See which Southside businesses advanced in our Basketball Blitz
| || |
By B. Scott Mohr
With Butler and Purdue advancing to the Sweet 16, The Southsider Voice’s annual College Basketball Blitz is again proving of interest to advertisers who were paired with teams in the men’s NCAA tournament after purchasing the 64 ad slots.
The winning business will receive a quarter-page color ad valued at $390; the second-, third- and fourth-place finishers each receive an eighth-page ad worth $210.
Of the businesses that have teams remaining in the tourney, IU Credit Union is sitting pretty with No. 1 seed Kansas (30-4) and No. 4 Purdue (27-7) in the Midwest Region, but those schools square off at 9:40 p.m. (CBS) Thursday in Kansas City, Mo. The credit union is also paired with No. 2 seed Kentucky (31-5) in the South and No. 4 Florida (26-8) in the East.
North Carolina (29-7), the No. 1 seed in the South, is paired with Beck Service Center and faces No. 4 seed Butler (25-8, Fred & Sons’ Hauling & Tree Removal Service) at 7:09 p.m. (CBS) Friday in Memphis, Tenn. The Bulldogs, who didn’t surprise anyone by winning their opening two games, are hoping for a return trip to the Final Four. Butler made it to the title game in 2010 and ’11 before losing to Duke and Connecticut, respectively.
Also meeting Friday in the South (9:40 p.m. CBS) are Kentucky and No. 3 seed UCLA (31-4, Radiator Plus). The Bruins are coached by Hoosier basketball legend Steve Alford, who led Indiana University to the 1987 national championship when draining 7-of-10 3-pointers against Syracuse. UCLA has an explosive offense, but the Wildcats’ defense is unrentless.
It is rumored that IU has made Alford a seven-year, $52 million offer to replace the fired Tom Crean. Wouldn’t it be special for “Stevie Wonder” to win a title before returning to his alma mater.
Joining Purdue and Kansas in the Midwest is No. 3 seed Oregon (31-5, Primo Banquet & Conference Center) and No. 7 seed Michigan (26-11, Glover’s Tree Service). The Wolverines, whose game starts at 7:09 p.m., are on a roll, winning the Big Ten Conference tournament and upsetting No. 2 seed Louisville 73-69 Sunday at Bankers Life Fieldhouse.
Battling Florida at Madison Square Garden in New York City will be No. 8 seed Wisconsin (27-9, Archer’s Meats & Catering). The Badgers pulled off the tournament’s biggest upset by defeating overall No. 1 seed Villanova (32-4, Mike Heimel Auction Service) 65-62.
But Heimel Auction Service can find solace in that it was also paired with No. 7 seed South Carolina (24-10), which upset heavily favorite Duke 88-81 Sunday to advance to the round of 16. The Gamecocks will face No. 3 seed Baylor (27-7, Airbourne Tree Service).
Twelfth-year Baylor coach Scott Drew, a Butler graduate who mentored at Valparaiso in the 1990s and early 2000s, led the Bears to the Elite Eight in 2012 and won the NIT in 2015. A big plus for Drew & Co.: They are playing as good as anybody right now. Many pundits have noted that the Bears have the easiest road to the Final Four.
The West Region features No. 1 seed Gonzaga (34-1, Realty World, Tricia Benefield) facing No. 4 seed West Virginia (28-8, Shine Realty, Dan Shine) in what should be a great battle. The Mountaineers employ a tenacious defense that took No. 5 seed Notre Dame (26-10, Indy Curb Appeal Asphalt Maintenance) out of its game plan Saturday. The Irish buckled under the pressure and lost 83-71.
Rounding out the Sweet 16 are No. 11 seed Xavier (23-13, American Family Insurance, Malcolm T. Ramsey) and No. 2 seed Arizona (32-4, E. White’s Tree Service). Xavier, the highest seed remaining, has the most losses, but the Wildcats can’t look past them.
Thursday’s and Friday’s games and the regional finals will be thrilling. An exclamation point to that excitement would be a Final Four with a nice Hoosier flare.