Top Seed Indiana Takes on No. 4 Syracuse Thursday in NCAA Sweet Sixteen
March 25, 2013
THE OPENING TIP: The Indiana men's basketball team earned a No. 1 seed in the NCAA Tournament for the third time in program history and advanced to the East Regional semifinals after beating No. 9 Temple, 58-52, and No. 16 James Madison, 83-62, in Dayton. IU advances to the Sweet Sixteen in consecutive seasons for the first time since 1994. The Hoosiers will take on No. 4 Syracuse with the winner facing No. 2 Miami or No. 3 Marquette on Saturday.
SYRACUSE: The Hoosiers (37 NCAA Appearances) and Orange (36 NCAA Appearances) will square off for the first time in the NCAA Tournament since IU won the 1987 championship, 74-73, in New Orleans on Keith Smart's last second shot. Syracuse holds a 3-1 edge in the series, winning in 1998 in New York, and 1990 and 1998 in Maui.
AGAINST THE BIG EAST: IU has won its last two contests against Big East foes. They defeated Georgetown, 82-72, in overtime in Brooklyn earlier this year and beat Pitt, in 2009, 74-64, in the Jimmy V Classic in Madison Square Garden.
MIAMI AND MARQUETTE: Indiana has only played Miami once, in 2001 when they fell 58-53 in Miami. IU is 7-2 against Marquette, including a 2-0 mark in the NCAA Tournament having won in 1973 in Nashville, 75-69, and in 1976, 65-56, in Baton Rouge. Marquette won the last meeting, 50-49, at the Great Alaska Shootout when Tom Crean was the head coach of the Golden Eagles. He guided them for nine years with five NCAA Tournament appearances, including the 2003 Final Four.
INDIANA IS ... : Ranked No. 4 in the final regular season Associated Press poll and was No. 3 in the USA Today/ESPN Coaches Poll. The Hoosiers held the No. 1 spot for 10 weeks this season and 54 weeks all-time. Indiana has been ranked in each of the last 32 straight polls, the most since IU appeared for 71 straight weeks from 1989-94.
BIG TEN CHAMPIONS: By virtue of their 72-71 win at Michigan to close the regular season, Indiana won the Big Ten Championship outright for the first time since 1993. IU has shared titles in 1926, `28, `36, `57, `67, `74, `87, `91 and 2002. The Hoosiers have won outright crowns in 1953, `54, `58, `73, `75, `76, `80, `81, `83, `89, `93 and 2013.
THE NCAA TOURNAMENT ... : The Hoosiers are making their 37th appearance in the event (sixth all-time) and have a 64-31 record (seventh all-time). This will be the third time that IU will participate in an NCAA Tournament event in or near Washington D.C. In 1994, IU defeated Ohio, 84-72, and Temple, 65-58, in Landover, Md. In 1998, IU topped Oklahoma, 94-87, and lost to UConn, 78-61, when the facility was known as the MCI Center.
LOCAL TIES ... : Senior Maurice Creek (Oxon Hill, Maryland) and junior Victor Oladipo (Upper Marlboro, Maryland) are two local products playing for the Hoosiers. Assistant Coach Kenny Johnson also is from Oxon Hill and graduated from the University of Maryland. Director of Operations/Internal and External Player Development Calbert Cheaney was a first round pick in 1993 of the Washington Bullets and played for the franchise until 1999. Washington Wizards head coach Randy Wittman played on the 1981 National Championship team at Indiana.
COACH CREAN: Tom Crean is in his fifth year with the Hoosiers and has guided them to a 56-15 mark since the start of the 2011-12 season and is 84-81 during his tenure at Indiana. He was named 2013 USBWA District V Coach of the Year. He is 274-177 all-time as a head coach and has 13 wins over nationally ranked foes in the last two-plus seasons. Crean is 4-1 in the NCAA Tournament at IU and led the Hoosiers to the 2012 Sweet Sixteen. His teams have made seven appearances (five at Marquette) in the Big Dance and he is 9-6 overall.
NAISMITH AWARD: Junior Victor Oladipo is one of four finalists for the 2013 Naismith Award joining Michigan's Trey Burke, Creighton's Doug McDermott and Georgetown's Otto Porter Jr. as candidates for the National Player of the Year.
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