A Tribute to Coach Mac

Coach-Mac-2

**Before I begin, this is a written tribute for my basketball coach, Dave McCollough. Everything that has transpired behind the scenes will NOT be mentioned and has no bearing on the way I view my coach.

When you think of Noblesville Miller basketball, the usual suspects are brought up: Coverdale, Haffner, Whisler, Boser, Cam Smith…I could go on and on and on with the names that walked the floor of The Mill that paved the way for future Miller basketball stars.

There’s one name though that is synonymous with the revitalization of Miller Boys Basketball, and that’s Dave McCollough…or Coach Mac as many know him.

Basketball isn’t just a game in the state of Indiana or the town of Noblesville, it’s a way of life. Kids grow up dreaming of playing for an IHSAA State Basketball Championship, not the NBA Finals or the NCAA Final Four (or at least that was what happened with me). I always dreamed of donning the black and gold and running through the banner at The Mill in front of raucous crowds during the winter season.

That was my dream: to play high school basketball for the Millers. Coach Mac was the reason that dream was realized. He’s also the reason why many of his players today have gone on to great success outside of basketball, and I’d like to say I’m included in that group.

I began playing organized basketball in kindergarten for the Boys and Girls Club. To this day, I still remember the first time I got to play at Loren R. Williams Gymnasium, or what we all know as ‘The Mill’.

The mystique of running out on to the hardwood, seeing the Millers outlined in cursive, the big N at the center of the floor; I knew from that day forward I wanted to be a Miller. I knew I wanted to be a part of Miller Basketball.

I was 6 six years old, and I already had a dream to aspire for. My idols growing up weren’t football stars or major league home run kings (Reggie Miller was the exception). The people I looked up to were Tom Coverdale, Justin Anderson, Ryan Murray…members of those Noblesville Miller teams from the 90’s.

I’ll never forget the times I played on the same floor as my idols in summer camps. During those camps I even got to be coached by some of my favorite players during team battles. It was the little things like picking out a college for your team name or the ribbons you won during the fundamental skills competitions that kept me aspiring to play for Coach Mac and the Millers.

I followed and watched the team every year and every chance I got after getting hooked with those camps. The 1997 team will always go down as my favorite. Their historic run to semi-state and listening to the game over the radio when they lost to LaPorte…that was Coach Mac’s third year coaching the Millers. What a precedent he set in such a short amount of time.

The 1998 season was devastating seeing Pike defeat us on our home floor (Coverdale was still fouled, no one will ever deny that). I watched and followed my favorite team step by step while I was making my own journey with the Millers.

He always brought out the best in me. Whether it was open gym or actual games, I went to war for him.

He always brought out the best in me. Whether it was open gym or actual games, I went to war for him.

It was in 5th grade when our class of 2007 began our own Miller journey. We competed in tournaments and camps all across the state. Super Hoops wasn’t just some game, it was my life for four years and I wouldn’t have traded that time for anything in the world. And during that time, Coach Mac would watch from a far and chime in when we needed it.

It wasn’t until the Depauw team camps that I finally got the chance to play for Coach Mac, and I didn’t exactly make the best first impression.

We were playing some scrub team that we had no business losing to and I started getting frustrated. We were upping the tempo against our opponent and I was playing harder than ever when I got into the game on the press defense.

That was when I was called for a ticky tack foul. I grabbed the ball and slammed it down in frustration. I was quickly T’d up and found myself on the bench. Not the best way to start off my career with the Head Coach.

But as I walked to the bench, I will never forget the words Coach Mac said to me.

He called me back over as I tried to escape, and of course I was fearing the worst. Here’s some little kid that lost his temper on the court and can’t handle himself and he’s about to get the tongue-lashing of a lifetime…or so I thought.

“Hey Donoho, if you played with that same emotion all the time without losing your cool, you could be one heck of a player.”

That was all the motivation I needed to fight even harder to make it to his team every chance I got.

I was never the most athletic or gifted player that played for the Millers. I wish I could jump higher than 2 phone books stacked on top of each other, but the good Lord didn’t bless me with any semblance of ‘hops’.

I had to fight and claw my way in the pecking order. The reason why I continued to fight for my dream was that motivation and drive that Mac gave me that one game at Depauw.

The dream finally became reality my sophomore season when I dressed my first game for Coach Mac and the varsity team. Home game against Westfield. I got the chance to sit the bench and run through the banner. Never will I ever forget that game and that moment.

(Off-topic story: during the summer of my sophomore year, I decided to ‘dress up’ when I coached up the kids during our team camps. I ran to the bathroom and changed out of my shorts and shirt during a break. I came back out wearing khaki shorts, tucked in shirt, whistle around my neck, and paper tucked into my shorts implying I had a practice plan…somewhat trying to emulate what the coaches looked like. That completely backfired when Coach Mac saw me and didn’t take too kindly to being imitated. I ran back and changed quickly. Crisis averted, I was an idiot. Luckily, I didn’t have to run or do extra sprints.)

(I hadn’t told that story in years, but it felt good to get that off my chest.)

Those first two years in high school playing for Coach Mac were some of the hardest, most 223469_1005970627351_9427_ndifficult years I’ve ever faced as not only an athlete but as a person. It was demanding, it was grinding, it was emotionally draining. Whenever I’m forced to wake up at 6am for work now, it always brings me back to those times during the summer when we lifted and worked out early in the day before camps.

But that’s what made us the MILLERS. Opponents hated playing us because we were tougher than they were. We dove on the floor for loose balls, we played with relentless energy and effort for 32 minutes every game. The way we played, that was Coach Mac’s vision: giving 100% every time you stepped on the floor.

It was not easy by any means playing high school basketball for Coach Mac, but it made me tough. It got me ready for the battles ahead on the basketball court. Funny thing is…all of those sprints, all the rebounding and diving on the floor drills, all the extra hours putting up shots, it got me ready for the battles of life.

Coach Mac was the reason for all of that. He pushed me to be the best PLAYER that I could be and in the process it pushed me to be the hardest-working PERSON I could be.

I can say without a doubt I wouldn’t be where I am today without Coach Mac’s guidance and coaching. I became a man during those years playing for him, and if it wasn’t for me sticking it out in the tough times I wouldn’t have had the toughness or the mental fortitude to do what I do today.

I’m extremely grateful that Coach Mac always had an amazing staff of assistant coaches who led us: Scott Radeker, Kurt Gassensmith, Ryan Bales, Jeff Bryant, Rich Conley, Mouch Mills, Brad Coverdale, Tim Fox, Ryan Murray, and anyone else I may have forgotten…They were all instrumental in helping build the Miller Boys basketball program and helping build us into the men we are today.

There are many of you who could say the exact same thing: I wouldn’t be where I am today without Coach Mac. Whether you played for him, knew him, interacted with him…in one way or another Coach Mac made an impact on your life.

308-138. His Noblesville teams won nearly 70% of the time he stepped on the floor as head coach of the Millers. Quite remarkable, but the number of victories doesn’t even come close to the number lives that he’s touched during his time as head coach of the Millers…one of those being my own life.

Yeah, I still remember how to do ‘daily dozen’ and I never want to be put through ‘Guts’ ever again. I can do Utah 1-5 in my sleep and I’ve never forgotten white, black, red, or green tight (which was my favorite because I ran the baseline).

But why do I remember all of those things? It’s been over 7 years since the last time I ran a ‘Miller’ or was put through 2 on 2 box-out.

It’s not because of how often we did them and how they’re forever etched into our mind, it’s HOW we did them. Relentless effort and energy, never giving an inch. Those lifestyles have been instilled in all of us who have been fortunate enough to have Coach Mac be more than just a coach for us.

I remember the high school graduation card I received from him back in 2007. I still carry it with me to this day.

I didn’t play for Mac my senior year and I began getting more involved in broadcasting and PA announcing during my final year at NHS. But he still managed to leave me smiling, and I went back to what he said all those years ago to me at Depauw. Turns out, I did play with that emotion he talked about…just in a different way.

The card read: “We missed you out on the court this past season but you have definitely found your calling and your emotion behind the mic. Best of luck, Coach Mac.”

In a funny way, I still felt as if he was motivating me and coaching me with that card. I didn’t want to fail him, and I didn’t want to let him down after all of the time and effort he spent on me.

I can’t help but call him ‘coach’ whenever I run into him back home. I probably should have called him Mr. McCollough a long time after my high school graduation, but I never did.

He’ll always be my coach, and yet he’s so much more than just a coach. He’s a leader of young boys who became men. He’s a builder of men.

That right there goes far beyond the wins and losses, the trophies and championships. That, is a lasting legacy that everyone from Noblesville will never forget.

Posted in Indiana Sports | 6 Comments

Robby D’s BRACKETOLOGY – February 25, 2013

Long overdue, I know…but hey, it’s back! We’re closing in on tournament time and the way this year’s Big Dance shapes up, I have a feeling most of us won’t like how we fare in our Bracket pools. PARITY PARITY PARITY.

So here it is, the projected field of 68 for the NCAA Tournament!

MIDWEST REGION (Indianapolis, IN)

Lexington, KY
#1 INDIANA
#16 SOUTHERN/NORTHWESTERN STATE

#8 North Carolina
#9 St. Mary’s

Austin, TX
#5 Kansas State
#12 Colorado

#4 Syracuse
#13 Davidson

Philadelphia, PA
#6 Butler
#11 AKRON

#3 GEORGETOWN
#14 DETROIT

Dayton, OH
#7 Wisconsin
#10 MIDDLE TENNESSEE

#2 FLORIDA
#15 STONY BROOK

SOUTH REGION (Arlington, TX)

Kansas City, MO
#1 KANSAS
#16 LOYOLA (MD)

#8 Missouri
#9 LOUISIANA TECH

Salt Lake City, UT
#5 SAINT LOUIS
#12 California

#4 Notre Dame
#13 Ohio/Ole Miss

San Jose, CA
#6 Marquette
#11 La Salle

#3 ARIZONA
#14 HARVARD

Dayton, OH
#7 UNLV
#10 Minnesota

#2 Miami (FL)
#15 SOUTH DAKOTA STATE

WEST REGION (Los Angeles, CA)

Salt Lake City, UT
#1 GONZAGA
#16 MERCER

#8 Illinois
#9 Iowa State

Kansas City, MO
#5 MEMPHIS
#12 Kentucky/Villanova

#4 Oklahoma State
#13 BUCKNELL

San Jose, CA
#6 Oregon
#11 Virginia

#3 NEW MEXICO
#14 MONTANA

Auburn Hills, MI
#7 WICHITA STATE
#10 Temple

#2 Michigan
#15 LONG BEACH STATE

EAST REGION (Washington, D.C.)

Philadelphia, PA
#1 DUKE
#16 GARDNER-WEBB/NORFOLK STATE

#8 San Diego State
#9 Creighton

Austin, TX
#5 Pittsburgh
#12 Colorado State

#4 Ohio State
#13 BELMONT

Lexington, KY
#6 VCU
#11 Oklahoma

#3 Louisville
#14 GEORGE MASON

Auburn Hills, MI
#7 NC State
#10 UCLA

#2 Michigan State
#15 ROBERT MORRIS

LAST FOUR IN:
Ohio
Kentucky
Villanova
Ole Miss

FIRST FOUR OUT:
Tennessee
Indiana State
Cincinnati
Alabama

NEXT FIVE OUT:
Southern Miss
Baylor
Maryland
Arizona State
Charlotte

BID BREAKDOWN BY CONFERENCE:
Big East: 7
Big Ten: 7
ACC: 5
Atlantic 10: 5
Pac-12: 5
Big 12: 5
SEC: 4
MAC: 2
Mountain West: 4
West Coast: 2
Missouri Valley: 2

5 Teams on the Rise:
UCLA
Georgetown
New Mexico
Saint Louis
Notre Dame

5 Teams on the Decline:
Creighton
Minnesota
Oregon
Colorado State
Cincinnati

And that’s it! We are less than THREE WEEKS AWAY FROM SELECTION SUNDAY! Until then, enjoy the college hoops!!

Posted in Bracketology | Leave a comment

2012 Indy 500 Starting Grid (Driver Pool Slips)

 

Are you doing a drivers pool for this year’s 500-mile race?  Do you want to?  Here is our starting grid with a bit about each driver.  Print this out, cut ‘em apart, put ‘em in a hat, and draw ‘em out.  We usually reward the top-3 finishers as well as the first driver out of the race.  It makes the race even better.

POS

NUM

DRIVER

ENGINE

TEAM

SPEED

1

2

Ryan Briscoe

Chevy

Team Penske

226.484

Sponsor

Skinny:  For being a Penske driver, this Aussie has not fared well at Indy in his six career starts:  One top-5 finish.  He will lead the field into the first lap, but Andretti cars will be surrounding him.  Cheers, mate.

IZOD

POS

NUM

DRIVER

ENGINE

TEAM

SPEED

2

27

James Hinchliffe

Chevy

Andretti Autosport

226.481

 

Sponsor

Skinny: The Mayor of Hinchtown has quickly become a fan favorite.  This Canadien finished 29th after a wreck in his 2011 rookie Indy campaign.  He loves flannel shirts, maple syrup, and dog-sled racing.

GoDaddy.com

POS

NUM

DRIVER

ENGINE

TEAM

SPEED

3

28

Ryan Hunter-Reay

Chevy

Andretti Autosport

226.240

Sponsor

Skinny:  Andretti’s top qualifier.  Hasn’t finished higher than 18th since his 6th place finish as a rookie.  He drove for Foyt last year because Andretti didn’t have a race-worthy car for him.  With those frustrations behind him, he is a legitimate threat to win this year.

DHL/Sun Drop

POS

NUM

DRIVER

ENGINE

TEAM

SPEED

4

26

Marco Andretti

Chevy

Andretti Autosport

225.456

Sponsor

Skinny:  Indy is always feast or famine for this third-generation driver:  Three top-3 finishes in six career starts.  He has been fast all month and continues to show increased maturity here.  With the Andretti luck in Indy, one never knows what to expect on race day.

RC Cola

POS

NUM

DRIVER

ENGINE

TEAM

SPEED

5

12

Will Power

Chevy

Team Penske

225.422

Sponsor

Skinny: Power comes in as the series points leader with one win and two 2nd place finishes this year.  Penske’s Chevy engines have been strong all month.  Loves to play touch rugby in free time and is currently learning to speak Spanish.

Verizon

POS

NUM

DRIVER

ENGINE

TEAM

SPEED

6

3

Helio Castroneves

Chevy

Team Penske

225.172

 

Sponsor

Skinny:  Spiderman is looking for win #4 @ Indy.  He “danced” around IRS charges to capture his last Indy win.  Some say Helio’s becoming the forgotten man @ Penske, but no one overlooks him at Indy.

Shell

POS

NUM

DRIVER

ENGINE

TEAM

SPEED

7

67

Josef Newgarden

Honda

Sarah Fisher Hartman Racing

224.037

 

Sponsor

Skinny:  Newgarden stands out for many reasons.  He is the only rookie, the only Honda engine, and the only Indy Lights champion in the top nine.  Without the qualifying boost, Hondas are expected to compete with Chevys on race day.  Inside scoop:  Josef’s team was frustrated with its car late on Sunday (Source:  Tim Clauson)

Dollar General

POS

NUM

DRIVER

ENGINE

TEAM

SPEED

8

11

Tony Kanaan

Chevy

KV Racing Technology

Waved

Sponsor

Skinny:  A long, illustrious career at Indy is missing one thing:  A victory.  He will be the fan favorite.  Though he has passed the window in which he drove for the top teams, but KV Racing gave him a 4th place car last year.  He can win this thing.

Geico

POS

NUM

DRIVER

ENGINE

TEAM

SPEED

9

5

E.J. Viso

Chevy

KV Racing Technology

Waved

 

Sponsor

Skinny:  Viso leads this year’s class in braking system fines, accumulating $40k in two separate actions.  He’s shown enough speed this month, but can he maneuver in a 500-mile race?  Maybe the CITGO car will fare better than when Milka Duno drove it.

Citgo

POS

NUM

DRIVER

ENGINE

TEAM

SPEED

10

8

Rubens Barrichello

Chevy

KV Racing Technology

224.264

 

Sponsor

Skinny:  Very interesting driver to have in a pool.  The most experienced driver in F-1 history, but in his first Indy 500.  Used more practice laps than any other driver this month (526).  Surprising top-10 speed on pole day.  Two KVRT teammates joining him in the top 10 with Chevy engines.

BMC

POS

NUM

DRIVER

ENGINE

TEAM

SPEED

11

98

Alex Tagliani

Honda

Bryan Herta Autosport

224.000

 

Sponsor

Skinny: Fluent in 3 languages and married to an Australian model, Tags is an avid in-line skater.  Driving for 2011 Indy winner Bryan Herta Autosport, Tags is looking to get them back to victory lane.  Some people already forget he had the pole last year.

Barracude Networks

POS

NUM

DRIVER

ENGINE

TEAM

SPEED

12

38

Graham Rahal

Honda

Service Central Chip Ganassi Racing

223.959

 

Sponsor

Skinny:  Driving an offshoot program for Ganassi, this young American driver hopes to capture his 1st 500 win.  Look for the 1st Budweiser logo at Indy since Montoya’s 2000 victory on Rahal’s ride.

National Tire and Battery

POS

NUM

DRIVER

ENGINE

TEAM

SPEED

13

25

Ana Beatriz

Chevy

Andretti Autosport/ Conquest Racing

223.920

Sponsor

Skinny:  Ana Beatriz Caselato Gomes de Figueiredo, the racecar driver, should not be confused with Ana Beatriz Barros, the Brazilian supermodel.  As an Andretti driver she could be a threat for a top-5 finish.  Unfortunately she got no practice time either on Bump Day or on Carb Day.  That’s first-out material.

Ipiranga

POS

NUM

DRIVER

ENGINE

TEAM

SPEED

14

83

Charlie Kimball

Honda

Novo Nordisk Chip Ganassi Racing

223.868

 

Sponsor

Skinny: In 2011, he was the first Type 1 diabetic to legally complete the 500.  Chuck looks to improve on last year’s 13th place finish. Huge Stanford football fan.  He would love to see A. Luck be the next great QB in Indy.

NovoLog Flexpen

POS

NUM

DRIVER

ENGINE

TEAM

SPEED

15

9

Scott Dixon

Honda

Target Chip Ganassi Racing

223.684

 

Sponsor

Skinny:  The New Zealander last won here in 2008.  Scott has driven for Ganassi for 11 years.  Always steady @ Indy, Scott would be a good sleeper pick.  Carb Day update:  Ganassi had the two fastest cars.  Look out!

Target

POS

NUM

DRIVER

ENGINE

TEAM

SPEED

16

50

Dario Franchitti

Honda

Target Chip Ganassi Racing

223.582

Sponsor

Skinny:  Dario is a Ganassi driver who also dabbled in the other racing league.  He is rumored to get annoyed that the only press clippings he gets usually involve his wife, Ashley Judd.  I wonder what Ashley Judd will be wearing at the race this year.

Target

POS

NUM

DRIVER

ENGINE

TEAM

SPEED

17

19

James Jakes

Honda

Dale Coyne Racing

223.482

 

Sponsor

Skinny:  The Brit was able to improve on his 2011 showing by actually Qualifying for the race.  Currently 21st in series standings….this one looks like a SOLID first-out candidate.

Boy Scouts of America

POS

NUM

DRIVER

ENGINE

TEAM

SPEED

18

4

J.R. Hildebrand

Chevy

Panther Racing

223.422

 

Sponsor

Skinny:  This 2011 Rookie of the Year’s hard luck collapse gave Panther Racing four straight 2nd Place finishes @ Indy.  Last year’s spotter is gone and prospects are good with Chevy power.

National Guard

POS

NUM

DRIVER

ENGINE

TEAM

SPEED

19

15

Takuma Sato

Honda

Rahal Letterman Lanigan

223.392

Sponsor

Skinny:  Last year Sato earned his pool owners some first-out cash for his early contact with the wall.  Accidents seem to find this driver often.  He hasn’t cracked the top 15 in his 2 Indy 500s, but perhaps this year will be different for this rising sun.

Mi-Jack

POS

NUM

DRIVER

ENGINE

TEAM

SPEED

20

99

Townsend Bell

Honda

Sam Schmidt Motorsports

223.134

 

Sponsor

Skinny: T. Bell has spent the month not only driving for Sam Schmidt but also serving as a reporter for the TV coverage.  Doesn’t have full-time ride, so it’s Victory Lane or bust for this Cali native.  Indy is really the only thing that matters to Townsend.

Braun Ability

POS

NUM

DRIVER

ENGINE

TEAM

SPEED

21

18

Justin Wilson

Honda

Dale Coyne

222.929

Sponsor

Skinny:  This former F1 driver for the Minardi team missed the last 3 races of the 2011 season.  A road course specialist with Champ Car and IRL wins on his resume; look for him to continue his oval track struggles.  Sonny’s BBQ sponsorship.

Sonny’s BBQ

POS

NUM

DRIVER

ENGINE

TEAM

SPEED

22

30

Michel Jourdain, Jr.

Honda

Rahal Letterman Lanigan

222.893

Sponsor

Skinny:  Jourdain’s first (and last) Indy 500 was in 1996 when he was part of a record 7-car team.  Five drivers on that team were rookies.  He has dabbled in CHAMP, NASCAR, and European circuits since then, with not much success.  One has to wonder why Bobby Rahal hired him.  Look for Michel (pronounced “Michelle”) in the colors of Mexico on Sunday.

Office Depot

POS

NUM

DRIVER

ENGINE

TEAM

SPEED

23

77

Simon Pagenaud

Honda

Schmidt Hamilton Motorsports

222.891

 

Sponsor

Skinny: The full-time driver for Schmidt motorsports.  Finished in Top-6 in the first 3 races of the year (which were on road courses).  The Frenchman is looking for a good points day at Indy.

Hewlett Packard

POS

NUM

DRIVER

ENGINE

TEAM

SPEED

24

17

Sebastian Saavedra

Chevy

AFS Racing/

Andretti Autosport

222.811

Sponsor

Skinny:  The 1st driver born in the 90s to compete in the Indy 500.  He was the 1st Chevy driver to blow an engine this year.  This driver from Colombia (born of Korean & Spanish parents) is bringing up the rear for a strong Andretti team.

Automatic Fire Sprinklers (AFS Racing)

POS

NUM

DRIVER

ENGINE

TEAM

SPEED

25

7

Sebastian Bourdais

Chevy

Dragon Racing

223.760

Sponsor

Skinny:  The CHAMP series dynasty is coming to Indianapolis for his second try at the Big One.  His team fixed its Lotus problem late in the month, thus giving him a total of 1.5 hours of practice in his car prior to Carb Day.  As the anchor of the Dragon team, he will counted on to produce results for owner Jay Penske.

McAfee

POS

NUM

DRIVER

ENGINE

TEAM

SPEED

26

41

Wade Cunningham

Honda

A.J. Foyt Racing

223.258

 

Sponsor

Skinny:  Rookie at the Speedway.  Owns 3 Freedom 100 victories at the track, so he’s got that going for him….There is a more serious problem for him though, he’s Lactose Intolerant!

ABC

POS

NUM

DRIVER

ENGINE

TEAM

SPEED

27

22

Oriol Servia

Chevy

Panther/Dreyer & Reinbold Racing

222.393

Sponsor

Skinny:  Touched the wall while practicing on Pole Day…had to get in the show on Bump Day.  This Spaniard possesses a Mechanical Engineering degree.  This front row qualifier for the 2011 Indy 500 will likely move up quickly through the field with Chevy power.  Look for him to down a double espresso right before starting the race.

The Mecum Auction Company

POS

NUM

DRIVER

ENGINE

TEAM

SPEED

28

20

Ed Carpenter

Chevy

Ed Carpenter Racing

222.324

Sponsor

Skinny:  This new team owner was a Bump Day qualifier after a hard crash on Pole Day.  Driving his backup car on Race Day, let’s hope the hometown boy can figure out his handling woes.  Keep an eye on him…rumor has it that he has been hard on the SFHR rookies. (Source: Tim Clauson)

Fuzzy’s Vodka

POS

NUM

DRIVER

ENGINE

TEAM

SPEED

29

14

Mike Conway

Honda

A.J. Foyt Racing

222.319

 

Sponsor

Skinny: Other half of the Foyt contingent this year.  Actually led 15 laps at Indy in 2010.  Unless he catches SEVERAL breaks, might be a long shot for the Milk Chug.  Decent first-out possibility….

ABC

POS

NUM

DRIVER

ENGINE

TEAM

SPEED

30

6

Katherine Legge

Chevy

Dragon Racing

221.624

Sponsor

Skinny:  Jay Penske was able to wrestle her away from Lotus just in time to qualify for the Indy 500.  This hard-bodied Brit hopes to turn eyes with her driving skill for a change.  Prospects shaky after limited track time with the Chevy engine.

TRUE Car

POS

NUM

DRIVER

ENGINE

TEAM

SPEED

31

39

Bryan Clauson

Honda

Sarah Fisher Hartman/ Curb Agajanian

214.455

Sponsor

Skinny:  A dream come true for Bryan and a dream come true for me.  Growing up I always told him he’d be better of trying IndyCar than NASCAR.  It took him a few years but he made the switch and has quickly made it to an Indy 500.  The race will no doubt be a nervous one for Bryan and us fans.  Let’s hope he can avoid trouble early and find some SFHR Honda speed as the race drags on.

Angie’s List

POS

NUM

DRIVER

ENGINE

TEAM

SPEED

32

78

Simona de Silvestro

Lotus

Lotus – HVM Racing

214.393

Sponsor

Skinny: How long with Indycar let the Lotus’ run in this race?  Will they be within 15-20 mph of the leaders?  Disappointing showing with the Lotus engines has taken any excitement away from this fan favorite in 2011.

Lotus/Nuclear Clean Air Energy

POS

NUM

DRIVER

ENGINE

TEAM

SPEED

33

64

Jean Alesi

Lotus

Lotus – FP Journe – Fan Force United

210.094

Sponsor

Skinny:  Former F1 driver from France.  May be the smallest male in the race.  The Indy 500 version of Mr. Irrelevant is trying to salvage Lotus’s reputation in IndyCar.  A 48-year-old rookie with power limitations smells like a solid 1st out candidate.

Lotus/Fan Force United

 

Posted in Indiana Sports, Indianapolis 500, Uncategorized | Tagged , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

Farewell, Feisty One

Feisty (adj) – Full of spirit or pluck; frisky or spunky

Image

Damn.

This one hurts, perhaps more than losing Robbie Hummel to graduation and Peyton Manning to the Broncos.  Those two brought wins, even championships.

Neither of them brought IT like Jeff Foster brought IT.

Growing up a Pacer fan, there’s no doubt that Reggie Miller is a hero of mine.  In all honesty, though, Jeff Foster has always been my favorite player.  And my favorite player retired from the game of basketball today, citing chronic back injuries.  The news hit me like pile of ice to the face.  It’s over.  The hustle, hard work, scrappiness, passion, and downright feistiness is finished.  The old guard of the Indiana Pacers has lost its last remainder.  And I’m left to sit here and reflect on all the great memories.  That’s what you do when your favorite player retires.

Where to begin?

How about my earliest memory of Foster.  It came on October 23, 1999.  I was a young kid at a Pacers exhibition game against the Jazz.  It was the last game ever played at Market Square Arena in Indianapolis.  Jeff Foster, young kid from Texas, scored the last points at MSA, with a two-handed flush.  Even if that was his last accomplishment in the NBA, I would have remembered him.  Luckily for all of us, he had plenty more to bring to Pacer fans.

Foster played all 13 years of his career for the Pacers, and during that time the Pacers were never without an established presence of toughness and grit.  That was Jeff Foster’s impact.  And in a small market with fans who appreciate “pure” basketball, Foster was a no-doubt fan favorite.

Defense and rebounding.  Nothing else.  Nothing.  The guy passed up thousands of wide open looks so that he could get in better position for the offensive board.  Shooting the ball only happened as a last resort.  He averaged 8 points and 12 rebounds per 36 minutes in his career.  “Foster” is Australian for rebounding.

In between shifts on the court, he wouldn’t sit on the bench.  He would sneak around to the side of the bench and ride a stationary bike to keep warm.  Always, the hardest worker, Foster just could not keep still.

Jeff wasn’t afraid of anyone out there, and many times a “hard foul” of his was misunderstood.  This happened several times, but the most well-known instance came last year in the playoffs against the Bulls and Derrick Rose.  I was the most proud when I was able to wake up the next morning and see that “Jeff Foster” was still the number 1 trending topic on Twitter in the Chicago market.  I knew Jeff had made it.

Why do I love Jeff Foster so much?  I admire players who close the athleticism gap with intangibles.  Foster was a player with perhaps the least amount of athleticism in the league, and yet he made a 13-year career for himself through intelligence, awareness, role-playing, hard work, and determination.  Greg Maddux and Peyton Manning are two others who have similar qualities, but Foster is the best example.

What is my favorite Jeff Foster memory?  I’m glad you asked.  It was a game against the Pistons in the 2005 playoffs.  It was one of the rare but epic times in which The Feisty One took over a game, and this time it was a comeback in a huge playoff game.  Obviously we all hated the Pistons, and to see an un-athletic role player steal the spotlight late in a playoff game at the Palace was just bliss.  I still remember him getting an entire conversation on Sportscenter later that night, with a highlight reel of hustle plays back-to-back-to-back.  Unbelievable!

But it’s all over now.  The Feisty One has retired, and is moving on to new endeavors (maybe front office?).  Whatever he does next, I’d bet the house on the fact that he will go after it with the same intensity and determination he took to the hardwood every time.

If I got to meet Jeff anytime soon, I would have this message for him:  Thank you for all of the great, great memories.  Your philosophy of hard work has been inspiring and a delight to watch.  You are the most consistent player I have ever watched, and I will forever be one of your biggest fans.  Thanks for defining Pacers basketball for over a decade.

Posted in Indiana Pacers, Uncategorized | Tagged , , , , , | 2 Comments

The End of an Era (Why I Love Sports)

*Quick suggestion: have this song on repeat while you read this…http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Z0kGAz6HYM8…Makes it much more epic and much more emotional. Also tissues would be helpful, I needed them too.

___________________________________________________________
I’ve always been asked the same question by so many people that know me: why do you love sports so much?

What makes you go wild? Why do you invest so much time? Why are you so loud? (okay, so that last one is typically a general question but you get the idea.)

Most of the time, my answer is something along the lines of: “It’s those moments in sports where the game goes beyond just being a sport,” or something witty like that.

Usually I answer that question with one sentence. Here, I’m going to answer it with multiple paragraphs and plenty of tears.
_______________________________________________________________
July 17, 2006. The beginning of an era.

It didn’t take much time to fall in love with basketball when I came to Purdue. I had played the game all my life. But that day, July 17, 2006; ultimately began what would be one of the greatest careers not just in Purdue basketball history, but in college basketball history.

Robbie Hummel, a guard/forward from Valparaiso, Indiana committed to play for Matt Painter and the Purdue Boilermakers on that day.

He committed when the program was just starting. There weren’t any bells and whistles to his commitment, Twitter didn’t explode, and he didn’t receive any backpacks full of money (as far as I know…).

It would have been one thing for a top 100 recruit to commit to a school that had continued success over the course of the last couple years. But Purdue wasn’t there. Not even close.

And thus begins the legacy: beginning something that’s bigger than yourself.

‘The Baby Boilers’ stormed onto the scene, winning 12 of their first 13 Big Ten conference games.

The 'hustle after a loose ball, save it, get it back in the corner and shoot an open 3 and make it crowd goes wild' Shot Celebration

During that stretch we saw two plays that would define not just a career, but a program in

itself: ‘the block’ and what I like to call the ‘hustle after a loose ball, save it, get it back in the corner and shoot an open 3 and make it crowd goes wild’ shot.

If you’re a Purdue fan, you know exactly which two plays I’m talking about.

Not since the days of head coach Matt Painter playing at Purdue had we seen this much pandemonium surrounding the Purdue basketball program.

Top 10 upsets, a court storming, a second place finish in the Big Ten…those don’t happen if it’s not for that one day that began it all.

The next year: memories were made.

This time in the history books.

The 2008-2009 season was marked by the program’s first top 5 win in years and the

What a moment beating UW.

program’s first ever Big Ten Tournament championship. A birth into the sweet 16 for the first time since 2000 certainly made a bit of history as well.

And there he was again, Robbie Hummel. Fighting through a painful back injury that required him to wear a less than comfortable brace, standing tall on the podium in Conseco Fieldhouse.

The next two years would pass. They were certainly not easy.

There are few times in life where I can honestly say I remember where I was, what I was doing, and who I was with. Those few times where I stopped whatever I was doing, crouched down, and just stared off into empty space asking the same question: ‘why?’

Time #1 – The first Torn ACL. My room at my fraternity, watching the Purdue basketball game, 7:10 remaining in the first half, by myself on my futon.

Purdue was #3 in the country, putting together possibly the greatest season in school history. A (23-3) record going into Minneapolis to play a Minnesota team that was sure to give us a fight.

Rob came in guns blazing and we were dominating a side that should have given us a fight. It was that drive in the lane where everything changed.

A non-contact injury to the right knee. We all hoped that our almost super-human leader would get up and start playing again, but that wasn’t the case.

Since that game, Purdue once again saw themselves battle to the program’s first Big Ten regular season championship since the mid 90’s and a fight to the Sweet 16. Only to find themselves fall to Duke in Houston, the same Duke team that went on to win the National Championship.

But we were going to be back in 2010-2011. It was our year. Hummel was going to return healthy and better than ever, and the Boilermakers were going to challenge for their first Title since 1932.

Time #2 – The second Torn ACL. October 16, 2010 – north end zone of Ross-Ade Stadium, shooting the homecoming Purdue football game against Minnesota.

I still remember to this day what happened when I received that text message from a friend that made everything I was doing seem meaningless. I will also never forget the silence that swept over Ross-Ade when the news broke to every Boilermaker fan in attendance.

Rough.

I stopped shooting the game while Purdue was driving, knelt down, and stared straight into the ground. I didn’t pay attention to anything around me nor did I even care.

After the victory over Minnesota, I still remember the first question being asked to Coach Hope. It wasn’t about the victory his football team had just achieved, it was about Robbie’s second ACL injury.

Purdue had just won their fourth (and unfortunately last) game of the season, and the first question asked to the winning head coach is about a basketball player.

I’ll never forget Hope’s response to the question. He stood for a few seconds in silence, and began to choke up just a little bit. He hadn’t heard, and he was shocked…much like we all were.

Yet again, Purdue fought gallantly. JaJuan Johnson and E’Twaun Moore, our other two members that helped begin the era, took us on an amazing ride.

The program’s first win over a top 3 team since 1992 versus Ohio State once again had us all going wild in Mackey.

But off the court issues ultimately derailed a team that had so much promise, and so did a team of destiny that we all had hoped to become one day.

So here we are, the beginning of the 2011 season. Rob is back, we’ve got some talent and leadership with our two other seniors Lewis Jackson and Ryne Smith. Why not make a run?

No, it wasn’t the Final Four run we all dreamed of having in Robbie’s last season. But it may have been even more special.

Once again, off the court issues had struck with the same player. We were about to see our team crumble yet again.

But this time was different. Sure, we all felt as if it was same ol’ Purdue having the stroke of bad luck that’s plagued us the previous 2 years. Only this time, we had #4 leading the charge.

No program changing victories, no championships. Just solid, Boilermaker basketball.

Finally, we come to Time #3 – The loss to #2 Kansas. March 18, 2012 – Columbus, Mississippi; WCBI newsroom, right before I was to go on air.

No one expected us to compete against the giants from Kansas. Come on, it was KANSAS. And we were the lowly 10-seed Purdue.

The era would end in despair with us getting routed by the Jayhawks…wrong.

Warrior.

Purdue shot out of a cannon, and so did Robbie. Shot, after shot, after shot kept answering the Kansas momentum.

We battled and we were defeating the #2-seed in our region for 39 minutes. But for 60 seconds, we came up short.

Ryne Smith’s desperation 3 to tie came tantalizingly close to banking in for overtime.

There I was again: crouching down in the middle of the newsroom (mind you I’m running late getting onto the set).

I was motion-less for a good 30 seconds. I didn’t care what was going on around me. My team, my beloved Boilermakers, had just lost a heart-breaker. And my heart was torn too.

We were SO CLOSE to landing one of the most amazing victories in program history, yet it was just a few seconds that spelled the end. How fitting it was to end that way.

A few seconds different and Rob possibly doesn’t tear his ACL at Minneapolis. A few seconds into an aggressive practice maybe doesn’t re-injure that same ACL. A couple seconds and a few bounces differently and maybe we achieve the impossible against the Jayhawks.

After my sportscast, I just came back in and sat down in the sports office. I didn’t know what to think, what to do. I was literally heart-broken after watching that game. I didn’t move out of my seat for literally 10 minutes.

There were no words to explain how I was feeling. Nothing.

The ‘Baby Boilers’ era was over. Robbie Hummel’s days in the #4 Purdue uniform were over. I was still in shock.

Watching his press conference afterwards, I couldn’t do it. I couldn’t see the player that began what ultimately will define one of the greatest eras of Purdue basketball become emotional in front of the whole world.

After the game, the out-pouring of congrats and well-wishes to Hummel was incredible. Media members, Kansas fans, even a few IU fans I saw over Twitter congratulated #4 on his career.

But then again, it still didn’t help.

After the game, I caught up with a couple Boilermaker friends of mine. We all felt the same pain: heartache. But why did we feel this way?

We aren’t a part of the team, most of us weren’t close friends with the players on the team. Some of us didn’t even have a chance to attend a game this year because they work 10 hours away from Mackey Arena.

So why did we feel this pain? What made this hurt so much more than all the other times?

Was it the end of the era? The end of a career?

Yes, all of that. But mostly, it was the end of the legacy.

We felt as if we WERE a part of this team. The effort, the tenacity, the passion…it embodied what we are all about…Boilermakers.

We all felt as if we were sitting right next to Rob, or Lew Jack, or Ryne after the crushing loss, but we really weren’t.

We all were screaming and yelling in front of a TV screen to a game where no one can hear us hundreds of miles away, but you feel as if you’re passion and excitement is pushing them to victory.

Those feelings of heart-break, despair, sadness…you don’t get that. Not unless you’re a part of the team, right?

True, but when you’re a Boilermaker, you ARE the team. You may not play a single minute of any game in a season for Matt Painter, but you feel as if you’ve struggled with those guys out there.

I felt ALL of that on Sunday night. I felt the pain of Rob’s last game. I felt the hurt of seeing Ryne’s shot fall just off the rim. I felt that mind-numbing sense of the era being over.

You feel the highs and lows of a season, you feel the sucker punch when the season ends.

All of this pain, it multiples by 50 when you see a player like Robbie Hummel break down.

His career, his unbelievable and shining career at Purdue has come to an end. All of those clutch shots, all of those hustle plays, they’re all memories from now on.

But those memories have left a legacy on a program that needed something. Purdue Basketball NEEDED something to re-energize it.

We were blessed to have #4 for FIVE years. We didn’t make it to any Final Fours, we didn’t win any National Championships…but we didn’t have to.

The unbelievable emotion that made him the best.

We won SO MUCH more than a trophy in the last five years at Purdue. We won excitement, memories, moments. Those stand the test of time, you can’t put that on a trophy.

But all of this struggle, this heart-break…it WILL pay off.

It has been a difficult last three years for Purdue basketball. We’ve been SO CLOSE to the top yet we seem to fall after a drive-by slip-up.

I promise you this Boilermaker fans: the work of Robbie Hummel and his time WILL reap dividends in the end.

His hard work, his patience, and his drive has set the tone for a program that’s only just beginning to make that climb towards the top…

Remember that line I wrote earlier: ‘beginning something that’s bigger than yourself’? That’s what Robbie Hummel did when he started in 2007.

He contributed to something that was bigger than himself. He and so many others gave their all for the team, the program, and TO US.

All I can say is to Rob and the rest of those who played the past five years: THANK YOU. From the bottom of my heart, thank you. Your spirit, your selfless attitude and determination have set the foundation for future Boilermakers.

From 2007 to 2012, Purdue Basketball enjoyed some of its best years EVER. And I was a part of that. WE were a part of that. Don’t EVER forget that.
_____________________________________________________________
I’ve always been asked the same question by so many people that know me: why do you love sports so much?

If ALL THAT doesn’t answer your question, than I don’t know what will.

Posted in Purdue Boilermakers | Tagged , , , | 11 Comments

Bob Kravitz: The Power of the Press and Propaganda

“What is the most resilient parasite? Bacteria? A virus? An intestinal worm? An idea. Resilient… highly contagious. Once an idea has taken hold of the brain it’s almost impossible to eradicate. An idea that is fully formed – fully understood – that sticks; right in there somewhere.” -Cobb, Inception (2010)

For the past six months, I, like every other die hard Colts fan, have suffered through one of the most painful periods in franchise history.  We all know the story too well by now:  after nine straight playoff appearances, two Super Bowl appearances, and one well-earned Lombardi trophy, the most famous player in Indianapolis Colts history, our four-time MVP, the man who revitalized a city without ever missing a game, Peyton Manning, inexplicably had to undergo a September neck surgery that would eventually prevent him from playing a single game in the 2011-2012 NFL season.  Heartbreaking as this was, the question then arose as to whether or not Peyton Manning would ever play again.

I, for one, sort of blew this question off.  “There’s no way that one of the hardest-working players in NFL history doesn’t come back from a successful surgery,”  I thought to myself (without any knowledge of the complexity or severity of the surgery he underwent).  Although quite an ignorant statement on my part, I just knew deep down in my soul after years of watching him live and breathe football that the doctors would have to cut Peyton Manning’s head off before he would stop playing the game he loved.  “And if he comes back,” I once again thought to myself, “there’s no way he’ll ever play for any team but the Colts, especially if we’re terrible without him because that’ll prove his true worth.  He’ll retire in Indy no matter what.  It’s the way it’s supposed to be.”  If you were to take a straw pole of a group of honest Colts fans today, I’m POSITIVE that the vast majority of those fans would agree that they had the same type of mindset as me back in September.  Peyton Manning WAS Indianapolis.  There was no way around it.  He would be here for his entire career.

Fast forward about six months.  Today is March 7th, 2012.  Last year, the Colts endured one of the worst seasons in franchise history and ended up with a 2-14 mark.  We now know that Peyton Manning is doing quite well in his recovery process, and we are expecting him to play close to full strength in the Fall of 2012.  With this said, a press conference is scheduled for today to announce the RELEASE OF PEYTON MANNING.  Wait. What?  I thought if we had a really bad season without our best player and he was able to recover from his injury in the off-season, we were going to keep him around?  Didn’t we already decide that this seemed like the only logical choice back in September?  Didn’t the events of the season go just as we had planned?

SO, WHAT HAPPENED?

In the movie Inception, the main character, Cobb, played by Leonardo DiCaprio, works as a thief who invades people’s dreams and extracts information from their minds.  Shortly into the movie, he is given a task (thought impossible by some) to enter one man’s dreams and create an idea in the man’s mind, a process known as inception.  Though he and his fellow inceptors run into many different obstacles along the way, by the end of the movie, they are able to complete the process of inception.  The victim now has in his mind an idea which was once foreign to him, but he now thinks is his own.  It, in turn, completely changes the man’s goals in life.  Chalk one up for Leo, right?

It turns out an inception has occurred in our story as well.  In Indianapolis, Cobb is played by Bob Kravitz, famed Indianapolis Star sports columnist and supplier of a continuous stream of what I like to call “Peyton Propaganda.”  A man who has single-handedly convinced the media (networks like ESPN), the entire Colts franchise, and the vast majority of Colts fans everywhere that it is time for the Colts to release Peyton Manning and move on to future endeavors.  That’s right, ladies and gentlemen, we are the victims of an inception!  The only difference is that we’re not dreaming.  This is real life. (As a side note, if Bob Kravitz invades your dreams, I wouldn’t tell anybody because that’s extremely strange.)

So, let me be the first to say it:  Well done, Bob. Tip of the cap!  You got your way after six whole months of pushing your agenda and then acted like it’s not what you wanted in the end (once you knew it was official) while green bills floated out of your pockets and ears.  Well played, sir!

“Wow, those are harsh accusations!” you might say… “That movie didn’t make any sense to me at all.  Wasn’t it all just a dream anyways?” or…”You’re just a bitter Colts fan looking for someone to blame.”   Perhaps, but first let us look at the facts and consider the brilliant work of Mr. Kravitz…

Since the beginning of October, Kravitz has written somewhere in the vicinity of eighty columns.  His columns usually consist of a wide range of topics from Indy car racing to Colts football to Pacers basketball to Purdue and IU sports.  During that time, of those eighty articles, OVER TWENTY OF THEM HAVE BEEN BASED SOLELY ON THE PEYTON SITUATION.  Now, to the average reader, this may seem reasonable.  I mean it is a pretty important topic in the city.  The problem, however, is not the number of columns but the content.  Each one of the these columns adamantly pushed an agenda for getting rid of Peyton Manning and replacing him with Andrew Luck.  Titles, such as: “Is Manning Era Over? Is it time to ponder next QB?” (Kravitz, Nov. 4) and “Best options don’t include Manning” (Kravitz, Nov. 18), have clogged the sports page for months on end.  His first column pushing an anti-Manning agenda was on October 16, 2011.  The season was only six weeks old then!  He had no idea how Manning’s rehab was coming and, yet, he was writing that it was time to get rid of him!? Are you kidding me?

Many of these columns have also made unfounded claims about Peyton never being able to play again and not wanting to stay in Indy with another talented quarterback behind him.  The fact of the matter is that these claims just simply weren’t true and aren’t true now.  But, through his bombardment of Colts fans with propaganda and unfounded claims, Kravitz blatantly blurred the line between fact and fiction, between his agenda and the truth.  Yes, I do understand that columnists are supposed to give their opinion on a situation, but Kravitz’s work over the last six months has persistently driven home a demand for Peyton to go, not an opinion.  Go back and read his articles.  It’s almost comical, but people have eaten up each and every word based solely on his positive reputation from years past.

“So, what?” you may ask, “Just because a columnist from a small, Midwestern newspaper wants Peyton gone, doesn’t mean that anyone outside of Indianapolis or in the Colts organization cares about what he writes.”  I would have to disagree with anyone that makes this claim.  Bob has made numerous appearances on ESPN pushing his anti-Peyton agenda over the last few months.  He is friends with renowned writers, television show hosts, and radio show hosts from around the country.  Men who have cameras in front of their faces, microphones in front of their mouths, and Twitter accounts at their fingertips at all hours of the day.  Men who actually use him as their number one source for up-to-the-minute Peyton information.  He, not Rob Lowe, is the go to guy for knowledge on Peyton across the country.

Now, please don’t try to tell me that Irsay and Peyton don’t watch ESPN, read newspapers, or listen to any radio shows.  They could both feel the pressure building from the moment Kravitz started his propaganda campaign.  Even if they were hidden from most sources of information, I can guarantee you that they were constantly bombarded with calls for interviews from media people who relied on Kravitz’s “Peyton Propaganda” as if it were reliable.  The same people who first agreed with Kravitz that Peyton would never play again and then sat down on ESPN every single day and discussed where he would be playing next year (other than Indy) were the people that Kravitz used to reach Colts management and Peyton (if his columns hadn’t already).  How could any modern athlete or owner (especially a Twitter fanatic like Irsay) not be affected by this propaganda?  If you hear something enough times from enough “credible” sources, you will begin to believe it yourself.

Simply put, we (the media, Colts management, Peyton, Colts fans) got caught up in this whirlwind of articles, talk shows, and morning Sportscenters, which convinced us that the Colts had to release Peyton Manning and that there was no other option.  Bob Kravitz planted the seed early in October, kept watering it until yesterday, and then stepped back and said that he was sad to see it all happen today.  Brilliant work, indeed.  To top it all off,  I’m sure he made globs of money writing those controversial columns and making appearances on those television shows.

Don’t get me wrong though.  My full support will always be behind the Colts no matter what they do.  I mean I still cheered for the Pacers after they fought the entire Palace of Auburn Hills.  I will definitely mourn the loss of Manning for awhile, but I will also be looking forward to a bright future with Andrew Luck.  Maybe Luck is all he’s cracked up to be? Maybe Peyton won’t ever be same?  Maybe Irsay did make the right decision in releasing Manning after all?

Alas, today the inception is complete.  The idea that Peyton needs to go is now our own.  Face it people….Bob Cobb wins again.

Posted in Indianapolis Colts, Peyton Manning | Tagged , , , , , | 4 Comments

Robby D’s BRACKETOLOGY – February 27, 2012

Two weeks away from Selection Sunday, and bubbles are starting to pop! With conference tournament play starting up this week, more bubbles will pop as at-large births are eaten up by other conferences with at-large teams already solidified.

What happens if Memphis or Southern Miss don’t win Conference USA? Will Wichita State or Creighton take care of business in the Valley? Many more of these questions will continue to circulate as Selection Sunday draws near.

But that’s why we’re here…to see where we WOULD be if everything went according to plan.

Here is the projected FIELD OF 68 as of February 27th!

MIDWEST REGION (St. Louis, MO)

Louisville, KY
#1 KENTUCKY
#16 MISSISSIPPI VALLEY STATE

#8 San Diego State
#9 Purdue

Nashville, TN,
#5 MURRAY STATE
#12 Southern Miss

#4 WICHITA STATE
#13 Mississippi State vs. St. Joseph’s

Louisville, KY
#6 Creighton
#11 UConn

#3 Ohio State
#14 BELMONT

Columbus, OH
#7 Iowa State
#10 BYU

#2 Marquette
#15 AKRON

WEST REGION (Phoenix, AZ)

Columbus, OH
#1 MICHIGAN STATE
#16 LIU-BROOKLYN vs. TEXAS-ARLINGTON

#8 CALIFORNIA
#9 ST. MARY’s

Portland, OR
#5 Louisville
#12 LONG BEACH STATE

#4 Florida
#13 NEVADA

Pittsburgh, PA
#6 Temple
#11 Miami (FL)

#3 Georgetown
#14 VALPARAISO

Omaha, NE
#7 GONZAGA
#10 Cincinnati

#2 KANSAS
#15 BUCKNELL

EAST REGION (Boston, MA)

Pittsburgh, PA
#1 SYRACUSE
#16 SAVANNAH STATE

#8 Virginia
#9 Kansas State

Portland, OR
#5 Notre Dame
#12 Seton Hall

#4 Michigan
#13 IONA

Albuquerque, NM
#6 UNLV
#11 Alabama

#3 Baylor
#14 ORAL ROBERTS

Greensboro, NC
#7 MEMPHIS
#10 HARVARD

#2 North Carolina
#15 WEBER STATE

SOUTH REGION (Atlanta, GA)

Greensboro, NC
#1 DUKE
#16 VERMONT vs. UNC-ASHEVILLE

#8 New Mexico
#9 Washington

Albuquerque, NM
#5 Indiana
#12 West Virginia vs. Texas

#4 Florida State
#13 DREXEL

Nashville, TN
#6 Vanderbilt
#11 VCU

#3 Wisconsin
#14 MIDDLE TENNESSEE

Omaha, NE
#7 SAINT LOUIS
#10 Arizona

#2 Missouri
#15 DAVIDSON

LAST FOUR IN:
West Virginia
Mississippi State
St. Joseph’s
Texas

FIRST FOUR OUT:
Xavier
South Florida
Northwestern
Colorado State

NEXT FOUR OUT:
Oregon
UCF
NC State
Colorado

BID BREAKDOWN BY CONFERENCE:
Big East: 9
Big Ten: 6
Big 12: 6
SEC: 5
ACC: 5
Atlantic 10: 3
Mountain West: 3
Pac-12: 3
West Coast: 3
Conference USA: 2
Missouri Valley: 2
Colonial: 2

5 Teams on the Rise:
VCU
Marquette
Wisconsin
South Florida*
Washington

5 Teams on the Decline:
Minnesota
Mississippi State
Ohio State
West Virginia
NC State

And that’s it! We are less than TWO WEEKS AWAY FROM SELECTION SUNDAY! Until then, enjoy the college hoops!!

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