Monday, March 17, 2003

Indiana teams headed to NCAA


Purdue, Valparaiso, Notre Dame all in tournament field

By Dan Gelston
The Associated Press

INDIANAPOLIS - Valparaiso coach Keith Freeman knows his program can't compete with Purdue in the history books. The NCAA tournament though, is something else.

"In Indiana basketball, they're the team every team looks to and is trying to chase," Freeman said. "What they've accomplished is amazing.

"But I like our team this year and what we've done."

No. 15 seed Valparaiso (18-12) plays at No. 2 seed Purdue (26-5) Saturday at Mackey Arena in the East Regional.

Valparaiso earned an automatic berth in the NCAA tournament - its first - with a win over Oakland in the championship game of the Mid-Continent Conference tournament.

The Boilermakers also earned an automatic bid with their Big Ten tournament championship.

"We're very honored that the committee thought enough of us to give us a No. 2 seed," Purdue coach Kristy Curry said. "That's quite an honor. I think it's indicative of the way we finished the year. It's a brand new season."

This is the first year that the highest-seeded teams weren't assured of playing at home in the first two rounds. The 16 arenas for those games were chosen last year.

Mackey Arena though, was one of them. Playing at home didn't help the Boilermakers much last year when they lost to Old Dominion in the second round.

"I'm happy we're at home," Curry said.

The other game is No. 7 Virginia Tech (21-9) vs. No. 10 Georgia Tech (20-10). The winners play Monday.

Purdue has a 5-0 career record against the Crusaders, with the last game in 2000.

The only other Indiana school to earn a tournament bid was Notre Dame (19-10). The 11th-seeded Irish play No. 6 Arizona (22-8) on Sunday in Manhattan, Kan., in the East Regional.

"I'm relieved," Notre Dame coach Muffet McGraw said. "I didn't think we were on the bubble, but I guess we were if we were a No. 11 seed."

In the NIT bracket, Ball State (19-8) plays at Indiana State (21-7) on Friday.




HOOPS MADNESS
Cincinnati.Com's bracket contest and full tournament coverage
Where Tristate teams are going
Everybody jumping in office pool
Tips for filling out your bracket
Hey fans, here's ticket info
One man's trip through the field of 65
NCAA team capsules

UC BASKETBALL
Bid gives UC new beginning
DAUGHERTY: Bearcats are a long shot
UC's opponent: Gonzaga
UC's road to the title

XAVIER BASKETBALL
No. 3 seed pleases Xavier
XU's opponent: Troy State
XU's road to the title

KENTUCKY BASKETBALL
Kentucky No. 1 in Midwest
UK's opponent: IUPUI
UK's road to the title
UK, Louisville can't meet until final
UK wins another SEC title
SEC Notebook: No upset this time

WOMEN'S TOURNAMENT
UC women savor selection, homecourt
UC women's opponent: Arkansas
UC women's road to the title
Waugh, Piipari know what it takes
XU women's opponent: Cal Santa-Barbara
XU women's road to the title
Texas coach brings star power here
Women's NCAA team capsules
Ohio teams headed to NCAA
Indiana teams headed to NCAA

MORE NCAA COVERAGE
Topsy-turvy IU, 'Bama to face off
Controversy abounds in this year's tourney
Men's NCAA Overview
East Region Outlook
Midwest Region Outlook
South Region Outlook
West Region Outlook
Women's NCAA Overview
AT A GLANCE
NCAA Men | Women

NIT COVERAGE
NIT picks Ohio State, 6 Big East schools
NIT AT A GLANCE
NIT Men | Women

DIVISION III
NKU seeks Elite Eight without top forward