No. 12 seed Chattanooga stayed competitive for the first 15 minutes or so against No. 5 seed and Big Ten regular-season champion Indiana, but ultimately fell to the Hoosiers, 99–74. A three-pointer by reserve sophomore guard Robert Johnson with 3:58 left in the first half gave Indiana a six-point lead, which ballooned to nine points at the half and didn’t shrink below seven for at any point in the second half. Senior guard Yogi Ferrell led IU with 20 points and 10 assists, his first career double double.
Why it matters
Indiana looked like a potential No. 2 or 3 seed in the NCAA tournament at the end of the regular season, but a loss in the Big Ten tournament quarterfinals to Michigan helped to put the Wolverines in the Big Dance—and dropped Indiana to the five-seed line. But the Hoosiers looked motivated to show they were undervalued heading into the NCAA tournament. Five Hoosiers—Ferrell, freshman forward OG Anunoby (14), freshman forward Thomas Bryant (13), junior forward Troy Williams (12) and senior forward Max Bielfeldt (10)—scored in double figures. Indiana’s offense is elite, coming in at No. 7 in adjusted efficiency on kenpom.com, and it showed on Thursday, as Indiana shot 64.9% from the floor and 58.8% from three.
Indiana will play the winner of No. 13 seed Stony Brook and No. 4 Kentucky. If the Wildcats prevail, as they are favored to, it will set up a colossal second-round matchup between two of the most storied programs in college basketball. Des Moines could be the place to be on Saturday.