Jim’s Journal, April 1st, 2024

It was a huge weekend in the men’s and women’s college basketball tournaments, and in the men’s NCAA, those Boilermakers from West Lafayette are still tops in the nation.  Purdue’s been Number 1 with 7’4″ Zach Edey leading the way all season.  They were seeded first in the tournament’s Midwest region, and now they’re leading the Final Four to Phoenix this coming week.  Sunday, the black & gold got 40 points from Zach, and eliminated Tennessee 72-66 after ending Gonzaga’s season Friday.  This Saturday, the Boilers will take on the last team to make the 4, North Carolina State, who knocked out Duke.  The other 2 squads will be Connecticut, who ousted Illinois, and Alabama, who ended the season for Clemson.


Half of the women’s Final Four is set, including undefeated overall number 1 seed South Carolina, and North Carolina State.  South Carolina eliminated Indiana in the Sweet 16 round.  The other 2 women’s finalists will be decided in games tonight.


The Final Four of the men’s National Invitation Tournament will be played at Hinkle Fieldhouse in Indianapolis tomorrow, headlined by the Sycamores of Indiana State against Utah.  The other NIT semi-final will pit Seton Hall against Georgia.


On the diamond Sunday at Great American Ballpark, the Reds wrapped up the first series of their season with some late-inning excitement.  Will Benson tied the game with the Nationals with a 2-run homer, with 2 outs in the bottom of the 9th.  Next up was power-hitting first baseman Christian Encarnacion-Strand, and CES ripped the 2nd walk-off home run of his big-league career, securing the Reds win, 6-5.  With the victory, Cincinnati’s 2 & 1 on the season, going into a new series in Philadelphia.  We’ll have the Reds and Phillies for you tomorrow night, the broadcast starting at 6:10 on the Sports Voice, 103.9 WRBI.


Remember tonight we’re talking high school sports on Coaches’ Corner with Terrance Arney, starting at 6:00, live from Ison’s Family Pizza in downtown Batesville.  Tonight’s guests will include North Decatur and Franklin County boys’ golf coaches Lucas Hochstedler and Dylan Huber, and Milan baseball coach Jeff Stutler.


Congrats to our colleague Rob Lafary, the JV baseball coach at Batesville High— his squad picked up Rob’s first head coaching win Saturday, beating Lawrenceburg 12-1 in the first game of a doubleheader.  The Bulldogs lost the second contest, 10-5.  The Batesville JV’s are home against Connersville later today.


In the NBA tonight, coming off Friday’s 109-90 win over the Lakers, the Pacers get a visit from the Brooklyn Nets.