How to Watch | Indiana's NCAA Tournament opener with Wyoming – WDRB

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Updated: March 15, 2022 @ 11:38 pm
Indiana guard Xavier Johnson (0) had the best game of his IU career, scoring 24 points to lead the Hoosiers past Maryland Thursday night at Simon-Skjodt Assembly Hall in Bloomington. IU Athletics photo

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Indiana guard Xavier Johnson (0) had the best game of his IU career, scoring 24 points to lead the Hoosiers past Maryland Thursday night at Simon-Skjodt Assembly Hall in Bloomington. IU Athletics photo
LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WDRB) — A week ago, many basketball insiders were convinced the Indiana University men’s basketball team would miss the 2022 NCAA Tournament because the Hoosiers lost seven of their last nine regular season games.
After head coach Mike Woodson’s beat Michigan and Illinois to make the semifinals of the Big Ten Tournament in Indianapolis last week, the forecast shifted to the Hoosiers easily making the 68-team field.
Neither group was correct.
For the first time since 2016, Indiana made the tournament but was selected as a 12-seed, required to play a First Four game against Wyoming Tuesday night.
That means to get to the Sweet Sixteen, Indiana will have to win three games, not two, at two locations, not one.
Indiana point guard Xavier Johnson remains the most emotionally transparent player on the roster. After the draw was announced, Johnson went to social media to say the selection committee would “pay for” its decision.
During a new conference Monday to preview the Wyoming game, Johnson said this:
“Definitely going to make us play with a chip on our shoulder,” he said. “I’m not disappointed we didn’t make it. We made it. We came ready to play. And the two guys next to me, we’re going to get the team ready to play as well. Didn’t put a chip on just my shoulder. … We’re all going to play with a chip on our shoulder, honestly.”
More preview items for the game:
Time: Tuesday, 9:10 p.m., University of Dayton (Ohio) Arena
TV: TRU TV; Tom McCarthy, play by play; Steve Lavin, analyst; Avery Johnson, analyst; Jon Rothstein, sidelines.
Records: Wyoming 25-8 overall; 13-5, fourth place in the Mountain West Conference; Indiana 20-13; 9-11, ninth place in the Big Ten.
The Last Time: The Hoosiers have won all three meetings against the Cowboys, with the last game resulting in a 99-80 IU win in Bloomington in 1999. IU last played in the NCAA Tournament in 2016 while Wyoming’s last appearance was in 2015.
The Ratings: Wyoming is ranked 50th in the NCAA Net formula, No. 58 in Ken Pomeroy’s power formula and No. 84 in Jeff Sagarin’s predictor formula. IU is 38th in the Net, 36th in KenPom and 29th in Sagarin predictor. KenPom forecasts IU 67, Wyoming 66. The Hoosiers are a four-point favorite at VegasInsiders.
The Quote: Wyoming coach Jeff Linder on the similarities between the teams:
“So I watched a lot of Big Ten basketball, just watching how some of those teams try to utilize their post players and some of the different things they did knowing that that’s how we play.
“So now you watch Indiana on film, and in a lot of ways they mirror us in terms of Trayce being on the right side of the floor playing to his left hand. Race on the left side playing to his right hand. And you’ve got the X factor in Xavier Johnson, who, from a talent standpoint, is as talented as any guard out there.”
The News: The winner will take a postgame flights across the country to Portland, Oregon, and play Saint Mary’s, the 5-seed in the East Regional. The Gaels are the last team to defeat Gonzaga.
The Matchup That Matters: Both teams depend on left-handed post play. For Wyoming it is Graham Ike, a 6-foot-9-inch sophomore who scored in double figures in all but one game and had more than 30 points twice. For the Hoosiers it is Jackson-Davis, who averaged better than 23 points and eight rebounds in three Big Ten Tournament games.
Strengths: The Cowboys love to attack the rim. They ranked first in the Mountain West in free throw rate at 37.1%. Indiana led the Big Ten and ranked 21st nationally in defensive efficiency.
Weaknesses: Defensively, the Cowboys do not force many turnovers or generate steals at a high rate. The Hoosiers ranked 13th in the Big Ten in three-point shooting percent and 12th in free throw percentage.
Tasty Tidbits: Ike is one of four players in the country who averaged better than 19 points and nine rebounds per game. He was a three-star recruit from Aurora, Colorado, who missed most of his senior year with an injury. Wyoming also has a dangerous three-point shooter in Drake Jeffries, a senior guard. Jeffries has made 83 of 237 shots from distance (40.1%), including five of eight in the Cowboys last game against Boston State. Wyoming lost at Arizona, 94-65, and were also beaten by Stanford, 65-63, on a neutral court. In four games against Boise State, Colorado State and San Diego State, the three other teams from the Mountain West that made the NCAA field, Wyoming went 2-4.
Prediction: Indiana 65, Wyoming 62.
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