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Still drunk from spring break?\nDid you barely make it to class yesterday morning?\nLike a majority of you, my mind is still not functioning properly.\nBut everyone needs to shake their spring break hangover, because it’s time to get on the ride of your life. The next month is the best in sports every year. And this year is no different.\nIt’s going to be a great ride. \nLet me break down what’s going on during this spectacular season:\nTonight, the Houston Rockets and the Boston Celtics face off. The best in the East takes on the best in the West. But what makes this special is the fact that the Rockets are looking for their 23rd-straight win.\nWith their win over the Los Angeles Lakers Sunday, the Rockets continued their improbable streak, which is now the second-longest in NBA history – behind only the 33 straight accomplished by the 1971-1972 Lakers. \nThe streak has continued despite Yao Ming choosing season-ending surgery 10 games ago. At the same time, Rick Adelman is a frontrunner for Coach of the Year.\nThe streak has been something we haven’t seen in ages but one question still remains – can Tracy McGrady win a playoff series?\nOn the other hand, there’s this guy named Tiger Woods who is one of the best in the clutch. Thursday, Tiger looks to continue his undefeated season when he defends his title at Doral. \nAfter watching him win with a 25-foot putt on the 18th at Bay Hill, I have no doubt he will make a nice run at this tournament, which leads up to the Masters.\nThe Masters should be the first major Woods will dominate this year, and hopefully he will win all four. He will likely be riding his winning streak into Augusta and it should be something special to watch.\nAs for the 95 percent of the world that doesn’t like watching golf, Thursday through Saturday is college basketball galore. The first two rounds of the NCAA Tournament should be one to watch this year since the bracket-makers seemed to aimlessly throw darts as a way of choosing the seedings. The bracket this year is so screwed up that my strategic way of making my picks by choosing the team with the lowest graduation rate might actually work. \nSorry, Cornell, Stanford and Duke. You’re just too smart for your own good. \nIf you don’t get your basketball fix by Sunday, then watch the Washington Capitals head to Carolina a week from today. Alexander Ovechkin is leading the NHL with 57 goals and can be the first player since Mario Lemieux to score 60 goals in a single season. At the pace Ovechkin is going, he should score goals 60, 61 and 62 in next week. \nSo hop on the Magic Bus or the Pain Train or whatever vehicle you want to ride during this magical month ahead. Just be sure to keep your hands and feet inside at all times.
One year made a huge difference for the Hoosiers, but not in a good way.\nLast year, IU set a program record by shooting a total of 864 through 54 holes and finishing fourth at the UNLV Spring Invitational. The performance springboarded IU all the way to the NCAA Championship last year.\nBut this past weekend, the Hoosiers could not find the same success as they shot an 889 and finished a season-low 11th place. \nIU coach Clint Wallman said the results were not encouraging.\n“I think we did okay,” Wallman said in a statement. “We really had it going there for awhile. We didn’t do anything spectacular, but we also didn’t make any big mistakes. Our intensity was good, we just need to make more putts.” \nSenior Lauren Harling was the one bright spot for the Hoosiers. Harling shot an even par for the tournament and finished 16th overall. \nWallman was pleased with Harling’s play.\n“Lauren played really well this entire tournament,” Wallman said in a statement. “She really seems to like this course, and her game is in great shape. It was only a matter of time before it came around.” \nRounding out IU’s lineup were sophomores Kellye Belcher and Anita Gahir, who finished 35th and 42nd, respectively. Senior Elaine Harris and sophomore Laura Nochta each finished in a tie for 60th place. \nWashington State and BYU each shot 5-under-par to share the tournament title while Oregon, Texas Tech and San Francisco rounded out the top five. \nOregon’s Cathryn Bristow won the individual title with a score of 8-under-par. \nThe Hoosiers return to action today when they compete in the Betsy Rawls Longhorn Invitational in Austin, Texas. The three-round tournament will consist of one round each day, concluding on Wednesday.
While their peers enjoyed spring break on beaches and cruise boats, five members of the diving squad spent break putting their competitive lives on the line. \nFreshmen Landon Marzullo and Chris Hill joined seniors Taylor Roberts and David Legler and junior Will Bohonyi in Columbus, Ohio, at the NCAA Zone Diving Championships. All five men were hoping to make the NCAA cut and join the rest of the eligible team at the NCAA national meet, which begins on March 27. \nThe first day of competition wasn’t what the group had in mind. Although four of the five made it past the preliminary round, the highest ranking Hoosier was Marzullo at 10th. Roberts placed 14th, Hill 15th and Legler 16th. Bohonyi didn’t make it to the next round after placing 29th in the prelims. \nDay two showed a more typical outcome for the Hoosiers with Roberts and Marzullo clinching the top two spots on the 1-meter, officially qualifying them for the NCAA tournament. Hill and Legler finished 14th and 15th, respectively. \nThe four divers will finish up the three-day event today with the platform competition.
The Hoosiers dropped several spots in the NCAA men’s basketball polls today following Sunday’s loss at Penn State.\nIn the latest Associated Press Top 25 poll, IU is now ranked No. 22 ahead of Davidson, BYU and Marquette. In the ESPN/USA Today poll, the Hoosiers fell to No. 20. This is the lowest ranking for the Hoosiers this season.\nOther notable rankings in the AP poll include: Wisconsin (No. 8), Butler (No. 12), Notre Dame (No. 14), Purdue (No. 17) and Michigan State (No. 19).\nIU (25-6) is back in action Friday evening when they play as the No. 3 seed in the Big Ten tournament in Indianapolis.\nFor more on the No. 22 Hoosiers, check out the IDS Basketblog.
STATE COLLEGE, Pa. — Guard Jamarcus Ellis missed No. 18 Indiana's regular-season finale Sunday against Penn State because of disciplinary reasons.\nHoosiers interim coach Dan Dakich made the announcement in a statement released before the game. He said Ellis did not travel with the team to Happy Valley.\nEllis is averaging 7.1 points a game in his first season at Indiana after transferring from a junior college.\nThe Hoosiers fell to Penn State 68-64 in overtime in their last regular season game before the Big Ten Tournament.
The IU men's basketball team lost its final regular-season contest this afternoon on the road at the hands of Penn State, 68-64.\nD.J. White and Eric Gordon led the Hoosiers with 20 and 26 points, respectively. \nThe Hoosiers went to overtime against the Nittany Lions, only the second overtime game IU has played this year. \nThe visitors struggled from the field, shooting 21 percent from 3-point range and turning the ball over 17 times. \nThe Hoosiers wrap up their regular season with a mark of 25-6, 14-4 in the Big Ten, with the conference tournament on tap at the week's end. \nCheck back with idsnews.com and the Basketblog throughout spring break for continuing updates on the Hoosiers' run at a Big Ten Tournament title.
-From IDS reports\nSophomore quarterback Kellen Lewis has been suspended indefinitely for an unspecified violation of team rules.\nLewis, who led the Hoosiers to their first bowl game in over a decade this past season, faces his first career suspension. \n“Kellen has been suspended indefinitely for a violation of team rules,” IU coach Bill Lynch said in a statement. “He will not participate as we begin spring practice. Kellen needs time away from the program, and we look forward to his return at some point in the future.”\nAn impact player on the Hoosier offense, the absence of Lewis could spell severe problems for the program. With the departure of star wide receiver James Hardy, Lewis is one of the remaining playmakers from this year’s bowl team.\nLewis led the team with 28 passing touchdowns and nine rushing touchdowns. He also led the Hoosiers in passing yards (3,043) and with 736 rushing yards at five yards per carry.
Sophomore quarterback Kellen Lewis has been suspended indefinitely for an unspecified violation of IU football team rules.\nLewis, who led the Hoosiers to their first bowl game in over a decade this past season, led the team with 28 passing touchdowns and nine rushing touchdowns.\n"Kellen has been suspended indefinitely for a violation of team rules," IU coach Bill Lynch said in a statement. "He will not participate as we begin spring practice. \nKellen needs time away from the program and we look forward to his return at some point in the future."\nIn addition to being the touchdown leader of the team, Lewis led the Hoosiers in passing and rushing yards.
Hello. My name is Ben H. And I am a recovering bracket-holic.\nI’d like to first thank those of you who brought cookies and punch to the meeting. Sign-ups for next week will be posted at the conclusion of our discussions.\nHere at Bracket-holics Anonymous, we provide a safe and healthy platform for people suffering from any form of the terrible disease that forces prolonged absences from family, unfathomable anger and a general disinterest in the day-to-day lives of college basketball fans.\nI guess I can start by telling you my story. I’m 22 years old, and I have been bracket-sober for more than six years now (met with soft clapping). I started getting urges during March Madness around the time I was 11 years old. I was able to enter my mom’s picks for her school’s tournament pool, and I wanted nothing more than to take home the loot for her while reigning supreme over a group of a 100 or so old people. I sat up at night, sweat rippling down my spine, as I created over and over again every single possibility of which teams would end in which slot before Selection Sunday.\nBut it wasn’t just in my spare time. During school, instead of listening to grammar lessons, I would hustle to fill out the 65 lines as fast as possible and as many times as I could throughout the day. My addiction was not far from the character Seth in “Superbad,” minus the phallic tendencies. At breakneck speed, I designed brackets with drawn-on team logos. I designed brackets with wavy lines. I filled out brackets in bubble letters. It absolutely consumed me.\nMy wardrobe in high school consisted of either cargo or jean shorts, assorted socks, underwear and three different shirts with past NCAA tournament brackets from years I won my respective pools. I walked around, shouting at anyone in the halls, challenging anyone who was man enough to challenge my bracketing skills.\nThen it all spiraled out \nof control.\nOne day in 1998, I got caught up in a war of words with a bigger guy who was so sure Ole Miss would make it to the Final Four as a No. 4 seed in the Midwest region. I assured him of its inevitable first-round demise against Valparaiso. But lo and behold, when the game ended and the Crusaders capped off the improbable upset, I walked by with my head down and said, “I guess someone better toss away their bracket!” It was then I was taken aside and shanked by the guy with a rusty piece of an old gym locker.\nMy bracket-holism has gotten me in trouble once again. \nFour surgeries and a skin graft later, I was back on my feet with a new perspective on life. I had to get my bracket-holism under control. Since I got out of the hospital in 2003, when the Ides of March roll, I bound my wrists together for an entire month in order to stop filling out brackets. At first there was nothing but tears. I slept at the foot of my parents’ bed and consumed food through a straw. My body went epileptic every time CBS showed its big bracket. It was a scary illness.\nBut now I refrain from the festivities. Self-control is the most effective way of dealing with bracket-holism. Every March, I come here and try to help other bracket-holics like yourselves cope with their problems.\nSee folks, everyone has their vices. For some, it’s the drink. Others, it’s drug use or lewd sexual conduct. But for me (sobbing) ... it has always been my need to fill out those ever-enchanting 65 lines of glory that gets me through the spring. And I need all the help I can get in recovering from this terrible disease scientifically called tournamentitis, but better known as bracket-holism (standing ovation).
Due to weather conditions, the contest between IU’s baseball team and Indiana State scheduled for 3 p.m. today in Terre Haute has been canceled.\nA make-up game had not been scheduled or announced at press time.\nThe Hoosiers resume play at 2:05 p.m. Friday against the Fresno State Bulldogs in Fresno, Calif. \nAfter a pair of games with the Bulldogs, the Hoosiers will stay in Fresno for spring break as they participate in the Pepsi/Johnny Quik Invitational March 10-15.
GREEN BAY, Wis. – Brett Favre has had enough.\nAfter a wild ride marked by fist-pumping highs, head-shaking lows and a record number of consecutive starts, the 38-year-old quarterback told the Green Bay Packers on Tuesday that he intends to retire.\n“I know I can still play, but it’s like I told my wife, I’m just tired mentally. I’m just tired,” Favre told ESPN’s Chris Mortensen in a voice mail message.\nEven the prospect of playing in one more Super Bowl couldn’t convince him to stay.\n“To go to the Super Bowl and lose would almost be worse than anything else,” Favre told ESPN. “Anything less than a Super Bowl win would be unsuccessful.”\nThis time, Favre’s fans won’t have to endure another long winter wondering whether he’ll return.\n“I think the finality of it just kind of hits you,” Packers General Manager Ted Thompson said. “Brett Favre’s not going to be our quarterback anymore.”\nThe three-time MVP walks away with most of the NFL’s significant passing records – most career touchdown passes, most career yards passing and most career victories by a starting quarterback – and a victory in the 1997 Super Bowl.\nAs the Packers cheered Favre’s touchdowns and victories (and cringed at his NFL-leading 288 interceptions), his body was breaking down.\n“After a while it takes a toll,” Thompson said. “And based on my conversations with him and Mike’s conversations with him, he feels like that’s enough paying of the toll.”\nThat comes from his quarterback-record streak of 253 consecutive regular-season starts – illustrating his trademark toughness. Add in the playoffs, and Favre’s streak stands at 275.\nMost thought Favre had another good year left in him. But the guy who had joyful disregard for the ironclad rules of quarterback play said he was done.\n“I was surprised when I heard it this morning,” former Packers General Manager Ron Wolf said. “He played with such a great passion. He must have figured he no longer had that passion, and it was time to get out.”\nFavre told the team he was simply worn out, physically and mentally, after starting every game since taking over as the Packers’ starting quarterback in 1992.\nHe talked to McCarthy by telephone twice Monday night, indicating he intended to retire, then spoke to Thompson to finalize his decision Tuesday morning.\n“He said it was time for him to hang up the cleats,” McCarthy said.\nFavre retires with 5,377 career completions in 8,758 attempts, with 61,655 yards and 442 touchdowns.\nThompson and McCarthy spoke at a news conference Tuesday afternoon, but the team has not said when Favre will address reporters.\nFavre accompanied his youngest daughter on a field trip to Jackson, Miss., according to a woman who identified herself as someone who works for Favre. She spoke to an Associated Press reporter through the security intercom.\n“I know the fans are absolutely devastated today,” Thompson said. “The Packers will move forward, but certainly we have all been blessed to see this man play this game the way he played it.”\nEven Favre’s teammates didn’t see it coming.\n“I just saw it come across the TV,” Packers wide receiver Koren Robinson said, when reached on his cell phone by the AP.\nThompson and McCarthy insisted it was clear the team wanted Favre back.\n“How could you not want Brett Favre’s career to continue,” McCarthy said.\nHowever, Favre’s agent, Bus Cook, said, “Nobody pushed Brett Favre out the door, but then nobody encouraged him not to go out that door, either.” He spoke to the AP by phone from his Hattiesburg, Miss., office.\nThompson and McCarthy also said the Packers’ lack of interest in wide receiver Randy Moss – a player Favre publicly lobbied the Packers to sign last offseason but re-signed with the New England Patriots – wasn’t a factor.\nEven without Moss, Favre provided plenty of fireworks last season. He experienced a career resurgence, leading the Packers back to the playoffs.\nAnd he broke Dan Marino’s career records for most touchdown passes and most yards passing and John Elway’s record for most career victories by a starting quarterback.\nFormer Packers coach Mike Sherman, now the head coach at Texas A&M, said he always figured Favre would go out with more fanfare.\n“I always envisioned his teammates carrying him off the field – and his arm falling off as he left,” Sherman said.
It’s still hard to make sense of this season. After 29 games, it’s impossible to gauge whether this team has thrown in the towel or is gathering itself for a memorable postseason run. That’s the kind of season it has been. Drama and uncertainty have been the only constants. In a season in which the Hoosiers have always been ranked, games have often felt joyless – as if maybe winning wasn’t everything.\nOne thing is certain, though: tonight will mark the last time one of the most dominant duos in IU history will take the Assembly Hall floor.\nD.J. White and Eric Gordon may have only shared one season together in Bloomington, but that one season was all they needed to etch their names into the school’s record books. When all is said and done, the inside-outside pair will finish in the top five for the all-time single season scoring mark among hallowed combos such as Scott May-Kent Benson, Brian Evans-Alan Henderson and Calbert Cheaney-Greg Graham. That’s good company. The senior, White, and the freshman, Gordon, will presumably enter the NBA Draft after this season.\nTonight’s game against Minnesota should be an especially emotionally-charged game for White, whose IU career has contained more twists than a paperback thriller. White will rank among the best to have ever donned candy-striped pants when his journey ends. He will leave among the top 20 in career scoring and top 15 in career rebounding. His legacy, however, should be as the anchor of the Hoosiers during tumultuous times. Despite losing most of his sophomore season to a foot injury and experiencing two coaching changes, White has continued to improve and should be rewarded for that persistence as the Big Ten Player of the Year.\nGordon’s cream and crimson season has been fleeting, but the mark he has made has been a sight to behold. He will leave Bloomington as the most offensively-explosive freshman in program history. He lived up to the hype. Although Gordon has been in somewhat of a shooting funk lately, he has kept his scoring average robust by getting to the foul line more than anyone in the conference. It’s not a sexy way to lead the league in points, but it has been effective. \nThose who think the Big Ten’s leading scorer should stick around another season are kidding themselves. What exactly does Gordon have to gain by waiting to see who the next Hoosier coach will be and how tightly the NCAA will handcuff the program this June? He was always a one-and-done guy. He came in good enough to make the pros and he’ll leave having backed that up at the collegiate level.\nThe other three seniors on the squad, Lance Stemler, Mike White and Adam Ahlfeld, haven’t made any all-time lists, but they’ve each had their moments. Stemler and Mike White came in from junior colleges and helped return IU to prominence as part of Kelvin Sampson’s first IU team. And though he rarely saw any game action, Ahlfeld has developed a reputation as the most spirited Hoosier in the arena. The absence of his benchside antics will leave a cheerleader-size hole next season.\nAnything short of a convincing win tonight would be an anticlimactic exit for those departing the team – and an ominous foreshadowing of season’s end. Against Michigan State last Sunday, the Hoosiers displayed no life. It was as if they forgot the joy of competitive basketball. Things should be different tonight as D.J. White and company rock the Hall one last time. Things should make sense again.
After making the rounds in Bloomington last week, ABC/ESPN analyst Steve Lavin will appear as a special guest on this Wednesday’s “That’s What He Said” podcast.\nLavin might be best known for his time on the sidelines as UCLA’s head basketball coach from 1996-2003. Currently, Lavin is one of college basketball’s most respected analysts, making frequent appearances on ESPN College GameNight and teaming with legendary broadcaster Brent Musburger to cover NCAA men’s basketball games nationally.\nThe former coach spoke in front of a packed house at the Ernie Pyle Auditorium Feb. 25. Lavin spoke and fielded questions for almost two hours and expressed his love of college campuses.\n“What I miss most about the college setting is the atmosphere, energy and the interaction with students,” he said.
BRISTOL, Conn. – Bob Knight will work as a guest studio analyst for ESPN during the NCAA tournament.\nThe Hall of Fame coach, who resigned from Texas Tech on Feb. 4, will begin his new job on March 12 during the conference tournaments, the network announced Thursday.\nKnight’s busy schedule will include providing commentary on Selection Sunday and traveling to San Antonio to offer analysis during the Final Four.\n“I think ESPN has been real good for college basketball and I look forward to working with some of their people who I have known a long time,” Knight said in a statement.\nThe winningest coach in Division I men’s college basketball with 902 victories, Knight captured three national championships at IU. He’s just as well known for his fiery temper - especially with the media - which got him in trouble on and off the court.\n“Coach Knight is a legend with a depth of knowledge on tournament basketball,” said Norby Williamson, ESPN’s executive vice president for production. “Fans have always found him to be a compelling listen and we are delighted to add his insights to our tournament coverage.”
You’re D.J. White. You’re a household name. You’re recognized everywhere you go. You’re constantly reminded that you’re special.\nYou’re D.J. White. You can’t hide your swagger anymore if you wanted to. The announcement of your name incites 17,000 strong to stand and cheer. You’re on a mission with a heavy heart.\nYou’re D.J. White. You’ve never been stronger. You’ve never wanted it more. You’ve never felt so torn.\nYou came here to this basketball haven, a soft-spoken, mild-mannered ‘Bama boy hoping to make your dreams come true. You embraced this college town with every move on the court and every smile around town, and it embraced you back. In those days, there was a lot of innocence, a lot of love, a lot of promise. It was good while it lasted. \nThings didn’t work out the way you had hoped. Your body betrayed you. Your coach gave up on you. Your teammates left you. That breakout sophomore season? Gone in an instant. In its place came a winter of rehab, hard feelings and doubt. The questions persisted. Could you have stopped it all if not for a brittle left foot? You said you would leave with Mike Davis, the man that brought you to Indiana. You couldn’t believe the people that slapped you on the back after a good game were the same ones that cursed your coach without remorse. How could you play for people like that?\nBut you didn’t leave. Maybe you wanted to, but there was too much at stake to set up roots elsewhere. You still had that dream of playing at the next level. You still couldn’t quit Bloomington and its basketball scene. You stayed a Hoosier.\nYou’ve never been stronger. They brought a coach from Oklahoma to make you mean, to bully and berate you so you would do the same to the opposing team. It wasn’t what you had signed up for, but it began to produce results. You became nasty. You represented your country in the Pan American Games. In the land of the Samba, you played the game to a different beat, an encouraging beat, a nasty beat. You had Hoosier Nation salivating on their laptops with the numbers you put up in Rio de Janeiro. You had them dreaming of a sixth big red banner.\nYou started the season slow, a couple ho-hum games against a couple ho-hum teams. The attention shifted to the latest IU freshman star, but you reminded people who the heart of this team was soon enough. You got your first double-double of the season in a losing effort. Then you got your second double-double and your third and your fourth, until it became easier to count the games in which you fell a couple one-armed boards short of the benchmark. You became the unanimous front-runner for Big Ten Player of the Year. You say you’re “just being more aggressive.” You say it’s just a matter of “going up and getting the ball,” but it’s much more than that. It’s a matter of dominance.\nYou’ve never felt so torn. It happened again. You were powerless to stop it once again, and it tore at your insides. When they told you your second coach at IU was resigning, you nearly lost sight of your goal. You thought about refusing to play. You thought about sticking it to all the big-wigs that took away the best thing that ever happened to you. But for whatever reason, you changed your mind. You scrawled your coach’s initials on your high-tops and played the next day. You were sick, but you made the game-saving play in the final seconds. You compromised in order to keep your dream alive.\nYou’re D. J. White. Now, you are so close – so close to that Big Ten Championship you can smell it. Your biggest remaining hurdle approaches Sunday, and a stout Spartan team stands between you and your goal. You think back on your career. You think about the good and the bad. You think about the things that could have been and the things that are. But you’re D.J. White, and you can only hope that it will all be worth it in the end.
Former IU football players Tracy Porter, James Hardy and Tim Bugg performed at the NFL Scouting Combine at the RCA Dome in Indianapolis, hoping to do well enough to make it the first of many pro stadiums in which they perform.\nThe combine, which tests players of all positions, is a four-day event for scouts of all 32 teams to evaluate draft hopefuls. \nPorter had the fourth-fastest 40-yard-dash time among cornerbacks, with a time of 4.37 seconds. He also was a top performer among cornerbacks in the 20- and 60-yard shuttles, finishing with the fastest and second-fastest times, respectively.\n“He was comfortable with his times,” said Paul Lawrence, Porter’s agent. “He asked me if I (he) should do it again, and I said ‘They know you’re fast, you don’t need to.’”\nAlso trying to boost his draft stock was Hardy. Listed at 6-foot-7 in the IU football media guide, he was measured an inch shorter according to NFL.com. Hardy did finish in the top 10 for wide receivers in four of the seven events, including the bench press. \nThe strong performance in the bench press could prove crucial for Hardy, who, according to draft experts, is either a late first round or early second round pick. \nThe final Hoosier who was invited to the Combine was former long snapper Tim Bugg. Bugg, who is considered the best long snapper in the country coming out of college according to NFL.com and ESPN.com, went to the combine as a specialist. Bugg might be the only pure long snapper in the 2008 draft. \nThe next chance for the hopeful draft picks to make an impression on scouts will be Wednesday at IU’s pro day, where scouts come to look specifically at IU players.
They have guys nicknamed Big Papi and Dice-K and Bones. They have a star pitcher who famously danced in his underwear and a left fielder who is such a sublime hitter that he gets away with being loopy.\nSo when the Boston Red Sox, World Series champions, arrived at the White House Wednesday, President George W. Bush had a blast.\n“I love the fact that you’ve got some of the game’s biggest stars,” Bush said, honoring the team on a chilly day on the South Lawn. “I mean, Big Papi. The guy lights up the screen.”\nThat would be David Ortiz, the lumbering left-handed slugger and team leader who proudly held the World Series trophy.\nThen, in a line that surprised even the players, Bush sent a zinger toward absent left fielder Manny Ramirez.\n“I guess his grandmother died again,” Bush said to prolonged laughter. “Just kidding.”\nRamirez says his various antics are just a matter of “Manny being Manny.” He also missed the Red Sox 2005 World Series ceremony at the White House because he was visiting a sick grandmother, he said.\nBush said he did not mean to poke fun at Ramirez, then did so again.\n“I do want to quote him,” Bush said. “He said, ‘When you don’t feel good, and you still get hits, that’s when you know you’re a bad man.’ I don’t know what that means. But if bad man means good hitter, he’s a really bad man, because he was clutch in the World Series.”\nWith their second World Series title in four years, the Red Sox looked comfortable as returning guests on the South Lawn. Boston had not won the title for 86 years until the 2004 squad swept the St. Louis Cardinals.\nBush noted the pitching of Japanese player Daisuke Matsuzaka, known as Dice-K. His presence drew a huge number of Japanese reporters.\n“His press corps is bigger than mine,” Bush said. “And we both have trouble answering questions in English.”\nThen there was Jonathan Papelbon, the relief pitcher who danced in the Fenway Park infield in his underwear when the Red Sox won the pennant.\n“Thanks for wearing pants,” Bush told him.\nMore than a thousand people came out to see the champs, from the White House chief of staff to the policy wonks to the press aides.\nThese Red Sox were on the brink of getting bounced from the playoffs one round before the World Series before rallying against the Cleveland Indians. Then they swept the Colorado Rockies in four games.
There’s a simple formula to winning in college basketball: competent coach plus talented players equals winning season. And as much as pundits gush about Bruce Pearl’s oversized personality, Mike Krzyzewski’s motivational techniques and John Calipari’s dribble-drive offense, the main ingredient to a successful season remains the same: recruiting talented players.\nThat’s why coaches such as Bob Knight and Gene Keady faded into the background in their final years – not because they forgot how to coach, but because they couldn’t convince the same caliber of player to play for them. That’s also why Kelvin Sampson’s recruiting violations are such a big deal. A coach that makes a couple hundred extra phone calls has a couple hundred extra shots at convincing top recruits to come play at his school. \nThe best coaches in college basketball today don’t mold young men into complete players as much as they get out of the way of their uber-talents. (Exhibit A: Eric Gordon.) This is the reason why IU still controls their destiny in regard to a Big Ten championship. This is the reason the Hoosiers took care of business against Ohio State in another game where the Buckeyes could never seize the lead, nipping at the Hoosiers’ heels for 40 minutes like a paltry Pomeranian chasing the mailman. This is the reason the transition from Sampson to IU interim coach Dan Dakich should have a minimal effect on the rest of the season.\nAs Dakich reminded reporters during his post-game press conference, he leads a team of basketball players that want to play basketball – regardless of the setting or who is yelling at them from the sideline.\n“These kids, they’re basketball players. They want to play,” Dakich said. “They’ll go to the HPER if we have an off day, and some of them if there’s a two-on-two game at Jackson Heights Apartments over there, they’ll probably stop in and play. They want to play.”\nAnd play they did. The Hoosiers seized control of the game from the tip-off Tuesday night. Armon Bassett’s shooting and a team rebounding effort was enough to hold the Buckeyes at bay. Bassett has become IU’s most reliable third option over the last couple weeks and its deadliest outside shooter.\n“I’ve been trying to stay aggressive, but stay in the team mode,” said Bassett, who recorded his second consecutive 20-plus point game Tuesday night. An aggressive Bassett makes it that much harder for teams to key on D.J. White and lifts some of the scoring pressure off of Eric Gordon.\nAfter a tumultuous weekend, IU seems to have moved on from Sampson, focusing on the season at hand and the prize they’ve been talking about all year. \n“Obviously, we love coach Sampson and wish he was out there,” Bassett said. “On the other hand, we are right up there at the top of the Big Ten, and we don’t have another choice but to get used to it.”\nIt’s that circumstances-be-damned attitude that has carried the Hoosiers to this point in the season. Injuries, suspensions, resignations, you name it, it’s been an issue this year. And yet with three games to go in the regular season, the Hoosiers are doing what they want to do, striving for what they want to be.\nPlaying basketball, Big Ten champions.
With only two weeks remaining in the Big Ten season, the Hoosiers find themselves in the thick of a three-team race for the conference championship with little room for error. If not for a Brian Butch banker, IU would be leading the pack, but considering the Sampson-sized distractions that have plagued the team the last couple weeks, it’s an accomplishment for the Hoosiers just to be in this position. Here’s a forecast of the remainder of the season for the Big Ten’s contenders:
In surprising fashion, the No. 21 Hoosiers (13-8, 2-6) shocked host No. 10 Northwestern (8-9, 3-5) to finish out the season. \nIU had previously dropped its last three Big Ten contests to slip towards the cellar of the conference. Much credit for the thrilling victory went to seniors Brandon Becker and Marc Bennett, who pushed the Hoosiers over the edge by pinning their \nopponents.\nIU came out firing, winning the first three matches of the day starting in the 125-pound weight class when No. 3 sophomore Angel Escobedo held on for a 3-1 decision over No. 5 Brandon Precin. Escobedo improved his record to 25-1 on the season and dispelled any doubts about him belonging near the top of the rankings.\nNo. 12 junior Andrae Hernandez was next for IU. Hernandedz sustained a wave of early attacks from opponent Eric Metzler to earn a takedown and two points for the Hoosiers. Hernandez maintained his intensity on the mat and won 7-1 to give IU a 6-0 advantage.\nFollowing Hernandez was junior Scott Kelly’s 4-1 decision over the Wildcats’ James Kohlberg. Kohlberg got the nod over No. 14 Keith Sulzer, and Kelly capitalized on the switch, earning a hard-fought victory and another three points for the Hoosiers, who took a 9-0 lead.\nA loss from freshman Kurt Kinser at the 149-pound level was the only setback for IU, but Becker and Bennett picked wins next along with several other Hoosiers soon after.\nBecker was first. He overcame an early takedown and wore down Northwestern’s Andrew Nadhir in the third period and picked up an important six points for the Hoosiers, pinning the Wildcat and extending the IU lead to 15-3.\nNo. 14 sophomore Matt Coughlin earned a difficult victory for the Hoosiers with a 3-1 decision over Dominic Marella at 165-pounds to make the score 18-3 for the visitors. After a loss at 174-pounds, Bennett, the second senior, stepped up to close out his regular season career.\nBennett battled for position in the first period and finally got his opponent down to the mat and never let go, leaving it all in his final match. He gave the Hoosiers a 24-6 lead they never \nrelinquished.\nThe Wildcats picked up two tech falls in the heavyweight matches and earned eight points to make the final score 24-14. But in the end, it was over before the final bell rang and the Hoosiers picked up momentum going into the post-season.