News From Terre Haute, Indiana

Ramblin' Reck

March 6, 2012

RAMBLIN' RECK: Big Ten tourney wide open

TERRE HAUTE — Selection Sunday is coming and action in some of the conference basketball tournaments could play big roles in determining the field for the NCAA’s Big Dance.

Ohio State rallied to beat Michigan State at MSU on Sunday to earn a share of the Big Ten championship with the Spartans and Michigan.

MSU is the No. 1 seed in the tournament that begins Thursday in Indianapolis. Based on that tri-championship, it looks wide open.

Indiana takes momentum into the event following its victory over Purdue on Sunday and the Boilermakers were playing pretty well going into the season finale.

Wisconsin is assured of being in its 13th straight NCAA tournament — not a bad record — and the Badgers could have the Big Ten’s automatic bid this time.

We like the Badgers to prevail this week — if they can get by IU in the second round.

Northwestern is one of the bubble teams for the NCAA and may need to win two games in the tournament to get the school’s first spot in The Dance.

• Going to state — Sons of two Indiana State grads — both named Connor — will be competing with their high school teams in Iowa state finals.

Connor Schabel — son of David Schabel, Class of 1988 — plays for 23-0 Ankney, the No. 2-ranked team in Class 4A which took third a year ago. Schabel has signed to play college ball at Upper Iowa.

Connor Coleman — son of Todd Coleman, Class of 1985 — plays for 23-1 Waverly-Shell Rock, the No. 2-ranked team in Class 2A. The Go-Hawks are 49-2 in the past two years and lost by two points in the title game last season.

Coleman holds school career marks in assists, steals and made free throws. He has not made a college decision as yet.

Good luck to the Connors this week.

• Tom-Cattin’ It — In case you missed, baseball will have another wild-card team in the playoffs. Four wild-card teams meet in one-game playoffs and the winners meet the teams with the best regular-season records in each league.

Spring training games have begun with the start of the season about one month away. Some of the winners in Sunday’s games were Houston, New York Yankees, Cincinnati, and Detroit — the Tigers beat Atlanta 18-3.

• Bob Abernathy, who coached the Paris High School girls varsity team the past three years, has retired from coaching.

He also had been a varsity assistant coach in the past and coached at Mayo.

• Southern Indiana bested Northern Kentucky to win the Great Lakes Valley Conference men’s basketball tourney title, avenging two of its six losses by beating Indianapolis in the semis.

• Spring football practice has started at IU.

• Hamilton Southeastern was ranked seventh in the Midwest Region in last week’s USA Today boys prep cage poll and nipped a very good Indianapolis North Central team 86-83 in the sectional but could not beat Carmel in the final game.

Carmel and Terre Haute North are the two Metropolitan Interscholastic Conference teams left in the tournament and are not in the same regional.

• Illinois college basketball coaches had it rough last week with Chris Lowery being let go the day after Southern Illinois lost to Indiana State in the Missouri Valley tourney and Julette Law being canned at Illinois.

Many figure Bruce Weber may be out at Illinois too, and some have speculated that he may go back to SIU.

• Wes Peek has resigned as boys basketball coach at Southport High School for health reasons. He had a 21-42 mark in three seasons.

Dave Oberle announced some time ago that he would retire at Decatur Central, where he coached 18 seasons. He coached his final game last week.

• Television ratings were up for the weekend PGA Tour event as Tiger Woods tied for second behind Rory McIlroy in the Honda Classic.

Chad Collins had another tough start.

Tom Reck may be contacted by telephone at (812) 232-3231, by email at tm_reck@yahoo.com or by mail at 4284 South 5th Street, Apt. 3, Terre Haute, IN 47802.

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