The Indiana Hoosiers (24-7) showed up to Indianapolis Wednesday night with plenty of baggage for the Big Ten Tournament. No, the Hoosiers aren't necessarily walking with a chip on their shoulder as they attempt to avenge 2011's 61-55 first round loss to Penn State, but rather literally bags and bags of clothes.
It looks as if the Hoosiers packed to stay in Indianapolis through Sunday afternoon.
The fifth-seeded Hoosiers kick-off the Big Ten Tournament tomorrow afternoon at Conseco Fieldhouse against number twelve-seeded Penn State, and Head Coach Tom Crean believes that despite the program's resurgence this season, Indiana has their eyes set straight on the Nittany Lions.
"I know it sounds cliche," said Crean. "But this team has just done a great job of staying in the next game. So it's not like we put up brackets, and I'm sure they know the brackets just like we do, but everything has been about Penn State. Everything has been about how do we get ready for that game."
Indiana defeated Penn State both times in their regular season contests, the last being a 73-54 victory in Bloomington that saw Freshman phenom and Second Team All Big Ten star Cody Zeller finish with 18 points.
According to Crean he believes this squad has prepared for this moment, and will be ready for what comes next.
"They have been really good and are getting better," said Crean.
"I don't think you win seven of your last eight and not have some bounce, but even when you struggle and you bounce back, that is what is most important. This group is really mature. Even though the winning and the winning this time of year, and some of the things as of late are new for them, it's not like they didn't work to get here. Again it just goes to show what happens when you have a group of guys that won't beat you down, when you have a stick to it attitude, and and the desire to improve, it can happen. It's not like they were thrown a lot of bouquets early in the season, and that a lot of expectations were put on them. They had their own expectations, and I think that is why we are sitting where we are sitting. If that continues, we will be fine."
The winner of the contest between Indiana University and Penn State will play Wisconsin on Friday.