Indiana has gone from “Yeah! We’re back in the NCAA tournament” to “We’re favored to win a national title” in the span of seven months, cementing its status eight days after Kentucky captured the 2012 crown when Zeller and Christian Watford announced they’d return to college.
Both Crean and his players insist they don’t feel the weight of that pressure, that coming from the bottom up has made them appreciate the view, not gape at it.
“I know that Indiana basketball is a huge part of the daily existence for a lot of people. I know that,” Crean said. “But as a coach you can’t sit here and think, ‘I don’t want to let people down.’ That’s not pressure. Pressure is going on the road in the Big Ten with seven walk-ons and trying to convince them that they could win. And when they didn’t, doing it all over again the next day. That’s pressure.”
Filed to: Dana O'Neil