OMAHA, Neb. — Indiana and Louisville are playing for a national title — in baseball, not basketball, for which both are traditional powers.
The Hoosiers are making their College World Series debut and are the first Big Ten team in 29 years to reach Omaha. They open tonight against a Louisville team in the Series for only the second time. (opening games, 2C)
"Maybe we should get a basketball and start a pickup game," Indiana third baseman Dustin DeMuth said with a grin after Friday's practice.
After it swept Florida State in the Super Region, men's basketball coach Tom Crean said Indiana now was a baseball state. Coach Tracy Smith said he appreciated the comment but, as an Indiana native, he knows baseball's place.
And right now, that place is Omaha.
Entering this season, Indiana had reached the NCAA tournament only twice, getting eliminated in the regions in 1996 and 2009. Now that it is in the Series?
"One of our goals was to get to Omaha, and we didn't really specify what we wanted to do in Omaha," DeMuth said. "We have good leadership. Everybody has a good head on their bodies, and everybody is going to stay focused and try to win baseball games."
Louisville, meanwhile, is trying to finish a spectacular run. In January, it beat Florida in the Sugar Bowl. In April, it won the men's basketball national title and reached the women's basketball national title game before losing.
"You want to get on the train of success," coach Dan McDonnell said. "At this point in the year, we're glad we're able to do our part and, hopefully, cap off really a magical year in college athletics."
Football: Citing an unlikelihood of conviction, prosecutors in Tucson, Ariz., dropped all charges against Arizona All-America running back Ka'Deem Carey related to a December incident with his ex-girlfriend. Carey, whose 1,929 rushing yards as a sophomore last season led Division I-A, faced misdemeanors of assault and disorderly conduct.