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Eyeing IU

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Alford on IU

Former Indiana great Steve Alford is in Portland, coaching New Mexico. The Lobos are a No. 5 seed in the West and face No. 12 Long Beach State in a second round West regional game.

New Mexico has a 27-6 mark and won the Mountain West Tournament title.

"Throughout the year, our ability to take care of the ball and get the shots that we want have been big keys on the offensive end," Alford said. "And really defending the way we have defended all year. We have been a very, very good defensive team all year and we're going to have to be that this game."

Alford was asked about Indiana's success this season.

"It's been fun. This year is the 25th anniversary of when I played there in '87 and they did a great thing with our title team for the Stetson game in early December. They honored our team, they did it in a first-class manner. It was a really neat experience for our team to get back and get into that environment.

"And to be in that environment where they're winning again makes it that much more special. You root like crazy for them as an alum. There have been some hard times, and through the hard times Tom (Crean) and his staff have done a terrific job. It's neat seeing them be on a national level again and competing at a very high level because that's what Indiana is. I think Tom and his staff understand that and that's what they're building toward."

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