Indiana has ‘pure, unbridled joy’ after NCAA tournament selection

  • 03/15/2015 10:43 pm in

Indiana coach Tom Crean looked away from the TV and examined the scene inside the Hoosiers’ locker room.

Players were jumping up and down, yelling in celebration. His family and other coaches families embraced. Crean, himself, was in shock.

The Hoosiers, who were on the bubble according to many bracketologists, had been selected into the 2015 NCAA tournament. And not only were they in the field of 68, they were selected as a No. 10 seed, scheduled to play No. 7 seed Wichita State in Omaha on Friday at 2:45 p.m. ET.

“I was stunned,” Crean said. “I’d be lying to say I saw a 10 seed coming.”

Since their loss to Maryland in the Big Ten tournament on Friday, the Hoosiers have been on edge. After all, they had nothing else to occupy their time in the hours leading up to the NCAA tournament selection show on CBS.

With a 20-13 record, an RPI of 60 and a 5-9 record to close the season, the Hoosiers had plenty of reason to be nervous. ESPN bracketologist Joe Lunardi projected them as his last team out of the tournament. Several others predicted them participating in a play-in game in Dayton, Ohio.

When the players arrived in Assembly Hall on Sunday morning for weightlifting and practice, Crean could immediately tell his players were anxious. The selection show was hours away, but it clearly was weighing on his players’ minds.

“I think most of us were just a little nervous at times,” junior Nick Zeisloft said. “We just had a lot of doubt, we just didn’t know and we had to wait for that name to come up.”

At 6 p.m., Crean, the players, staff members and family members congregated to the Hoosiers’ locker room to watch the 68-team field be revealed. It was the moment the players had been waiting for since that loss to the Terrapins — one that Troy Williams said on Friday would be “the longest wait ever.”

As the Midwest Region bracket was revealed — the first that CBS unveiled — Crean sat, watching the screen. He saw Kansas was a No. 2 seed. And then he saw Wichita State was a No. 7 seed. He thought, “Wow, Wichita State can play Kansas in the second round.”

And then, he saw the name “Indiana” pop up on the screen.

“Whoa, there’s Indiana,” he said. “It was just one of those deals. That was my thought process and then I turned around to catch them.”

He saw his players hugging, jumping up and down and yelling in celebration. Some posted videos to Instagram. Others tweeted in excitement. Anxiety turned into “pure, unbridled joy.”

“We were all excited,” Yogi Ferrell said. “As you could probably think, any reaction would be from any team that doesn’t know if they’re in the tournament or not, jumping up around, hugging each other, getting hyped.

“Just a great feeling inside to know that we’re one of the top 68 teams to make the NCAA tournament.”

Not only were the Hoosiers one of the 68 teams in, they were far off the bubble as well.

The NCAA tournament selection committee rated them as the top No. 10 seed and not even among the last four byes. The Hoosiers, in contrast, admitted they expected an 11 or 12 seed if they were to even be selected into the field at all. And that added to the excitement even more.

Indiana was back in the field of 68, its third selection in four years.

“It’s a great, great feeling to watch people that put so much into it — being it the players, the coaches and the families — and see them have that kind of expression of just pure, unbridled joy,” Crean said. “It’s just no question that’s what it was. It was exciting.”

Time to put in work #improveandwin #10seed #NCAA

A video posted by Kevin Yogi Ferrell (@yogiferre11) on

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  • Ben thorne

    Gentlemen,
    Enjoy. Go have some fun and play the way you are capable of playing. We’ll be watching..and drinking and taking 4 hour lunches while leaving work early for late meetings that will fill the rest of the day.

  • Bk39

    Nobody can deny these guys worked hard to get into the tournament, wasn’t always pretty, didn’t always show up ready to play, but you could see this team mature over the season and overcame adversity most teams are rarely faced with. Congrats coaches and players.

  • Guyton25

    Glad the committee noticed we were a different team in the Big 10 Tournament than were in the last few games of the season. Bloomington is bumpin tonight! Now let’s go take it to the Shockers!

  • marcusgresham

    For this week, at least, good to be unemployed.
    For this week, at least, Boiler Up! They’re a millon-to-one shot, but if they get by Cincinnati they’re also one of the only teams with size to give UK some trouble (but I bet Hammons ends up in early foul trouble.)

  • Crimson&CremeFraiche

    They earned the right to get excited. Not many expected them to get here. They’re playing with house money now. Go big or go home. Lets ruin some brackets!

  • marcusgresham

    …and maybe they also took into account that IU’s worst stretch of games coincided with key injuries.

  • Guyton25

    Well the only reason people have been doubting us over the last couple weeks was due to our end-season slump; but we came out firing in the tournament and ended that discussion!

  • Gregory Spera

    Go Bearcats!

  • Kwang

    GoBoilers and go away Gregory.

  • Gregory Spera

    Boiler Up?!? GoBoilers?!? On ITH? What kind of bizzaro world is this?

  • CodyGazeller

    No. We will not have any ‘boiler up’ or ‘go boilers’ talk on this website. purdue will lose in the first round. However, if the unspeakable happens and there is a nightmare purdue-kentucky matchup, root for kentucky. Here’s why. If purdue wins, they get to gloat about giving kentucky their first loss. If kentucky wins, it’s just another game. No. I’d rather kentucky lose in the Sweet 16 than listen to purdue gloat about their winnings.

    Or even better, have kentucky lose to Manhattan.

  • Snookafly

    I could care less about Purdue “gloating,” I’d rather not see UK hang another banner. The Boilers are one of the few teams with enough decent size to contend with the Mildcats.

  • Ms hoosier

    Proud of our Hoosiers, let’s make a Cinderella run and prove all our critics wrong!! GO HOOSIERS WE’RE BEHIND YOU!!!

  • Sherronhasaheadache

    im stunned

  • And One

    No, see, by beating UK, PU has to swallow the bitter pill of preserving the legacy of their hated rival. As another poster has noted, that would be poetic.
    I don’t like ’em any more than you, but the sooner KY goes down, the happier I’ll be.

  • Benhyoung14

    A team that wasn’t supposed to make the NCAA Tournament and was picked to finish 10th in the Big Ten. Once again CTC surprises people.

  • TomJameson

    That’s a good point. I know with the early success of this team, early expectations increased, and rightly so, but looking at a snapshot of the statistics and the position the team is in right now shows us that we beat the early expectations. I know, nobody wanted to watch us “limp” into the big dance, but we made it with a pretty good seed within a fairly decent region. Just a little perspective.

    Go IU!

  • WhatsUpKnight2.0

    don’t know a whole lot about wichita st., though i heard, like us, they play small. if that’s the case, i think we have a really good shot. regardless, i’m pickin iu in my bracket!

  • AJ_IU_ColtsFan

    I don’t know if I’d call 10 a pretty good seed… but at the same time, given the late season slide IU had, I’m just cartwheel-turning happy IU wasn’t given a play-in game. 10th seed is actually damn nice considering that 5 game skid.

    But yeah, this is indeed all correct: IU exceeded expectations. We fans can sometimes act way more entitled than we should, but the reality is that IU did beat the preseason predictions. And did so missing interior size. It’s undoubtedly a flawed team we have this year, but at the same time it’s one that’s scrapped and fought enough games to earn a solid and – dare I say it? Respectable – berth in The Dance.

  • dssnyder1

    this Friday I will be in the land of Big Blue Nation as I welcome my grandson into the world, yes he will be a wildcat and I will receive endless amounts of crap for being an IU fan but it is what it is. but that does not mean I will ever root for UK, I will take PU as a representative of the big 10 but that’s about it. if I’m being honest though I don’t see anybody beating UK.

  • SCHoosier

    I think the PU strategy for UK should be start Haas…have him put about four of the Wildcats bigs on the bench with broken noses..ear drum ruptures..eyebrow gashes and internal injuries..then maybe PU can compete with the second wave of Kentucky bigs !!): (sarcasm here..do not wish any one injuries)

  • Very good point. One which some of the guys on here, do not take into account.

  • Ole Man

    They got a D that gets on it.

  • Ole Man

    I’d never root for Kensucky. You want them to go undefeated?
    I just won’t root and hope for Kensucky to lose.

  • WhatsUpKnight2.0

    from what i read on em this morning, they’re every bit as good as the team that went to the final 4 a couple years ago and was up by 11 against UL at one point. that’s a scary thought. this would be a hugely satisfying win, to say the least.

  • Joey Owens

    Me neither! Ugh…..

  • Hoosier Hall

    Their offense is a lot like Wisconsin (minus The Tank), low turnover rate and great passing.

  • marcusgresham

    I’m with him. If either of those two teams has a snowball’s chance in hell of beating Kentucky, it’s Purdue because they have size. I don’t think they do, either, but a far better chance than Cincinnati.

  • Tcuomo

    Glad the boys got in, but this selection committee should never be invited back. $EC 5 bids? Oklahoma a 3 with double digit losses? Duke a 1, despite not winning the conference or tourney? Texas and UCLA? Maryland and Wichita State seeded too low. G’town and Utah seeded too high. 5 Indiana schools in 1 region. WTF were these guys thinking? I know the selection committee gets crap every year, but this is just total BS.

  • marcusgresham

    I’d rather have Purdue win the next five championships than see Kentucky win one game.

  • I agree, i think this would be an interesting game, however i dont think the Billy Boilers have enough offense to knock em off. I’d start Hammons and Haas and make UK shoot. It’s not like Uk lights it up from outside.

  • Sarasota Hoosier

    Nick played against these guys last year, didn’t he?

  • IUMIKE1

    Pulling for WHOEVER plays pUKe is a no brainer, whether it’s a preseason game middle of the season game or in the Big Dance. There isn’t a team out there, and I’m talking world wide, that I wouldn’t pull for if they’re playing Kensucky. Don’t think for a second too, that it wouldn’t stick in PUke’s crawl if they were the ones to make sure someone doesn’t break our record.

  • ‘Nuff_Said

    Is it too late for Adam Woodbury to transfer from Iowa to PU and work his finger magic on pUKe’s eyeballs?

  • TomJameson

    He probably played them twice, but that was a different team a year ago.

  • Ole Man

    Would love to win this game. But you know they will want it bad because they want the shot at Kansas.

  • AJ_IU_ColtsFan

    I know it feels really weird, but should this happen and they advance and beat Kentucky, I’d be more than happy to thank them for making sure Knight’s undefeated season didn’t get eclipsed.

    So in short, I’d be thanking them for preserving one of IU’s legacies, **AND** I’d even be honest about it. What better thing to do than let a Purdue fan know their team helped solidify an Indiana University accomplishment? 😀

  • AJ_IU_ColtsFan

    Oh darn it, you said this well before I did (above).

    Oh well… at least two of us feel the same way about it.

  • AJ_IU_ColtsFan

    In a weird way, I don’t even care about them getting a banner. I just don’t want them to pull off an undefeated season.

  • AJ_IU_ColtsFan

    If we’re lucky, it’ll mean they’re overlooking IU and the guys might steal a win from them.

    If we’re unlucky, it’ll mean that they’ll be hellbent on advancing, and our guys’ll get the stuffing beat out of them.

    Man, I just don’t know how this’ll turn out.

  • Ole Man

    Will be rooting like crazy for the win, AJ! As I’m sure you will be.
    BTW: does the AJ have anything to do with a certain Hall of Fame Indy driver?

  • Fergation

    The fact that the preseason expectations were so bad is the whole darn problem. After 7 years we should NEVER see preseason expectations like this!!!!!!!!

  • daydun10

    Hammons will be a non factor if he’s not in foul trouble. Do they not have a website for Purdue fans? This is called Inside the Hall not Inside Mackey. JS….

  • kaponya44

    I saw them come out firing against NW…

    We come out hitting Friday vs MD,but turn the ball over & fouled shooters too many times to extend our early lead..We cancelled out the advantage we should have had.Troy was “Bad Troy” but still hustled.Then we let the opponent gain momentum just before the half.

    In the 2nd half they reverted to cold shooting as they have in most of this “slump” ..Troy was “Good Troy” and we took care of the ball , but we missed tons of 3’s and layups…You get the point..Also, with the game tied or us down 2 on several occasions we fail to capitalize on several possessions and retake the lead….

    To put it in full,we displayed the entire spectrum of our season long issues in bits and pieces as opposed to the same area or two killing us all game long..It was like the old gopher game at the fair ..Hit one and the next popped up.

    I did admire the steady intensity,especially on defense in both games.That gives us our best chance to win..We ran casually through our sets on offense at times..We did not look crisp despite not turning it over.Poor shot selection did not help…

    I would rather IU lose going all out, than the way they closed the Iowa game.That I can live with so I just hope the effort is a full 40 minute thing in every game we might earn from here out.We got a good draw,and if IU and PU take care of business it is still a more “winnable” game than UK…Still at some point we are going to have to face our biggest (or in our case not so big)issue to advance.Unless of course we shoot 60% from 3 and get to the line..Lol Funny ,but if we control the pace and make shots we hang with anyone and everyone .

    Often times in the big dance ,it comes down to throwing something the opponent doesn’t see coming ..I would love to see J.A. get about 2 or 3 mins.Or as some (myself included ) have harped on, play Perea and Holt together.If he plays well leave him in so we can grind late and delay HMP & Holt using up their fouls for as long as possible.If they give up a quick bucket or two pull them..It isn’t very realistic to think past WSU if we rely on hitting everything and playing small all of the time.We have nothing to lose but one game so why not empty the bank out there.

  • marcusgresham

    They do have a website for Purdue fans. It’s called farmersonly.com.
    I’m just wanting them (or anyone, for that matter,) to beat Kentucky.

  • AJ_IU_ColtsFan

    Yes, I will indeed be rooting. HARD.

    And no, it’s got zilch to do with Foyt. Even back when he was still active, I was more of a fan of Mears. But I got tons of respect for AJ, and – dare I say it? – as an Asian (HA! Bet no one here guessed that about me!) I’ve even got a little pride in sharing initials with the guy who employed Takuma Sato… even though I’m aggravated at Sato for basically ending Dario’s career.

    Yeah, I follow Indycar. I need *****something***** to keep me from going through withdrawl between the football and basketball seasons. And baseball, while enjoyable, just doesn’t cut it for me. Indycar, what was ALMS/now is Rolex Sports cars… if it moves crazy fast, I’ll watch it (heaven help me, I even watch the Red Bull Air “Races” and get a kick out of them! Hell, I get a kick out of watching YouTubes of Poker Runs, and those aren’t even races!).

  • Ole Man

    You are a “gear head”!! LOL! Surprised you’re not at least a semi-fan of NASCAR. There was nobody like Dale Sr.

  • AJ_IU_ColtsFan

    I respect it, but the forced-equalization and ruleset sorta rub me wrong. Plus, I’ve sort of been jealous of their rise at Indycar’s expense, although logically I know it’s all Indycar’s fault for “The Split”.

    That said, they throw one hell of a show, and have lessons for all major race series worldwide. Plus, I know people involved with a team sponsor. I have tons of respect for it, but I just **need** some of the speed of open wheel. If I want fendered cars, I turn to Rolex and other Sports Car series.

    Yeah, I’m a gearheaded geek. I’ve been tempted numerous times to go join iRacing and invest all that money in real controllers instead of just computer controls. But I know I’d never see daylight ever again if I did that! 😀

  • Ole Man

    Understand…I go back to the days, admittedly young, when they ran on the beach at Daytona. If you ever get a chance to watch any of those films. Then, they use to drive what we could actually buy from the dealer. Those were the days! 60s were the true Muscle car days in America. Ah, me; the memories!