Talking Points: Hoosiers exposed

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What's the buzz from the world of sports? Here are some items that will have people talking:

1

While Thursday might have been an awful day for your NCAA bracket, just remember this: It was an even worse day for the Indiana Hoosiers. Let us count the ways:

• The Hoosiers, who were a No. 1 seed after spending a total of 10 weeks atop the polls this season, were thumped out of the tournament by Syracuse.

• The thud you heard in the middle of the game was Cody Zeller's draft stock falling into the abyss. Considered by some to be a top-flight prospect — and the cover boy for Sports Illustrated's season preview edition — the Indiana center was exposed as an unathletic, overhyped future NBA project.

• The Hoosiers shot 33 percent from the field, committed 18 turnovers, had 10 of their 48 shots blocked, and had their lunch money stolen by the Orange.

• The key to Syracuse's victory was a newfangled, innovative defense called a "zone," and it was quite a brilliant ploy. Apparently, Indiana had never seen one before.

2

Nobody in Pullman is happy with the record, but the Cougars are wise to retain Ken Bone as their men's basketball coach.

Bone, whose overall 70-65 record includes a 26-46 mark in conference games over his four seasons, has been informed that he will be back next year at Washington State.

Bone's buyout from the original seven-year deal signed by former AD Jim Sterk would have been $2.55 million. But that's not the only reason the Cougs are wise to keep him. Building a winning program can take time, especially at a school that has some inherent recruiting disadvantages. After all, Coach K went 38-47 his first three seasons at Duke, and Duke has no disadvantages.

3

Mariner fans who are carrying a lot of hope into the 2013 season can get a jump on the excitement. Seattle opens the season Monday at Oakland, and because nothing is quite as lonesome as an empty ballpark on Opening Day, the Mariners are inviting fans to Safeco Field.

Gates open at 6, admission and parking are free, and food and drink specials will be available. The game begins at 7 p.m. and will be shown on Safeco's new giant video board. Meanwhile, fans can tour a renovated stadium that includes new field dimensions.

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