Tall order: Indiana plays Syracuse in Sweet 16

  • Article by: PETE DIPRIMIO , The News-Sentinel (Fort Wayne, Ind.)
  • Updated: March 27, 2013 - 10:01 PM

The Hoosiers’ opponent in the Sweet 16 is Syracuse, a team with 10 players at least 6-6.

hide

Syracuse forward DaJuan Coleman dunked during a practice for a region semifinal against Indiana.

Photo: PABLO MARTINEZ MONSIVAIS • Associated Press ,

CameraStar Tribune photo galleries

Cameraview larger

– Do you believe Indiana’s No. 1 seed means a drama-free path to Atlanta and the Final Four?

Get real. Indiana’s struggle in its 58-52 win over ninth-seed Temple — which generated a lot of Cream and Crimson fan grumbling — reflected the fierceness of the competition in a season of national parity.

So what does that mean for Thursday’s East Region Sweet 16 game with fourth seed Syracuse in Washington, D. C.?

“I was hoping it got easier the further along you got in the tournament,” Indiana associate head coach Tim Buckley said with a laugh. “I don’t think that’s the case.”

Indiana (29-6) is seeking its first Elite Eight appearance since 2002, when it reached the national championship game. It will be challenged by a Syracuse team (28-9) that started the season 10-0 with a No. 3 national ranking.

“Preparation is a key to what we do, how we execute and what our focus is,” Buckley said.

The Hoosiers’ focus was fierce in the final few minutes against Temple, when they ended the game on a 10-0 run.

“To finish it out the way we did shows all that hard work you put into an entire season — and for some of these guys the four years they’ve been here to get to this point,” Buckley said.

“We would prefer to play that way for 40 minutes, but we’re thankful we’ve been able to do it in clutch situations. It starts with our defense. When our defense is focused, we feel like we’ll execute offensively.

“Coach [Tom Crean] is going to call the right plays, to call the right guy’s number to either get the shot or get everybody else in position to make the shot.”

Syracuse comes in having won five of its past six games, with the only loss coming to overall No. 1 seed Louisville in the Big East championship game when the Cardinals trailed by 16.

The Orangemen are led by 6-8 forward C.J. Fair, who averages 14.5 points and 6.9 rebounds. Brandon Triche, a 6-4 guard, averages 13.8 points and 3.5 assists.

Syracuse has four players with at least 25 blocks, led by 6-9 forward Rakeem Christmas’s 70. Six players also average at least 3.8 rebounds. By comparison, Cody Zeller leads Indiana with 44 blocks.

The Orangemen are perhaps the biggest team Indiana has played this season. They have 10 players on the roster at least 6-6.

But the Hoosiers are ready. “You’re looking at a team that is not going to give up.” forward Derek Elston said. “We’ll fight as far as we get to go. We’ll always be in the fight, always be in the battle. That’s all anybody can ask.

“We’re happy we get to move on. We’re happy to dive into the film [of Syracuse]. We’re happy to survive.”

Survival wasn’t assured until the closing seconds against Temple. “It was absolutely nerve wracking,” Elston said, “but we have confidence in this team.”

The Hoosiers also insist last year’s Sweet 16 experience will produce Thursday benefits. The 102-90 loss to eventual national champion Kentucky reinforced the necessity of improved defense.

“We made it last year and we know what to expect,” guard Remy Abell said.

  • get related content delivered to your inbox

  • manage my email subscriptions

ADVERTISEMENT

Cincinnati 0 Bottom 3rd Inning
Pittsburgh 0
Minnesota 0 Bottom 3rd Inning
Baltimore 0
NY Yankees 0 Top 3rd Inning
Toronto 0
Philadelphia 0 Bottom 3rd Inning
NY Mets 0
Boston 3 Top 2nd Inning
Tampa Bay 0
Miami 0 Top 1st Inning
Atlanta 0
Cleveland - D. Salazar 7:10 PM
Kansas City - J. Vargas
Detroit - J. Verlander 7:10 PM
Chicago WSox - S. Carroll
Texas - S. Baker 7:10 PM
Houston - B. Oberholtzer
Chicago Cubs - K. Hendricks 7:15 PM
St. Louis - S. Miller
Colorado - C. Bergman 8:40 PM
Arizona - J. Collmenter
Oakland - J. Lester 9:05 PM
LA Angels - J. Weaver
Los Angeles - D. Haren 9:10 PM
San Diego - A. Cashner
Washington - J. Zimmermann 9:10 PM
Seattle - F. Hernandez
Milwaukee - W. Peralta 9:15 PM
San Francisco - R. Vogelsong
Green Bay 9/4/14 7:30 PM
Seattle
(21) Texas A&M 52 FINAL
(9) So Carolina 28
Wake Forest 10 FINAL
ULM 17
Boise State 13 FINAL
(18) Ole Miss 35
Tulane 31 FINAL
Tulsa 38
Rutgers 41 FINAL
Washington St 38
Weber State 14 FINAL
(19) Arizona State 45
Temple 37 FINAL
Vanderbilt 7
BYU 14 1st Qtr 2:15
Connecticut 0
(6) Jacksonville St 0 1st Qtr 11:13
(8) Michigan State 7
Bowling Green 0 1st Qtr 13:25
Western Ky 0
TX-San Antonio 8:00 PM
Houston
Colorado State 8:00 PM
Colorado
UNLV 9:30 PM
Arizona
Penn State 8/30/14 7:30 AM
UCF
Troy 8/30/14 11:00 AM
UAB
(7) UCLA 8/30/14 11:00 AM
Virginia
Western Mich 8/30/14 11:00 AM
Purdue
(5) Ohio State 8/30/14 11:00 AM
Navy
Appalachian St 8/30/14 11:00 AM
Michigan
Ga Southern 8/30/14 11:30 AM
NC State
Boston College 8/30/14 2:00 PM
Massachusetts
West Virginia 8/30/14 2:30 PM
(2) Alabama
Rice 8/30/14 2:30 PM
(17) Notre Dame
(10) South Dakota St 8/30/14 2:30 PM
(24) Missouri
Fla Atlantic 8/30/14 2:30 PM
(22) Nebraska
California 8/30/14 2:30 PM
Northwestern
Marshall 8/30/14 2:30 PM
Miami-Ohio
UC Davis 8/30/14 3:00 PM
(11) Stanford
Arkansas 8/30/14 3:00 PM
(6) Auburn
(16) Clemson 8/30/14 4:30 PM
(12) Georgia
Liberty 8/30/14 5:00 PM
(23) North Carolina
Ohio U 8/30/14 5:00 PM
Kent State
Louisiana Tech 8/30/14 6:00 PM
(4) Oklahoma
Idaho 8/30/14 6:00 PM
Florida
Stephen F Austin 8/30/14 6:10 PM
(20) Kansas State
Fresno State 8/30/14 6:30 PM
(15) USC
Southern Miss 8/30/14 6:30 PM
Miss State
Texas-El Paso 8/30/14 7:00 PM
New Mexico
North Texas 8/30/14 7:00 PM
Texas
(1) Florida State 8/30/14 7:00 PM
Oklahoma State
(14) Wisconsin 8/30/14 8:00 PM
(13) LSU
South Dakota 8/30/14 9:30 PM
(3) Oregon
(25) Washington 8/30/14 9:30 PM
Hawaii
Utah State 8/31/14 6:00 PM
Tennessee
SMU 8/31/14 6:30 PM
(10) Baylor
Miami-Florida 9/1/14 7:00 PM
Louisville
Arizona 9/4/14 7:00 PM
TX-San Antonio
Pittsburgh 9/5/14 6:00 PM
Boston College
Washington St 9/5/14 9:30 PM
Nevada
Houston 7:00 PM
Sporting Kansas City
Ottawa 0 12:18
Montreal 0
Winnipeg 8/31/14 3:00 PM
Saskatchewan
Toronto 9/1/14 12:00 PM
Hamilton
Edmonton 9/1/14 3:30 PM
Calgary
Brt Columbia 9/5/14 6:30 PM
Ottawa
Calgary 9/6/14 6:00 PM
Edmonton
Hamilton 9/7/14 12:00 PM
Montreal
Saskatchewan 9/7/14 3:00 PM
Winnipeg
Minnesota 9:00 PM
Phoenix

ADVERTISEMENT

ADVERTISEMENT

ADVERTISEMENT

ADVERTISEMENT

question of the day

Poll: Grade the Gophers in their season opener

Weekly Question

ADVERTISEMENT

Connect with twitterConnect with facebookConnect with Google+Connect with PinterestConnect with PinterestConnect with RssfeedConnect with email newsletters

ADVERTISEMENT

 
Close