Special to the Tribune-Star
TERRE HAUTE —
It’s Super Bowl XLVI week … in Indiana for the first time.
It’s time for Indianapolis to bask in the national spotlight and look good doing it.
Some media folks already have said that the city will be the best yet for the event and they’re not Indiana-based.
The city, of course, has had lots of experience in being the host for major sports events, namely NCAA basketball tournaments, Pan-Am Games and Olympic Trials.
Going into the game, the oddsmakers say the New York Giants are three-point underdogs to the New England Patriots. In other words, it’s basically an even game — the tightest point spread in 30 years.
The Patriots, of course, were 12.5-point favorites four years ago when the Giants won 17-14 to spoil New England’s bid for a perfect season. And the Giants were nine-point underdogs earlier in the season when they won 24-20, the last game the Patriots have lost.
If the Giants upset the form chart, Las Vegas could take a hit and some fans could hit it big; the odds for them winning the Super Bowl were once 80-1 this season and were 30-1 at the start of postseason action.
We like the odds and we like the Giants to win.
As a footnote, if the Giants do win, coach Tom Coughlin would be the oldest coach — at 65 — to win the Big Game.
• OT action — Overtime games marked a full weekend of men’s college basketball action for Big Ten and Missouri Valley teams.
We watched the Illinois-Minnnesota game on Saturday and the Gophers won that one in one overtime as the Illini dropped another close game. Meyers Leonard of Robinson had 17 points, 13 rebounds and four blocks for the Illini; he has seven double-doubles this season.
Following that game, we switched over to the Drake-Wichita State game at Drake. The game went for three hours before the Bulldogs won, ending the Shockers’ road perfection in the Valley.
MVC folks reminded us today that WSU beat Indiana State in a three-overtime game last season.
ISU was involved in the third overtime game of the weekend, beating Evansville in two extra sessions. It was good win for the Sycamores as they return home to face Drake on Wednesday, then go to Wichita State and Bradley.
Creighton won its sixth road game in a row last week and has assumed sole possession of first place in the Valley.
• Tom-Cattin’ It — Indiana State recruit Rhett Smith has become the all-time leading scorer in boys basketball at Sullivan. He recently surpassed the mark of 1,274 set by Joey Davidson.
Sullivan’s girls team, meanwhile, can wrap up an undisputed Western Indiana Conference title by winning at Owen Valley this week.
• The University of Indianapolis is enjoying great success in men’s basketball. The Greyhounds bested Wisconsin-Parkside 86-73 to improve to 15-4 for the year. They twice have beaten teams ranked No. 1 in the NCAA Division II polls.
Southern Indiana is 16-3 with one of its defeats coming against Indianapolis in Great Lakes Valley Conference action.
• High school seniors will begin signing national letters of intent this week.
Andre Strohm of Marshall, Ill., says he will sign with ISU while Rob Gibson of South Putnam has signed with Marian.
• Indiana University lost a tough game at Wisconsin last week in men’s basketball. The Hoosiers have not won in Madison since 1998. Bo Ryan is 163-14 at home as coach of the Badgers.
Towson, meanwhile, defeated UNC-Wilmington 66-61 to end a 41-game losing streak, longest in Division I men’s basketball. Binghamton at 0-21 now is the lone winless team left in the DI ranks.
• The Indiana Pacers are off to a good start with a 13-6 mark and have won eight games on the road. A year ago, they won a total of 13 on the road.
The Pacers play New Jersey in Indy tonight, then go to Minnesota and Dallas.
• Red Hill has promoted assistant Bill Gray to be football coach. He succeeds Bill Evans, who retired last fall after nearly 30 seasons at the Illinois school.
• Washington has won four games in a row in boys basketball and the Hatchets now are 8-7 for the season.
• In case you missed it, Cam Cameron has been re-signed as offensive coordinator of the Baltimore Ravens.
• Kevin Welch has been hired as an assistant coach in softball at the University of Maine. He did graduate work at ISU and has coached at three colleges including Butler.
Tom Reck may be contacted by telephone at (812) 232-3231, by email at firstname.lastname@example.org or by mail at 4284 South 5th Street, Apt. 3, Terre Haute, IN 47802.