NCAA March Madness
NCAA to Host 2013 Inclusion Forum in Indianapolis
Dialogue will center on a range of inclusive topics related to policy, research, best practices, law and general issues as it relates to five areas of interest: race, gender, international student-athletes, LGBTQ, and disability-access in sports. Panelists and moderators will include college and university officials, Olympic NGB representatives, media, sport organization representatives, NCAA staff, government officials and not-for-profit advocates.
The Inclusion Forum allows a range of voices and experiences to come together to discuss ways to advance an inclusive culture in intercollegiate athletics and higher education, said Bernard Franklin, executive vice president of membership & student-athlete affairs/chief inclusion officer. Diversity and inclusion remain a priority for the NCAA. Our goal is to work with our membership and key organizations that include diversity and inclusion as a main mission in order to develop ways to increase diverse representation in our membership, especially in decision-making roles, and create more inclusive climates in athletics.
One of the keynote panel sessions will be Disability and the Law: New Guidelines from the Office for Civil Rights (OCR). The panel will review the recent guidance issued by the OCR pertaining to an educational institutions responsibilities in providing athletics opportunities for students with disabilities under the Rehabilitation Act of 1973. The discussion will further clarify the impacts for NCAA members and outline future opportunities for student-athletes with disabilities. University and OCR representatives will speak on that panel.
In addition to the wide range of speakers, Dr. Mark Emmert, president of the NCAA, will deliver the welcome to the participants. Other panel sessions will include Sports Inclusion and the Media; Opportunities for Adaptive Sports; Strategies for Successfully Hiring, Mentoring & Supporting Coaches; Concussion in Womens Sport; Title IX after 40; The Relationship Between the Chief Diversity Officer and Intercollegiate Athletics; Mental Health Issues and Athletics Identity; NCAA and EADA Financial Reporting; and LGBTQ Inclusion. There will also be a workshop on developing campus inclusion action plans, Title IX education and NCAA divisional hot-topic sessions.
The NCAA hosts the three-day forum to provide attendees the opportunity to get updates on trends, relevant data, equity procedures, inclusion planning and key issues that could have a positive or adverse impact on its membership and the student-athletes it serves. The NCAA combined its Inclusion Summit, first held in 2011, and its Gender Equity Forum, held annually, to form the 2013 Inclusion Forum.
March Madness Bracket
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No. 9 Northern Iowa Panthers vs. No. 5 Michigan State Spartans
The No. 9 seed, of the Midwest division, Northern Iowa Panthers will be facing off against the No. 5 seed Michigan State Spartans this Friday, March 26, 2010. Tipoff will be at 9:30 pm eastern time and they will be battling at Edward Jones Dome in St. Louis.
Michigan State came into the season ranked No. 2 in both national polls and was expected to contend for a national championship this season but inconsistent play, especially on the road, proved to be the main issue for the Michigan State Spartans.
Michigan State has won a pair of nail biters (70 to 67 over New Mexico State and 85 to 83 over Maryland) in the first two rounds of the 2010 NCAA Tournament to advance to its 9th Sweet Sixteen since 1998. The biggest blow to the Michigan State Spartans will be playing without their star player, point guard Kalin Lucas for the rest of the tourney. However, if the team's win over Maryland in round two was any sign, Korie Luscious is the next best thing to fill in. Luscious hit a three pointer as time ended to give Michigan State an 85 to 83 victory after point guard Lucas went down with two minutes to play in the first half.
Northern Iowa has to be the biggest surprise of all the mid-major teams still alive in NCAA Tourney. The Panthers faced a streaking UNLV team that seemed to finally be getting healthy in round one and, while it wasnít the biggest of upsets, what happened next against Kansas destroyed many brackets around the world, especially mine. Northern Iowa has played great basketball through the first two rounds, taking care of the basketball, taking advantage of its opportunities at the free throw line and forcing opponents into mistakes. More importantly, however, the Panthers have gotten big plays when they have needed them most, especially from guard Ali Farokhmanesh who has made game winners in each of the Panthers first two games. Northern Iowa has been playing tight defense and controlling the tempo and they will have to continue to do so against a well-coached Michigan State team in the Sweet Sixteen.
Northern Iowa Panthers are shooting 39.5 percent from the field, while the Michigan State Spartans are shooting about 44 percent. MSU has the rebounding advantage, 32.3 to 28.6. They are also committing fewer turnovers, 10.8 to 13.2. But the biggest stat which I think will make or break the game for the Panthers is the three point department. Northern Iowa is making 6.2 three pointers on 33.7 percent from behind the arc, while MSU is making only 4.7 three pointers at 32.3 percent behind the line. For the Panthers to beat the favorite Spartans in this game their three point stroke is going to have to be on point.
The bookies havenít set the lines as of today, but Iím sure by the end of the day www.sportsbook.com will have the lines up. The favorites will be the Michigan State Spartans, thatís a no brainer, but watching Northern Iowa play against Kansas the other day, makes me want to think they might be the Cinderella team of this yearís tournament.