* It’s still early in 2011 but I’m ready to call the 57th Annual B’nai B’rith Charity Sports Banquet the biggest non-game sporting event of the year. Sure there’s the first College World Series downtown and hopefully some good things still to come from UNO hockey, but as far as speakers go the B’nai B’rith organizers know what gets this city moving — college football. Big 10 commissioner Jim Delany and former Florida coach Urban Meyer will serve as co-headliners. By the time May rolls around there may not be a bigger man of the moment in the state than Delany. As the guy who plucked Nebraska from the expanding power of Texas and the assumed collapse of the Big 12, he could simply read the latest Nielsen ratings for the Big 10 Network and I’d be ecstatic. And regardless of what Meyer says — a dramatic reading from the playbook he used to win two national titles at Florida is good — I’m positively giddy at the idea that maybe he and Bo Pelini, along with new offensive coordinator Tim Beck, will get together at some point to talk shop. Tell us, Urban, how do we make Kyler Reed the new Aaron Hernandez? Tickets for the banquet, which will also feature local sports figures from Creighton and UNO, are $110 or $160 for the VIP treatment which gets you into a private reception with the guests of honor. Call 334.6443 for more information. * With the prospects for local hoops action late into March looking unlikely, is Omaha ready to become a hockey town for a few weeks? It should, because everything’s still on the table for the UNO Mavericks in their surprising first season in the WCHA. The Mavs will host the first round of the conference tournament at the Qwest Center March 11, 12 and 13 (if necessary) in a best-of-three format. Win there and it’s on to St. Paul, Minn. for the WCHA Final Five on March 17 through 19. Tickets for the first round games are available now at omahasteam.com or at the Qwest Center and Sapp Fieldhouse box offices. * Fun fact: Creighton’s Doug McDermott broke Rodney Buford’s freshman scoring record of 421 points against Wichita State on Feb. 23. Buford is the school’s all-time leading scorer with 2,116 points.


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