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.
Tom-Cattin’ It — North Central Thunderbird Chase Van Schoyck has been selected for the Prime Time 25 and will be on the cover of Indiana Football Digest this summer.
• Mt. Carmel junior Tyra Buss has been voted Ms. Basketball in Illinois. She already has set several scoring marks and likely will set more her senior season before going on to Indiana for her college career.
• Scott Heady of Carmel will coach the Indiana All-Stars in their summer games with Kentucky. The Greyhounds have won back-to-back Class 4A boys titles.
His assistants will be Brent Dalrymple of North Daviess and Kevin Leising of Blufton.
• Quentin Merkel will retire from high school baseball coaching. He has coached Evansville Memorial for 45 seasons, winning 930 games and two state titles.
• Gunner Kiel says he will transfer from the Notre Dame football team after spending one year at the school. He originally had committed to Indiana while in high school at Columbus East, then said he would go to LSU before winding up at Notre Dame.
• Tony Romo has a new six-year deal as quarterback with the Dallas Cowboys. It reportedly is worth $108 million.
• Ben Jacobsen has agreed to a new 10-year deal to coach Northern Iowa.
Tom Reck may be contacted by telephone at (812) 232-3231, by email at firstname.lastname@example.org or by mail at 4284 S. Fifth St., Apt. 3, Terre Haute, IN 47802.