It was a late night for the No. 4 Seed Hoosiers in Albany, but the 71-60 final score over No. 13 Kent State says it all about the ‘Magical Rule of 60.’ In its simplest form, keep the opposition from more than 60 points and mark it in the victory column. By the same token, No. 1 Seed Purdue fell short of No. 16 Farleigh Dickinson 63-58, marking the third consecutive NCAA Tourney year that the Boilermakers have been stunned by a team seeded 13 or worse. Defense is still the key to winning key college basketball games.
I.U. got only 4-points from the bench, but Trayce and Race combined for 44-points and 20-rebounds, earning the right to play No. 5 Seed Miami for a potential trip to the Sweet 16. The Hoosiers got to 60 on a TJD dunk at the 8:12 mark, securing a 12-point bulge over the Golden Flashes. It was the first step to the second round of the NCAA Tournament since 2016, reminiscent of the 2002 match-up between the two teams when Indiana made a Cinderella run to the Elite Eight and then defeated Oklahoma, coached by Kelvin Sampson, to get to the finale against Maryland. Sampson’s Houston team looms ahead in this year’s bracket.
The top-seeded, I.U. women face No. 16 Seed Tennessee Tech in their NCAA Tourney opener in Bloomington. Mackenzie Holmes, matching Trayce Jackson-Davis’ honors, was also named a First Team All-American. The regular season champion Hoosiers failed to win the BIG Tournament, falling to Ohio State, despite a team-high 20-point performance from Grace Berger. They hope to regain some momentum in their drive to win the program’s first National Championship.
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