Tag Archive for Indiana State

Inside the Man Room

College football is here so it is time for my season preview.  The Man Room this week is completely filled with college football talk and nothing else.  I break down all four of the FBS schools as well as several other in state schools.  Plus Jeremy Gray from IU joins me to preview the Hoosiers’ season.

Follow me on @thadvandeventer or @IndySportsCrew and remember to subscribe to the podcasts on iTunes.

Inside the Man Room

Join us this week in the Man Room as the Coach and I really go in depth with some basketball talk.  Dare I say even some “chalk talk”.  The main focus is college basketball with some big games this week for Notre Dame, IU, and Indiana State.  We also give a special shout out to the Shakamak Lady Lakers with coaches Troy Fougerousse and B.A. Shipman.  Follow us @thadvandeventer, @C_K_42, and @IndySportsCrew.

Inside the Man Room

We’re back!!!  After a short time off due to the holidays and the birth of Graham, the Coach and I are back in the Man Room talking basketball.  We had a ton of college basketball action to catch up on.  Indiana and Butler are both in the top 10 plus other teams playing well.  Listen and get ready for the weekly podcasts once again.  Follow us on Twitter @thadvandeventer, @C_K_42, and @IndySportsCrew.

Rise and Fire

Sycamores Say Aloha to Hawaii in Style

The Indiana State basketball team is flying high on their way home from Honolulu.  The Sycamores placed third in the Diamond Head Classic after beating Miami (FL) 57-55 in overtime.  The win was capped off by Jake Odum’s 14-foot bank shot with 0.8 seconds left.  ISU finished the trip with a 2-1 record and playing some very good basketball.

Coach Greg Lansing has to be pleased with the way his team is playing.  The Sycamores had a lot of questions to answer coming into this season.  They knew that All-Conference selection Jake Odum was back, but he was the only returning starter.  They had post players Justin Gant, R.J. Mahurin, and Jake Kitchell returning but all were role players before.  Plus bit player and sharpshooter Lucas Eitel was coming back.  Lansing had a lot of players and a lot of roles that needed to be pieced together.

This Hawaiian trip has shown that the pieces are coming together.  Yes, they did place third and only gained one game in the win column.  But their two victories came against power six conference teams (Ole Miss and Miami both in overtime) and the one loss came against #17 San Diego State.  SDSU lost to #3 Arizona in the title game for just their second loss of the season.

Odum is leading the way as expected (14.5 ppg, 5.0 rpg, 4.7 apg, 1.4 spg), but getting a lot of help from a lot of different guys.  Gonzaga transfer Manny Arop has stepped up in his first season on the court for ISU averaging 13.4 ppg and 6.2 rpg.  It is more than that right now.  ISU has seven guys playing twenty minutes or more.  There is a lot of contributions going around.  The key to the contributions is the commitment to defense.  ISU is holding their opponents to just 40% shooting on the season and just 65.4 ppg.  

Indiana State seems to have gotten everyone to buy in and playing the slow down, defensive style they want to play.  Their on court confidence and play is coming together at just the right time.  The Sycamores open conference play Sunday at home against Illinois State.  The start of conference play will be a test for ISU with three of their first five on the road including a trip to #16 Creighton.  Long story short after this trip to Hawaii and how well the Sycamores played, they seem to be ready for the rigorous journey into MVC play.   

Follow me on Twitter @thadvandeventer and @IndySportsCrew.

Rise and Fire

Statewide Round Ball Round Up

Just as we did last year at the start of each month we will run through the Division I college basketball programs in the state to get you caught up on where every program is.  This month I waited an extra week as this completes the first full month of games.  So lets get started.

Indiana

The Hoosiers are ranked #1 in the nation and through their first nine games have shown no reason why they shouldn’t be.  IU has won all nine games this year by an average of 31.7 ppg.  The schedule has not been loaded with top notch competition but in the three games so far against BCS conference teams Indiana has handled all of them with double-digit victories.

Indiana has showcased numerous offensive weapons as they have five players averaging double figures.  The Hoosiers lead the country in scoring with 89.1 points per game.  Cody Zeller, the preseason National Player of the Year, leads the team in both scoring and rebounding at 15.4 ppg and 8.9 rpg.  IU has one more game against a solid opponent left before entering conference play as they will take on Butler next Saturday in the Crossroads Classic at Bankers Life Fieldhouse.

Notre Dame

Notre Dame is the only other ranked team in the state coming in at #22 right now.  They have rolled through the first month of the season with a record of 8-1.  Their signature win thus far is a home victory over then #8 Kentucky 64-50.  The Irish dominated that contest and showed that Coach Brey’s squad has the tools to compete with top competition.  The question that still exist for them however is if they are just a home team or if they are able to play the same way on the road.

ND is lead this year by the same guy that lead them last year- Jack Cooley.  Cooley is averaging a double-double with 14.2 points and 11.3 rebounds per game.  They have also shown a balanced offense having three other players scoring in double figures (Jerian Grant, Eric Atkins, and Michigan State transfer Garrick Sherman).  For Coach Brey however this may finally be the team that can some noise in March.  The Irish’s next game is against Purdue in the Crossroads Classic.

Butler

Butler has been a little under the radar to this point even though they are 7-2 with several good wins.  Butler showed what they are capable of at the Maui Invitational.  The Bulldogs beat Marquette on a last second Rotnei Clarke trey and pounded North Carolina on their way to the title game.  There they lost to still undefeated Illinois.  

The improvement this year has come from the additions of Clarke and freshman Kellen Dunham who give the Bulldogs the outside shooting they missed last year.  Clarke (17.3 ppg) and Dunham (11.0 ppg) have allowed the offense better spacing opening the post and driving lanes for Andrew Smith, Khyle Marshall, and Roosevelt Jones.  Butler has played a tough schedule so far to get prepared for their new conference the Atlantic 10.  The Dawgs will get their biggest test next Saturday against #1 Indiana.  This will be a good game for both teams as it will be an offense versus defense battle.  Butler’s defense has been very good and very physical while as we talked about before IU leads the nation in scoring.

Purdue

Matt Painter has a young team this season and they have started off slow.  The Boilers are just 4-5 and coming off a very disappointing loss at Eastern Michigan.  They lost that game 47-44 shooting a dismal 29.8% from the field.  Purdue has been very up and down as you may expect from a young team.  They have looked good in a few games (Clemson and UNC-Wilmington) while really struggling in others (Bucknell, Oregon St., and Eastern Michigan).

The biggest bright spot for Purdue is their work on the boards.  They have out rebounded every opponent this year and rank eighth nationally with 44.2 rebounds per game.  Terone Johnson and A.J. Hammons have been their most consistent scorers.  Johnson is only Boiler averaging double figures at 13 a game.  Hammons as a freshman is becoming a reliable post presence.  He is putting in 9.3 points a game and six rebounds.  Purdue only has three games remaining before the conference schedule hits so they have limited time to get it straightened out before going against the top league in the country.

Indiana State

The Sycamores are in a similar situation as Purdue in that they have a young squad.  Coach Greg Lansing is relying heavily on Jake Odum to steer his ship.  Just as the Boilers, they have had their ups and downs early on.  After dropping their opener at UCLA, the Trees won four straight games.  They have dropped their last two however which were a tough overtime home loss to #25 New Mexico and yesterday on the road at Morehead State.

Sitting at 4-3 right now the Sycamores are starting to gear up for Missouri Valley Conference play.  ”The Mayor” Jake Odum leads the team in scoring 15.1, assists 4.4, and steals 1.6.  They will rely on him all season to put them in positions to win.  Gonzaga transfer Manny Arop has been a nice addition as well even as he is learning to fit in.  Arop is putting in 10.9 points and pulling down 6.4 rebounds a game.  Moving forward in the MVC they will also need freshman Khristian Smith (from Pike High School in Indianapolis) to continue to improve as he is starting to score more consistently at 9.4 ppg.

IUPUI

The Jaguars have had a rough start to the season.  Not only in the win-loss column but also on the health front.  The Jags have started off 3-8, but have not been able to put consistent line ups on the court.  Yesterday in their game at Western Kentucky, IUPUI made the trip with only eight scholarship players able to play.

The largest bright spot and possibly surprise has been Mitchell Patton.  Patton is second on the team scoring 14.6 points and rebounding 5.7.  He is struggling with a lower leg injury right now, but the improvement he has made from his freshman year to now has been impressive.  Purdue transfer John Hart leads the team in scoring at 14.9 ppg.  For the Jags right now the biggest thing is getting healthy.  It is going to be tough but in a one bid league they need to focus on getting back on track and peaking at the right time for the conference tournament.

Ball State

Billy Taylor’s team is off to a 4-4 start, but the Cardinals are still trying to find their offensive rhythm.  They are only scoring 62.4 points per game.  Finding buckets consistently has been a major issue for the Cards.  Majok Majok has been a big contributor so far.  He is averaging a double-double at this point with 13.1 points and 10.9 rebounds.  The Cards are going to have to work inside out a little more to open opportunities for Jesse Berry and Jauwan Scaife.  They have four games remaining before MAC play begins with a major test coming against Purdue on December 18.  The Cards dropped their other big match ups this year against IU and Butler.  A win against Purdue to boost their momentum into the conference.

Evansville

The Purple Aces have been playing some good basketball even with an injury to star Colt Ryan.  The Aces are 5-4 but have lost tough road games to Notre Dame and Colorado State.  They also dropped a home contest to very good and underrated Murray State.  Once completely healthy the Aces should be a player in the MVC this year.

Stud freshman D.J. Balentine is leading the team in scoring (12.1 ppg).  Balentine was an Indiana All-Star last year and after a slow start has really taken off.  With Colt Ryan (second on the team with 11.6 ppg) back, UE looks to get back on track.  We will learn a lot about where they are at the final week of December as they will play at Butler the 22nd and at #16 Creighton the 29th.

Valparaiso

The Crusaders are off to a solid start at 6-3.  Bryce Drew has his team playing well even in their three losses.  Losing at two NCAA tournament teams from last season in Saint Louis and New Mexico.  Drew always lays out a non-conference schedule that is challenging for his team and gets them ready for the Horizon League.

Valpo returned their top two scorers from last year in Ryan Broekhoff and Kevin Van Wijk.  So far this season they have not disappointed.  Broekhoff is averaging 17.4 ppg and 7.3 rpg and will be a candidate for Horizon League Player of the Year.  Van Wijk is a big key for the Crusaders.  If he can stay out of foul trouble, Valpo has a solid team and will be able to win a lot of ball games.  The Crusaders should be challenging at the top of a very competitive Horizon League.

Follow me on Twitter @thadvandeventer and @IndySportsCrew.

Rise and Fire

Who? What? When? Where?

College Football Recap Week Eight

Who?

The Notre Dame offensive line showed their strength again yesterday.  As is the case most of the time, the line does not get as much recognition as they probably should.  We cannot overlook the play though of Braxston Cave, Mike Golic Jr., Chris Watt, Zach Martin, and Nick Martin.  The Irish line has become one of the strengths of this team.  The identity of this team has been a throwback of running the football and great defense.  The offensive line proved its worth yesterday by opening holes that lead to 270 rushing yards and a Notre Dame win over BYU 17-14.  That may not seem overly impressive on the surface, but when you look closer to see that the Cougars had a rushing defense rated in the top five nationally in rushing yards given up and rushing average this Irish line had a great day yesterday.

What?

The Indiana State Sycamores won their fourth consecutive game yesterday beating Western Illinois 23-7.  There are a few reasons why this win sticks out.  The Trees have won three games during this streak on the road, they have taken down two of their biggest competitors in the conference race (North Dakota State and Southern Illinois), and most importantly all four victories came in conference games.  ISU now sits atop the Missouri Valley Conference standings at 4-1.  With three games remaining, Indiana State has the opportunity to come away with a conference championship and make it to the FCS playoffs.  Both of these ideas would have been dreams a few years ago, but with coach Trent Miles at the helm this program has turned the corner.  Keep your eye on the Sycamores and especially RB Shakir Bell as they push to reach their goals.

When?

Purdue was leading at Ohio State and looking for their third consecutive win against the Buckeyes until just :03 remaining in the 4th quarter.  That was when backup OSU quarterback Kenny Guiton threw a 2 yard touchdown pass to Chris Fields to cut the Boiler lead to 29-27.  The Buckeyes then converted the two-point conversion on another Guiton connection this time to TE Jeff Heuerman which sent this game to overtime.  Ohio State scored on their first possession of the extra session and followed that up by stopping Purdue on four straight pass attempts to escape with the victory.  This is a tough loss for Purdue for a few reasons.  It is their third straight loss which puts them at 0-3 in the conference.  It is also their fourth loss already this season which means they will now have to win at least three of their final five games just to become bowl eligible.

Where?

I know that this post is designed to be a recap, but I can’t help myself here in looking ahead to next week’s match up of Notre Dame vs. Oklahoma at Memorial Stadium in Norman, OK.  The Fighting Irish and Sooners worked out a home-and-home series which in this age of scheduling was great news to see.  This season ND has started 7-0 for the first time since 2002 and is very much in the national title hunt.  Oklahoma is 5-1 and cannot afford another loss if they want to have any chance of sliding back into the championship picture.  This game is also intriguing because it is the classic match up of offense versus defense.  Oklahoma’s offense is fifth in the country averaging 44.7 points per game including 115 points combined in their last two games both wins.  Notre Dame has hung their hat on defense so far this season and rank second nationally in giving up only 9.4 points per game.  Prime time Saturday night will be a huge game on the national stage for both teams.  Oklahoma trying to prove that they can win a big game and deserve to be one of the top programs in the country.  Notre Dame is trying to ride this recent wave of success and continue on with what they believe has the chance to be a magical season.

Follow me on Twitter @thadvandeventer and @IndySportsCrew.

Inside the Man Room

Hope you are ready for some football because that is all the Coach and I talk about in this episode.  Luck got his first NFL win last week and tries to make it two in a row against Jacksonville.  We give our good, bad, and the ugly awards out for last week’s game.  Plus some college football talk and of course Coach’s Quick Hitters.

Subscribe to the podcast on iTunes and follow us on Twitter @C_K_42, @thadvandeventer, and @IndySportsCrew.

Rise and Fire

Who? What? When? Where?

College Football Recap Week Three

Who?

This is an easy selection this week to take Shakir Bell of Indiana State.  The junior running back broke the school and Missouri Valley Football Conference record by going for 349 rushing yards and two touchdowns.  Thanks to Bell the Sycamores got their second straight win beating Drake 27-10 at Memorial Stadium in Terre Haute.  He broke his own school record of 256 yards in a game that he set last year and went past the MVFC record of Herb Donaldson (Western Illinois), who oddly enough set the record against ISU in 2006 after rushing for 328 yards.  Bell, the Warren Central High School grad, has been good since arriving in Terre Haute and has helped Head Coach Trent Miles get the program back on track.  Bell finished second last year in voting for the Walter Payton Award, which is given to the best player in the FCS division, and is the clear favorite early this season.

What?

In the only game played between two top twenty teams, #20 Notre Dame beat #10 Michigan State in East Lansing 20-3.  The win improves the Irish to 3-0 for the first time since 2002.  This win is the type that can manifest itself into something very big, especially for Coach Brian Kelly’s squad.  The Irish seemed to need a big, signature-type win and beating a top ten team on the road could be just that.  ND was led by their defense and more specifically LB Manti Te’o.  Te’o was playing just a few days after the deaths of his longtime girlfriend and grandmother.  Playing with a heavy heart, Te’o had 12 tackles, one for loss, and two pass break ups.  This win was also significant as the Irish are going through the gauntlet portion of their schedule playing Michigan at home next week.

When?

After IU scored to go ahead 39-38, Ball State had one final drive and chance to win the game.  On that final drive, QB Keith Wenning connected on a pass to a diving wide receiver Willie Snead with just 1 second remaining in the game.  This play was interesting for two reasons.  The first is that right before the play the officials added one second to the game clock going from :06 to :07.  Following that was the completion from Wenning to Snead, that if you are a Ball State fan it was clearly a catch, but for Hoosier faithful it was a blown call.  Snead was diving/sliding on the sideline when the ball got to him.  The call on the field was that it was a catch and replays were tough to decipher.  It was tough to tell if Snead’s elbow hit the out of bounds line before his hip hit in bounds.  In my opinion, this is an example of a play that was going to stand in the way it was called on the field.  If originally the call was no catch, the Hoosiers would have won the game.  But after review, the ruling on the field stood, it was determined that one second should remain on the clock, and BSU knocked in the game winning field goal to cap their third straight victory over IU.

Where?

Memorial Stadium in Bloomington was the setting for a wild and crazy game between Indiana and Ball State.  The teams combined for 80 points, 998 yards of offense, 18 penalties for 200 yards, two late scoring drives, and a controversial call leading to the game winning field goal by Ball State kicker Steven Schott with no time remaining giving the Cardinals a 41-39 victory.  This game was a shootout from the word go.  IU and BSU both scored on their opening drives and it was an offensive show from then on.  IU took a 25-24 lead into the half after going for a late two-point conversion.  The first 25 minutes of the second half was all Cards however.  They went on two long scoring drives and dominated the time of possession going up 38-25.  Then with 4:07 to go and with true freshman Nate Sudfeld in at quarterback, IU hit Cody Latimer for a 70 yard touchdown pass reception to cut the lead to one possession.  The Hoosiers got the stop they needed and got the ball back.  Sudfeld led IU down the field with the help of three pass interference calls to punch in another TD this one a two yard TD pass to Shane Wynn.  And with just 49 seconds left the Hoosiers had a 39-38 lead.  Keith Wenning the Ball State QB then stepped up and marched his team down to the 25 yard line with just 1 second left.  That is when Steven Schott stepped up and nailed a 42 yard FG to win it.

Follow me on Twitter @thadvandeventer and @IndySportsCrew.

Inside the Man Room- 2012 College Football Preview

It is finally here!!!  That is right, college football season is upon us and the Coach and I are getting everyone set for the season.  We look at all of the FBS football teams in Indiana as well as FCS member Indiana State.  Listen in and get ready for what promises to be a very exciting season.

Follow us on Twitter @thadvandeventer, @C_K_42, @IndySportsCrew.

Rise and Fire

Statewide Round Ball Round Up

It’s here!  It’s here!  The most wonderful time of the year!  No, not the holiday season.  It is the month of March.  Basketball at its finest all month long and I for one enjoy every second of it.  Before we get too far into the madness as there are several in-state teams looking to make some noise this month, here is the latest recap of the squads across this basketball hotbed.

Valparaiso

I am going to start with Bryce Drew’s Crusaders as they are the only Division 1 team in the state to win a regular season conference championship.  They took their first ever Horizon League title in just their fifth season in the conference (going 14-4 in league games).  This is not only a big deal just because winning championships is what every team strives to do, but also winning the regular season title gives Valpo home court advantage throughout the HL tourney.  The Crusaders will not make the NCAA tournament as an at-large selection so having the opportunity to play at home at the ARC is a huge advantage for them.  I am putting this post up on the morning of the conference semi-finals where tonight Valpo takes on Butler.  This is obviously the biggest game of the year so far for both teams and Valpo is trying to beat Butler for a fourth straight time.  The atmosphere will be great and this is a showdown of two good teams.  Regardless of what happens tonight, Valpo has assured themselves of at least an NIT bid by winning the conference title.  But as we all know going to the Big Dance is a much bigger prize to experience.  Just take a look at this video of Crusaders coach Bryce Drew as a player at Valpo winning the most memorable game in school history.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0haGKGiX9qA

Indiana

The Hoosiers have been playing very good basketball the past few weeks.  The last time we had a round up the Hoosiers were 17-6 and some questions were surrounding them about their ability to win on the road.  Well since then, IU has won two of their last three road games (Purdue, Minnesota), beat another top five team at home (#5 Michigan St.), and have won seven of their last nine games to put them at 23-7 overall and 10-7 in the Big Ten.  As fellow Crew member Chris Kosiak and others have been critical of the Hoosiers for winning all those games at home, I would just like to point out a few things.  Number one is that every coach and commentator in the country talks about the importance of defending your home court and that is all IU has done.  The second thing is that people have somewhat dismissed those top five wins by IU since they have been at home.  There is one other team that has done that this year, Kansas, and they have also won all of those games at home as well.  The final thing is the perception of the team.  Not many people in the country predicted that IU would have this good of a season and have the opportunity to receive a high seed in the NCAA tournament.  This has been a very good season for Coach Crean’s squad and they have a chance to make a run deep into March if they play to their capabilities.

Before we get to the tournament though, IU will host rival Purdue on Senior night tomorrow at Assembly Hall.  This is a huge game as IU has a chance to sweep the season series with the Boilers and that would give them them the #5 seed in the Big Ten Tournament next week.  I expect the crowd to be electric and a nice appreciation for the seniors that have been through a lot in their four years in Bloomington.

Purdue

The Boilers have been playing their best basketball of the season the past two weeks.  After the late night trouble that players Kelsey Barlow and D.J. Byrd got in to, things could have gone in the wrong direction for Coach Painter.  Instead, he dismissed Barlow from the team, and they have responded by winning 3 out of 4 with an average margin of victory of 18.6 points per game.  One of those wins was at Michigan, which was the Wolverines first home loss of the season.  Their play of late has moved the Boilers off of the NCAA tournament bubble to a solid tournament selection.  They sit now at 20-10 overall and 10-7 in the Big Ten.  Robbie Hummel has stepped his game up as he leads the team at 16.8 ppg and 7.0 rebs, but more importantly as you want to see from a senior leader Hummel is putting in more than 20 ppg in this stretch.  Just as for IU, Sunday’s game is big for seeding not only for the Big Ten Tournament but also for the NCAA.  The Boilers have been moving up at the right time and look to get themselves the highest possible seed and hopefully a favorable match up.  You can be sure that the Boilers want nothing more than to ruin IU’s senior night and make sure they split the season series.

Notre Dame

Coach Mike Brey has done one of his best jobs of coaching this season and after a rough start to the season the Irish did some damage in the Big East.  They finished up regular season conference play by beating lowly Providence 75-69.  The Irish went 13-5 in Big East play which puts them in the top four seeds in the conference tournament and gives them the double bye to the quarterfinals.  ND has brought back their “burn” offense from a few years ago and with Jack Cooley playing in complete beast mode since late December the Irish have been riding high.  The question that remains for ND is if they can make a run in the Big East tourney and improve their NCAA tournament seed much like Purdue.  Also like the Boilers, the Irish are going to be a very tough out in the tourney as they can control the tempo to any game.  Maybe this team will finally give Coach Brey a deep run into March which has been the thing that has eluded him since taking over in South Bend.

Butler

When the calendar turns over to March, you can guarantee that the Butler Bulldogs will be causing some excitement.  This season the Dawgs did not have as great of success as they have enjoyed the past few seasons, but they have started to play some good basketball down the stretch.  They have won seven of their last eight games including their first two contests in the Horizon League tournament.  If you have been paying attention to this post, you know that sets ups the big match up tonight between Butler and Valpo.  Valpo has beat the Bulldogs twice already this year including a game just a week ago at Valpo where this game will be.  The key of late for Butler has been scoring the basketball.  They have had a great defensive team all year long but have had trouble scoring at times (that is why recruit and Mr. Basketball candidate Kellen Dunham from Pendleton Heights will be so welcome next year).  In their first two HL tourney games, the Dawgs have scored 70 and 71 points respectively.  That 70 point mark seems to be the magic number for Butler because their defense is good enough to lock people down and earn themselves a victory.  I am very excited to see how this game tonight shakes out between these two Indiana schools and who will advance to the opportunity to go dancing.

Indiana State

The Sycamores finished up their season yesterday losing to #14 Wichita State in the quarterfinals of Arch Madness after defeating Southern Illinois in the first round.  ISU had a disappointing end to a season that started with so much promise.  They came out of the gate 9-2 which was accented by their win at #25 Vanderbilt.  But they were unable to sustain that run and struggled at times in the Missouri Valley Conference season finishing the year at 18-14 overall and 8-10 in conference play.  Although they were unable to replicate their run of last season to the NCAA tournament, the Trees were able to win more than 17 games for the third consecutive season for just second time in school history and the first time since the Larry Bird era.  The biggest thing for ISU moving forward is trying to find consistent scoring which was their Achilles heel all season long.  Getting that added to their team would go a long way to sustaining this foundation of winning basketball that Coach Lansing has now in Terre Haute.

Evansville

The Purple Aces are still alive in St. Louis as they have a showdown today in the Arch Madness semi-finals against #24 Creighton.  UE has been a .500 squad the entire year but in the jumbled up mess that was the Missouri Valley Conference standings they came out of there with the #3 seed after going 9-9 in conference play.  Colt Ryan has been the man all year for Evansville and they need him to do it this weekend in St. Louis.  Overall Coach Marty Simmons is trying to build up a winning program down in Evansville.  He will have the help of the brand new Ford Center in downtown plus some nice recruits coming in next season.  But nothing would help him more in doing that than challenging the top teams in the MVC and possibly sneaking into the NCAA tournament with a conference tourney title.   UE beat Creighton earlier this season at home and lost a heartbreaker 93-92 in OT when they played in Omaha.

Ball State

The conference season has been unkind to the Cardinals as their wings appeared to be clipped losing nine of their last eleven regular season games (one of those wins came out of conference in the ESPN Bracketbuster match up with Southern Illinois).  Jarrod Jones (15.1 ppg, 8.9 rpg) has been a consistent presence for the Cards all season but there has not been a lot to be excited about in the MAC.  They only averaged 63 points per game as a team this season and it was lower than that in conference games.  Just like we talked about with Butler and Indiana State, their inability to score consistently puts a lot of pressure on your defense to hold the opponent in check.  But alas a second chance awaits for BSU as they open MAC tournament play today against Northern Illinois.  Lets hope that the Cards can find a rhythm and make a run.

IUPUI

This was not the season that first year coach Todd Howard wanted at IUPUI as they were one of the streakiest teams in the country this year.  Long streaks both on the losing and winning sides made this an interesting way to get to 14-17 overall and 7-11 in the Summit League.  The Jaguars have won 4 out of 5 as they prepare for their quarterfinal match up tonight against South Dakota St. in the Summit League tournament.  You can not count out the Jags as they do have one of the best scorers in the conference in Alex Young and if gets hot maybe they could put together a run.

To wrap up this round up and as we are at the beginning of Championship Week all across college basketball I want to leave you with one of the greatest, remarkable, and most overlooked conference tournament runs in history- the 1997 Utah Runnin’ Utes.  Keith Van Horn, one of the most underrated college players of the past 20 years, made two buzzer beaters in two days at the WAC tournament as he was leading Utah to another NCAA tournament.  Check out Coach Rick Majerus’ celebration at the end.  It is fantastic and possibly proves that white men can’t jump.  Follow me on Twitter @thadvandeventer and @IndySportsCrew.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QHAwwpneQz8