No. 4 Indiana To Take On No. 1 Kentucky Friday in Atlanta
March 20, 2012
THE OPENING TIP
The Hoosiers have won seven of their last eight and 10 of 12 games since February 4. IU has four wins against the 16 survivors of the first two rounds with triumphs over NC State, Michigan State, Kentucky and Ohio State.
Indiana is ranked 16th by the Associated Press and 17th in the USA Today/Coaches poll. Using the formula how the NCAA ranks a teams improvement from one year to the next, IU has a 16-game improvement in the standings which ties the 1999 Ohio State team for the best reversal of fortune in a year for a school from one of the six BCS conferences. IU is 27-8 and was 12-20 last year.
John Calipari is in his third season as the head coach of the Wildcats and has a 97-14 record. His overall record is 500-152 with stops at Massachusetts and Memphis over his 20-year head coaching career.
A YEAR OF FIRSTS
With 27 wins, the Hoosiers are tied for the sixth most wins in school history. IU also won 11 games in the Big Ten. (During the last three years, IU had won 28 games overall and eight in the Big Ten).
Notched their first NCAA Tournament win since 2007 after beating New Mexico State, 79-66. The last time Indiana won two games in the NCAA Tournament was 2002 on their way to the national championship game.
Has had a 16-game standing improvement in its compared to last year, which is tied for the biggest turnaround in the history of the Big Ten Conference (since 1974). For the accomplishment, Crean was named Big Ten Coach of the Year by The Sporting News.
Guided IU to its first NCAA Tournament berth since 2008, the program's 36th overall. Every four-year player from 1973-present will now have participated in the NCAA Tournament. The win over New Mexico State marked the first for IU since 2007.
Saw the team's three-year NCAA probation expire and guided the group to a 1,000 APR which put the program above the NCAA threshold with a score of 929.
Seen the Hoosiers ranked nationally for 12 straight weeks, ensuring that every IU four-year player since 1950 will have been on a nationally ranked team.
Defeated the No. 1 (Kentucky), No. 2 (Ohio State) and No. 5 (Michigan State) ranked teams in the regular season for the first time in IU history. It also marked the first time in Big Ten history since 1952-53 that a league team had defeated the No. 1 and No. 2 teams in the same season.
Finished with the top non-conference RPI after posting wins over Butler, NC State, Kentucky, Notre Dame and regular season conference champions Savannah State and Stony Brook. The Hoosiers set a school record with a 14-0 non-conference mark.
Defeated NC State, 86-75, for the team's first road win in the Big Ten/ACC Challenge since 2001 against North Carolina.
Saw freshman Cody Zeller earn Big Ten Freshman of the Year and sophomore Victor Oladipo named to All-Defensive team, the first major conference awards earned by a player during Crean's tenure. Zeller was also Big Ten Freshman of the Week seven times.
Saw Zeller earn Second Team All-Big Ten accolades, the first ever Crean player to be named to one of the top three all-league teams.
Saw Zeller become a finalist for the Wayman Tisdale National Freshman of the Year Award and the John Wooden and Oscar Robertson National Player of the Year Awards.
Leads the Big Ten Conference in scoring (76.9) after finishing 11th in the league in scoring (60.1) in 2008-09.
Is ranked second in the nation in 3-point field goal percentage (43.7) with the same shooters as last season when IU finished 162nd in the country (34.5) a season ago. The only major addition has been Zeller, who has not attempted a 3-point field goal this season.
Won nine games away from Assembly Hall with double-digit victories at Minnesota, Purdue, NC State and Evansville and neutral court double-digit wins over Notre Dame and Penn State at Indianapolis' Bankers Life Field House and New Mexico State in the NCAA Tournament. IU had won three games away from Assembly Hall the last three seasons, and just one true road game.
Set a school record with an 18-1 record at Assembly Hall with such notable wins over Butler, Kentucky, Ohio State, Michigan, Michigan State and Purdue.
Posted a 5-0 record against other teams from Indiana with an average margin of victory of 14.8 points.
COACH CREAN IN NCAA TOURNAMENT
In his seven seasons at Marquette, Crean led the Golden Eagles to five appearances including the 2003 Final Four. Crean is 7-5 in 12 NCAA games following the pair of wins in Portland last weekend.
HOOSIERS VS. KENTUCKY
3/17/1973 - W, 72-65 Nashville
Indiana has shot 49.1 percent from the field, 43.7 percent from 3-point range and 76.3 percent from the free throw line. The Hoosiers are second in the nation in 3-point field goal percentage, sixth in field goal percentage and led the Big Ten averaging 74.5 points per game.
IU leads among BCS teams making 18.6 free throws per game. The Hoosiers are also the leader in 3-point field goal percentage, third in field goal percentage and free throw percentage, and fifth in scoring among major conference teams.
Cody Zeller's presence inside has allowed the same players to improve the team's 3-point field goal percentage from 162nd (34.5) in the nation last season, to second in the country (43.7).
This is Tom Crean's sixth 20-win season as a head coach. In his final seven seasons at Marquette, Crean's teams averaged 22.8 wins per season.
Check back soon