V-BYTES
V-MAIL
V-SPEAK
V-VAULT
V-FILE
V-BOARD
V-GEAR

ALSO SEE:
Outside shooting puts Indiana into Final Four

Vitale: Terps nip Huskies, return to Final Four

Vitale: Final Four-bound Kansas downs Ducks

Vitale: Sooners march on to Final Four

Vitale: Elite Eight previews

Dick Vitale Archive


AUDIO/VIDEO
Audio
 Oklahoma is OK
ESPN's Dick Vitale explains Oklahoma's dominance and Indiana's versatility.
Listen

  Vitale Home     College Basketball     ESPN.com  

Hoosiers bandwagon rolls into Atlanta

SPECIAL TO ESPN.COM


The Indiana Hoosiers bandwagon is filling up, baby! Who would have thought this would happen? Think about it, after a loss to Butler earlier this season, Indiana was sitting at 7-5. Are you serious?

Wow, what a moment of jubilation for Mike Davis. All year long, skeptics questioned him, but he kept believing in his ability and his team.
Tell me the 3-point shot isn't big in college basketball! Indiana hit 15-of-19 trifectas against a defensive-minded Kent State team. This coming after Indiana hit just 2-of-10 in the Shock city performance against Duke on Thursday.

Indiana came out on fire, making its first eight trifectas. For the game, Indiana shot 64.2 percent; you win a lot of games shooting that well!

Indiana's big three on the perimeter -- Dane Fife, Kyle Hornsby and Tom Coverdale -- hit 12-of-15 from 3-point range, combining to score 47 points. Fife, who led the Hoosiers with five trifectas, also came through with tenacious defense against the Golden Flashes' outstanding scorer, Trevor Huffman. Kent State's all-time leading scorer was held to two of seven field goals and eight points.

Fife wouldn't allow Huffman to penetrate. Indiana's defense held the Golden Flashes to 2-of-16 from behind the arc. Fife, the former Mr. Basketball out of Michigan, put on quite a show on both ends of the court.

Would you have thought Indiana would win easily with Jared Jeffries scoring just 10 points. Perimeter play can make or break you -- look at the 17 3-pointers against Illinois this season, or the one for 15 shooting behind the arc in a loss down in Miami-Florida.

Wow, what a moment of jubilation for Mike Davis. All year long, skeptics questioned him but he kept believing in his ability and his team. Fans in Indiana wondered if he was the man for the job; he has silenced the critics by taking the Hoosiers to their first Final Four in a decade. The players have confidence in Davis' leadership.

The last time Indiana made it to the Final Four was 1992, when Duke cut down the nets. Now the Hoosiers get ready for a big matchup against the Oklahoma Sooners.

Indiana has balance and versatility. The Hoosiers will need the steady play of Tom Coverdale, who left the court with an ankle injury. Indiana had an 18-point lead when he left, and it dwindled to seven before Fife hit a big-time 3-pointer after Kent State made a gallant run to cut it to 59-52.

The Hoosiers and freshman Donald Perry settled down and were on their way. Indiana will need Coverdale's leadership against a tenacious Oklahoma defense. The Sooners trademark is aggressive play on both ends of the court.

For now, Indiana isn't thinking about Oklahoma. No, the Hoosiers are enjoying the moment. The journey wasn't easy, coming back from 17 points down against the No.1 seed Dukies. Indiana was ready for payback against the Golden Flashes after losing in the first round of the NCAA tournament last year.

Congratulations to Mike Davis and the Hoosiers. This team was ready to play and there was no doubt the better team on Saturday night was Indiana.

Send this story to a friend | Most sent stories