Yes, that tourney is seven months away, and a lot can happen by then, but enthusiasm waits for no one.
The Hoosiers, by any factor you want to look at, are loaded. Sure, they are overloaded, with 14 players and 13 scholarships and a situation that has to be resolved sometime soon unless IU officials can find some obscure NCAA loophole that allows the advantage.
Still, they have sophomore forward Cody Zeller, who just might be next year’s No. 1 pick in the NBA draft if he leaves early (odds are good that will happen); Kentucky-killer Christian Watford, super-accurate shooter Jordan Hulls; super athletic Victor Oladipo; versatile Will Sheehey; rapidly improving Remy Abel; energetic Derek Elston; and a freshman class as good as any in the country.
Lunardi has IU in the East Region. It would open at Lexington’s Rupp Arena with a regional in Washington D.C. and the Final Four in Atlanta.
The other No. 1 seeds are Kentucky, Louisville and UCLA. Louisville is the overall No. 1 seed and the No. 1 seed in the Midwest.
If Lunardi is right, the Hoosiers main challengers in the East Region would be No. 2 Syracuse, No. 3 Florida and No. 4 Duke.
How likely is this to happen? Who knows? Lunardi is a smart guy, but he’s no Nostradamus. Still, it shows there’s a lot to be excited about for the upcoming season.
But then, you already knew that.
You’ve gotta love Chase Dutra’s versatility. He’s a do-it-all standout from Brownsburg High School just outside of Indianapolis who has become IU’s eighth football commitment, and third from the state of Indiana.
At Brownsburg, he’s a safety/wide receiver/running back. He might play one of those positions for the Hoosiers. At 6-2 and 195 pounds, he might grow into a linebacker.
No matter. He’s an in-state kid with potential and if he didn’t overwhelm the recruiting world -- IU beat out Western Michigan and Indiana State for him -- doesn’t mean he won’t be a significant college contributor.
The guy did rush for 750 yards and 18 touchdowns as a junior. He also caught 16 passes for 390 yards and four TDs. Rivals.com ranks him as the state’s No. 9 player and a three-star recruit.
IU coaches got a bunch of looks at him because he attended a bunch of IU camps. They were able to see if he had the toughness they’re looking for.
The answer, it seems, is yes.
Mike Davis gets a third chance to prove he can thrive as a college basketball coach, and if the opportunities keep dropping down the big-time list, at least they still come.
He is the new Texas Southern coach. That program will never be confused with Indiana, which he directed for six years before resigning under pressure in 2006 following a 19-12 NCAA tourney season. He then was 122-72 at Alabama-Birmingham, but went to just one NCAA tourney and got fired after last year’s 15-16 record.