The Herald Bulletin

Morning Update

Sports

March 18, 2013

George Bremer: Hoosiers’ time is now

T-shirts were printed up last season after Indiana’s December upset of then top-ranked Kentucky proclaiming that the Hoosiers’ men’s basketball program was “back.”

It seemed like a burst of bravado at the time, a cathartic release after three consecutive sub-.500 seasons.

But IU made the statement stand up, knocking off two more top-five foes at Assembly Hall and finishing with a 27-9 overall record and a trip to the NCAA tournament’s Sweet 16.

Now the Hoosiers (26-5) have a chance to do something that will cause far more than the production of popular T-shirts. Indiana rightfully has a spot on college basketball’s Mount Rushmore — alongside North Carolina, Kansas and Kentucky — but with that comes great expectations.

Success in those programs is measured in national championship banners and Final Four appearances. IU hasn’t hung one of the former since 1987 and hasn’t made a trip to the latter since 2002.

The current Hoosiers already have claimed their first outright Big Ten title since 1993, but the goal for a team that started the season ranked No. 1 in the nation always has been far greater.

The road to that greater glory was paved quite nicely by the NCAA tournament selection committee on Sunday.

A 3-3 finish likely cost IU the No. 1 overall seed and a potential regional appearance in Indianapolis, but the team’s path through the East Regional likely is a better overall deal.

The tournament run starts Friday in Dayton, Ohio, and would continue next week in Washington, D.C. To reach the Final Four in Atlanta next month — which should be the minimum objective for this group — the Hoosiers must navigate a field with ACC regular season and tournament champion Miami and a pair of Big East bullies in Marquette and Syracuse.

Butler, which beat IU at Bankers Life Fieldhouse in December, also is in this bracket. But the Bulldogs have a tough road to a potential Elite Eight rematch with the Hoosiers.

Butler would need to knock off upset-minded Bucknell in the opening round then likely get a second win over Marquette — following a November buzzer-beater in Maui — and an upset over the high-flying Hurricanes.

An Elite Eight battle between IU and Marquette also would be very interesting. Current Hoosiers coach Tom Crean led the Golden Eagles — and star Dwyane Wade — to their most recent Final Four appearance in 2003.

It really isn’t important who Indiana meets on the road to the Final Four, however, just that the Hoosiers arrive safely in Atlanta.

IU has a deep and talented roster, but junior first-team All-American Victor Oladipo likely will jump to the NBA next fall. And sophomore second-team All-American Cody Zeller could follow.

That lends a sense of urgency to the proceedings over the next few weeks.

If IU and its fans truly want to scream “We’re back” to the college basketball world, winning this month and early next is the surest way to do so.

Contact George Bremer: 640-4831, george.bremer@heraldbulletin.com

1
Text Only
Sports
  • SPT - HB0423 - AU baseball - 117 Heberling lifts Ravens to crucial win Cole Heberling's 11th-inning hit landed in right field for an RBI-single Tuesday, and the Anderson University baseball team moved into sole possession of second place in the Heartland Collegiate Athletic Conference with a 6-5 victory against Rose-Hulman.

    April 22, 2014 3 Photos

  • Tigers nip Argylls in girls track meet ALEXANDRIA -- Kelsey Crisp had a trio of firsts and a second place finish and her Alexandria Tigers needed every one of those as they nipped Madison-Grant 61-60 in a girls dual track meet here Tuesday. Crisp won the 100, the 400 and the long jump and

    April 23, 2014

  • SPT - HB0423 - PHHS golf 1 PH displays depth, dismantles Delta Three of Pendleton Heights top five golfers sat out Tuesday’s match against Delta, and the Arabians barely missed a beat. Tyler Meyer and Chase Simpson fired low nine-hole scores of 36 to pace the Arabians to a 159-190 victory over the Eagles.

    April 22, 2014 2 Photos

  • SPL - PT041014 - Ken de la Bastide column - Ken sig Ken de la Bastide: Familiar names coming to Anderson

    Names familiar to racing fans will be competing this weekend at Anderson Speedway in the CRA Super Series and USSA Sprint Car Challenge.

    April 22, 2014 1 Photo

  • SPT - HB0422 - AHS PH 4 Lady Tribe takes down county champs In sports, timing can be everything. For the Anderson Lady Tribe, the timing was perfect for an upset Monday night as they squared off with 2014 Madison County softball champion Pendleton Heights. Anderson took advantage of five Pendleton errors and pounded out seven hits to take a 12-5 win over the sixth-ranked Arabians.

    April 21, 2014 1 Photo

  • SPT - HB0422 - Bremer mug George Bremer: Holmes becomes center of attention Khaled Holmes already was shaping up as one of the more interesting players to watch on the Indianapolis Colts' roster this summer. With Phil Costa's decision to retire on Monday, Holmes becomes one of the most vital.

    April 21, 2014 1 Photo

  • Millers knock down M-G Class 2A Madison-Grant took a big step up to play Class 4A Noblesville in softball on Monday night, and the result was a 10-0 loss in five innings to the Millers.

    April 21, 2014

  • Area Roundup: Tigers rally to win ranked battle Alexandria rallied for three runs in the sixth inning to knock off Daleville 7-6 in a battle of ranked teams Monday night.

    April 21, 2014

  • Mike Lopresti: Pacers remain puzzling So now what? The NBA playoffs began Saturday night, and nothing had changed. They are still the Indiana Puzzles. They are still the enigma that no one can explain, least of all themselves. They are still a shadow of December, only now, the defeats start to really hurt.

    April 20, 2014

  • 500 Festival Mini Marathon might not fill field

    With less than two weeks to go, the 38th 500 Festival Mini Marathon might not have a full field for the first time in 12 years.

    April 20, 2014