DES MOINES (WISH) – Inside Wells Fargo Arena, the Indiana basketball team was a confident bunch during practice Wednesday afternoon. The 5th seeded Hoosiers will make their 39th NCAA tournament appearance Thursday night against Chattanooga.
The 12th seeded Mocs come into the matchup with a 29-5 record. IU coach Tom Crean said that the key for his team’s success this week is focusing on what got them to the Big Dance.
“The fact of the matter is if we don’t play an outstanding game then there is no next game for us and I think it’s not just because it’s one and done, it’s not just because it’s March Madness, it’s because Chattanooga is really good,” Crean said.
IU is looking to rebound from a last-second loss to Michigan in their only game in the Big Ten Tournament. The heartbreaking loss to the Wolverines is another reminder to the Hoosiers of how they must capitalize on every moment in the NCAA tournament.
“We’ve been preparing for this all year, everything we’ve done leading up to this point is for these moments,” said junior Collin Hartman.
Senior Yogi Ferrell knows that the team’s preparation all season long will play a key part in how well the Hoosiers perform in the tournament.
“You know all those morning workouts, conditioning, early weight sessions, you know guys dying after conditioning man, you know we said to ourselves you know ‘This is going to pay off one day,'” Ferrell said. “Now we just have to dig inside and go out and play this game for each other.”