Found March 21, 2013 on Fox Sports:
It's tough enough living up to the lofty expectations of those die-hard Hoosiers fans, born and bred to bleed crimson and cream. This March, Indiana carries an even heavier weight. The White House is watching. President Obama, the nation's basketballer-in-chief, has picked the Hoosiers to be NCAA champions. ''It's nice,'' Indiana coach Tom Crean said of the presidential seal of approval. ''It's really good. But I'm also concerned that someone said that he was 1-3 in his picks before. You hope he's right on this one.'' Strapped with a No. 1 ranking almost since the season tipped off in November, the Hoosiers (27-6) will be overwhelming favorites on Friday when they meet No. 16 seed James Madison in the first round of the East Regional. It's essentially a warm-up game for the the Big Ten's regular-season champions, but Crean knows his players won't overlook the fearless Dukes (21-14), who beat LIU Brooklyn on Wednesday night in the First Four. ''The Big Ten prepares you for anything and everything,'' Crean said, ''and the one thing it totally prepares you for is to never take anything lightly.'' Crean knows something about overcoming long odds. It's been an uphill climb, but he has Indiana looking like the Indiana of old. Five years ago, he inherited a program that had bottomed out, leveled by NCAA sanctions and disgraced by scandal under former coach Kelvin Sampson. Crean won just six games in his first season, 10 and 12 the next two. Last year, the Hoosiers returned to the NCAA field for the first time since 2007 and won two games before losing to eventual champ Kentucky. The mission in 2013 is simple: Hang a title banner inside Assembly Hall next to the ones from 1940, 1953, 1976, 1981 and 1987. ''We've been through a lot and expect nothing but the best,'' said junior guard Victor Oladipo, the Hoosiers' best all-around player. ''We're going into this tournament to try and win it. Our main goal is to win the tournament, just play together and fun and play Indiana basketball.'' This year, playing ''Indiana Basketball,'' the Hoosiers emerged from the other side of the Big Ten's meat-and-bone-grinding schedule with their first outright league title since 1993. Indiana may be the most balanced team in the country, one capable of playing any style. Want to run? The Hoosiers can get out and go. Slow it down? They can grind. A 3-point shootout? Fire first. Indiana is second in the nation in free throws per game (18.9) and third in scoring, scoring margin and 3-point percentage. The Hoosiers have no apparent weaknesses, but that won't stop the Dukes, who notched their first NCAA tourney win since 1983 earlier this week, from looking for some flaws. James Madison's players feel they have nothing to lose and intend to make the most of their chance to become the first No. 16 to take out a No. 1 seed. ''The pressure ain't on us,'' said senior forward Rayshawn Goins, the team's leading scorer who sat out the first half of the LIU Brooklyn game because of a suspension. ''They're the No. 1 team in the country. We're just going to go out and play our best basketball.'' Even then, that might not be enough to take down the Hoosiers, who have the luxury of pounding the ball inside to 7-foot center Cody Zeller if their outside shots aren't falling - and that's not often. James Madison has dealt with adversity all season. They were blown out by 30 points at UCLA in their season opener and started the year 1-5. By winning the Colonial Athletic Association title last week, they earned their first trip to the NCAAs in 19 years but the celebration was muted when Goins was arrested in Harrisonburg, Va. Police said they were called to break up a party and Goins shouted obscenities at them. While he was on the bench for the first half Wednesday night, his replacement, A.J. Davis, made a 3-pointer to open the game and scored 20 points in James Madison's 68-55 win. Davis said coach Matt Brady has been reminding his players to ''stay within our character'' and not try to do more than they're capable. The Dukes won't surprise the Hoosiers, who were able to watch them play in the opening round. Indiana has done its scouting, and Oladipo has done some extra studying of the school in Harrisonburg, Va. During Indiana's news conference, a reporter quizzed Oladipo on James Madison trivia - everything from the school's location to its mascot. ''They're in the CAA,'' Oladipo said confidently. ''I think they're the Dukes. They're from Virginia, and I'm from there, so I know a little somethin'-somethin' about James Madison.'' Oladipo was then asked what he knew about James Madison, the fourth U.S. president. ''He signed something big, like the Declaration of Independence,'' Oladipo said. ''I'm right, right? Emancipation Proclamation, something like that. One of those big names. I know he's a big historic figure in U.S. history.'' Oladipo then turned the questioning around. ''Do you know what an Indiana Hoosier is?'' he asked. ''Not really,'' the reporter said. Oladipo smiled. The Dukes are about to find out for themselves.

Oladipo makes big impact on Indiana's resurgence

(Eds: APNewsNow. With AP Photos.) By MICHAEL MAROT AP Sports Writer Indiana's Victor Oladipo has spent the last three years working to become a better basketball player. They don't get much better than this. The overlooked high school recruit has devoted countless hours in the gym to working on his shot, to become a defensive stopper, and now the effervescent son of Nigerian...

Temple’s Khalif Wyatt: Oladipo ‘not the first good defender’

DAYTON, Ohio — In a lot of ways, Temple’s Khalif Wyatt and Indiana’s Victor Oladipo are spitting images of one another. Both were under recruited and overlooked by most of the country when they were in high school, and both have blossomed into two of the best players in college basketball. Wyatt, the player of the year in the stacked Atlantic 10 Conference, was rated as just...

Video, Transcript: Tom Crean, players at NCAA press conference

Indiana’s Jordan Hulls, Victor Oladipo, Christian Watford and Cody Zeller, as well as coach Tom Crean, addressed the media earlier this afternoon in Dayton, Ohio to preview tomorrow’s game with James Madison. Watch and listen to the press conference in the embedded media player below: Transcript after the jump. THE MODERATOR: We’re now being joined by Indiana student-athletes...

East Bracket Preview: NCAA Tournament

by Dale Yarborough ACC Bureau Reporter Victor Oladipo Wants to Take the Hooisers to Atlanta/ The eastern bracket of this year’s NCAA tournament will be a battle between powerhouse teams like Miami, Indiana, Syracuse, and Marquette who are all trying to solidify a place in the Final Four. Teams like Butler, NC State, and Illinois all have a win against...

Keys to NCAA Tournament success for Indiana

As Indiana enters the 2013 NCAA Tournament, expectations couldn’t be higher. After winning the regular season Big Ten title, the Hoosiers are battle tested and possess the experience and talent necessary to make a run to this year’s Final Four in Atlanta. If that run is to become reality, there’s plenty Indiana must do well to continue advancing in the tournament. Here’s...

Surprised by Yogi’s stat line? You shouldn’t be

DAYTON, Ohio — Yogi Ferrell is often ignored and overlooked because, frankly, you can’t talk about everybody at the same time. Ferrell happens to play on a team with guys named Victor Oladipo and Cody Zeller with a coach named Tom Crean. There aren’t enough headlines to go around. But if you spend any amount of time around the Indiana program, you know how important Ferrell...

Picks East Region: 2013 NCAA Tournament

2nd Round Indiana/ (Long Island/ James Madison)- Cody Zeller and Victor Oladipo could play this game 2 on 5 and still win. NC State/ Temple- NC State had a disappointing season but they turned it out in the postseason last year. They have too much talent for Temple with CJ Leslie and Lorenzo Brown. UNLV/ California- These teams already meant this season with UNLV winning by a point...

Round of 32: (1) Indiana vs. (9) Temple

One down, five to go. In a wild first round of play in the NCAA tournament, the Indiana Hoosiers methodically dispatched 16th seeded James Madison with little fanfare. It was a fun game to watch as the Hoosiers’ high-scoring offense returned to its usual form in their 83-62 victory over the Dukes. Yogi Ferrell set the tone immediately by having the best first half of his career...

Video: Crean, players discuss Temple

Tom Crean, as well as Christian Watford, Cody Zeller, Victor Oladipo and Jordan Hulls, addressed the media on Saturday in anticipation of Sunday’s bout with the Temple Owls. Watch the players: And Crean: Complete transcript after the jump. THE MODERATOR: We’re now being joined by Indiana student?athletes Christian Oladipo, Jordan Hulls, Christian Watford, and Cody Zeller. We’ll...

DMV: JMU’s Day As King Slayer

JMU plays No. 1 Indiana at 4:10, and the JMUSB has it covered. [JMUSB] Get ready with this really fantastic JMU video feature. [SB Nation] It appears the JMU players have a little rap about their coach. [Bog] Read the behind-the-fandom of JMU’s purple-painted fan. [Bog] Indiana’s Victor Oladipo knows a lot about JMU, actually. [USAT Sports] There’s a giant inflatable Hoyas...

Podcast: Will Indiana roll through East region?

EAST SOUTH MIDWEST WEST ATLANTA -- The Miami Hurricanes and their fans surely thought they deserved 1-seed recognition. After all, Miami became the first team in history to win the ACC regular season and tournament titles and not be handed top-seed honors. As a reward, Jim Larranaga's bunch gets Indiana, a team that reached the top of the national polls multiple times this...
College Basketball News
Delivered to your inbox
You'll also receive Yardbarker's daily Top 10, featuring the best sports stories from around the web. Customize your newsletter to get articles on your favorite sports and teams. And the best part? It's free!

Today's Best Stuff
For Bloggers

Join the Yardbarker Network for more promotion, traffic, and money.

Company Info
What is Yardbarker?

Yardbarker is the largest network of sports blogs and pro athlete blogs on the web. This site is the hub of the Yardbarker Network, where our editors and algorithms curate the best sports content from our network and beyond.