The All Star break is upon us fans of Major League Baseball, meaning the season is a little more than halfway home. So, with that in mind, it is time to reflect on what we have seen in the previous few months, and what may be to come as the season winds down to a close. 1) The Next Great Home Run Race? 2) Surprise Division Leaders. 3) The Trading Deadline.
About the time people here in America were waking up from a nice deep sleep Sunday morning, halfway across the globe, a fellow American was accomplishing something monumental. Lance Armstrong was crossing the finish line in the final stage of the Tour de France as the champion for the third year in a row -- the first time any American had ever accomplished such a feat. For those that aren't familiar, the Tour de France is like the Super Bowl of bicycling. It starts out with a time trial and then goes on for 20 consecutive stages before its conclusion. The race tours the French countryside, from the flats to the mountains, including some time spent in the Alps. The tour ends up in Paris, by the famed Champs-Elysees. For all the riders in the world, this is the event they train for during the year. It is actually more prestigious than an Olympic medal.
Wednesday night, the Hoosiers played zone defense, something they almost never do. Wednesday night, IU used a trapping press to try to disrupt Ohio State, a tactic the Hoosiers almost never use. The Hoosiers were playing for first place in the Big Ten last night, late in February, something it hasn't done for nearly a decade.
The IU softball team got what it wanted over spring break: A chance to play. Prior to heading to the Hedrick's Hallowell Chevrolet Classic at Fresno State March 7, the Hoosiers had played only five of their 13 scheduled games because inclement weather.
PAU, France -- A child's death overshadowed Lance Armstrong's ride to the foot of the Pyrenees, where he is expected to make his first serious assault on this year's Tour de France. Before riders started Wednesday's 10th leg from Bazas to Pau, a car from the Tour convoy struck and killed a 7-year-old boy who was crossing the stage route.
The men's golf team struggled to get through the Finkbine Golf Course Sunday in the Big Ten Championship. The Hoosiers finished sixth overall. Minnesota won the event, followed by Illinois, Purdue, Northwestern and Michigan State. The team shot a round of 300, 12 over par -- the second-worst score of Sunday's final round. Wisconsin was the only team to shoot worse with a 13 over par.
The IU baseball team fought hard this weekend in a pivotal Big Ten series with Ohio State, but they were only able to get one victory in three games at Sembower Field. Rainfall cancelled game four, which ruined IU's chance of a series split. The Hoosiers (28-10, 9-6 Big Ten) fell two games behind the first place Buckeyes (23-10-1, 11-4) for the conference lead.
Of the 26 teams IU played this season, the Hoosiers have only one with which to compare Oklahoma. Not Illinois. Not Louisville. Not Kentucky. After pondering the question several seconds, junior guard Kyle Hornsby started to speak. "The…closest I can come…to comparing them to anybody…might be…Duke," Hornsby said slowly. The Sooners aren't a carbon copy of the Blue Devils, who IU upset in the South Regional Semifinal 74-73, but they are close. OU is strong, physical and any player on the floor can score. The Sooners play tight defense, can beat nearly anyone in a half-court game and can run and dunk with nearly anyone else.
WASHINGTON -- Senators reopened work Thursday on a bill to ban betting on college sports, a proposal vigorously opposed by the casino industry as misguided and unfairly targeted at Nevada, the only state that allows such wagering.
The fourth-seeded men's soccer team continues on its quest for a sixth National Championship this weekend, hosting No. 16 Rutgers in the sweet 16 of the NCAA Tournament. The game will be played 2 p.m. Sunday at Bill Armstrong Stadium. The game marks the second meeting of the two schools this season, with IU (15-3-1) defeating host Rutgers (15-6-3) 1-0 Oct. 26. Both teams excelled defensively in the game with IU breaking through on a free kick by All-American junior Pat Noonan.
Ward Burton will always cherish his win in the Daytona 500, the biggest victory of his career. But when everything that followed was a disaster, it's easy to forget that moment. Week after week after his season-opening victory, Burton fell deeper and deeper into a miserable slump. He had finishes of 21st or worse 11 times, scored just two top-10 finishes and went to New Hampshire International Speedway last weekend stuck in a rut of finishing 33rd of worse in six of the last seven races.
The men's lacrosse club team is preparing for a home game that has playoff implications. The Hoosiers will meet Illinois at 2 p.m. Saturday at the intramural fields.
Special judge Cecile Blau ruled Monday to allow 46 plaintiffs to pursue their claim that the IU board of trustees broke the Indiana Open Door Law in firing former men's basketball coach Bobby Knight last September. While Blau ruled Myles Brand was within both the scope of the law and his legal authority as university president in firing Knight, she did acknowledge the plaintiffs' claim that the board met in executive session without public notice. Blau rejected both parties' requests for summary judgment and will allow the suit to commence. In a ruling received by the Monroe County Court Monday, Blau agreed Brand had sole authority to fire Knight, a power designated by the trustees. Blau wrote that the president "had the authority to make, enforce and terminate contracts," thus enabling him to legally fire Knight.
IU beat the Kent State Golden Flashes 81-69 Saturday to advance to the Final Four in Atlanta, Georgia. The Hoosiers hit their first 8 three pointers and finished with 15. Senior Dane Fife led the team, scoring a team-high 17 points, shooting 5 of 6 from beyond the arc. The Hoosiers will face the Oklahoma Sooners Saturday. Game time will be announced on Monday.
The women's soccer team went into the weekend nationally ranked for the first time in more than two seasons. After this weekend, the Hoosiers are sure to relegate their No. 23 ranking after losses to the Michigan Wolverines and Michigan State Spartans.
An IU football player has been charged with raping a 21-year old female he met at a Bloomington sports bar early Sunday. A plea of not guilty was entered for Clarence Young, 20, at his initial hearing Tuesday. Young faces a charge of class B felony rape, punishable by up to 20 years in jail. According to a jail spokesman, Young was released Monday evening for $500 cash bail on a $20,000 assurity bond. Young's initial hearing has been set for August, said Monroe County Prosecutor Carl Salzmann. The victim was at a bar with friends when she met Young, but she doesn't remember how she ended up at Young's apartment complex, according to police reports. "She remembers being dragged up the sidewalk at Jackson Heights," Salzmann said.
Junior forward Jeff Newton only had four points Saturday against Ball State. He also had seven rebounds. More importantly, Newton helped the Hoosiers take control of the frontcourt in their 74-61 win at Assembly Hall. With 9:32 left in the first half, Newton blocked the shot of Ball State junior forward Theron Smith. On the Cardinals' next possession, senior guard Patrick Jackson was about to go for a layup on a fast break before he saw Newton fill the lane. Watching Newton the whole way, Jackson had to settle for a 15-foot jump shot that he missed. The sequence set the tone for the rest of the game, with the Cardinals having to rely on jump shooting to keep them close. The Hoosiers (6-2) finished with 40 points in the paint. Ball State (5-2) had just 12. Along with sophomore forward Jared Jeffries and sophomore center George Leach, Newton and IU dominated the lane on both sides of the floor.