Schools do state proud in NCAA tourney


My NCAA March Madness bracket resembles the Hindenburg disaster — and I wouldn’t have it any other way.

It’s the most wonderful time of the basketball year.

While I’m not originally from Indiana, I have come to admire the college basketball programs in this state.

How can’t you? This is the hotbed of basketball.

Growing up in New York, I first learned about Indiana basketball from the movie “Hoosiers” and knew Notre Dame since it played in the Big East for a long period of time.

My mother went to Syracuse University, so I watched the Fighting Irish and Orange duke it out every season while I followed Syracuse.

Once I attended St. Bonaventure University, from 2010-13, I became familiar with Butler when they joined the Atlantic 10 Conference.

Boy, did we hate facing those pesky Bulldogs.

In this year’s tournament, there has been plenty to love about Indiana’s teams — even though they all got stuck in the same bracket and some have seen early exits.

Every team, big school or small, has left it all on the hardwood.

First, Valparaiso gave No. 4 Maryland a heck of a fight in a 65-62 loss.

Purdue, which, admittedly, kind of shot itself in the foot towards the end, fell to a very strong Cincinnati squad.

Had the Bearcats drawn anyone else but the Goliath that is Kentucky in the second round, I predict they would have gone far with their toughness.

While most fans still have a sour taste in their mouth, and coach Tom Crean’s job is in limbo, IU played a pretty strong game against now-Sweet 16 team Wichita State.

If you didn’t catch it, Wichita beat No. 2 Kansas on Sunday — one of the toughest, most storied programs in college basketball tournament history.

You beat Kansas, you’re the real deal.

This past Saturday, we were privy to a world-class Indiana basketball affair in Notre Dame and Butler.

There wasn’t anything you couldn’t love about the game — other than it starting near 10 p.m.

The two teams battled from start to finish in an overtime thriller.

That’s what this month is all about: Showcasing the best games of the season, and that’s what we got.

While Notre Dame is the only team in Indiana still around, we shouldn’t feel discouraged by the results from the other teams.

Showcasing five teams from one state is an incredible feat, and no fan should hang their head at this time.

Jordan Morey is sports editor of The Tribune. Send comments to [email protected].

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