NCAA Tournament

Jae Lee / WBAA News

When Purdue University hosted its annual “Road School” conversations on infrastructure earlier this month, it enlisted President Mitch Daniels to proctor a conversation with one of his successors – current governor Eric Holcomb.

On this edition of WBAA’s Monthly Conversation with Mitch Daniels, we ask how often those sorts of talks happen between the current and former leaders of Indiana.

Also: President Daniels appeared on an Indianapolis talk show just before President Trump gave his first address to a joint session of Congress.

Kate Ter Haar / https://www.flickr.com/photos/katerha/

It’s the middle of the workday, and Chumley’s bar in downtown Lafayette is packed with people watching the NCAA tourney. They’re wearing work clothes—not jerseys.

Checkered sportscoat-clad lawyer (and Cincinnati fan) Jim Olds ducked out of the office to check in on the Butler-Texas Tech game.

“We’re sneaking away on the lunch hour to watch some games,” he says of himself and his lunch companion. “We won’t have any public displays in the office, but I have a feeling there will be a number of people probably watching on their computers.”

Easter, Final Four Shortening Timeline To Fix RFRA

Apr 1, 2015
Frankie Leon / https://www.flickr.com/photos/armydre2008/16671230120

If Statehouse Republicans hope to meet Governor Mike Pence’s end-of-the-week deadline fix the Religious Freedom Restoration Act, they’ll have to make those fixes Thursday.

That’s because the Easter holiday weekend and the culmination of the NCAA basketball tournament Monday mean lawmakers are about to take a four-day weekend.

House Speaker Brian Bosma maintains the bill never allowed discrimination, but says new language will clarify that point.

Senate President David Long says the language is still in discussion and nothing has been decided.

Stan Jastrzebski / WBAA News

Cincinnati's Octavius Ellis was in tears when he left the court with 16 minutes left to play in his team's opening-round game with Purdue Thursday night.

The Bearcats star center had just been assessed a flagrant-2 foul and been ejected for throwing an elbow to the jaw of Purdue center A.J. Hammons. He clearly thought he might have cost his team a chance to win.

But though Ellis had injured his team's odds, it was a Purdue team that struggled all year to finish games that couldn't deliver a knockout punch.

Stan Jastrzebski / WBAA News

University of Cincinnati players say they hope to speed up the tempo of Thursday’s NCAA tournament game with Purdue when the Bearcats are on offense and slow it down when Purdue has the ball.

Cincinnati allows an average of just 55 points per game this season, good for sixth-best in Division I. Senior forward Jermaine Sanders says he thinks if his team can run, they have the edge.

Stan Jastrzebski / WBAA News

After learning they’d received a number nine seed in the NCAA basketball tournament, members of the Purdue men’s basketball team were variously relieved and concerned about their past struggles.

Forward Rapheal Davis said he was looking forward to watching film of the Boilermakers' opening round opponent, Cincinnati, but noted that most every pundit had written the team off in the preseason and as recently as a couple months ago.

Stan Jastrzebski / WBAA News

Little seemed to worry Purdue coach Matt Painter Thursday.

He didn't look bothered that starting forward Vince Edwards was on the bench in street clothes nursing concussion-like symptoms.

Nor did he appear to fret when, just six minutes into the foul-fest that was Thursday's game, starting center A.J. Hammons picked up his second personal and headed back to the bench.

And, as it turned out, Painter had little to fret over in a 92-85 win against the Big Ten Conference's worst team -- except perhaps those fouls and the sloppiness they wrought.

Purdue Athletics

Coaches, athletes and even athletic directors talk a lot about focus in relation to sports. But when a team is on the verge of qualifying for the NCAA tournament, there's a lot to focus on.

For instance: how does the athletic department prepare for the flurry of activity necessary to get a team to and from a postseason game, into its hotel, etc?

Indiana Basketball Hall of Fame / http://www.hoopshall.com/hall-of-fame/sharon-versyp/?back=HallofFame

The woman who’s been the Purdue women’s basketball coach for the last eight seasons now has a contract to remain in that job for another six.

Sharon Versyp has signed a contract extension through the 2019-2020 season. Since becoming coach, Versyp’s teams have won 184 games – that’s just 22 fewer than the program won during the tenure of its all-time winningest coach, Lin Dunn, who now coaches the NBA’s Indiana Fever.