ALBANY, NY – Several inches of snow welcomed Indiana to Eastern New York for the first two rounds of the NCAA Tournament. After last year’s travel debacle though, having multiple issues getting from the First Four in Dayton to the first round in Portland, a little power was no trouble for the Hoosiers, as they arrived on time, primed for March Madness, in the Big Dance for the second-straight year under head coach Mike Woodson.
“I told our team I couldn’t be prouder for a group of guys,” Woodson said. “It’s gonna take a lot of hard work to advance. That’s what tournament play is about: trying to advance, and each game is a journey.”
The journey ends here for seniors like Trayce Jackson-Davis and Race Thompson, who will wrap up their college basketball careers with one more NCAA Tournament appearance.
“We’re gonna be at the head of the snake, but at the same time, it’s gonna take everyone,” explained Jackson-Davis. “Xavier (Johnson) on the bench, coaches, everyone down the line, so I think that’s the biggest thing for us.”
“We worked all summer, all year, for this,” adds Thompson. “There’s no doubt in my mind that every single game, I’m leaving it out on the court. I bet everyone else will do the same, so just really excited overall.”
That excitement will only grow from here on out. Indiana has one day of practice Thursday before tipping off in March Madness on Friday. As for how far the Hoosiers can go?
“We got a lot of basketball left,” states Woodson.
The No. 4 seed in the Midwest Region, Indiana takes on No. 13 seed Kent State Friday night, with tip-off scheduled for 9:55 p.m. on TBS.