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The Hoosiers will take a day trip this weekend to Pontiac, Mich., to participate in the Bucks College Cup Tournament. They are set to face Oakland, followed by Big Ten rival Michigan on Saturday.\nThe tournament is set to take place at the Ultimate Soccer Arena, the home field of the Michigan Bucks of the United Soccer League’s Premier Development League. The arena is the largest of its kind in North America at 267,000 square feet and features two full-sized indoor fields and one \nsmaller field. \nIU coach Mike Freitag said IU was invited as a “drawing card” for the event. The games will be shortened to half-hour halves and five-minute halftimes, but Freitag is still looking forward to seeing how his team works together on the field. He is also breaking his team into two separate teams in order to give playing time to everyone. Each team is set to face either of the opponents. \n“I’m kind of torn,” Freitag said. “I want to use the spring to work on the first team, but I also wanted to give the other group a chance to play. This weekend allows everyone a chance to \nbe seen.”\nSeveral seldom-seen faces have already had playing time so far this spring season, including freshmen. In the Hoosiers’ first two matches of the exhibition season, three of the four goals scored came off the feet of freshmen Andy Adlard and Alec Purdie. \nFreitag is looking forward to facing conference rival Michigan, but stated he simply anticipates any match between the Hoosiers and a \ncompetitive team.\n“(Michigan) will be a good game,” Freitag said. “They’re a quality opponent. We really just want to play good games in the spring. The spring is a time for growth, you know, just \nlike outside.”
Donnie Walsh is in. Now he needs a little time before deciding if Isiah Thomas is out.\nWalsh was hired Wednesday as the New York Knicks’ president of basketball operations, taking one of Thomas’ jobs. Sometime soon he will decide if Thomas keeps his other job: head coach.\nThat won’t happen yet, though. Thomas is in Memphis, where the Knicks continued a five-game road trip Wednesday night, and Walsh won’t determine the coach’s future until they have met in person.\n“I need to sit down with Isiah and have a meaningful basketball conversation,” Walsh said.\nThomas was asked if he thought he would need to save his job when they do meet.\n“If that’s necessary, you know I think with any new boss you have to sell your program,” Thomas said. “There’d be some things that hopefully he’ll like, and I’m sure there will be some things he wants to change.”\nWalsh hired Thomas to coach the Indiana Pacers in 2000, and both say they enjoy a good relationship. Walsh said they spoke Tuesday, adding that Thomas has a “great basketball mind” and believes he can still help the organization in some way.\n“Whatever I can do to make the Knicks better, that’s what I’ll do,” Thomas said.\nWalsh will have complete power to decide. Madison Square Garden chairman James Dolan gave the longtime Pacers executive full autonomy to shape everything from the team’s roster to the organization’s media policy.\n“His mandate is clear – do whatever is necessary to turn this team around,” Dolan said.\nThere is so much to fix.\nThe Knicks (20-54) are finishing their seventh straight losing season and are just as dysfunctional off the court. Thomas and Dolan were found to have sexually harassed a former team executive, Thomas has feuded with some players this season and fans at Madison Square Garden frequently chant for him to be fired.\nBut Walsh, a New York native, said he is not returning home to be a savior.\n“I’m not the great new hope. I’m just a guy who’s going to come in and try to create a team,” Walsh said. “And it’s not going to happen overnight, so I don’t want any illusions. But I think it has to get better right away.”\nStill, there are high hopes that Walsh can turn around a franchise that hasn’t won a playoff game since 2001. He isn’t sure if he will bring in someone to serve as his general manager.\n“In Donnie, the Knicks have secured the services of a seasoned basketball professional who is held in high regard throughout the league and to whom I have often turned for input on basketball matters over the years,” commissioner David Stern said in a statement.
Tom Crean has signed a letter of agreement and will be the next coach at IU, said IU trustee Philip Eskew Jr.\nA formal announcement is expected tomorrow, Eskew said.\nCrean coached at Marquette for nine years, leading them to a 190-96 record.\nCheck back to idsnews.com for more updates.
The softball team bounced back from a four-game losing streak Tuesday, taking both games of a doubleheader against Kentucky.\nIn game one Tuesday afternoon, the Hoosiers (9-23) staged a comeback of their own. Down 4-0 to start the fifth inning, IU got on the board when sophomore left fielder Kelli Ritchison notched her first career run with an RBI single to drive in senior center fielder Julia Hamilton. The Hoosiers’ second run came on a sacrifice fly off the bat of junior second baseman Julie DiNallo to score senior third baseman Jennilee Huddleston.\nWith the team trailing 4-2 in its last at bat, senior first baseman Tory Yamaguchi came up to bat with runners on first and second with one out. Yamaguchi lined a pitch to center field that was misjudged by the outfielder and the ball went off her glove to bring the Hoosiers within one run at 4-3 with runners on second and third. \nHuddleston stepped in the box with two outs and runners on second and third. She doubled to right, giving the Hoosiers the lead and eventual win.\nIf the first game lacked excitement, the second game made up for it. Game two saw at least one run scored in every inning. The teams combined to score 29 runs and register 30 hits. To go along with the offensive output, Kentucky coach Rachel Lawson was ejected in the fourth inning for arguing with the home plate umpire.\nThe Hoosiers trailed 3-1 after three innings. In the fourth inning, the Hoosiers batted around to put up seven runs, highlighted by Yamaguchi’s bases-loaded hit that scored two runs. \nKentucky came back in the bottom half of the fourth to put up six runs of their own, making the score 9-8 in favor of the Wildcats. \nIn the top of the fifth, the Hoosiers responded and put five runs on the board, highlighted by a leadoff solo home run from freshman catcher Brittany Stein, and a three-run home run by Yamaguchi. The home run was Yamaguchi’s 37th of her career, putting her one shy of the all-time record.\nThe Hoosiers led 13-12 heading into the Wildcats’ last at-bat. IU junior Stephanie Pellerito’s pinch hit two-run home run in the top of the eighth broke the 13-all tie to put the Hoosiers ahead for good. IU added one more run to win 16-13.\nThe Hoosiers return to Big Ten play when they travel Friday to Minnesota.
The spring exhibition season is usually a time to play a few casual games in the warm breeze. But in Tuesday night’s match against Louisville, the breeze was frigid and the game was anything but casual. \nThe teams went into overtime, but the game ultimately ended in a 1-1 tie. \nThe Hoosiers started off aggressively attacking the Cardinals, bringing the ball inside the 18-yard box several times within the first few minutes. Sophomore defender Kevin Alston brought the ball deep up the far side of the field and crossed it into the box, where it was snatched up by the goalkeeper. The Hoosiers continued to attack throughout the first half, making several pushes up the field.\nThe only shot on goal of the first half came from freshman Andy Adlard. Adlard was fed the ball in the middle of the 18-yard box where he was able to outrun his defenders, leading to a one-on-one between Adlard and the Louisville goalie, Andre Boudreaux. Adlard kicked a slow roller up the middle, which was easily booted away by Boudreaux. \nThe second half was more productive for both teams. The Louisville defense didn’t let up, but the Hoosiers continually beat the Cardinals in footraces leading to key possessions. \nThe Hoosiers took the lead at the 62:35 minute mark. Freshman forward Michael Roach brought the ball up the near side and crossed it into the box. Junior forward Kevin Noschang went up for a header, but jumped too soon. Luckily, sophomore defender Lee Hagedorn was waiting behind him. He caught the ball off the bounce, trapped it, and sent it sailing into the back of the net. \nThe lead only lasted a few minutes before the Cardinals scored the equalizer. Cardinal midfielder Kenney Walker caught the ball in the middle of the box and sent it right up the middle past junior keeper Chay Cain. \nWith five minutes remaining, both teams became desperate to score the game winner. The Hoosiers got two desperation corner kicks with two minutes remaining, but both were cleared out by the defense.
After coaching IU to a first-round exit in the NCAA Tournament – a game that turned out to be his last as head coach – Dan Dakich made his case for why he should be the permanent head coach at IU. He said all the right things. \nDakich talked about his understanding of the IU basketball culture. He talked about his desire to do things the right way in restoring the program’s former glory. He talked about how IU basketball “needs to be built back with a foundation of discipline and accountability.” \nAll respectable points. All points the next head coach, Tom Crean, should heed. \nBefore Crean was even formally announced as coach, Dakich had already begun the rebuilding process, dismissing sophomore Armon Bassett and junior Jamarcus Ellis from the team after the players failed to show up on time for a pre-arranged meeting, and then blew off a 6 a.m. punishment run. Discipline. Accountability. That’s the foundation on which this program needs to be built. There’s just one problem: Dakich still had the interim tag pinned on his chest when he dismissed the only two returning starters from this year’s squad. It will be remembered as his final act as IU’s head coach.\nNo one was ever casting Dakich as Moses with a whistle, so it begs the question: Why would a lame duck coach assert his authority in such a demonstrative manner days before he is relieved of duty? \nThe players shouldn’t be totally absolved of fault. They basically acted like big-time college babies under Dakich, consistently tuning the coach out and undermining his authority. Dakich’s last stand basically confirmed the worst of speculation: The players didn’t respect him and refused to even appease him in the end. But Dakich doesn’t have to win the players over anymore. Crean does – at least for the players that remain.\nMaybe this was the plan all along. Blow up the current team. Weed out all the miscreants and malcontents. Let the new guy start with a bare cupboard. If so, it has been executed to perfection.\nCrean will be announced as IU’s next head coach in Bloominton today, greeted with more fanfare than a former U.S. president (sorry, Bill). He will bring with him an impressive resume which includes an average of 20 wins over nine seasons at Marquette and a 2003 Final Four appearance. Crean is no stranger to the Big Ten, either. He began his coaching career as a graduate assistant at Michigan State and later became an assistant coach under Tom Izzo.\nHe inherits an IU team that appears to be returning zero starters from a month ago. Crean doesn’t have a rebuilding job ahead of him as much as a resurrection. Upon entering the scene, he will find this program to be essentially dead.\nCrean’s hiring, however, is the first positive news involving IU basketball in months. He may not be the big name some people wanted, but he has the necessary experience to be a successful Big Ten coach. Most importantly, he has never run afoul in the NCAA. It may take a season or two depending on the outcome of the hearing this June, but eventually he will get this program back on firm ground. A light can finally be seen at the end of this tunnel.
Bad weather took its toll on the golf course Sunday as the third round of the adidas Hoosier Invitational was canceled because of the bad conditions. Because the third round was canceled, scoring for the tournament was based on the first two rounds played Saturday.\nThe No. 18 Hoosiers placed fourth with a score of 590 (306-284) in the hometown invitational, and senior Santiago Quirarte finished second overall in the individuals with an even-par 142 (73-69) for IU. This was the best finish of the senior’s career, marking his fourth top-five finish and fifth top-10 finish.\nJunior Drew Allenspach finished second for the Hoosiers as he tied for sixth in the individuals with a 3-over-par 145 (75-70). Allenspach earned the best finish of his season \nas well.\nFollowing Allenspach was junior Jorge Campillo, who shot a 147 (76-71) and tied for 12th place in the tournament. After Campillo was freshman Ren Han, who finished tied for 18th, scoring a 148 (78-70).\nThe Hoosiers sat in fourth place overall after the first day and entered the third round looking to pick up some ground in the tournament.\nThe third round lasted a little more than an hour before the round was canceled and the scores were totaled from just the first two rounds. Eastern Kentucky won the invitational with a score of 582 (304-278). The Hoosiers’ rival Purdue finished right in front of IU with a score of 586 (297-289). \nThe next event for the Hoosiers will be on April 7 and April 8, when IU will compete in the Missouri Tiger Intercollegiate in Columbia, Mo.
The Hoosiers might have the perfect pill for their recent struggles. \nThis weekend, the IU women’s golf team will compete in the Mountain View Invitational in Tucson, Ariz. This is the place where the Hoosiers have had their best springtime play. Last year, the Hoosiers placed third in the invite while senior Elaine Harris picked up IU’s only player title of the season.\nAfter starting the season strong with four consecutive top-three finishes, the Hoosiers have struggled recently, placing 10th, seventh, 11th and 10th, respectively, in their last four tournaments. \nThe tournament takes place Sunday and Monday and will be hosted by Colorado. The one bright spot for the Hoosiers recently has been senior Lauren Harling, who has led the Hoosiers with 16th- and 32nd-place finishes in the last two tournaments in Austin, Texas, and Las Vegas. \nAfter this weekend’s Mountain View Invitational, the Hoosiers will host their first and only tournament of the season at the prestigious Crooked Stick Golf Club in Carmel, Ind., on April 7 and 8.
A back-and-forth affair between the IU baseball team and visiting Xavier turned into a blowout after a five-run sixth inning led the Hoosiers to a 10-4 victory. \nThe Hoosiers (10-7) blew the lid off the game in the bottom of the sixth, sending all nine batters to the plate. A bases-clearing double from sophomore catcher Josh Phegley was the highlight of the frame, clearing bases that were previously loaded. \nThe Musketeers (6-12) got things going early on a sunny Wednesday afternoon, using an infield hit from leadoff man Drew Schmidt and a throwing error by sophomore right-handed starter Eric Arnett to put the first two men on. A sacrifice bunt and two infield groundouts ended the inning, but not before the visitors plated a run. \nBut the Hoosiers answered in the bottom half, taking advantage of two Xavier throwing errors and a wild pitch by starting pitcher Brian Muransky to score two runs. \nAfter Phegley walked, freshman right fielder Kipp Schutz reached on a throwing error. The next batter, freshman first baseman Jerrud Sabourin singled, scoring Phegley. Then a wild pitch and a subsequent throwing error by Xavier catcher Dan Hayden scored Schutz. \nArnett settled down for the next two innings before running into trouble in the fifth. After Phegley threw out Xavier’s Schmidt while he was trying to steal, the next three batters reached, scoring one run and running Arnett from the game. \nSenior right-hander Chris McCombs came in with runners on second and third and retired the last two Musketeer batters to end the inning. McCombs stayed in for another full inning – long enough to grab his first decision of the year. \nSchutz led the Hoosiers offensively, going 4-for-5 with three runs batted in. Phegley was 2-for-3 with three RBIs, but junior center fielder Andrew Means failed to extend a 14-game hitting streak to 15.\nWednesday’s game was a final tune-up for the Hoosiers prior to the start of Big Ten play. IU will first travel to Minnesota this weekend for a series with the Golden Gophers. Their first home conference series will come one week later, when Illinois comes to Bloomington for a four-game set.
Tournament time means only one thing: nothing less than the best. IU coach Ray Looze’s 11 Hoosier men’s swimmer and divers have been waiting all season for the chance to prove themselves as a top 10 team. \nThe No. 6 Hoosiers are in Federal Way, Washington, for the three-day NCAA Tournament. They join six other Big Ten teams, including No. 3 Michigan, at the meet. The Hoosiers’ only two losses against ranked opponents this season came in their two meetings with the Wolverines. IU has competitors in 15 of the 18 events that will run during the tournament. \nThe nine swimmers and two divers hope to help the Hoosiers place higher than the No. 15 spot they finished in last season. Senior Ben Hesen finished second in the 100 backstroke and eighth in the 200 backstroke. Senior Pat Penoyar finished 12th in the 200 breaststroke. \nThis year looks even better for the team as it heads to nationals. Hesen is seeded No. 1 in the 200 backstroke, No. 2 in the 100 back and No. 7 in the 100 butterfly. Senior Todd Patrick is seeded No. 2 in the 200 individual medley and No. 6 in the 200 butterfly. \nIndividual Hoosiers aren’t the only ones expected to do well. The 200 freestyle relay team consisting of Hesen, Patrick, senior Matt Lenton and freshman Ante Zoricic is seeded eighth, and the 400 medley relay team consisting of Patrick, Hesen, Lenton and Penoyar is seeded ninth. \nThe Hoosiers have been climbing the rankings all season. During the preseason, they were ranked No. 8 and have never slipped below that all season. The No. 6 position they currently hold is the highest the team has been ranked all year. \nLast week, four divers attempted to qualify for the NCAAs at the NCAA Zone C Diving Championships. Freshman standout Landon Marzullo and senior Taylor Roberts both qualified. This will be the first trip to the NCAAs for Marzullo and the second for Roberts. \nMarzullo and Hesen both claimed national and Big Ten honors at the Big Ten Tournament, including the Swimmer and Diver of the Year awards. Hesen also shattered a pool record at Canham Natatorium at the University of Michigan during the tournament, besting a time in the 100 backstroke previously set by U.S. Olympian Michael Phelps.
After a cold, windy day at Bill Armstrong Stadium for the Little 500 Qualifications, three familiar names sat atop the women’s leader board while the men’s board was shaken up. \nTeter had the fastest time for the women, winning the pole position – the best starting position on race day – with an unofficial time of 2:39.45, followed by Delta Gamma and defending champion Kappa Delta to round out the top three. Sigma Alpha Mu, a team who finished 11th in last year’s race, earned the first-place green jersey for the men with an unofficial time of 2:23.20.\nWhile recent powers Team Major Taylor and Phi Kappa Psi posted the other two top-three times, other traditionally strong teams, such as last year’s champions Cutters, Phi Gamma Delta, Dodds House and Black Key Bulls, fell outside the top 10.\n“It is definitely for the men’s side a very shaken-up and new-look Quals board,” Little 500 Race Director Matt Ewing said. “You have a lot of teams that aren’t usually up top that did very well today, and you have some teams that maybe some people expected to be up top in that eight through 13 range. I think it will make for a great race day.” \nTimes for teams dropped significantly throughout the day as strong winds died down. The pole position repeatedly changed until Sigma Alpha Mu took the top spot for good after its afternoon run.\n“It is an honor to be in the pole position,” senior Sigma Alpha Mu rider Ben Gerber said. “This is four years of training. I am ecstatic right now, but at the same time we have a lot of big goals.”\nTeam Major Taylor just missed the top spot by six-tenths of a second.\n“I thought we had a good run and did what we could do,” Team Major Taylor coach Courtney Bishop said. “It was a tough day for everybody, but we’re happy with it. We have been on the pole before ... it is a great thing for Sammys and the race, but I think (we have) a good starting position.”\nA scary moment occurred during the early afternoon when Kappa Kappa Gamma senior rider Colleen Groth collided with an IU Student Foundation member who walked onto the track to grab a fallen poster. Groth fell off of the bike and appeared to suffer a serious injury. At press time on Sunday, the Indiana Daily Student did not know the extent to the injury. The remaining three riders completed their attempt and earned the 10th-place position.\nMany riders said it was crucial to place well at qualifications and earn a top starting position for race day.\n“There is typically a crash at the beginning of the women’s race, so it is important to be up near the front and get out of the way and be safe,” said senior Cycledelics rider Pam Loebig.\nSenior Julianne Ellis of Delta Gamma said she believes a good performance in Qualifications can provide team momentum heading into the race. \n“It gives you a lot of confidence going into the series events and leading up to the race,” Ellis said. “All of the hard work has paid off and we are excited to put it out there on the track.”
The IU softball team could not sustain the momentum it gained after its 1-0 shutout win over Drake on Thursday as the Hoosiers (6-19) lost Friday afternoon to Louisville and the University of Illinois-Chicago. The Hoosiers were supposed to host the IU Classic this weekend, but because of weather, all of Saturday’s games were canceled.\nOn Friday, the Hoosiers kicked off the tournament against the Cardinals. Senior center fielder Julia Hamilton got IU on the board quickly by getting on base with a single and later scoring on a throwing error. Sophomore right fielder Jennifer Glueckert’s RBI single in the second inning scored sophomore left fielder Kelli Ritchison to make the score 2-0. \nLouisville scored in the top of the third to make the game 2-1. Freshman starting pitcher Sara Olson held the Louisville batters in check, keeping them to only one run through the first five innings. But in the top of the sixth, Olson fell apart and was charged with seven of the eight runs scored in the inning before she was relieved by senior pitcher Jennifer Moore.\nThe Hoosiers tried to mount a last-inning comeback when they put runners on second and third with no outs. Senior pinch hitter Kari Bettenbrock stepped in with one out and delivered a sacrifice fly to right field to cut the Louisville lead to 9-3. The threat eventually came to an end when Ritchison fouled out to third base, ending the game.\nAgainst Illinois-Chicago, the Hoosiers turned to junior pitcher Monica Wright to maintain her recent success after her complete-game shutout in the win over Drake. Although Wright and the Hoosiers lost 3-0, Wright pitched her fourth consecutive complete game giving up seven hits and two earned runs, striking out three batters and walking none.\nEven with as well as Wright pitched, the Hoosiers’ inability to bring home runners in scoring position told the story of the game. They stranded eight runners on base in the game and were just 2-for-11 with runners on base in the game. Ritchison, who had week of firsts, was a bright spot for the Hoosiers. As a freshman, Ritchison has seen most of her time as a pinch runner. But on Thursday, she got her first career start, and on Saturday she got her first career hit – a bunt in the fifth inning.\nIU will continue its home stand when they return to action Wednesday at 4 p.m. against Evansville at the IU Softball Field.
G – No. 21 Patrick Beverley (6-1, 180)\n12.0 pts. 6.7 reb. 2.4 ast.\nArguably the most talented player on the Arkansas squad, Beverley earned SEC Freshman of the Year honors last season. His scoring numbers dipped from 13.9 ppg to 12.0 ppg, but Beverley is the Razorbacks leading rebounder at 6.7 rbg. The guard was a former recruiting target of IU.
OK, so the Hoosiers wrapped up their Big Ten campaign by laying an egg in the first round of the tourney. OK, so they haven’t shot well and played defense in the same half since he-who-shall-not-be-named was roaming the sidelines in a blue shirt and red tie. OK, so there is a Gonso-led committee in the wings waiting to sequester the first can’t-miss coaching prospect that bows out of the NCAA Tournament. \nSo what? I still believe this team – in this season, on this weekend – has something to play for. I just hope they realize this before they step on the Carolina court in Raleigh.\nA first-round win would be nice. It would be like a Band-aid over a gaping wound, but, hey, it’s better than nothing. Here’s what needs to happen for the Hoosiers to set up a showdown with the Tar Heels on Sunday:
The No. 26 IU men’s golf team won the Pinehurst Intercollegiate for the second straight year with all five golfers finishing in the top 10 individually.\nLed by IU junior Seth Brandon, who was named Big Ten Golfer of the Week after taking the individual title at Pinehurst, the Hoosiers (286-292-287) coasted to a 24-shot victory. Brandon took first place with even par, followed by freshman Ren Han who shot a 1-over-par and fell into a three-way tie for second place. Other notables included junior Jorge Campillo, who tied for fifth; and junior Drew Allenspach and sophomore Alex Martin, who both finished in a nine-way tie for 10th place.\nAfter the first round at Pinhurst, the Hoosiers were the only team under par thanks to Brandon’s stellar performance. The junior shot a 3-under-par 69 to lead the individuals. Han was right behind him with a 2-under-par 70. \nBrandon stayed in first place after shooting par on the second day. By the end of the day, Campillo and Han both tied for second place with 72s. Martin, however, was tied for 33rd after the second day by shooting a 1-under-par 71. \nIn the third round, the Hoosiers shot a 287, only one stroke worse than their first-round performance. Brandon shot an even par 72 in the third round to secure his first place finish. Brandon finished with five straight pars and birdied holes 11 and 13 to finish strong – his second-career first-place finish. Han also shot an even par 72 in the final round.\nThe 19-team field featured two other ranked opponents, both from the Big Ten. No. 30 Penn State and No. 54 Wisconsin. The Nittany Lions finished third and the Badgers finished sixth.\nThe Hoosiers’ next tournament will be the Adidas Hoosier Invitational, held in Bloomington on March 29 - 30.
After a hard-fought performance at the Big Ten Championships in Minneapolis during spring break, eight IU wrestlers earned the chance to compete at the NCAA Championships, which begin today.\nThe No. 15 Hoosiers, who finished ninth in the Big Ten during the regular season, moved up five spots in the www.intermatwrestle.com poll following their strong showing to finish the season. Helping IU in the rankings was not only its eighth place performance at the Big Ten Championships, but also a dominating 24-14 road win over then-No. 10 Northwestern.\nThe headline of the season so far has been sophomore Angel Escobedo’s quest for an undefeated season and his \ntriple crown.\nAfter winning the Midlands Tournament in January, the sophomore secured the second leg of the triple crown with an exhilarating 4-2 victory over rival Jayson Ness from Minnesota at the Big Ten Championship.\nEscobedo began in the down position in the second period and struck first 11 seconds in by earning two points on a reversal. After riding out the rest of the period, the Hoosier surrendered a reversal, similar to the one he put on Ness. Knowing he would lose the match because of the immense amount of riding time Escobedo picked up in the second period, Ness opted to kick out. In doing so, he gave up a point in hopes of taking down his opponent. Escobedo held on for the remainder of the third period and took home the championship in the 125-pound weight class.\nEscobedo became the first Hoosier to win a conference title in 11 seasons. Roger Chandler was the last Hoosier to wear the crown in his respective weight class, winning the 142-pound class in 1997.\nJoining Escobedo in St. Louis for the Nationals is senior Brandon Becker. The No. 4-ranked Hoosier looks to earn his third All-American distinction of his career after finishing third at the Big Tens. Becker came all the way back following an upset in the quarterfinals to win the consolation bracket for the 157-pound weight class.\nSophomores Matt Coughlin and Trevor Perry, along with junior Andrae Hernandez, are all heading back to Nationals for the second straight season. Coughlin finished fifth at the Big Ten Championships in the 165-pound weight class, while Hernandez finished sixth in the 133-pound weight class. Perry finished sixth in the 174-pound weight class.\nMaking his debut for the Hoosiers at the National Championships is sophomore Nate Everhart. The injury-plagued Hoosier sat out the first half of the season after dropping a weight on his foot during conditioning. Freshman Kurt Kinser also qualified for the Hoosiers in a wild-card at-large bid as well.
Wednesday’s game between the IU baseball team and the Evansville Purple Aces in Evansville was postponed because of heavy rain. No new date has been set for a make-up, according to an IU Athletics press release. \nThe game, scheduled for 4 p.m., was postponed after heavy rainfall in the Evansville area left conditions unfavorable for the game. \nThe Hoosiers (7-7) will open their home schedule with a two-game set this weekend against IU-Purdue University Fort Wayne at Sembower Field in Bloomington. IU had previously been forced to play all of its games on the road in warmer climates because of wintry weather in the Midwest. Snow and ice postponed a March 6 game against Indiana State in Terre Haute. \nSaturday’s game against the Mastodons is scheduled for 3 p.m., and the Sunday contest is slated for 1 p.m.
Like the first sign of spring, few things hold more promise in March than a freshly printed NCAA tournament bracket. It’s a simple thing, a bracket, a cluster of right angles leaking out toward the middle of the page. But within the web of lines lie fairy tales to be written, heroes to be forged and champions to be crowned. Within the web of lines lies possibility that only imagination and maybe logic can curtail.\nThe bracket itself stands as a symbol of two of America’s most cherished values: equality and free enterprise. Excluding the little numbers in parentheses – the bracket does not distinguish between a juggernaut and an underdog, a North Carolina and a Mount Saint Mary’s. According to the bracket, a Bulldog holds the same standing as a Hoya and will get a chance to prove its worth. Free enterprise is evident because the NCAA tournament is a frenzied competition at its core. Nothing is given. There are no guarantees or second chances in March Madness. The teams that are rewarded are the ones that seize opportunity and roll with the hand they’ve been dealt. The bracket is a capitalist’s dream.\nBeyond ideology, the bracket stretches the limits of the English language, creating its own unique lexicon, a “Bracketuese,” if you will, that may not be found in the American Heritage Dictionary but surely isn’t lost on the Eagles of American University. Catchphrases abound. Bracketology, sleeper team and “Pittsnoggled” are just a few of the buzzwords thrown around each March. If one is an astute bracketologist, such words can even be combined in the same sentence: Bracketology has really paid off this year as my sleeper team just “Pittsnoggled” its way into the Sweet Sixteen. Not only does the NCAA tournament inspire alliteration (bracket buster, Final Four), it also uses allusion (Cinderella, David and Goliath) and even hyperbole (Gus Johnson). English professors, take note.\nA story exists behind each word, of course. There is no “Pittsnoggled” without the sharp-shooting of former West Virginia standout Kevin Pittsnogle. There are no sleeper teams if giants aren’t slumbering in the first place, dreaming of their One Shining Moment. Take March Madness, for example. Today, the reference is ubiquitous, but it wasn’t always so. It’s thought the term first originated from the phrase, “As mad as a March hare,” a reference to the excitable nature of rabbits during mating season. It wasn’t until the 1960s that the term was applied to humans and a 1991 article in the San Francisco Chronicle is credited with making the link to the Big Dance. Like Coppin State this season, we’ve all come a long way from where we began.\nCorporations understand the appeal of the bracket. They try to fall into its good graces – maybe catch some of the millions of dollars that fall on its table each year. The latest example of this hoops hijacking came in the partnership between CBSSports and Facebook. The fusion of news network and news feed has produced an official NCAA March Madness Bracket application, so one can compare cyber brackets with the other 65 million Facebook users. The office pool has never looked so minor league.\nIf the freshly printed bracket holds promise, that promise surely dwindles after the tournament tips off. That’s part of the mystic of the bracket. It might appear straight and narrow, but the path to the Final Four is as convoluted as any backwoods trail. So fill in the blanks carefully, with thought and precision, with hope \nand imagination. \nBut first, take a second to marvel at the method behind the madness. Take a second to pay respects to the bracket.
While the IU men’s tennis team may have taken a break from the books last week, it still had the tough task of facing two quality opponents from Texas.\nThe No. 38 IU men’s tennis team first took on No. 71 Southern Methodist in a heated battle in Dallas.\nAfter winning five of their last six matches before spring break, the Hoosiers stayed on track against Southern Methodist. IU started strong and earned the doubles point, winning two of the three doubles matches. The doubles point hinged on the play of the No. 2 doubles pair, seniors Thomas Richter and Dara McLoughlin. They delivered the victory in a tight match, winning 9-7.\nThe doubles point proved to be the decisive point of the match, as the Hoosiers defeated the Mustangs by a score \nof 4-3.\nFor the Hoosiers, the bottom of the lineup proved its toughness once again as IU won the No. 4, No. 5 and No. 6 singles matches. At the top of the lineup, Richter lost in three sets and in the No. 2 slot, McLoughlin fell in straight sets to the Mustangs’ Robin Fahgen, currently ranked No. 62 in the nation. \nWrapping up its short tour of Texas, IU then visited No. 20 Texas A&M. The Hoosiers entered the competition riding a three-match win streak.\nThe Hoosiers built an early 1-0 lead after winning the doubles point. The deciding doubles point fell on the shoulders of junior Peter Antons and freshman Santiago Gruter, and they delivered with an 8-6 victory. With the win, Antons and Gruter improved to 9-0 as a pair this spring season, and 18-2 overall this year. \nThe Hoosiers did not fare as well in singles play, losing five of six matches to give Texas A&M a 5-2 victory. The only singles win for IU came in the No. 6 position, with Gruter winning in straight sets. \nIn the No. 1 singles match, Richter came up just short against No. 31 Conor Pollock in a three-set thriller, losing 4-6, 7-6 (8), 7-5. \nWith their six-match road trip over, the Hoosiers will return home today to take on No. 45 Louisville at 1:30 p.m. The Cardinals enter the match with a 12-3 record.
BRDO PRI KRANJU, Slovenia – Amid escalating violence in and around Tibet, the message from across Europe was clear: “Let the games begin.”\nEuropean nations and Olympic committees said Monday they opposed a boycott of the Beijing Games over China’s handling of the unrest in Tibet. And most everyone else who spoke out, from Russia to Australia, echoed that approach.\n“Under no circumstance will we support the boycott. We are 100 percent unanimous,” Patrick Hickey, the head of the European Olympic Committees, told The Associated Press.\nThe EU sports ministers and Olympic committees said sports should not be linked to such a political issue and that previous Olympic boycotts had limited impact.\n“Not one world leader has come out with the suggestion of a boycott and no less a person than the Dalai Lama” is against it, Hickey said. “A boycott is only a punishment of the athletes.”\nSlovene Sports Minister Milan Zver, who is chairing a meeting of top EU sports officials from the 27 member states and Olympic committees, said it was no different on the government side. \n“I am against a boycott of the Olympic Games in China,” Zver said.\nChristiane Hohmann, a spokeswoman for the EU’s executive commission, said “such a boycott would not be the appropriate way” to voice concerns of human rights or rights of those in Tibet.\nWorld 50-meter butterfly champion Roland Schoeman, however, supports calls for the International Olympic Committee to take a stand.\nThe committee “should stand up and say, ‘The way these people are being treated is not acceptable,’” the South African swimmer said. “Either you put an end to this or else. The ‘or else’ could be extreme or it could be a set \nof conditions.”\nRussia warned against turning the Beijing Olympics into a political game.\n“We would like to underscore that efforts to politicize the holding of the 2008 Summer Olympic Games in China are unacceptable,” the government said.\nErica Terpstra, the head of the Dutch Olympic Committee, said it is wrong to burden sports with such problems, and “it really has to be for the politicians.”\n“There was no call for a boycott whatsoever, even though there is great concern about what happens there,” Terpstra added. “And I have an additional concern: ‘keep your hands off my athletes.’”\nOn Monday, Tibet’s governor promised leniency to anti-Chinese protesters who turned themselves in before the end of the day, as troops fanned out to quell sympathy protests that have spread to three neighboring provinces.\nThe fiercest protests against Chinese rule in almost two decades have embarrassed China’s communist government and hurt its efforts to have a smooth run-up to the Aug. 8-24 Olympics.\nEurope has never questioned the right for the Chinese to stage the games. On Friday, a summit of EU leaders criticized China’s response to demonstrations in Tibet but did not threaten a boycott on human rights grounds.\nTogay Bayatli, president of the Turkish Olympic Committee, stressed it was up to business leaders and politicians to take the initiative.\n“Our countries are doing business there,” Bayatli said. “Everybody is going there.”\nEconomic relations between the 27-nation EU and China are moving closer. Bilateral trade doubled between 2000-05 and reached $370 billion in 2006. Europe is China’s largest export market and China is Europe’s prime source of imports.\nZver has argued that political pressure through sports doesn’t work, saying the boycott of the 1980 Moscow Games was largely ineffectual at a political level. At the same time, it badly hurt the Olympic movement.\n“Sport is tool of dialogue,” Zver said.