Local Sports News: March 22, 2024

NCAA Men’s Tournament Update

#4 Seed Indiana hosts #13 Fairfield in NCAA Tournament First Round Saturday afternoon The #4 Seed Indiana Hoosiers are home for the first and second rounds of the NCAA Tournament for the third year in a row as they welcome in the #13 Seed Fairfield Stags on Saturday Afternoon at 1:30pm with the game televised on ESPN2 followed by the #12 Florida Gulf Coast Eagles taking on the # 5 Oklahoma Sooners at 4pm on ESPN News. 

The Hoosiers are 24-5 and will be well rested after a 69-56 Big Ten Quarterfinal loss to Michigan on March 8. Mackenize Holmes who injured her knee in 71-54 win at home on March 3, against Maryland played 5 minutes against Michigan going 0-2 from the field with an assist, a turnover and 2 fouls.  Head Coach Teri Moren was only going to play Holmes if she was needed, and she was put into the game in the final five minutes with the Hoosiers trailing and not able to complete the comeback. Holmes said earlier this week that her knee is doing much better and is ready to go for the Hoosiers in the Big Dance.  Holmes averages a team leading 20 points, 7 rebounds and 1.4 blocks per game. Holmes is the all-time leading scorer in Indiana University Women’s Basketball history with 2,476 points, 973 rebounds, 248 blocks, a school record 1,021 field goals made and a school record 124 career wins.

Sara Scalia is averaging 16.2 points per game leads the team shooting 89.4 percent from the free throw line. Yarden Garzon averages 11.6 points, 4.3 rebounds and assists per game along with a team leading 43.8 % from the three-point line. Sydney Parrish is averaging 10.1 points and Chloe Moore McNeil is averaging 10.1 points along with a team leading 4.9 assists and 1.4 steals per game. Indiana averages 79.2 points per game and commits 13.3 turnovers per game. The Hoosiers shoot 51 % from the field, 40% from Three Point Range and 73% from the free throw line.  The Hoosiers finished with a perfect regular season record for the second straight year. Indiana who was number 1 seed in 2023 lost at home in the second round of the NCAA tournament to Number 9 seed Miami Florida 70-68.

The Hoosiers are in the NCAA Tournament for the 10th time in program history with 9-9 record. Head Coach Teri Moren is making her 6th appearance in 10 seasons and has 8-5 record in the NCAA Tournament. The Hoosiers are 1-4 before Moren arrived with their only win coming in 1983 against Kentucky 87-76 in Lexington. The Hoosiers lost in the first round in 1994, 1995 and 2002. Moren is 5-0 in the first round, 2-3 in the Second Round, 1-1 in the Sweet 16 and 0-1 in the Elite 8. The Hoosiers made appearances in 2016, 2019, 2021 2022 and 2023.

Fairfield is 31-1 and won both the Metro Atlantic Athletic Conference Regular Season and Conference Championships. The Stags are on a 29-game winning streak and their only loss came on November 12 at Vanderbilt 73-70. Vanderbilt beat Columbia 72-68  in a First Four Game on Wednesday Night in Blacksburg Virginia as #12 seed. Fairfield won at Rutgers 78-54 on November 20, and St John’s 67-62 on December 7. The Stags will have been off a week since beat Niagara 70-62 in the Conference Championship game last Saturday in Atlantic City, New Jersey.  Head Coach Carly Thibault-DuDonis is in her second year as head coach and signed a three-year contract extension with the school on Thursday Morning that will keep her there through the 2029-30 season. In two seasons she has an overall record of 46-16. She is a Connecticut Native and played at Monmouth University from 2009-2013 leading the Hawks to the WNIT in her Sophomore Season. Her Father Mike Thibault is a three-time WNBA Coach of the Year, her brother Eric is the head coach of the Washington Mystics and her Husband Blake is and assistant coach under her. Coach Carly who spent four seasons at Minnesota and was interim Head Coach in 2022 will be reunited with Sara Scalia who she coached while Scalia was at Minnesota.

Meghan Anderson leads the team with 15.2 and 1.4 blocks per game. Jenelle Brown averages 13.6 points and 2.5 steals per game. Kaety L’Amoreaux averages 10.3 points per game. The Stags have eight players who averaged double-digit minutes per game and score 73.2 points per game and average 17.3 turnovers per game. Emina Selimovic averages 9.8 points and a team leading 5.4 rebounds per game. Kendall McGruder averages 8.2 points per game and Izabella Nicoletti Lette leads the team with 3.8 assists per game. Fairfield is shooting 46% from the field, 33% from three-point range and 70% from the free throw line. This is the sixth all-time tournament appearance for the Stags who made appearances in 1988,1991, 1998,2001 and 2022 and 0-5 all time in the tournament.

This will be the third all-time meeting between the two programs with the series tied 1-1. Fairfield beat Indiana 89-85 on December 29, 1984 in the Women’s Court Classic in Miami Florida. The Hoosiers beat the Stags on December 9, 2021 in Simon Sjkodt Assembly Hall 91-58. Should the Hoosiers Advance to play Oklahoma it will be the first ever meeting between the two programs. Oklahoma was the fourth team in the Ft Myers Tip Off Tournament in November but two teams played Tennessee and Princeton with the Hoosiers winning both games while the Sooners drop both. If Florida Gulf Coast Advances it will be the second meeting with the Hoosiers with Eagles winning 73-69 on December 21, 2010 in Ft Myers, Florida. Florida Gulf Coast has one player from the State of Indiana on its Roster with fifth year senior Ajulu Thatha who 6-1 from Decatur Central High School in Indianapolis and played for Southern Illinois-Edwardsville.

Malik Reneau Announces his return to Indiana University Men’s Basketball for his Junior Season
Indiana has its first confirmed member of the frontcourt for 2024-25. Forward Malik Reneau will return for his junior season, he announced on Thursday. Reneau averaged 15.4 points, 6.0 rebounds and 2.7 assists in his second year with IU.  He shot 55.8% from the field overall and 33.3% from three (on 45 attempts).  He started all 33 games for the Hoosiers. After producing the biggest year-over-year increase in points in the league, Reneau was named Honorable Mention All-Big Ten by both the coaches and the media. Overall, Reneau becomes the third confirmed member of next season’s team.  Previously, guards Trey Galloway and Anthony Leal announced they were returning for the 2024-25 season.

Indiana University Wide Receiver Kamryn Perry Enters the Transfer Portal
Indiana football wide receiver Kamryn Perry announced plans to transfer just hours after the team wrapped up its first spring practice. He’s the second IU player to enter the portal this week after the unexpected departure of defensive tackle Philip Blidi. Perry had three catches for 22 yards as a redshirt freshman last season. He was a three-star prospect in the 2022 signing class out of Marietta High School in Georgia. He made the announcement on social media.

Indiana’s new coaching staff placed a high priority on signing skill position players out of the transfer portal after taking over. The Hoosiers signed four wide receivers including Elijah Sarratt, who led JMU with 82 catches and 1,191 yards. Both numbers ranked second among all receivers in the Sun Belt. New coach Curt Cignetti also convinced Donaven McCulley to take his name out of the transfer portal. McCulley led Indiana with 48 catches, 644 yards and six touchdowns last season. The other top returners at the position include E.J. Williams, Omar Cooper Jr. and Andison Coby. “That room has a lot of older guys that have made plays in game, and I am excited about their potential to help us win football games,” Cignetti said of the group, on Thursday morning.

Indiana Fever waive veteran Victoria Vivans
Indiana Fever veteran Victoria Vivians has been waived; the team announced Thursday. Vivians, the No. 8 pick in the 2018 draft, has been with Indiana for all six years of her WNBA career. She was one of the longest-tenured players for the Fever along with Kelsey Mitchell, who was drafted second in the 2018 draft. Vivians played for Indiana through its rebuilding stretch, as she was part of the team that won six games each in 2018 and 2019, then five games in 2021. In 2023, the Fever went 13-27, and they are now on the precipice of their second-straight No. 1 pick and the end of the rebuild. With that, they waived Vivians.

The Carthage, Mississippi, native averaged 7.5 points and 3.2 rebounds over the course of her Fever career as a part-time starter. She started 14 games in 2023, averaging 5.2 points and 3.1 rebounds. Vivians had a protected contract that goes through the end of the 2024 season, according to Spotrac, and she was originally owed $137,000 for this season. The $90,000 will count against the cap. Vivians agreed to a buyout for $90,000, Her Hoop Stats’ Richard Cohen reported, and she will be able to sign a contract with another WNBA team this season. Indiana has three picks in the WNBA draft this year: No. 1, No. 15, and No. 27.

Big Ten Network announces 2024 Baseball and Softball Broadcast Schedules
The Big Ten Network today announced its 2024 Big Ten baseball and softball schedules, featuring nearly 600 games on BTN, the FOX Sports App and B1G+ throughout the season.

Big Ten softball coverage opens on BTN on Friday, March 22, when Illinois takes on Nebraska at 6 p.m. ET. Big Ten Network’s complete coverage of the Big Ten Softball Tournament Presented by DIRECTV from Iowa City begins with Game 1 on Wednesday, May 8, at noon ET, and concludes with the championship game on Saturday, May 11, at 4 p.m. ET.

Lisa Byington, Sloane Martin and Kylen Mills will be the primary play-by-play broadcasters for softball coverage, with analysis provided by Jennie Ritter, Elise Menaker and Sammy Nettling, among others. Throughout baseball season, Connor Onion, Jack Kizer and Connor McKnight will be responsible for play-by-play duties, while Scott Pose, Danan Hughes and Jeff Leise will serve as analysts.

More than 500 Big Ten baseball and softball games are scheduled to stream live on B1G+ during the 2024 season. Additional regular season events may be added to the schedule at a future date.

2024 Big Ten Network Softball Television Schedule (All Times ET)

DayDateAway TeamHome TeamTime (ET)
FridayMarch 22, 2024IllinoisatNebraska6 PM
TuesdayApril 2, 2024Penn StateatOhio State5 PM
TuesdayApril 2, 2024Penn StateatOhio State7:30 PM
WednesdayApril 3, 2024PurdueatIndiana5 PM
WednesdayApril 3, 2024PurdueatIndiana7:30 PM
SaturdayApril 6, 2024WisconsinatRutgersNoon
SundayApril 7, 2024Ohio StateatMinnesota3 PM
TuesdayApril 9, 2024MichiganatMichigan State6 PM
TuesdayApril 9, 2024NorthwesternatIllinois8 PM
WednesdayApril 10, 2024RutgersatMaryland4 PM
WednesdayApril 10, 2024RutgersatMaryland6:30 PM
FridayApril 12, 2024MinnesotaatIndiana6 PM
TuesdayApril 16, 2024IllinoisatNorthwestern5 PM
TuesdayApril 16, 2024Michigan StateatMichigan7 PM
WednesdayApril 17, 2024WisconsinatMinnesota4 PM
WednesdayApril 17, 2024WisconsinatMinnesota6:30 PM
FridayApril 19, 2024NebraskaatMichigan*7 PM
SundayApril 21, 2024IndianaatIowa2:30 PM
TuesdayApril 23, 2024IowaatNebraska5 PM
TuesdayApril 23, 2024IowaatNebraska7:30 PM
SundayApril 28, 2024IllinoisatOhio State2 PM
FridayMay 3, 2024NebraskaatMinnesotaTBD
FridayMay 3, 2024WildcardatWildcardTBD
SaturdayMay 4, 2024NebraskaatMinnesota3 PM
SundayMay 5, 2024NebraskaatMinnesotaTBD
SundayMay 5, 2024WildcardatWildcardTBD
WednesdayMay 8, 2024Game #1atIowa City, IANoon
WednesdayMay 8, 2024Game #2atIowa City, IA2:30 PM
WednesdayMay 8, 2024Game #3atIowa City, IA5:30 PM
WednesdayMay 8, 2024Game #4atIowa City, IA8 PM
ThursdayMay 9, 2024Quarterfinal #1atIowa City, IANoon
ThursdayMay 9, 2024Quarterfinal #2atIowa City, IA2:30 PM
ThursdayMay 9, 2024Quarterfinal #3atIowa City, IA5:30 PM
ThursdayMay 9, 2024Quarterfinal #4atIowa City, IA8 PM
FridayMay 10, 2024Semifinal #1atIowa City, IA5 PM
FridayMay 10, 2024Semifinal #2atIowa City, IA7:30 PM
SaturdayMay 11, 2024ChampionshipatIowa City, IA4 PM

*Broadcast on FS1

2024 Big Ten Network Baseball Television Schedule (All Times ET)

DayDateAway TeamHome TeamTime (ET)
FridayMarch 29, 2024PurdueatOhio State6 PM
SaturdayMarch 30, 2024MinnesotaatIowa3 PM
SundayMarch 31, 2024MarylandatMichiganNoon
SundayMarch 31, 2024Penn StateatIllinois3 PM
FridayApril 5, 2024MichiganatIowa^3 or 5 PM
SaturdayApril 6, 2024MichiganatIowa^2 PM
FridayApril 12, 2024MinnesotaatMichigan8 PM
SundayApril 14, 2024NebraskaatRutgersNoon
FridayApril 19, 2024Penn StateatMichigan State8 PM
FridayApril 26, 2024IllinoisatMaryland5 PM
FridayApril 26, 2024PurdueatNorthwestern8 PM
SaturdayApril 27, 2024IowaatNebraska2:15 PM
SundayApril 28, 2024RutgersatIndiana11 AM
SaturdayMay 4, 2024MarylandatRutgersNoon
SaturdayMay 11, 2024IndianaatNebraska7 PM
SundayMay 12, 2024IndianaatNebraska1 or 3 PM
SundayMay 12, 2024WildcardatWildcardNoon or 4 PM
ThursdayMay 16, 2024WildcardatWildcard5 or 6 PM
ThursdayMay 16, 2024WildcardatWildcard8 or 9 PM
FridayMay 17, 2024WildcardatWildcard5 or 6 PM
FridayMay 17, 2024WildcardatWildcard8 or 9 PM
SaturdayMay 18, 2024WildcardatWildcardNoon
SaturdayMay 18, 2024WildcardatWildcard3 PM
TuesdayMay 21, 2024Game #1atOmaha, NE11 AM
TuesdayMay 21, 2024Game #2atOmaha, NE3 PM
TuesdayMay 21, 2024Game #3atOmaha, NE7 PM
WednesdayMay 22, 2024Game #4atOmaha, NE3 PM
WednesdayMay 22, 2024Game #5atOmaha, NE8 PM
ThursdayMay 23, 2024Game #6atOmaha, NE11 AM
ThursdayMay 23, 2024Game #7atOmaha, NE3 PM
ThursdayMay 23, 2024Game #8atOmaha, NE7 PM
FridayMay 24, 2024Game #9atOmaha, NE3 PM
FridayMay 24, 2024Game #10atOmaha, NE8 PM
SaturdayMay 25, 2024Game #11atOmaha, NE10 AM
SaturdayMay 25, 2024Game #12atOmaha, NE2 PM
SaturdayMay 25, 2024Game #13atOmaha, NE6 PM
SaturdayMay 25, 2024Game #14atOmaha, NE10 PM
SundayMay 26, 2024ChampionshipatOmaha, NE3 PM

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