NCAA Tournament

Indiana shipped out of comfort zone into East Region

Updated: 2013-03-18T02:01:07Z

By BLAIR KERKHOFF

The Kansas City Star

Among the top seeds, Indiana was the loser on Selection Sunday. The Hoosiers were shifted from the Midwest Region, where the Sweet 16 and regional final will be played in Indianapolis, to the East.

Instead, Indy is reserved for Louisville. If the Hoosiers win two they’ll head to Washington, D.C. This is Indiana’s best chance of reaching a Final Four since the 2002 team played for the title. The Hoosiers have a little bit of everything, and in guard Victor Oladipo and center Cody Zeller, they have two of the best players at their positions.

Second-seeded Miami, Fla., is a wild card. Here’s a team that was bad enough down the stretch to lose to Wake Forest and Georgia Tech but good enough to roll to its first ACC tournament title.

The Hurricanes are coached by Jim Larranaga, who shocked the sport by taking George Mason to the 2006 Final Four. Miami is a veteran team with an outstanding point guard in Shane Larkin, but can it handle the NCAA Tournament pressure?

The Big East provides the third and fourth seeds, Marquette and Syracuse, and don’t be shocked if one or both doesn’t make it to the Sweet 16.

Selection committee chairman Mike Bobinski did a good job explaining the tough decisions faced by his group, but the call on UNLV-California was inadequate. This is a regular-season rematch — the Rebels won a one-point thriller in early December. This shouldn’t happen. And the game will be played in Cal’s back yard, San Jose. UNLV got a bad deal as a No. 5 seed.

Tenth-seeded Colorado makes an NCAA trip in successive years for the first time since 1962-63, and the Buffaloes will face seventh-seeded Illinois, which defeated two No. 1 seeds — Indiana and Gonzaga — and has one of the region’s best backcourts.

To reach Blair Kerkhoff, call 816-234-4730 or send email to bkerkhoff@kcstar.com. Follow him at twitter.com/BlairKerkhoff.

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