Jim’s Journal, April 3rd, 2024

How about those Indiana State Sycamores? The big feel-good story of men’s college basketball continued at historic Hinkle Fieldhouse in Indianapolis last night, with a 100 to 90 victory over Utah in the National Invitation Tournament semi-finals. The now 32 & 6 Sycamores showed the nation what’s been going on in Terre Haute, shooting 60% from the field in the second half of their semi, leading the Utes by as many as 15 points, on the way to the win. Behind those goggles or glasses he’s worn in games since he was in first grade, sophomore center Robbie Avila finished with 26 points and 10 rebounds, Ryan Conwell led the scoring with 27, and teammate Julian Larry put in 15 and dished off 8 assists. So in the NIT championship Thursday night, ISU meets the other Number 1 seed, Seton Hall, after the Pirates eliminated Number 4 Georgia in the second semi, 84 to 67.

In Philadelphia, it wasn’t nearly as exciting a Reds-Phillies baseball game for fans around here as Monday with Spencer Steer’s winning grand slam. This time, after starting the season 0 for 11 at the plate, Phils’ first baseman Bryce Harper became THE man for the City of Brotherly Love, belting 3 homers in the game, including his own grand salami, and Brandon Marsh put another dinger out of the park, the Phillies bouncing back against the Reds on a rainy night, the final 9 to 4. The series wraps up this afternoon, with Frankie Montas starting on the mound for the Reds, and Zack Wheeler for the Phils. You can hear the finale starting at 3:35 today, only on 103.9 FM, WRBI.

With all the weather that cropped up Monday afternoon, our region mostly saw just heavy rain, but that was enough to cancel pretty much all high school sports events that had been planned. We can be thankful things weren’t worse, as they were near Cincinnati and in parts of southern Indiana. IF fields have dried out enough, some of the high school softball games scheduled today include: East Central going to Dixie Heights; North Decatur visiting Tri; Greensburg at South Dearborn; Shawe Memorial at Milan; and Franklin County at Centerville. The only planned baseball match today would be South Dearborn going to Switzerland County.

And in the NBA, the Pacers are in Brooklyn, to see tonight if they can make it 2 in a row, home and away, against the Nets. Indiana won Monday at home, 133 to 111.