6-Banner Sunday: IU women advance, transfer portal heats up for IU men

  • 03/24/2024 7:36 am in

Welcome to another edition of 6-Banner Sunday, a joint production between The Assembly Call and Inside the Hall, and presented by our friends at Trueblood Real Estate, where we highlight the five most essential IU basketball stories of the past week, plus take a look at how the other IU sports programs are doing.

The women’s team was selected as a host of the NCAA tournament for the third straight season and easily won their first-round game. Meanwhile, the men have entered their offseason with some roster news.

Besides this, other results from March Madness and weekly shows. We will, as usual, conclude with a look at other IU sports led by a rivalry win for men’s tennis.

Here is what’s in this week’s edition:

• Women’s Basketball beats Fairfield in first round of March Madness
• Malik Reneau is staying at IU
• Kaleb Banks, CJ Gunn and Payton Sparks enter the transfer portal
• NCAA Tournament results
• Weekly shows
• Hoosier Roundup

Banner #1 – Women’s Basketball beats Fairfield in first round of March Madness

The Hoosiers were given a top-four seed in the NCAA Tournament for the fourth straight season and the third straight year they get to host at home. Their first opponent was the toughest draw in the opening round in several seasons against 31-1 Fairfield.

Behind the eighth-largest crowd in program history of 12,753, Indiana overcame a slow start to defeat the Stags 89-56. Sara Scalia was on fire all afternoon with 27 points, including five three-pointers. All-American Mackenzie Holmes scored 13 points and led the squad with three blocks as IU outscored their opposition 51-22 after halftime.

The Cream and Crimson move on to the second round of March Madness as they have done all six times they have made it there in the Teri Moren era. They will face fifth-seed Oklahoma at 6:30 p.m. Monday on ESPN2 in Bloomington and tickets remain available.

Banner #2 – Malik Reneau is staying at IU

While the roster for the men’s team remains in flux as the offseason begins, a few things are known. The biggest was the announcement that Malik Reneau will return to the Hoosiers for the 2024-2025 season. He joins Trey Galloway, Anthony Leal, and Jakai Newton, who have also said they will be back.

Other than these, Indiana will need to turn to the transfer portal to fill open scholarships with no incoming freshmen. Looking down the road, though, IU did make the list of the final nine schools for 2025 in-state recruit Jalen Haralson.

Banner #3 – Kaleb Banks, CJ Gunn and Payton Sparks enter the transfer portal

While the roster for next season is far from set, a trio of Hoosiers will not be back in Bloomington. Kaleb BanksCJ Gunn, and Payton Sparks have put their names in the transfer portal and will move on to other schools. Outside of the Hoosiers, the portal is now open and several other players from other Big Ten schools have entered it as well.

Banner #4 – NCAA Tournament results

While Indiana is not in March Madness, six other Big Ten teams are. Illinois, Michigan State, Nebraska, Northwestern, Purdue, and Wisconsin made the NCAA tournament.

The Illini, Boilers, and Wildcats remain alive as of this moment, with Illinois already advancing to the Sweet 16. Meanwhile, Purdue defeated Grambling and will also face Utah State today with a shot to advance. Finally, Northwestern beat Florida Atlantic and Dusty May (who will coach at Michigan next season) but has an uphill battle today against top-seeded UConn to advance to the second weekend.

On the other end of the spectrum, the Spartans, Cornhuskers, and Badgers have already been eliminated. MSU beat Mississippi State but fell to North Carolina on Saturday, ending their season. Finally, Nebraska lost their first game to Texas A&M, while Wisconsin was upset by James Madison.

In another surprising result, Kentucky was stunned by Oakland. Also, Duquesne upset BYU, Yale did the same to Auburn, as did Grand Canyon to St. Mary’s.

Banner #5 – Weekly shows

Inside the Hall and the Back Home Network had several new shows in the last few days. ITH’s Podcast on the Brink had Rick Bozich on to discuss Indiana’s needs in the portal.

Also, Doing The Work had an episode during the selection show as well as following the Fairfield game. Finally, Crimson Cast had IU grad Tricia Whitaker on as a special guest.

Banner #6 – Hoosier Roundup

• Men’s tennis beat arch-rival Purdue to improve to 12-4 on the year. They next face Cornell at 1 p.m. today.

• Women’s swimming and diving finished a record-tying seventh at the national championships.

• Baseball took a series from Belmont last Sunday. However, pitching struggles resulted in losses to Indiana State and Illinois before defeating the Illini on Saturday.

• Softball fell to Florida to close last weekend and twice to Penn State in the last couple of days.

• Wrestling finished tied for 22nd at the national championships.

• Rowing competed at both the Oak Ridge Cardinal Invitational as well as the Big Ten-Ivy League Dual.

• Women’s tennis fell to Ohio State.

• 78 Hoosiers earned Big Ten Winter All-Academic honors.

Now go enjoy yourself a 6-banner Sunday.

Aaron (Ari) Shifron
Assembly Call Contributor

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(Photo credit: IU Athletics)

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