He wasn't wearing a baby blue shirt with a Sycamore's logo on the chest.

Larry Bird was in his typical white shirt and dress pants for the Pacers practice on Monday afternoon at Conseco Fieldhouse.

That didn't mean he didn't have his alma mater on his mind, especially after Indiana State's biggest basketball win in a decade.

"They got it done," said Bird when speaking of Indiana State's three wins in this past weekends Missouri Valley Conference tournament-which earned the Sycamores an automatic berth in the NCAA Tournament. "They played very well, they played hard and they play together and that's big for us.

"I'm on the bandwagon."

Bird says he watched the Sycamores tournament-clinching victory on Sunday afternoon against Missouri State on television. The win gives Indiana State its first bid to the "Big Dance" since the 2001 season, but Bird saw signs of something big for the team back in December.

On the 18th of the month, the Sycamores surprised many by playing even basketball with Purdue-a top 15 team for most of the season-during the Boilermaker Blockbuster game at Conseco Fieldhouse.

It was then that Bird saw a team that had a chance to do what they accomplished this weekend.

"They played well here. They had Purdue in a tight game until right at the end," said Bird of that December contest. "They play so hard, they're well coached and that's usually a good combination."

First-year coach Greg Lansing has been responsible for that, leading the Sycamores to a 17-13 regular season mark-including a 12-6 record in the Missouri Valley Conference. Bird says he saw six game this season either live or on television.

Having been through a run to the NCAA National Championship Game in 1979, Bird offered some advice to the squad as they approach "March Madness."

"Its an exciting time, I'm sure all their friends will be calling, a lot more excitement around campus but they did what they had to do and now the next step is a bigger step for them, "said Bird of what the team might expect.