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Eyeing IU

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Tipping off

DAYTON, Ohio – Indiana will tip off against James Madison in the NCAA tournament at the University of Dayton Arena at about 4:10 p.m. today.

The No. 1 seed Hoosiers (27-6) will not over look the No. 16 seed Dukes (21-14), even thought a top seed has never lost to a No. 16 seed in the tournament.

"We have great respect for them," IU coach Tom Crean said. "They're a conference champion (James Madison won the Colonial Athletic Association tournament). Matt Brady is an excellent coach, and he's got Mike Deane on his staff, who's one of the best coaches in this game.

"There's no question about it. I followed him at Marquette. I know what kind of character he has, and I know what kind of players and people he recruited and how he coached them because I got to inherit those guys.

"As a team, they're athletic, they're skilled, they're certainly experienced when you look at all the fifth‑year guys that they have. They play very well together. They do a great job of blending their experience with their young freshmen, and it's been really interesting to watch the cohesiveness develop in that team as we've watched the films over the last three days or so, four days, and watched them develop their team this year. So we have great respect for James Madison."

IU got an early look at James Madison in the tournament when the Dukes defeated LIU-Brooklyn 68-55 in a First Four game Wednesday at Dayton.

James Madison showed how it blends its young players with veterans against LIU.

Fifth-year senior A.J. Davis scored a team-high 20 for the Dukes, and freshmen Charles Cooke and Andre Nation added 15 and 14.

And while the Dukes plan to go at the Hoosiers to try and get them in foul trouble, and will likely try to keep the game at a slow pace, IU players believe they are ready to handle anything James Madison does today after going through the rigors of the Big Ten season and emerging with the outright regular-season title.

"The thing about the Big Ten, it prepares you for anything," IU guard Victor Oladipo said. "It prepares you not to take anyone lightly. So we're looking forward to the game, and we're looking forward to getting it started."

Indiana's game will be on TBS today, and if the Hoosiers win, they will play the winter between the 1:40 p.m. game between Temple and North Carolina State on Sunday.

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