January 1, 2014

KITCHELL: Early Edition '14: Look for Pacers to ascend


---- — General Motors and Ford posted solid gains in 2013.

Lindsay Lohan wasn’t arrested.

Turbulent weather and global warming were continued concerns, and a November tornadic wave in Indiana was a weird sidebar to that story.

Logansport’s girls basketball team made it to the championship game of the regional.

And whispers about Brad Stevens being the best coach in the college game may have convinced the Boston Celtics to gamble on the boyish-looking phenom.

Those were some of the predictions — save the part about the Celtics — that came to pass in the annual Early Edition column last year. The column also forecast Gov. Mike Pence facing some tough opposition to his 10 percent tax cut. By the time the Indiana General Assembly adjourned this year, it was substantially less.

Purdue Coach Darrell Hazell was able to recruit more Indiana players, but it didn’t help. The Boilers sank to a program low one victory in 2013. Indiana didn’t make it to the Final Four, but the Hoosiers did make it to the Sweet 16 before bowing to Syracuse. Notre Dame didn’t make it back to a BCS bowl, but the Irish did post another great season, winning the Pinstripe Bowl.

Here’s a look at some of the headlines you’ll probably be reading about this year:

1. Puttin on the Ritz II. The battles will continue with Gov. Pence and State School Superintendent Glenda Ritz, albeit through the State Board of Education. Speculation that Ritz may run for governor will continue, but she won’t.

2. Hillary vs. Chris. More signs will crystallize the 2016 presidential race between the former first lady and the Jersey Boy that is the governor of the Garden State.

3. Going up. Democrats will make gains in the lower house of Congress while Republicans make gains in the upper chamber.

4. Notre Dame will be back in the Top 5 and lose no more than three games.

5. The Indiana Pacers will win the NBA championship. Let’s pause for that to soak in. Now repeat. The Pacers will be world champs, defeating the Miami Heat in the semi-finals.

6. American will be more concerned with Kurdistan than Kardashians. With the break-up of Bruce Jenner and the Kardashian matriarch, not to mention two other break-ups, the fascination with the Kardashians will diminish rapidly.

7. The North Central Conference will expand again.

8. Logansport’s girls basketball team will again make it to the regional championship.

9. Opposition to Pence’s tax cut which will affect local government will grow and fail to pass the 2014 session.

10. The Chicago Cubs will not finish in the cellar in the National League Central Division.

11. Indiana will play in a bowl game.

12. The Colts will win a playoff game.

13. The stock market will continue to post record highs.

14. Pope Francis will quickly become one of the world’s most admired people.

15. NetFlix will complete its rebound and have its best year.

That’s it for now. Don’t expect all these headlines to come true, but based on over a decade of reliability from this crystal ball, don’t be surprised if they do.

Have a happy, and safe new year, and keep reading.

Dave Kitchell is a columnist for the Pharos-Tribune. He can be reached at