 and second place in 1993.

Zemaitis was a two-time All-Stater who led Downers Grove South to a 27-5 record and the Class AA quarterfinals in 1994. She also was one of the nation's leading volleyball players and later starred on Penn State's NCAA championship team.

Maxey was the backcourt leader of the Carver team that won the 1963 Class AA championship, beating Centralia in one of the most dramatic finishes in state tournament history. He went on to play with Carver legend Cazzie Russell at Michigan.

Boyce, Finley and Ford led Proviso East to the Class AA title in 1991. Ford was the Chicago area's Player of the Year and was a standout at Illinois-Chicago. Finley went on to outstanding careers at Wisconsin and the NBA. Boyce, who played at Colorado, currently is the head coach at Proviso East.

The annual Buzzy O'Connor Award for contributions to basketball will be presented to Jim Harrington, former coach at Weber and Elgin. Harrington was inducted into the IBCA Hall of Famein 2001. His son, Sean, a 1999 Elgin graduate and the school's all-time leading scorer, was inducted in 2011.

Here are other inductees in the class of 2013:

Players: Wilson; Anderson; Bensko; Hasheider; Zemaitis; Boyce; Finley; Ford; Ashley Berggren, Barrington; Justin Brock, Liberty; Greg Cruse, Goreville; Roland Duke, Dundee; Larry Gorman, Oak Forest; John Guderjan, Mid-County; Gary Jackson, Blue Mound; Sean Knox, North Greene; Kelly Miller, Lake Park; Ron Rigoni, Danville; Reggie Rose, Hubbard; Jordan Roth, Pleasant Plains; Daryl Schaffeld, Fremd; Ed Schumacher, Vocational; Corinne Vossel, Hersey; Shawn Watts, Thornton; Sarah Weiss, Libertyville.

Coaches: Bob Barnett, Hampshire; Jack Blickensderfer, Meridian; Sara Kinney, Chillicothe; Mike Miller, Rockton Hononegah; Scott Olson, Rock Falls.

Career Coaches: Scott Buzard, Glenview Springman; Dennis Cromer, Bensenville Fenton; Gary Harlacher, Geneseo; Mike Kiss, Geneseo; Greg Rigoni, Hickory Creek; Jerry Schmitt, Minonk Fieldcrest; Mike Schnable, Oswego; Ken Wildhaber, Highland; Matt Yarcho, Morton.

Teams: Glenbrook North boys 2005; Seneca boys, 2006; Carrollton girls, 2001; Carrollton girls, 2002; Buffalo Grove girls, 2000.

Officials: Terry Andrews, Bridgeport; Mark Cladis, Chicago Heights; David Collins, Bethalto; Julie Colwell, Lincolnwood; David Hancock, Orion; Dave Hasley, Abingdon; Dave King, St. Charles; Jim McKenna, Chicago.

Media: Scott Busboom, Decatur; Don Hamilton, Jacksonville; Tom Kelly, Encino, Calif.; Randy List, Centralia; Don Werntz, Freeport.

According to Chuck Rolinski, longtime executive directortreasurer of the IBCA and one of its co-founders, the Danville area Convention and Visitors Bureau is in charge of securing a permanent home for the IBCA's Hall of Fame.

Executive director Jeanne Cooke has made a decision to put the IBCA's Hall of Fame plaques and memorabilia in the Convention Center. It will have its own entrance with 4,000 square feet of space. An architect has been hired and remodeling of the space will begin in the near future.

Michigan's magical March ends in one-point loss to Oregon in Sweet Sixteen

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USA TODAY

Michigan's magical March ends in one-point loss to Oregon in Sweet Sixteen

Michigan's March magic finally ran out.

The guy who's been so fantastic throughout his senior season, point guard Derrick Walton Jr., missed a game-winning 3-point try at the buzzer, and the Wolverines fell to the Oregon Ducks by a 69-68 final score in the Sweet Sixteen.

It was an incredibly competitive game between the Big Ten Tournament champs and the Pac-12 regular-season champs, with neither side ever leading by more than six.

But Moe Wagner, who scored a career-high 26 points in Michigan's second-round win over Louisville, was pretty much a non-factor in this one, scoring just seven points on 3-for-10 shooting.

Still, seniors Walton and Zak Irvin kept an unusually cold-shooting group of Wolverines alive with a combined 39 points, 23 of which came after halftime. D.J. Wilson also scored in double figures with 12, all coming on 3-pointers.

But Michigan, which had been on fire offensively for much of the last month, shot just 43.1 percent from the field and missed 20 of its 31 shots from behind the arc.

The Wolverines actually shot under 40 percent over the opening 20 minutes as the two defenses did good work for these typically high-scoring squads. Michigan turned the ball over seven times before the break but trailed by just two as it went to the locker room.

The tit-for-tat nature of the game continued at the outset of the second half before Oregon reached its game-high six-point lead, but Michigan responded with seven straight and grabbed its first lead of the second half around the 11-minute mark. The Ducks answered that mini surge with six straight of their own, part of a larger 10-4 spurt, before Wilson and Walton hit back-to-back triples to once again give the Wolverines a narrow advantage, this time with a little more than four minutes remaining.

Oregon and Irvin traded buckets from there, and a Walton jumper was Michigan's sixth straight make from the field, putting the Wolverines up three with under two minutes to play. But Michigan didn't score again, and Jordan Bell and Tyler Dorsey got back-to-back layups, the latter the game-winning one ahead of Walton's missed 3-point attempt as time ran out.

Dorsey was fantastic for the Ducks, scoring 20 points, his sixth straight game with at least 20 points. Bell had a double-double with 16 points and 13 rebounds. Oregon advanced to its second straight Elite Eight with the win.

Michigan's entertaining end-of-season run is over. Entering Thursday night's game in Kansas City, the Wolverines had won seven straight and 10 of their last 12. Those two losses came by a combined seven points. Add this loss in and just eight points separated Michigan from 13 consecutive wins.

Certainly this group of Wolverines will be remembered for its sensational four wins in four days at the Big Ten Tournament after that horrifying aborted takeoff, as well as for reaching the third Sweet Sixteen in the last five seasons under John Beilein.

Cubs president Theo Epstein, world's greatest leader? 'The pope didn't have as good of a year'

Cubs president Theo Epstein, world's greatest leader? 'The pope didn't have as good of a year'

MESA, Ariz. – Cubs president Theo Epstein showed zero interest in playing along with Fortune magazine putting him on the cover and ranking him No. 1 on the list of "The World's 50 Greatest Leaders," or two spots ahead of Pope Francis.

"The pope didn't have as good of a year," manager Joe Maddon said Wednesday, channeling Babe Ruth.

Epstein essentially bit his tongue, responding to reporters with a copy-and-paste text message that reflected his self-awareness and PR savvy. 

"Um, I can't even get my dog to stop peeing in the house," Epstein wrote. "The whole thing is patently ridiculous. It's baseball – a pastime involving a lot of chance. If (Ben) Zobrist's ball is three inches farther off the line, I'm on the hot seat for a failed five-year plan. 

"And I'm not even the best leader in our organization; our players are."

Epstein obviously has a big ego. No one becomes the youngest general manager in baseball history and builds three World Series winners without a strong sense of confidence and conviction. But he genuinely tries to deflect credit, keep a relatively low profile and stay focused on the big picture. 

Fortune's cover art became an older image of Epstein standing at the dugout, surrounded by reporters during a Wrigley Field press gaggle. (This was not Alex Rodriguez kissing a mirror during a magazine photo shoot.) The text borrowed from Tom Verducci's upcoming "The Cubs Way" book. 
 
Fortune still hit an Internet sweet spot and generated a lot of buzz, ranking Epstein ahead of Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos (No. 4), Army Lt. Gen. H.R. McMaster (No. 7) and German Chancellor Angela Merkel (No. 10).

"I'm all about the pope," Maddon said. "Sorry, Pope Francis. We're buds. I'd like to meet him someday. But after all, what we did last year was pretty special. 

"Has the pope broken any 108-year-old curses lately?"

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Epstein also ended an 86-year drought for the Boston Red Sox, putting the finishing touches on the immortal 2004 team and winning another championship in 2007 with eight homegrown players. 

No matter how the Cubs try to airbrush history now, that five-year plan featured lucky breaks, unexpected twists and turns and payroll frustrations as the franchise went from 101 losses in 2012 to 103 wins last season. But even after the biggest party Chicago has ever seen, no team in baseball is better positioned for the future. And there is no doubt that Epstein is a Hall of Fame executive.  

"He's very good at setting something up and then permitting people to do their jobs," Maddon said. "That's the essence of good leadership, the ability to delegate well. But then he also has the tough conversations. 

"He sees both sides. I've talked about his empathy before. I think that sets him apart from a lot of the young groups that are leading Major League Baseball teams right now. You know if you have to talk to him about something, he's got an open ear and he's going to listen to what you say. He's not going to go in there predetermined. 

"You can keep going on and on, him just obviously being very bright, brilliant actually. He's got so many great qualities about him. But he leads well, I think, primarily because of his empathy."

That blend of scouting and analytics, open-minded nature and pure guts led to the Cubs: drafting Kris Bryant and Kyle Schwarber; trading for Anthony Rizzo, Kyle Hendricks, Jake Arrieta, Addison Russell and almost their entire bullpen; and signing transformative free agents like Jon Lester and Zobrist.            

Chairman Tom Ricketts locked up Epstein before the playoffs started last October with a five-year extension believed to be worth in the neighborhood of $50 million. Arrieta didn't laugh off the Fortune rankings.

"It just shows you all the positive that's he done," Arrieta said. "Not only here, but beforehand in Boston and what he's built for himself and for the city of Boston and the city of Chicago. It's hard to understate what he means to the organization."