Hoosiers rebound to make NCAA Tournament after 3 dismal years


POSTED: Tuesday, March 13, 2012 - 5:58pm

UPDATED: Tuesday, March 13, 2012 - 6:34pm

Indiana is in its 112th season of college basketball and will take on New Mexico State in the second round of the NCAA Tournament on Thursday. The Hoosiers, the fourth seed in the South Region, will meet the 13th-seeded Aggies. The winner will face the winner of the No. 5 Wichita State and No. 12 VCU matchup on Saturday.

IU returns to the NCAA Tournament for the first time since 2008. It is the second time the Hoosiers have been selected to the South Region. Indiana defeated George Washington (108-88) and fell to St. John's (86-61) in 1999.

It has been a tough three-year stretch for Indiana, who was 6-25 in 2009, 10-21 in 2010, and 12-20 in 2011.  In 2012, Indiana rebounded for a 25-8 record, including an upset of #1 Kentucky.

The Hoosiers faced eight teams in this year's field and posted an 8-5 record. Indiana has won five of its last six and eight of its last 10 games.

Indiana is ranked 16th by the Associated Press and 17th in the USA Today/Coaches poll this week, after entering the rankings for the first time in Tom Crean's tenure following a 73-72 win over No. 1 Kentucky on Dec. 10 in Bloomington. IU also edged No. 2 Ohio State (74-70) on New Years Eve. IU is the first Big Ten team since Minnesota in 1952-53 to defeat the top two ranked teams in the same season. Last week was the 511th appearance in the AP Poll (seventh all-time among Division I programs).

The Hoosiers will make their 36th appearance in the NCAA Tournament, the sixth most in the event's history and the most among Big Ten members. IU is 60-30 overall, the sixth most wins in the tournament and also a Big Ten best. Indiana is tied for third with North Carolina with five NCAA titles (1940, 1953, 1976, 1981 and 1987). IU has won two NCAA titles in Kansas City, two in Philadelphia and one in New Orleans. This year's Final Four is in New Orleans. IU's 60-30 record (.667) is seventh all-time in the tournament and 90 games are ranked eighth among teams in the event.

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