March Madness will be here soon. As we prepare for this year's tournament, those who have followed Southeast Missouri State basketball likely will recall the university's team from the 1999-2000 season. The team finished the regular season as co-champions of the Ohio Valley Conference, won the conference tournament and participated in the NCAA's premier college basketball tournament.
In the first round of the tournament Southeast played LSU. The game was an exciting one. After trailing at halftime, the team came back and was up 61-58 with less than 3 minutes in the game. LSU ultimately prevailed, but the then-Indians made their mark in the university's athletic history.
This weekend the team will be inducted into Southeast's athletic Hall of Fame. In a story in Tuesday's Southeast Missourian, Marty Mishow reported that at least half of the players from the team will be in town this weekend along with assistant coach Tom Schuberth. Former head coach Gary Garner will not be able to make it because of his coaching responsibilities at Dakota State University.
A ceremony and dinner will be held this evening beginning at 6 p.m. at the Show Me Center.
Along with the team, other inductees to the Hall of Fame this year include:
* Ron Hines (sports information, 1980 to 2009). Hines' late wife Mary will be inducted as an honorary member;
* The late Jim Hamby (assistant football coach, 1958 to 1968);
* Galen McSpadden (baseball, 1971 to 1974);
* Christine (Ridenour) Vanatta (cross country/track & field, 1982 to 1984);
* Beverly Slaughter (track & field, 1981).
All inductees will be recognized at halftime of Saturday's men's basketball game against Eastern Illinois at the Show Me Center. The women's team will play at 3 p.m. and the men will follow at 5:30 p.m. Tickets for the game may be purchased at the Redhawks ticket office located 1221 Broadway or by calling 651-2113.
We offer our congratulations to each of the inductees on this honor.