Goshen News, Goshen, IN

Sports

March 15, 2012

THE SKINNY: March Madness has arrived

GOSHEN — Got your brackets filled out yet?

Scant time remains before this afternoon’s second-round NCAA Tournament games (which are really the first round, but are now called the second round because the contrived “First Four” games now are called the first round.

At any rate, now that we’re all confused, that particular malady we know as “March Madness” hits full-force today.

For the Indiana Hoosiers, it’s the first trip to the Big Dance in awhile. And it’s nice to see Tom Crean’s hard work and faith in a program laid bare by the disgraced Kelvin Sampson rewarded.

It’s been a long four years as Hoosier fans have waited for Indiana to rise from the proverbial ashes.

The fourth-seeded Hoosiers’ return to the tournament kicks off tonight at 9:30 Eastern time in Portland, Oregon, as Indiana (25-8) takes on 13th-seeded New Mexico State (26-9) in a South Regional second-round game.

If the Hoosiers can get past the Aggies, then the stage could be set for a possible Sweet 16 matchup with top-seeded Kentucky.

That would certainly be a media-friendly affair. But first, the Hoosiers need to handle their business tonight against New Mexico State. If they can do that, a third-round matchup awaits on Saturday against the winner of the game between fifth-seeded Wichita State (27-5) and 12th-seeded Virginia Commonwealth University (28-6).

The Rams, avid hoop fans will remember, roared out of the First Four last year and made it all the way to the Final Four.

It’s the kind of story that isn’t supposed to happen, but seemingly does every year.

Elsewhere around our state, Notre Dame has come on with a good late-season push, and Mike Brey’s Fighting Irish are in the same South Regional. The Irish (22-11) are seeded seventh and take on 10th-seeded Xavier (21-12) Friday night.

Another interesting backstory could be developing with the Irish, because if Notre Dame gets past Xavier in the first round, a second-round matchup with second-seeded Duke (27-6) could be waiting. The Blue Devils are not their usual dominating selves this season, but the history of No. 2-vs.-No. 15 matchups is not promising for Duke’s opponent, Lehigh (26-7). No. 15-seeds have reached the Round of 32 just four times over the years.

Meanwhile, Purdue rounds out a trio of Indiana schools making the tournament this year. The Boilermakers (21-12) are seeded No. 10 and play No. 7 St. Mary’s (27-5) in Omaha, Neb. Friday night.

My alma mater, San Diego State, is back in the tournament this year, surprisingly to some after losing a bunch of players off a team that won the first NCAA Tournament game in school history last year and then, for an encore, made it to the Sweet 16 before bowing out.

The Aztecs (26-7) are seeded No. 6 in the Midwest Regional and take on No. 11 North Carolina State (22-12) on Friday. This is a matchup that concerns me, first because 6-11 games are often prime upset territory, and secondly because the Wolfpack is back in the tournament after a lengthy absence. After spending several years working in North Carolina, I saw firsthand the Duke-North Carolina rivalry — which is very much analogous to the Indiana-Purdue rivalry here in our state.

North Carolina State has been a third wheel in Carolina basketball for awhile, and while it’s nice to see the Wolfpack relevant again, I wish they were playing someone else.

But they aren’t, and the tournament draw is what it is. If my Aztecs can get past the much-improved Wolfpack, the road to New Orleans doesn’t get any easier, as they would likely see third-seeded Georgetown in the third round.

These kinds of what-ifs and maybes are part of what makes the tournament the special thing it is.

Hopefully, some of you have entered our bracket contest here at the Goshen News. In addition to being its usual mixture of fun and games, the bracket contest comes with financial rewards: $300 for first place; $150 for second; and $100 for third.

Of course, employees of the paper are not eligible, so some of us are participating in a for-entertainment-purposes-only in-house contest. I’ve made some safe choices, but gone out on a limb or two.

Ordinarily, I find myself mourning my blown-up bracket sometime after the third-round games.

Will this year be different? Time will tell.

Bring on the madness!

Contact sports editor David Vantress at 533-2151, ext. 325 or by email at david.vantress@goshennews.com.

1
Text Only
Sports
  • GN140418 bulls-gibson Improved Gibson proves key for Bulls' success DEERFIELD, Ill. -- Taj Gibson flashed back to the grueling workouts in the searing Southern California heat last summer. There he was with Derrick Rose, running and jumping and trying to take his game to another level for the Chicago Bulls while thei

    April 19, 2014 1 Photo

  • GN140418 base nr-wv kennedy PREP BASEBALL: A pitcher's duel EMMA -- The pitchers were dominant early on until the offenses could getting things going in a high school baseball game between the Northridge Raiders and the Westview Warriors Friday night at Westview. Both starting pitchers hurled four innings of

    April 19, 2014 2 Photos

  • Thunder Pacers Basketball [Duplicate] NBA: Pacers switch into playoff mode against Hawks INDIANAPOLIS -- The Pacers believe things have changed. Instead of chasing the top seed in the Eastern Conference, all they have to do is protect their home court. Instead of pressing, they've been joking around. And instead of trying debating what w

    April 19, 2014 1 Photo

  • Paul George making big play for endorsement deals

    Paul George already has a winning resume

    April 19, 2014

  • GN140418 bulls playoff push NBA: Bulls ready to start playoff push against Wizards CHICAGO -- Lose a franchise player, trade away another star. Snag home-court advantage for at least one round in the playoffs? It's not the way the Chicago Bulls mapped it out at the start of the season. But here they are, holding the fourth seed and

    April 18, 2014 1 Photo

  • GN140418 ghs wawa nr btrk 01 PREP BOYS TRACK AND FIELD: Warriors triumph GOSHEN -- The Wawasee Warriors showcased a couple of very talented athletes in an NLC meet with the Goshen Redskins and the Northridge Raiders Thursday night at Foreman Field. Juniors Clayton Cook and JJ Gilmer were involved in six first places finis

    April 18, 2014 2 Photos

  • GN140418 bglf goshen hartsough PREP BOYS GOLF: Goshen easily downs Central in 2014 opener ELKHART -- Sometimes, the third time really is the charm. After the first two scheduled meets of the season were postponed due to inclement weather earlier this week, the Goshen High School boys golf team was finally able to start the 2014 season Th

    April 18, 2014 1 Photo

  • Lindley, Tom.jpg Golf turns into snooze-fest without celebrities like Tiger and Phil

    The Masters lumbered on last week without two of pro golf's biggest names, Tiger Woods and Phil Mickelson, and fans changed the channel. The PGA needs someone with star power if it's going to lure people back to the game.

    April 17, 2014 1 Photo

  • TGN Sports Roundtable, Ep. 26

    April 17, 2014

  • Pacers Magic Basketball -3 [Duplicate] NBA: Pacers rest 3 starters, cruise past Magic ORLANDO, Fla. -- Rasual Butler and Chris Copeland each scored 19 points as the Indiana Pacers rested their key players and cruised to a 101-86 victory over the Orlando Magic in the regular-season finale for both teams. The Eastern Conference's top se

    April 17, 2014 1 Photo

Parade
Magazine

Click HERE to read all your Parade favorites including Hollywood Wire, Celebrity interviews and photo galleries, Food recipes and cooking tips, Games and lots more.
AP Video
Captain of Sunken SKorean Ferry Arrested Raw: Fire Destroys 3 N.J. Beachfront Homes Raw: Pope Presides Over Good Friday Mass Raw: Space X Launches to Space Station Superheroes Descend on Capitol Mall Man Charged in Kansas City Highway Shootings Obama Awards Navy Football Trophy Anti-semitic Leaflets Posted in Eastern Ukraine Raw: Magnitude-7.2 Earthquake Shakes Mexico City Ceremony at MIT Remembers One of Boston's Finest Raw: Students Hurt in Colo. School Bus Crash Raw: Church Tries for Record With Chalk Jesus Raw: Faithful Celebrate Good Friday Worldwide Deadly Avalanche Sweeps Slopes of Mount Everest Police Arrest Suspect in Highway Shootings Drought Concerns May Hurt Lake Tourism Vermont Goat Meat Gives Refugees Taste of Home Calif. Investigators Re-construct Fatal Bus Cras Mayor Rob Ford Launches Re-election Campaign Appellate Court Hears Okla. Gay Marriage Case
Poll

Goshen City Council member Dixie Robinson is asking residents to make an effort to clean up their yards this spring. The city’s Dial-A-Truck program is available to haul trash away. Do you think there are more unsightly properties in Goshen this year than five years ago?

Yes. I have noticed more problem properties
No. I have not noticed more problems
I think the problems are about the same as always
     View Results