IU draw in East Region conducive to Final Four run

  • 03/17/2013 10:01 pm in

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For just the third time since seeding began in 1979, Indiana is a No. 1 seed in NCAA Tournament.

The Hoosiers, who many believed were a lock for the Midwest region going into conference tournament play, were unseated by Louisville for the right to play through Lucas Oil Stadium and will instead play as the No. 1 in the East region.

A quick glance at the teams in the East versus the Midwest shows Indiana may have the easier path despite being seeded No. 3 overall compared to No. 1 overall for Louisville:

East region teams (overall tournament seed per selection committee in parenthesis): Indiana (3), Miami (5), Marquette (12), Syracuse (16), UNLV (18), Butler (22), Illinois (28), N.C. State (32), Temple (34), Colorado (36), California (42), Bucknell (48), Montana (54), Davidson (55), Pacific (60), LIU Brooklyn (65), James Madison (66)

Midwest region teams: Louisville (1), Duke (6), Michigan State (11), St. Louis (15), Oklahoma State (17), Memphis (23), Creighton (25), Colorado State (30), Missouri (33), Cincinnati (37), Oregon (43), St. Mary’s (46), Middle Tennessee State (50), New Mexico State (52), Valparaiso (56), Albany (62), North Carolina A&T (67), Liberty (68)

While there’s no debating the crowd advantage Indianapolis would have provided, Indiana fans will travel well regardless of the location.

That brings us to a closer examination of the above figures with this conclusion: Indiana got a weaker region than Louisville despite being seeded lower. While it’s true IU did get the top two-seed in its region in Miami, the Hoosiers also got the lowest ranked No. 3 (per the committee) in Marquette and lowest ranked No. 4 in Syracuse. You can also argue that Duke, which has only lost once at full strength, could be the toughest of the No. 2 seeds. The Midwest No. 8 was also ranked ahead of the East No. 8 by the committee as was the No. 9 seed.

INDIANA’S POD AT A GLANCE

Dates: Friday, March 22 and Sunday, March 24
Location: Dayton, Ohio
Venue: University of Dayton Arena (13,435)
Teams: Indiana, N.C. State, Temple, LIU Brooklyn and James Madison
Games: Indiana vs. James Madison/LIU Brooklyn, N.C. State vs. Temple

The Hoosiers won’t know their second round opponent until the first four games conclude on Wednesday night in Dayton and will get the winner of LIU Brooklyn, which is playing in its 3rd straight NCAA Tournament, and James Madison.

LIU Brooklyn is No. 185 in the KenPom rankings, while James Madison checks-in at No. 179. LIU, champions of the Northeast Conference, plays an exciting, up-tempo brand of basketball with little defense (319th in defensive efficiency) while James Madison, champs of the Colonial Athletic Conference, plays a more deliberate style (239th in tempo).

Assuming Indiana is able to navigate past the winner of LIU Brooklyn/James Madison, the Hoosiers will play the winner of North Carolina State and Temple, a pair of teams that have had their share of ups and downs.

North Carolina State, ranked in the top ten to start the season, has wins over Duke and North Carolina, but was 3-7 in true road games. Temple owns a neutral court win over Syracuse, but was blown out by Duke and also lost to St. Bonaventure and Canisius.

The Wolfpack are the nation’s tenth best offense according to the KenPom rankings, but are outside of the top 100 defensively and allowed ACC opponents to score 1.03 points per possession. The Owls pack less of a punch than North Carolina State both offensively (35th in offensive efficiency) and defensively (124th in defensive efficiency), but rarely turn it over (16.2 turnover percentage).

CREAN, IU PLAYERS REACT TO DRAW

“I think the fact that we’re a number one seed speaks for itself. There are only four of them, and we’re one of them. I think that is a big deal. The thing I like about Dayton is there is a great proximity, and we’ll get a little bit more time in school than we might have gotten. Going back to school this week, we certainly can use that. It is like anything else. There are a lot of different roads and paths that you have to go through to get to your destination and your goals. This is just one of them. This team has done a very good job with that, constantly and consistently. I think when you win in this league, and you come back the way that they have over the last couple of years. The storylines keep changing. `They couldn’t win on the road.’ Well we did, we went 7-2 this year. All of those things, it is one thing after another, they keep taking care of it. I think the bottom line is, that happens because they really stay humble as to what they’ve got to get better at, and then they go out and get better at it. I think that is what our key is right now, and nothing more than that.” – Tom Crean on IU’s seeding.

“It means a lot, especially coming from where we’ve come. Just 24 months ago, we weren’t even in the tournament. It’s something we set out for from the very beginning. To achieve this goal, it feels great.” – Christian Watford on being a No. 1 seed.

“James Madison is very old. They have three or four fifth-year players. A team like that is athletic, experienced and poses a lot of problems. And then LIU-Brooklyn is a fast-paced team. They like to get up and down and score a lot of points. Every team this time of the year is good. It’s not gonna be easy by any means.” – Cody Zeller on IU’s possible second round opponents.

Filed to:

  • I love how our coach and players a quick to point out how tough the teams are despite their seed/rank. It shows how serious and humble we are, not assuming that we are going to roll through these teams. Over confidence could be a fault in the tournament, and we don’t have to worry about that with this great group of kids.

  • Aceman_Mujezinovic_07

    I’m just glad to see Wisc on the other side of the bracket because they won’t make the championship game, thus we don’t have to worry about them!!!

  • Miamihoosier

    I think it is absolutely crazy to say the East bracket is the most conducive to a final 4 run. We are a #1 seed, and playing a previous top 10 team in the round of 32! They have had their ups and downs, but they have multiple pros, and made the sweet 16 last year….hard game…then Syracuse in the sweet 16? They were projected a #1 seed when the brackets were first being predicted, and a top 5 team at one point…..to make the Elite 8, to me, there is no question we have the hardest draw in the field.

  • NC state was grossly overrated to start the season. they’ve been very inconsistent but definitely a good team. We could play really well against the Cuse zone. We’ve played well against zones this season because we have so many 3 point threats. I personally think miami is the worst 2 seed. They have seniors but none of them have tournament experience and they have stuggled against bad teams late in the season

  • HoosierBLB

    Of course James Madison is old, Cody! He is 262 years old!

  • Ray Finkle

    Kinda weird…I think Miami has a better draw in our region as a number 2 seed! Id rather go through Illinois/Colorado and Butler / Marquette than possibly NC State and Syracuse.

  • Ray Finkle

    Kinda weird…I think Miami has a better draw in our region as a number 2 seed! Id rather go through Illinois/Colorado and Butler / Marquette than possibly NC State and Syracuse.

  • Abellham Lincoln

    Over-confidence is definitely not an issue right now. We know we have struggled down the final stretch of the season. We havent shown consistency. The media is already quickly pointing that out and everyone loves an upset. On Friday, Im concerned with our ability to play in sync again rather than just winning against a weaker team on talent alone. I hope and pray we have just been tired or tired of playing Big Ten teams and we will come out firing on all cylinders again. That means reducing turnovers, hitting the boards, and no horrific shooting nights from here on out. I dont claim to be a coach, but from my recliner, I sure hope Crean’s substitution patterns begin to work in our benefit. We have come a long way since Crean took over and I am happy for that, but we fans want a title. Lets do this!

  • Miamihoosier

    Yeah, obviously Alford tore the Syracuse zone up, but the game will be played in a huge venue,with deep back drops, and their guys are very long all over the floor, will cause some mismatches on D with Yogi and Hulls…….that’s IF we get there. You just gotta hope Scott Wood is off, he is one of those players that can just get hot out of his mind….like someone else said, at least we aren’t playing Wisconsin…..

  • InTheMtns

    I’d like to take a minute and reiterate Alex’s opening line: this is only the third time that Indiana is a #1 seed in the history of the bracket era. Another way to say it is that only 3 of the last 34 teams have been able to accomplish this. Congratulations to this team on another major accomplishment.

  • IUMIKE1

    At the risk of sounding like I just can’t let go of the WI loss I was wondering if anyone else noticed what I did. I have listened to the post game chat that Don Fisher does with the head coach or at the very least one of the assistants and after the WI game neither Crean or any of his assistants came out to talk to Fisher and they waited a long time. They finally had to just say that no one was coming out to talk to them and signed off. I’ve listened to this part of IU bball for a long long time and it is the first time I ever remember that happening. Not saying it has never happened just that I have never heard of it happening in all the years that I’ve listened to it. I also noticed that there was no video of Crean’s post game presser posted. Was there no video of his presser available Alex ?

  • IUMIKE1

    At the risk of sounding like I just can’t let go of the WI loss I was wondering if anyone else noticed what I did. I have listened to the post game chat that Don Fisher does with the head coach or at the very least one of the assistants and after the WI game neither Crean or any of his assistants came out to talk to Fisher and they waited a long time. They finally had to just say that no one was coming out to talk to them and signed off. I’ve listened to this part of IU bball for a long long time and it is the first time I ever remember that happening. Not saying it has never happened just that I have never heard of it happening in all the years that I’ve listened to it. I also noticed that there was no video of Crean’s post game presser posted. Was there no video of his presser available Alex ?

  • AZIU71

    Tough draw, maybe, with upsets you never know.Don’t over think it, if we come out ready to play I like our chances. 1975 38 years ago I was a senior at the Dayton Regional, still can’t believe we lost, have nightmares about it to this day. We packed in the car and instead of heading to San Diego for the Final Four we went to Florida for spring break and stayed drunk for a week. Now my son is a senior heading to Dayton Friday and hopefully onto DC and Atlanta.

  • iuoiu

    I think that’s a good thing. I bet TC was in their ear hard not because they lost to Wis., but because of how they played since Minni. He should have their full attention going into Friday and beyond.

  • moanders

    Thumbs up for the creative user name.

  • mark

    Miami can beat IU easily. I saw Miami play for teh 1st time a few weeks ago, and recall thinking, “They could beat IU.” And I believe they will, based on what I’ve seen from IU recently. Hope I’m wrong. And don’t underestimate Marquette, either.

  • NC Hoosier

    Completely agree with you, Miamihoosier. I think NCSU is a brutal 8 seed to draw. If they play to their potential they are a top 10 team. And you know they will be up for us, especially after we beat them in Raleigh last year. And Wood is an Indiana kid, so he has extra motivation. Syracuse will coast to the Sweet 16 and if we get there, will be a huge challenge for us. Their guards at 6’6 and 6’4; ours are both 6’0 at best. They are long all over that zone. I don’t like either one of these match-ups at all. I don’t see us getting past the Sweet 16.

  • NC Hoosier

    Completely agree with you, Miamihoosier. I think NCSU is a brutal 8 seed to draw. If they play to their potential they are a top 10 team. And you know they will be up for us, especially after we beat them in Raleigh last year. And Wood is an Indiana kid, so he has extra motivation. Syracuse will coast to the Sweet 16 and if we get there, will be a huge challenge for us. Their guards at 6’6 and 6’4; ours are both 6’0 at best. They are long all over that zone. I don’t like either one of these match-ups at all. I don’t see us getting past the Sweet 16.

  • CreamandCrimson

    If we make it to the Sweet 16….we won’t be playing in a “huge venue, with deep back drops”. We will be playing in Washington DC in a basketball venue, not in a football stadium like Lucas Oil.

  • CreamandCrimson

    First off, congratulations to the Hoosiers for earning just the 3rd #1 seed in program history. It’s a huge accomplishment. I know none of us are thrilled with how we are playing right now but I trust Tom Crean and the players to figure a few things out and play well in Dayton. That’s no guarantee they will hang banner #6 but I think we will play well and give ourselves a chance.

    This is not an easy draw but it’s certainly not overly difficult either. I would much rather be us than Louisville (even if they do get to play in Indianapolis).

    Look, we could lose to NC State or Temple, no doubt about that. However, I like our chances there. What about the Sweet 16 matchups…we can deal with those if we get by LIU/James Madison and NC State/Temple. This is a 2-game tournament in Dayton for now…get it done Hoosiers!

  • unclekerfuffle

    After reading comments on a few of the national sports websites I am a bit taken back by how little Indiana is respected in regards to the team’s potential to do well in the tournament. I guess “doing well” is subjective but the number of people who believe IU will be the first #1 to fall took me by surprise.

    It makes me wonder if those opinions are based in the brain or in the heart. I guess it could be a good sign similar to the RMK era when people would profess their hatred for IU but when asked what they based that on, could only respond with the very convincing argument of, “I just don’t like them.”

    I suspect many people are at their wit’s end that IU is back and appears not to be going away any time soon. It’s time for them to put on their big boy pants and face yet another of life’s realities.

  • iudawg

    Now I gotta sell my Midwest regional tix. Def not driving to Indy NOT to see the Hoosiers.

  • jack_j100

    I also think Miami is more deserving than IU of the 1. We’ve been leaking oil the past few weeks and if we don’t get it turned around soon, they’ll be a long bus ride back to Bloomington.

  • jack_j100

    I also think Miami is more deserving than IU of the 1. We’ve been leaking oil the past few weeks and if we don’t get it turned around soon, they’ll be a long bus ride back to Bloomington.

  • Geoff_85

    Good point. Thank you for saying that.

  • Geoff_85

    Good point. Thank you for saying that.

  • unclekerfuffle

    I’ve only watched Miami two or three times this year and it’s their front line that worries me. They have the ability to play a Wisconsin/MSU type of physical game underneath. Fouls called, or the lack there of, could determine the outcome of an IU-Miami match up. Sounds like the BT.

  • Remy Willing and Abell

    It doesn’t really matter who we play if we continue to play like we have in the last 6 games . I hope we can get our swagger back and play our style of ball . The other teams need to be trying to match up with us .

  • Beard

    I don’t feel like a lack of focus and motivation was going to be an issue with this team, but losing games we should not lose exemplifies just that. Our team discipline is strong some games, but other games we just do not seem too determined to execute, both defensively and offensively. I hope the tournament brings out the best in us, and we put an emphatic stamp on our season like so many of us believe we can. The only thing better than seeing UK not even make the tournament is seeing us win it all so lets do it.

  • InTheMtns

    Mike, the B1G has a very structured process for activities and interviews after tourney games and they have hard-fast, specific times when the locker rooms are open and closed. Fisch had noted earlier that he wasn’t sure if anyone would be able to get out in time for his radio interview. So I think no coaches being available for the interview was just a matter of timing.

    There is a video of CTC’s post-game presser, along with Cody, Vic and Christian and it’s available on the B1G’s website [Go to bigten(dot)org. Click on the video tab and look for Semifinals 1 postgame]. The first part of the video is the presser with Bo Ryan and Wisconsin players and then around the 16:40 mark, Indiana.

  • PB

    Miami doesn’t have a win over a team with a 7 seed or better since Jan 23 and only has 2 all year. Plus, they’ve lost twice to teams not in the tournament in the last month.

  • IUeconAlum

    This is our year!

  • b_side

    It’s not even a given that the Wolfpack will beat Temple or that ‘Cuse will get past a solid UNLV team.

  • IUMIKE1

    Thanks, forgot to check the that site for some reason. Even with all that considered I can’t ever remember no one doing the post game talk with Fish. Probably a combination of Crean taking his time talking to them after the game and the things that you mentioned.

  • Hoosier89

    It’s like the Illinois game Friday didn’t happen around here.

  • ’03IUAlumni

    Congrats to Cody and Vic on being selected as All Americans! What a great honor. Those 2 along with our experienced seniors will make for a great tourney run and hopeful banner in the Big Dance! Thanks to Coach Crean for bringing Hoosier Nation back to the top and keeping these guys injury free all season! Banner Up!

  • SCHoosier

    I think it means they have been well schooled on “Player speak”..and know better than to provide any bulletin board material for the upcoming opponent

  • SCHoosier

    Excuse me but when did we see a good zone (non-cupcake) other than the one NW used in the first game which gave IU fits in the second half. “Cuse plays only a zone and if you want to see how to attach it watch the second half of their game with UL.

  • SCHoosier

    fFont line is big..can do a lot of things..but their guards are gold..and their 6th man best 3pt shooter from the corner of anyone on the floor from either team.

  • SCHoosier

    fFont line is big..can do a lot of things..but their guards are gold..and their 6th man best 3pt shooter from the corner of anyone on the floor from either team.

  • johnny

    Alot of folks drinking the coolaid on this site. Who cares about the “accomplishment” of #1 seed? What in the world does that give IU? This team has some glaring problems against good athletic defensive teams. I think bench and guard play are a real issue, more than the #1 seed.

  • Hoosiersfan40

    Uhhh Duke….

  • Hoosiersfan40

    Uhhh Duke….