For the Daily Reporter
Ah, March. There is something in the air. It’s that special time of year, again. No, I’m not talking about the arrival of spring, although after the recent cold and snow, it certainly will be appreciated when it gets here. St. Patrick’s Day, Easter, April 15: Nope, nope and nope. Not what I’m talking about.
It’s basketball tourney time. In reality, this season began on Feb. 10 and runs until April 6.
The IHSAA girls basketball sectionals got us started and culminated March 7 at Bankers Life Fieldhouse with the crowning of four state champions:
1A: Lafayette Central Catholic won their second state championship in girls basketball.
2A: Heritage Christian repeated as back-to-back state champs.
3A: Princeton won its first girls basketball state title.
4A: Columbus North also won its first state crown in girls basketball.
The week of March 30 to April 6 will be a busy time in Indianapolis as it hosts the men’s NCAA Final Four for the seventh time in the 76-year history of this tournament.
Here’s a little trivia for you: Where does Indianapolis rank among all sites for number of times to host the Final Four? The answer: Tied for second with New York City. First place belongs to Kansas City, which has hosted 10 times. Indianapolis will break the tie with New York City in 2021, as it has again been selected to host the Final Four six years from now. The previous Indy Final Four outcomes:
1980: Louisville defeated UCLA 59-54 at Market Square Arena.
1991: Duke defeated Kansas 72-65 at the Hoosier Dome.
1997: Arizona defeated Kentucky 84-79 (OT) at the RCA Dome (same place, new name).
2000: Michigan State defeated Florida 89-76 at the RCA Dome.
2006: Florida defeated UCLA 73-57 at the RCA Dome.
2010: Duke defeated Butler 61-59 at Lucas Oil Stadium.
Sandwiched between these two tournaments is the IHSAA’s 105th edition of the Boys State Basketball Tournament. It began with the sectionals the week of March 3and finishes up with four schools being crowned champions on March 28 at Bankers Life Fieldhouse. Good Luck to the Sweet 16 teams left standing, heading into Saturday’s semistates:
At Lafayette Jefferson
Class A: Liberty Christian (25-3) vs. Marquette Catholic (23-6), 1 p.m.
Class 2A: Frankton (25-2) vs. Hammond Bishop Noll (13-13), to follow
At Huntington North
Class 3A: Fort Wayne Bishop Dwenger (14-13) vs. Griffith (18-10), 4 p.m.
Class 4A: Homestead (27-2) vs. South Bend Riley (12-14), to follow
Class A: Barr-Reeve (25-2) vs. Clay City (24-4), 1 p.m.
Class 4A: Evansville Reitz (28-1) vs. Richmond (26-3), to follow
Class 2A: Linton-Stockton (22-6) vs. Park Tudor (24-2), 4 p.m.
Class 3A: Vincennes Lincoln (21-6) vs. Guerin Catholic (20-8), to follow
Ah, March (and a little bit of April) — a basketball fanatic’s dream come true. I can’t wait to see what will happen this year.