News From Terre Haute, Indiana

April 5, 2011

RAMBLIN' RECK: It’s a busy, interesting week in the world of sports

Tom Reck
Special to the Tribune-Star

TERRE HAUTE — Monday marked the start of what should be an interesting week in sports full of big events.

Butler met Connecticut in the title game of the NCAA Men’s Champion-ship played Monday in Houston.

Butler has been the talk of the tournament ever since making the Final Four for the second year in a row. But the Huskies were favored going into the last game, and many of the talking heads were tabbing Connecticut to win.

At the same time, most everyone was in praise of Brad Stevens, the Butler coach. He took the best NCAA record of all active coaches into Monday’s game.

We made our picks for the regionals and finals two weeks ago and those picks were dashed when Ohio State lost to Kentucky. We picked Butler to beat Wisconsin and VCU to beat Florida State along with four other games but that was about it. So it goes.

Tonight, the champion of the NCAA Women’s Championship will be decided in Indy. As someone said, an Indiana team (Butler) was playing for the men’s title in Texas while  a Texas team (A&M) plays Notre Dame for the women’s title in Indiana.

Play begins Thursday in the Masters in Georgia. Tiger Woods is not favored but may surprise some people with his play — including me — while Phil Mickelson had a great weekend in Houston and could win again.

• All-stars named — The high school basketball season ended last month for most players but all-star action is on tap in Indiana and Illinois.

Players from the area and with Wabash Valley ties are on the roster for the North-South Classic to be played Sunday at Vincennes University.

Justin Gant of Terre Haute North and an Indiana State recruit and Haley Seibert of Terre Haute South are on the South rosters. Dee Davis of Bloomington South is another player on the South boys roster.

Girls on the North roster are Adrianne Francis of Turkey Run, Beth Mahurin of Rockville and Jessica Valley of McCutcheon, an ISU recruit and Indiana All-Star.

Parade Magazine named its prep boys All-America team. Cody Zeller of Washington and an Indiana recruit is on the second team while Brandon Dawson of Gary Wallace (Michigan State) is on the third team and Marquis Teague of Pike (Kentucky) made the fourth team.

All three of them did well in the McDonald’s game played in Chicago. Zeller had three dunks and finished with 10 points, three rebounds and three assists.

Dawson had nine points and eight rebounds and Teague had nine points and three assists.

In the college ranks, Missouri Valley Conference teams did well with Wichita State taking NIT honors, the first Valley team to do it since Bradley won.

The Shockers finished 29-8 and established a record for wins at the school.

Creighton made the finals of the College Basketball Invitational and lost to Oregon in the best-of-three series, losing the last game 71-69. Oregon of course is coached by former Creighton coach Dana Altman.

Missouri State and Northern Iowa each won at least one game in postseason play.

Missouri State has named Paul Lusk as its new coach. Lusk has been at Purdue the past seven seasons and replaces former Purdue aide Cuonzo Martin at MSU. Martin is now at Tennessee.

Tom-Cattin’ It — Jake Kelly has withdrawn from classes at ISU to begin preparing for NBA draft workouts.

• The major league baseball season is a few days old and the winless teams following Sunday’s games were Milwaukee, Houston, Boston and Tampa Bay.

Don Mattingly of Evansville is off to a good start as a manager with his Los Angeles Dodgers 3-1.

• IndyCar driver Sarah Fisher and husband are expecting their first child. Ed Carpenter will drive the Sarah Fisher Racing car at Indy and in other races.

• French Lick will be the site of the Big Ten championships in golf in 2012, 2013 and 2014.

• LeeAnn Freeland resigned as women’s basketball coach at the University of Indianapolis to go to Nova Southeastern in Florida.

Assistant Constantin Popa was named the new coach.

• In last week’s USA Today prep boys poll, no Indiana team was in the Top 25. Bloomington South was seventh in the Midwest Regional.

J.R. Holmes is the coach at South, the 4A champ, and has a 655-290 mark. He ranks fourth in wins among active coaches.

He trails Pat Rady of Cloverdale with 711, Jack Keefer of Lawrence North with 699, and Bill Patrick of Tippecanoe Valley with 677.

• Jacob Tucker of Illinois was invited to take part in the slam dunk competition at the NCAA finals and the 5-foot-11 ace won it.


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