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Hoosiers hope to take advantage of historic host opportunity | Sports

BLOOMINGTON, Ind. (AP) — Coach Teri Moren promised to modify the Indiana’s ladies’s program when she was once employed in 2014.

She’s delivered extra luck than almost about any person expected.

The Hoosiers have a college document seven instantly 20-win seasons, received the 2017-18 WNIT, completed twenty second in house attendance this season and are attempting to make use of their first Elite Eight run to propel them additional this season. The adventure begins Saturday with every other milestone — internet hosting their first NCAA tourney video games.

“There’s clearly a home-court advantage when you have this opportunity to host,” Moren mentioned Friday. “We’ve had a lot of historic moments since we’ve been here in our eight years and it’s just another thing we can add to what we’re building here.”

For the Hoosiers (22-8), it’s been a gradual ascension since Moren began 15-16 her first season. But the development has sped up a great deal over the last twelve months.

After making final yr’s deep postseason run, Indiana began this season within the peak 10. Early wins over Kentucky and Ohio State, plus single-digit losses to Stanford and North Carolina State, solidified their spot. Then they misplaced 4 in their final 5 regular-season video games most effective to win their first Big Ten Tournament since 2002.

Next up for the third-seeded Hoosiers is 14th-seeded Charlotte (22-9), the Conference USA regular-season and tourney champs.

“We know it’s going to be loud, like it was at West Virginia but we never get rattled by stuff like that,” mentioned Octavia Jett-Wilson, the league tourney MVP for the 49ers. “Us having that mentality, we’re not going to back down from that. It doesn’t matter whose home court we’re on.”

The winner faces both sixth-seeded Kentucky (19-11), the Southeastern Conference tourney champs, or Eleventh-seeded Princeton (24-4), the Ivy League champion.

Charlotte is making its first tourney look since 2008-09 and has some big-time revel in. Four gamers performed in the past at Power Five faculties together with two starters, Mikayla Boykin (Duke) and KeKe McKinney (Kentucky).

But the Hoosiers have all 5 starters again from final season’s tourney staff, together with Ali Patberg, a seventh-year participant making her fourth NCAA tourney look. She sat out 2017-18 after shifting from Notre Dame and her 88 occupation wins are tied for Indiana’s faculty document with Keyanna Warthen and present teammate Grace Berger.

“Being a veteran team is very helpful, and getting to where we got last year also is helpful,” guard Nicole Cardano-Hillary mentioned. “I think what we’ve dealt with this year, having so many games in not that many days has really prepared us to keep our heads down and do what we do.”

PRINCETON vs. KENTUCKY

Princeton trainer Carla Berube is main the Tigers into the postseason for the primary time, however she’s no newcomer to NCAA play. The former UConn famous person performed in two Final Fours and was once a part of the Huskies’ 1995 undefeated nationwide championship staff.

This adventure has been relatively extraordinary, although. After successful the 2019-20 Ivy identify, NCAA officers canceled the tourney and the pandemic additionally avoided the Tigers from enjoying in 2020-21.

They input the tourney on a 17-game successful streak, 16 coming through double digits, since a December loss to Texas and with the country’s longest energetic successful streak in convention play (42). Princeton additionally permits the third-fewest issues in Division I (50.9 in keeping with recreation).

“It’s really awesome to be here,” Berube mentioned. “It’s been a long time coming.”

Even with Ivy League participant of the yr Abby Meyers, the Tigers face a significant problem in slowing All-American Rhyne Howard, Kentucky’s peak scorer at 20.6 issues.

But Wildcats trainer Kyra Elzy, whose staff surprised top-ranked South Carolina within the SEC identify recreation for a tenth instantly win, is aware of her staff will have to keep targeted.

“We were in a dogfight then and we’re going to be in a dogfight again because everyone is coming to compete,” Elzy mentioned, reflecting on a 2019 tourney towards Princeton. “They’re well balanced, they play well together and with what they do on the defensive end, we’ll have our hands full.”

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More AP protection of March Madness: https://apnews.com/hub/march-madness and https://apnews.com/hub/womens-college-basketball and https://twitter.com/AP_Top25




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