Hoosiers to Battle Utah in First Round of NCAA Tournament
March 10, 2002
Senior Dane Fife looks forward to his final chance at the national title.
Bloomington, Ind.-- March Madness is in full swing. The Indiana men's basketball team was selected as the five seed in the South region and will take on the 12th-seeded Utah Utes in Sacramento, Calif. on Thursday, March 14th in ARCO Arena. Game time is approximately 10:30 est. Utah finished with a 21-8 overall record, 10-4 in the Mountain West.
"We are pleased with the seeding and excited for the matchup," said Indiana Head Coach Mike Davis. "We are in for a good battle with Utah. (Rick) Majerus is a legendary coach and his team will come ready to play."
Indiana has faced Utah only twice, splitting the matchups. The Hoosiers won the most recent contest in 1998 at the Maui Invitational, 52-49. Indiana's most recent appearance in the NCAA Tournament as a No. 5 seed was in 1994 when the team advanced to the Sweet Sixteen before falling to Boston College, 77-68. IU has been a five-seed only one other time. In 1982, the Hoosiers fell to UAB, 80-70, in the second round. Indiana is 3-2 overall as the No. 5 seed.
"Utah is a tough 12 seed," said junior guard Tom Coverdale. "We need to watch tape and see what they do and what their tendencies are. It is a tough draw but we are happy with a five seed. We wanted to be closer to home so we could have as many fans as possible, but we played a lot of games on the road before the Big Ten season so we should be ready."
"It doesn't matter where we play or who we play, we just have to come ready to play," senior guard Dane Fife said. "It feels good to know we have an opportunity here and I think we are in for a good practice tomorrow. Every team is good here and every game is important."
"I think there was a lot of pressure on us last year to do certain things and this year's team learned to deal with pressure," said sophomore forward Jared Jeffries. "The best thing about this is having the chance to play for the national title. Right now 65 teams have a chance at the title."