Mar 18

NCAA Tourney: Kentucky vs. Indiana

Indiana is one of only two teams that own a win – 73-72 – over Kentucky this season. The other is Vanderbilt, which lost to Wisconsin Saturday. The Wildcats won’t get a fourth shot at the Commodores this year, but will get a rematch with the Hoosiers Friday night at the Georgia Dome in the South Region semifinals.
As expected, Kentucky is anxious for the rematch.
“I can’t wait to play them,” Kentucky freshman Michael Kidd-Gilchrist said. “But, it’s just another game. …. But, we just have to wait and see what happens on Friday. Everybody can’t wait.”
Kentucky freshman Marquis Teague is one player on Kentucky’s roster awaiting a rematch.
“We’re ready to play IU,” he said. “They beat us last time, but we’re just going to come out and play hard, do whatever it takes to win.”
The last encounter between the two teams has been highlight reel material in the Hoosier State and across the nation during the past three months and never grows old.
“It goes in every time,” Indiana coach Tom Crean said. “Every time. It never changes. And you know what? (John Calipari) tweeted, I tweeted something back. The value that that brings our University, brings our fan base to have that out there, it’s fantastic. It goes in every time. And there’s still a hand up in front of him. There’s still a great pass from Verdell, there’s still a great screen from Cody Zeller. Every time it goes in.”
The appearance in the Sweet Sixteen of the Big Dance returns Indiana to the national forefront after several years of struggling to regain traction on the national stage.
“As I said to them, again, you know, the way God has brought us all together and touched everybody’s life, everybody is better for what they’ve had to deal with. The seniors. It doesn’t feel like that at the time when you’re going through all this. But we’re all going to be better off for it.
“To have them have this happen for them because of the way they’ve earned it, the way they’ve continued to get better. And I know coaches can – it can sound really corny when you talk about believing in one another, but I sit and look at these guys, and I’m looking across at them in that huddle and it’s a great feeling. It’s hard to describe. But it’s a great feeling to be around young men like this that they do really want to see each other be successful. They know they’re a team. So they’ve earned their way in. Did we have days where we wondered if we would get to this point? I would look back at this and say that there were a lot of disappointments, but nobody in our program that’s with us to this point ever got discouraged. And there’s a huge difference between disappointment and discouragement. And sometimes they can look alike. But disappointments are inevitable, and discouragement, we just never got there.”

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