On March 23 in IU history: Indiana Flashes to Final Four

March 23, 2002

It seemed like it would be difficult for Indiana to top its upset of top-seeded Duke two nights before, but the Hoosiers traded their inside power game for some sharpshooting prowess in an 81-69 win over Cinderella Kent State to advance to the eighth Final Four in school history.

IU hit 15-of-19 3-pointers to win the South Regional final at Rupp Arena, setting up a national semifinal date with Kelvin Sampson’s Oklahoma Sooners in Atlanta.

The trio of Dane Fife (five 3s), Kyle Hornsby (four 3s, seven assists) and Tom Coverdale (three 3s, seven assists) did most of the damage, as Jared Jeffries had a quiet outing of 10 points and seven rebounds after a dominant game against the Blue Devils. The tone was set when Indiana’s first five field goals came from 3 for a 15-4 lead. Coverdale, who was named the regional’s most outstanding player, then scored 10 straight points to spur a 15-5 run that gave IU a 34-14 advantage.

Kent State rallied within eight to start the second half, but the Hoosiers pushed the lead back to 20 again before Coverdale sprained his ankle on a drive to the basket and missed the final nine minutes. The Flashes got as close as seven while IU went scoreless for more than four minutes, but a Fife 3 and Jeffries dunk pushed the margin back to double figures to keep the MAC champs at bay.

It was revenge of sorts for the Hoosiers, who were upset by those same Flashes in the first round of the 2001 NCAA Tournament.

One comment

  1. CBS re-played some really good NCAA tourney games this past weekend. I think they are going to do it again next weekend. The game I enjoyed the most was the Duke/Kentucky, Laettner shot and chest stomp on the UK player game. I am not a huge fan of either team, but Kentucky did get hosed on quite a few fouls in that game. Much like IU did the next weekend in the Final Four vs. Duke.

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