News From Terre Haute, Indiana

Ramblin' Reck

April 2, 2013

RAMBLIN’ RECK: Out with the hoops, in with the bats

TERRE HAUTE — It’s a super week for sports fans — college basketball comes to a close and the first baseball games are played in the major leagues.

In basketball, it’s Wichita State vs. Louisville and Syracuse vs. Michigan in the Final Four of the NCAA Men’s Basketball Tournament.

Lots of fans had Louisville in their brackets. It’s doubtful if very many had all four making it to Atlanta.

Louisville is the only No. 1 seed left, and the Cardinals may finish No. 1 after beating Duke with a strong finish Sunday after Kevin Ware of Louisville was taken from the floor at Lucas Oil Stadium with a broken leg.

We had Louisville in our picks made last week but had Michigan losing to Kansas and the Shockers bowing to Ohio State in regional finals. And we had Syracuse losing to Indiana in East Regional finals.

In the NIT, Iowa snapped Virginia’s long homecourt winning streak and plays Maryland tonight, while Baylor takes on Brigham Young in New York. Winners meet for the championship on Thursday.

Notre Dame is one of the teams in the Final Four of the NCAA women’s tournament. Skylar Diggins became the all-time leading scorer in Irish history in her team’s victory over Kansas.

Louisville has a chance to win both men’s and women’s championships since the women’s team beat defending champ Baylor 82-81, ending the great career of Brittney Griner.

The women’s championship game will be played next Tuesday and the men’s title tilt is Monday night.

Weather was not great for some of the baseball openers on Monday. We had the chance to watch our Pirates play the Cubs on WGN. Snow and a wintry mix fell at PNC Park in the morning and it was windy and chilly at game time.

It also was cold in Cincinnati as the Reds played the Los Angeles Angels and it was not too warm in Chicago as the White Sox took on Kansas City.

Houston actually won the first game played this season, beating Texas in its first game as an American League team.

Two men who were mound aces in their day recently died.

Virgil “Fire” Trucks died at 95 years of age. He had two no-hitters with Detroit in 1952. He pitched for five teams in the majors but was with the Tigers most of the time and helped them beat the Cubs to win a World Series in 1945.

Bob Turley died at 82 years of age. He won a Cy Young Award with the New York Yankees and beat the Milwaukee Braves as the Yankees won the Series in 1958.

He was called Bullet Bob and had 1,265 strikeouts and 101 wins in 12 seasons in the American League, mostly with the Yankees.

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