State schools ready for March Madness

Play of the Game
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INDIANAPOLIS, Ind. -{Mar. 15, 2015} –   Basketball fans around the state are letting out a collective sigh of relief after five Indiana schools were chosen to play in the 2015 NCAA Tournament. Both the IU  Hoosiers and Purdue Boilermakers status of making the tournament was somewhat in limbo based on their year ending play. Selection Officials, however, deemed that their RPI rating and parity of the Big 10 Conference were factors for giving both the Hoosiers and the Boilermakers a nod for this years event.

Head Coach Bryce Drew will lead Valparaiso, a school he starred at almost 20 years ago as a player, when his squad meets up with Big Ten power Maryland Friday night.

The Purdue Boilermakers have 61 post season games from the past to build on and will add to that when they face  Cincinnati . That alone will be a tough task but not near as tough as facing Kentucky should they get by the Bearcats Thursday in Louisville.

IU will play as a 10 seed against 7 seed Wichita State in Omaha on Friday.  Coach Tom Crean’s club has been on the hot seat for much of this season for their inconsistent play.  Getting by the Shockers would earn them a shot at either Kansas or New Mexico State.

Butler will be the 6 seed against 11 seeded Texas in Pittsburgh on Thursday. Prior to the beginning of the 2014-15 season, there was an uncertainty at the head coaching spot when then coach Brandon Miller announced he was taking a medical leave of absence. Assistant Chris Holtmann started the year as the interim coach, guiding Butler to a 10-4 start.  In January 2015, the school removed that tag pronouncing him head coach and Holtmann and team finished the year with a 22 – 10 mark.

Notre Dame is the highest seed of the 5 state schools, earning a 3 seed. They will face 14 seed Northeastern in Pittsburgh on Thursday. The Irish have only one Final Four appearance on their resume from 1998. It is possible with a first game win and a Butler win that those two schools would face each other in the weekend game of opening round action.

All  game times will be posted later Sunday night.

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