Gene's Blog: Never a D-U-H moment? Not at this blog

If your world is anything like mine, your brain has trouble keeping up with information flying around at the speed of sound.

Since it's easy to miss out on pertinent news, notes and unusual feats, Gene's Blog introduces its new app: The D-U-H. It stands for Did U Hear?

D-U-H? It's a Tommie-Johnnie men's basketball matchup tonight at Schoenecker Arena in the semifinal round of the MIAC playoffs. This electric indoor rivalry features the 19-6 Tommies facing the 18-8 Johnnies with a 7 p.m. tipoff.

Tickets are $7 for adults and $3 for students. If you can't make it, the game will have live video and live stats.

Longtime fans recall several great Tommie-Johnnie postseason hoops games in old Schoenecker back during the 1990s. In one season, the teams played in the MIAC playoff finals and again in the NCAA playoffs just days apart.

Interestingly, tonight's game will be the first postseason T-J basketball meeting in 10 seasons, and just the third in 22 seasons. It's also the first time since 1989 that the teams have played in the playoff semifinal round.

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D-U-H? No. 2-ranked and 25-0 Tommie Women's Basketball is scheduled to play host to a home playoff game against St. Ben's on Friday in Schoenecker Arena. Tipoff is at 7 p.m.

Tickets are $7 for adults and $3 for students. If you can't make it, the game will have live video and live stats.

Over the last 30 seasons, the Tommie men (63) and UST women (62) have combined to win 125 postseason games. They have combined to play in nine Final Fours during that span.

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D-U-H? Nearly 500 athletes from 13 MIAC institutions will send track and field athletes to our campus this weekend for the MIAC Indoor Championships. An even 100 of those competitors -- 55 men and 45 women -- will be wearing the UST Purple, as St. Thomas has the largest contingent of qualifiers.

St. Thomas men's and women's teams have won 61 of the 64 MIAC indoor team crowns since this meet was first contested in 1985.

If you are able to brave the snow, crowd and parking challenges, the admission price is $8 for adults and $3 for students per day. If you can't make it here, there will be live video and live immediate results that you can access on Tommiesports.com.

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D-U-H? Many people know that Tommie coach Joe Sweeney has guided his women's teams to an amazing 79 team championships in cross country, indoor and outdoor track in his 37-year career here.

Behind Joe's glossy championship total, it would be easy to overlook the slate of UST men's coach Steve Mathre. In his first 21 seasons, Mathre had led St. Thomas Men's Track and Field to 37 of a possible 42 MIAC indoor and outdoor team crowns. That includes a current 21-for-21 run of indoor titles since he became head coach in 1995.

Yes, track and field is a sport where conference championships can multiply quickly for the right program, due to two annual meets. Any way you analyze it, Mathre's total of 37 crowns in 21 years puts him in rare MIAC air with the likes the late Steve Wilkinson (35 MIAC crowns in men's tennis at Gustavus; John Gagliardi (27 football and two T&F titles at St. John's); and Bob Hauck (29 men and women swim-dive titles at St. Olaf).

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D-U-H? Before last Friday, the Twin Cities had just four 60-degree February days in the history of weather record keeping. Then we enjoyed the great 2017 warm up.

St. Thomas teams took advantage of the thaw to take part in rare outdoor February competitions in both baseball and tennis.

Last Friday Feb. 17, with temps peaking in the low 60s, the Tommie junior-varsity baseball team split a doubleheader with Dakota Technical College on the Minnetonka High turf field. WCCO-TV took notice and prepared this video story.

Coach Chris Olean has his whole team on the same Minnetonka fields on Sunday for all-day intrasquad scrimmages as they prepare for a season-opening Feb. 28 10:45 a.m. doubleheader at US Bank Stadium against UW-Stevens Point.

Temperatures reached the upper 50s on the outdoor tennis courts Wednesday at Macalester, where the Tommies topped the Scots in a dual meet held in the fresh air.

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D-U-H? Superstar senior Emma Paulson has left her mark on MIAC Swimming in her three seasons since transferring from Division I Wisconsin. She won 18 individual races and relays in three MIAC Championship competitions. That included her 14-for-14 record in relays and individual races over her last two MIAC meets.

On the men's Swim-Dive side, senior Luke Schneeman contributed to MIAC team crowns in each of the last three seasons. That helped his family go into double digits for conference championships -- his grandfather Dan Schneeman was part of three Swim-Dive title teams from 1951-54. Luke's cousins Fritz and Nick Waldvogel contributed to four of the Tommies' five MIAC football, titles, too, from 2010-2016.

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D-U-H? When Jon Lowery was selected as D3Soccer.com National Coach of the Year this week, it marked the 14th time in the last 16 years that a Tommie head coach was named or voted as  recipient of that elite award by a national coaches' group or publication.

This is the ninth different sport in which a St. Thomas coach has been named National Coach of the Year.

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D-U-H? St. Thomas' men's and women's hockey teams continued impressive streaks this winter. Not only did the UST men win the MIAC crown for the fifth time in six seasons, it made the conference playoff field for the 32nd time in the 32-year history of the format. It aso posted the program's 35th consecutive winning season.

The Tommie women made it 17 years in a row in the conference playoff field.

Both teams are home in Mendota Heights this weekend for playoff games -- the women play Hamline Friday at 7 p.m., while the men face either Concordia or Hamline Saturday at 7 p.m. Tickets are $7 for adults and $3 for students. If you can't make it, the games will have live video and live stats.

Last week in a four-day span, Tommie hockey teams won four games with four different goalies.

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D-U-H? Betsy DeVos has been in the news in the last month after being nominated and eventually confirmed for the cabinet post of the Secretary of Education.

If her last name sounds familiar, it's a part of St. Thomas sports lore. DeVos graduated from Calvin (Mich.) College but her family donated a large gift at rival Hope (Mich.) College for naming rights when the athletics fieldhouse was built 13 years ago.

Tommie Women's Basketball played at DeVos Fieldhouse in the 2012 Final Four, taking third place. Eight months later in the same DeVos venue, Tommie Volleyball came back from a 2-0 defiicit to beat Calvin 3-2 and claim the Division III championship.

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D-U-H? Legendary WCCO broadcaster Ray Christensen died earlier this month at age 92. There were many tributes offered to this wonderful old-school broadcaster. The Minnesota Gophers even had a moment of silence for Ray before a men's basketball game.

Did anyone else find the irony (sarcasm coming)? A moment of silence for a gentleman who made his living with the spoken word. Shouldn't they have held a moment of chatter?

RIP, Ray C.

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Gene's Blog is a sports column penned by UST sports information director Gene McGivern. Gene is working in his 23rd season at St. Thomas and 29th overall in the MIAC. He blogs periodically on various topics regarding the Tommies, the Minnesota Intercollegiate Athletic Conference (MIAC) and Division III sports.

If you have comments or questions, e-mail Gene at ejmcgivern@stthomas.edu