TERRE HAUTE —
At high noon today, the train arrives for the Indiana State baseball team.
Whether the Sycamores will be at the station bound for the NCAA baseball tournament is still an open question.
It’s just as possible that the Sycamores’ bubble could get shot down too.
The full 64-team tournament field will be announced at noon today. The pairings will be broadcast on ESPNU.
ISU coach Rick Heller will gather the team at Bob Warn Field to watch the pairings. Unlike 2011, when the ISU men’s basketball team had a public party knowing their NCAA Tournament fate was assured, the baseball team will watch the selection show in private.
The Sycamores themselves have been stewing since last Wednesday when ISU was eliminated from the Missouri Valley Conference Tournament without winning a game.
Some of the players have been engaged in watching results from other conferences, tracking the Ratings Percentage Index’s bubble teams and even Tweeting national experts as to the Sycamores’ fate.
Other players have tried to put the bubble chaos out of their minds.
“My M.O. has been to get away from it. I want to clear my head. I don’t want to dwell on what happened or what’s going to happen. I’m just looking positive right now,” ISU pitcher Dakota Bacus said Sunday.
The Sycamores still rued the fact that they left their NCAA fate in the committee’s hands after going 0-2 in the MVC Tournament.
“It’s very suspenseful. It sucks that we put it in someone else’s hands when we had it in ours,” Bacus said.
“There’s really nothing we can do about it. We could have done something about it in conference, but that’s just baseball. Creighton was a scary eight [seed] and everybody else was good too. That’s just the MVC right there.”
The players felt the MVC’s strength is one of the selling points ISU has to make to the selection committee. On Saturday, the MVC squeezed past Conference USA as the fifth-best conference in the nation.
It is not known whether a top 5 regular season conference champion has ever been left out of the field. ISU’s RPI entering Sunday was 49th or 45th, respectively, depending on the service used to tabulate the ranking. A RPI rating in that range is atypical for a regular season champion in a top five conference.
“I thought we had a great season. I don’t know how our body of work and season wasn’t impressive. An eight-seed winning the championship game shows how tough it is. With us coming out on top, there’s something to be said for it,” ISU catcher Jeremy Lucas said.
The weekend proved to be a roller-coaster ride on the NCAA Tournament bubble. ISU received some good news in that some of its nonconference opponents made deep runs in their conference tournaments and the conference’s RPI went up.
Bad news came in the form of multiple conference tournament upsets. The last came Sunday when Missouri — a team ISU beat 15-1 in March — won the Big 12 Tournament and took an at-large bid out of the pool.
It was announced Sunday that Purdue would host a regional at Gary’s U.S. Steel Yard ballpark. That’s thought to be good news for the Sycamores’ tournament prospects as they would almost certainly be assigned there.
If ISU is chosen, it’ll be the first at-large bid to the NCAA Tournament a Sycamores’ team has received in any sport since 2000, when the men’s basketball team qualified as the MVC regular season champions.
One of the members of the 10-person selection committee is former ISU athletic director Larry Gallo, now associate athletic director at North Carolina. Gallo was the Sycamores’ athletic director from 1995-97.
While the NCAA Tournament ramifications transpired out of the Sycamores’ control, practice resumed Saturday after a two-day break with scrimmages played on both Saturday and Sunday.
“We’re treating this week like we know we’re going to make it. You can’t just sit back and play like you hope you’re going to make it. Hopefully things go our way,” Lucas said.
High noon can’t come soon enough for the Sycamores who are ready for their five-day wait to finally end.
“I’m sure we’re all going to have our nerves wracked. I’m sure I will. But we’re going to stay positive, hope we get in, and think we’re going to get in,” ISU shortstop Tyler Wampler said.
TERRE HAUTE —
At high noon today, the train arrives for the Indiana State baseball team.
- Indiana State University
Metro Sports: ISU baseball’s winning streak halted at 12
The UNC-Wilmington Seahawks scored on a walk-off single in the ninth inning to end Indiana State’s 12-game winning streak in baseball with a 3-2 victory Friday at Brooks Field.
ISU trio reach NCAA track finals
Indiana State’s Greggmar Swift and Katie Wise both advanced to today’s finals in their respective events on the first day of the 2014 NCAA Indoor Track and Field Championships hosted by the University of New Mexico.
VIDEO: ISU defeats Loyola in MVC women's tournament
Marina Laramie led the Sycamores with nine of her 15 points in the second half. The sophomore from nearby O’Fallon, Mo., had six of those points during a 9-2 ISU run after halftime.
VIDEO: Mahan's 17 rebounds among five best totals in league tournament history
The toughness — both mental and physical — of Marina Laramie and Racheal Mahan — is a big reason the Indiana State women’s basketball team won five games in a row to close the regular season.
The resolve of the Sycamore post duo was put to the test Friday in the MVC Tournament quarterfinals, and Laramie and Mahan were up to the task.
ISU men await postseason fate
Indiana State’s men’s basketball team returned to practice on Friday without a team or a tournament to prepare for.
ISU women have sights set on MVC tournament title
With a win today in the Missouri Valley Conference tournament quarterfinals, Indiana State will secure its fourth 20-win season in women’s basketball since 1981-82.
Getting to that point has been like competing in one of those urban adventure races with obstacles, mud pits and scavenger hunts. In other words, it hasn’t been permeated with style and grace. But the Sycamores stuck with it and got the job done.
At least so far.
Abdul-Qaadir named league’s top newcomer
Indiana State senior Bilqis Abdul-Qaadir is ready to keep her college basketball career rolling.
The transfer from Memphis was eligible right away because she had finished her bachelor’s degree upon arrival in Terre Haute.
Swift, Theisen vie for NCAA indoor honors
Indiana State seniors Greggmar Swift and Mary Theisen are within striking distance of winning an NCAA title this weekend at the NCAA Division I indoor track and field championships.
Sophomore sprinter Katie Wise is ranked 13th going into the meet in the 60-meter dash and has her sights on an All-American finish.
ISU’s Abdul-Qaadir, Munn All-MVC selections
Senior guards Bilqis Abdul-Qaadir and Anna Munn have both been named to Missouri Valley Conference All-Conference teams, announced by the league on Wednesday. Abdul-Qaadir earned a spot on the first-team while Munn was named honorable mention.
Metro sports: ‘Lucky Lou’ strikes again on golf course
Retired Public Service Indiana employee Lou Mundell, a lifelong resident of Terre Haute, posted the fifth hole-in-one of his life Tuesday afternoon at the Harder Hall Country Club golf course in his winter home of Sebring.
ISU win streak at 12
Ryan Keaffaber recorded his sixth save in seven opportunities Monday as Indiana State won its 12th straight college baseball game, holding off a rally by visiting Western Illinois for a 7-4 victory on Bob Warn Field at Sycamore Stadium.
Metro sports: Indiana State's Abdul-Qaadir honored by MVC again
Bilquis Abdul-Qaadir of Indiana State has been named Missouri Valley Conference Player of the Week for women’s basketball, the league announced Monday.
Guts, sweat, tears: Sycamores fall to perfect Shockers
No one on Indiana State’s men’s basketball needed to say a word about the Sycamores’ 83-69 loss to Wichita State in Sunday’s Missouri Valley Conference Tournament championship game.
Todd Golden: Sycamores ran with the best
It’s hard to run with Secretariat. Secretariat, for the uninitiated, won horse racing’s Triple Crown in 1973 and famously stormed to victory in the Belmont Stakes by an unfathomable 31 lengths. Secretariat is widely considered to be the greatest thoroughbred of all time, and his Belmont performance is one of sports’ all-time greatest moments. In Missouri Valley Conference terms, Wichita State is Secretariat.
Reliever leads comeback in ISU's 11th straight win
It could have been just a mop-up role for Josh Dove on Sunday at Bob Warn Field, but the Indiana State relief pitcher wasn’t thinking that way.
ISU fans cheer their team from afar
Indiana State University basketball fans eagerly supported their team Sunday, even from a distance, as they watched the Sycamores battle in the Missouri Valley Conference Tournament championship game being played in St. Louis.
FROM THE PRESS BOX: Odum rises to WSU challenge
When you’re getting ready to play the No. 2 team in the country — the undefeated No. 2 team in the country and the best Missouri Valley Conference team in a generation — the unwritten rule says you’re not supposed to rile them. That you’re not supposed to poke the hornet’s nest.
Clock problems delay start of Indiana State semifinal game
Time stood still in Scottrade Center on Saturday.
Not by design.
Sycamores advance to Arch Madness title game
No one said advancing to the Missouri Valley Conference men’s basketball tournament championship game was going to be easy.
ISU women grab share of MVC regular-season title
The preseason Missouri Valley Conference favorite lived up to its expectations, as the Indiana State women’s basketball team grabbed a piece of the regular-season title with an 85-72 triumph over host Northern Iowa on Saturday afternoon inside McLeod Center.
ISU headed to MVC title game
Indiana State defeated Southern Illinois 62-59 on Saturday to advance to Arch Madness championship game.
Ramblin’ On: Sycamores use defensive stops to reach Missouri Valley semifinals
It sounds counter-intuitive, but to go forward in the Missouri Valley Conference Tournament you must first get stops. In Friday’s MVC Tournament quarterfinal against Loyola, ISU followed that bit of zen to a tee. The Sycamores never let the Ramblers get comfortable offensively and put a hammer-lock on Loyola standout Milton Doyle. ISU rode its defense to an easy 75-62 victory at Scottrade Center.
ISU baseball looking to carry success home
Indiana State had pitching questions coming into the season, having lost its entire starting staff from a year ago.
So far anyway, those questions have been answered. The Sycamores are 9-1 going into their home opener today against Western Illinois.
Metro sports: Rose-Hulman picks up baseball win
A late run in the eighth-inning broke a 4-all tie and proved to be the game winner for Rockford College in a 5-4 decision over the Rose-Hulman baseball team Friday at the Chain of Lakes Complex.
Sycamores rejuvenated heading into MVC Tournament quarterfinals
Indiana State point guard Jake Odum is sick-and-tired of being sick and tired.
He’s tired of hearing about the team’s three-game losing streak. He’s tired of the Sycamores playing below par. He’s tired of the team not fulfilling its potential.
He plans to do something about it this weekend. Second-seeded ISU begins its Missouri Valley Conference Tournament trek at 7:05 p.m. tonight against either No. 10 Loyola.
ISU women seek top MVC seed
Defense and rebounding are the staples of Teri Moren’s fourth Indiana State team, a squad that hits the road trying to defend and rebound its way to a regular-season conference title. The Sycamores women’s basketball can clinch the No. 1 seed in the Missouri Valley Conference with wins tonight against Drake and Saturday against Northern Iowa.
ISU reserve Smith earns two MVC honors
Indiana State sophomore Khristian Smith has been named to the Missouri Valley Conference’s All-Bench and Most Improved Teams, according to an announcement by the league office Wednesday.
Two Sycamores with Scott during Saturday incident
A Vigo County’s Sheriff’s case report of Brenton Scott’s arrest last Saturday indicated that Scott, an Indiana State basketball player, tried to pass himself off as his twin brother and that two of his teammates were with him at the time of the incident.
Metro Sports: Sycamores to be represented at NCAA indoors
Three members of the Indiana State track and field team will compete in the 2014 NCAA indoor championships March 14-15 at Albuquerque, N.M. Senior Greggmar Swift will represent the men, while sophomore Katie Wise and senior Mary Theisen will represent the women.
Odum, Smith, Arop recognized by MVC
Indiana State point guard Jake Odum doesn’t play baseball, but he did go 4-for-4 in his Sycamore career.
His 4-for-4 performance came in regards to his All-Missouri Valley Conference selections. Odum has been named to the all-MVC team in each of his four seasons, and for the second time in a year, Odum was named to the MVC’s first team.
Teammate Khristian Smith also received a major individual honor. Smith, a sophomore, earned the MVC’s Sixth Man Award. Senior Manny Arop also was named as an All-MVC honorable-mention selection.
- More Indiana State University Headlines
- Metro Sports: ISU baseball’s winning streak halted at 12