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
ISU football picked last in MVFC
Indiana State’s football team found itself in familiar, if depressing, territory when the Missouri Valley Football Conference preseason poll was released on Tuesday.
Bullpen mates: Three relievers coming on strong down stretch for Rex
The Terre Haute Rex pitching staff ranks fifth among the 12 teams in the Prospect League in earned-run average this season and first in the league with only four home runs allowed all summer. But the Rex pitchers might be the best in the league the past two weeks as the team has had two shutouts and two games with one run allowed in the past week.
Prettyman wants ISU to be prepared for potential NCAA changes
Against a rising tide of media, public and institutional sentiment that would suggest otherwise, Indiana State Director of Athletics Ron Prettyman believes that the current model of college athletics still works.
Can Sycamores bounce back from rough 2013 season?
One week before Indiana State begins preseason practice, there really is only one fundamental question that the Sycamore program faces.
Can it win again?
ISU basketball trio earn national academic honors
A trio of Indiana State basketball student-athletes have been named to the 2013-14 National Association of Basketball Coaches Honors Court as announced by the national organization. Honored from Indiana State were Lucas Eitel, Justin Gant and Jake Kitchell.
Metro roundup: Post 346 rallies past Rockville
Wayne Newton Post 346 scored a run in the sixth and two in the seventh to get past Rockville 6-3 in an American Legion baseball regional at Terre Haute North on Wednesday.
Memorable experience in Morocco for ISU soccer team could help team's growth
Coming off the best season in its history, the Indiana State women’s soccer team figures to have the experience to do even better in the upcoming fall season.
Or maybe that’s #TheExperience.
Metro: ISU graduate Johnson sixth in shot at Monaco
Indiana State graduate Felisha Johnson competed in her first International Association of Athletics Federations Diamond League track and field meeting Friday, placing sixth in a shot put competition that featured six of the top seven throwers in the world for 2014.
MVC to shift women's basketball tournament to Moline, Ill.
The Missouri Valley Conference Women’s Basketball Tournament will move 90 miles farther from Terre Haute beginning in 2016, the league announced Thursday.
Metro: ISU-IU football game to be on ESPNEWS
Indiana University announced Wednesday that the season opening game between Indiana State and IU will be played at noon on Sept. 30.
Odum heads for Vegas with Kings summer team
Terre Haute native Jake Odum scored three points in the Indiana Pacers’ 84-74 victory on Thursday over the Miami Heat in the Orlando Summer League.
Odum has 5 points for Pacers in summer play
Former Indiana State standout Jake Odum contributed five points, three assists and a steal in 15 minutes on the court Wednesday for the Indiana Pacers summer league team.
MVC Tournament staying in St. Louis until 2018
Missouri Valley Conference men's tournament staying in St. Louis until 2018.
Odum scores 2 points off bench for Pacers
Three of the top picks in last month’s draft are adjusting to NBA at different speeds at the Orlando Pro Summer League.
Gardner staying sharp with Danville
This summer with the Danville Dans is a big one for Terre Haute native Cody Gardner, who wants to play a part in keeping Indiana State baseball successful in 2015.
The former Terre Haute North High School standout painfully sat and watched as a Division I transfer as ISU made its ninth trip to the NCAA Tournament with a 35-win regular season.
Metro: ISU’s Wise starts out well in USATF championships
Indiana State sprinter Katie Wise advanced to the semifinals of the women’s 100 meters as she ran 11.42 seconds in the opening heat of the event Thursday evening at the USA Track & Field Outdoor Championships.
ISU's Odum talks about agreeing to play for Pacers' summer-league team
No team selected him in the two-round NBA draft Thursday night, but Terre Haute native and four-year Indiana State basketball standout Jake Odum agreed Friday to play for the Indiana Pacers’ summer-league squad next month.
Steady success: ISU continued to climb ladder with one of its best overall seasons ever
First of all, if you’re an Indiana State fan, stand up and applaud. The Sycamores collectively went where only one Sycamore athletic department went before in 2013-14. ISU finished second in the Missouri Valley Conference All-Sports Trophy standings. ISU recorded a score of 3.538, its highest in school history.
Jake Odum about to reach red letter date in his career
Terre Haute’s Jake Odum made a name, a reputation and a wonderful career for himself during his four seasons at Indiana State. If nothing else were to happen in his basketball life, he’ll always be one of the Sycamores’ all-time best.
Of course, Odum wants more. He wants to play in the NBA. Since ISU’s season concluded in late March, he’s been on a three-month quest to fulfill his dream.
Metro roundup: Odum to work out with Lakers
Terre Haute native and former Indiana State guard Jake Odum will have two more workouts before next Thursday’s NBA Draft. Odum will work out with the Los Angeles Lakers today. Odum will have a second workout with the Orlando Magic next week before the draft.
ISU takes balanced approach with newcomer Tre Bennett
Indiana State’s men’s basketball program recruited Tre Bennett to be its next starting point guard. Indiana State does not want to put too much pressure on Bennett in his first season.
Those two sentences seem to be a contradiction. But ISU’s coaches and Bennett himself are hoping there’s a third way, a path where he can ease into a role as a contributor without the pressure, at least right off the bat, of being “the man.”
New ISU coach Parker makes first impression
Indiana State assistant coach Terry Parker hasn’t had too much time to make a first impression.
Officially hired in late April, but identified as Dave Ragland’s replacement on Greg Lansing’s staff long before that, there haven’t been many team activities for Parker to take part in since he joined ISU’s staff from Utah Valley.
Greggmar Swift advances to NCAA hurdles final
Greggmar Swift advanced to the finals of the 110-meter hurdles to highlight Indiana State’s performances during day two of the NCAA Outdoor Championships at Hayward Field.
ISU taking mix of veterans, underclassmen to NCAAs
With three sophomores among Indiana State’s record number of entrants heading to the NCAA outdoor track and field championships, the Sycamores are in position to have athletes competing for a national title for at least a couple more seasons.
Katie Wise, in particular, has the potential to rack up multiple All-American accolades between now and the time she graduates in 2016.
Pair of Sycamores selected in Major League Baseball draft
Two Indiana State baseball players were chosen in the 2014 Major League Baseball draft Saturday.
Senior shortstop Tyler Wampler, a 2010 graduate of West Vigo High School, went to the Los Angeles Dodgers in the 17th round (519th overall) and junior catcher Mike Fitzgerald went to the San Diego Padres in the 27th round (807th overall).
Ex-Sycamore Lutz begins NFL journey with Colts
The end of the journey. Or, really, just the beginning. That's how former Indiana State center FN Lutz described his emotions after signing a free-agent contract with the Indianapolis Colts on Wednesday morning.
Metro roundup: Rex opener postponed to today
The Terre Haute Rex grand opening has been pushed back to today due to Monday’s thunderstorms.
ISU baseball can't find lifeline
Indiana State ends NCAA regional with 0-2 mark as its season ends.
FROM THE PRESS BOX: Hannahs strikes pitch perfect no-excuse, no-apology tone
ISU coach Mitch Hannahs strikes pitch perfect no-excuse, no-apology tone.
Despite loss, ISU's Keaffaber draws praise
Indiana State pitcher Ryan Keaffaber lost to Stanford in NCAA regional, but his effort was lauded.
- More Indiana State University Headlines
- ISU football picked last in MVFC