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
  • GN140802 girls golf letterwinners 01 GIRLS GOLF: Goshen begins season on Tuesday at MCC GOSHEN — Desire, dedication and determination are going to be key words for the Goshen High School girls golf team during the 2014 season. “We are going to be talking a lot about the three D’s this year,” seventh-year Redskin coach Brock Rose said. “The belief you can play is a huge part of this game. “We are not going to be a deep team, but I am really excited about the upcoming season. The girls have put in a lot of time on the driving range and working on their chipping and putting. They have not had a lot of course time, but I’m happy with the work they did over the summer. As a group they have done more over the summer than some past teams.”|GOSHEN — Desire, dedication and determination are going to be key words for the Goshen High School girls golf team during the 2014 season. “We are going to be talking a lot about the three D’s this year,” seventh-year Redskin coach Brock Rose said. “

    August 1, 2014 1 Photo

  • SPT GN140802 Kelly press conference Kelly: "I'll make the (quarterback) call when it's clear" At the first official press conference of the 2014 Notre Dame football season, Irish head coach Brian Kelly made it clear he’s got a quarterback battle.

    August 1, 2014 1 Photo

  • PODCAST: TGN Sports Roundtable, Ep. 41

    Question of the Week: Which year did Brock Rose take over the Goshen High School girls' golf program?

    Do you think you know the answer? Send your answer to sports@goshennews.com. Correct answers will be entered into a weekly drawing and the winner will be announced during the next week's podcast.

    August 1, 2014

  • Colts Camp Football [GOSHEN NEWS] NFL: Colts lose 2nd starter with season-ending injury ANDERSON — The injuries are already piling up in Indianapolis.

    August 1, 2014 1 Photo

  • Britain Commonwealth Games [TGN online] England wins diving gold to increase medal lead GLASGOW, Scotland — England added to its burgeoning gold-medal lead at the Commonwealth Games when divers Jack Laugher and Chris Mears won the synchronized 3-meter springboard on Friday. At the Royal Commonwealth Pool at Edinburgh, about an hour's dr

    August 1, 2014 1 Photo

  • Crystal Palace signs defender Brede Hangeland LONDON — Crystal Palace has signed former Fulham captain Brede Hangeland for the new English Premier League season. The 33-year-old Norway central defender left Fulham after the London club opted against offering a new contract following relegation

    August 1, 2014

  • Tigers-Rays-Mariners Trade Baseball [GOSHEN NEWS] MLB: Flurry of moves made at trade deadline Baseball fans were still trying to sort out the dizzying deals for postseason aces Jon Lester and John Lackey, Home Run Derby champ Yoenis Cespedes and All-Star shortstop Asdrubal Cabrera when they were treated to a most curious sight Thursday.

    July 31, 2014 1 Photo

  • Lindley, Tom.jpg Grandstands feel a little empty at NASCAR races

    Two decades after NASCAR started running at Indianapolis Motor Speedway, the crowds have thinned considerably. It's probably no reflection on the sport's massive following, which stretches from coast to coast, but it surely doesn't NASCAR's image help when the cameras pan across all of those empty seats.

    July 31, 2014 1 Photo

  • Nadal Withdraws Tennis [GOSHEN NEWS] TENNIS: Nadal withdraws from two tournaments Rafael Nadal withdrew Wednesday from U.S. Open tuneups in Toronto and Cincinnati because of a right wrist injury, putting in doubt his status for a title defense at the year's last Grand Slam tournament.

    July 30, 2014 1 Photo

  • NFL: Colts look for second-year LB to take big step forward ANDERSON — Big Bjoern has certainly made his presence felt during the first week of training camp for the Indianapolis Colts. Bjoern Werner -- the 6-foot-3, 257-pound second-year outside linebacker for the Colts -- is being counted on to big a major force on the Indianapolis defense this season.

    July 30, 2014

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
Renewed Violence Taking Toll on Gaza Residents 2 Americans Detained in North Korea Seek Help US Employers Add 209K Jobs, Rate 6.2 Pct House GOP Optimistic About New Border Bill Gaza Truce Unravels; Israel, Hamas Trade Blame Raw: Tunisia Closes Borders With Libya Four Rescued From Crashed Plane Couple Channel Grief Into Soldiers' Retreat WWI Aviation Still Alive at Aerodrome in NY Raw: Rescuers at Taiwan Explosion Scene Raw: Woman Who Faced Death Over Faith in N.H. Clinton Before 9-11: Could Have Killed Bin Laden Netanyahu Vows to Destroy Hamas Tunnels Obama Slams Republicans Over Lawsuit House Leaders Trade Blame for Inaction
Poll

Classes at Goshen Community Schools and St. John the Evangelist Catholic School will begin the 2014-15 school year on Thursday, Aug. 7. School corporations throughout the state have been trending toward earlier start dates the past few years. When do you think school should start?

I think early August is a good time to start
I think later in August would be a good time to start
I think school should start after Labor Day
     View Results