Although Indiana coach Bob Knight apparently feels he’s said enough, his boss and fans today echoed his disappointment at being shipped West in the NCAA Tournament.
“I thought that the Big Ten championship meant a heckuva lot,” Indiana athletic director Ralph Floyd said.
Indiana, the Big Ten champion, was seeded second in the West and will play George Mason in the first round at Tucson. Illinois, which beat Indiana twice during the season but finished second in the conference, was given the No. 1 seed in the Midwest and will play McNeese State in the Hoosier Dome in Indianapolis, just 40 miles from the Indiana campus.
Although Knight reportedly was calm after the NCAA announced the pairings Sunday night, he said earlier: “If the Big Ten champion doesn’t get the first seed--the best league in the country according to every power rating I’ve seen--then why the hell play it?”
“We did win the Big Ten outright,” said another fan, Michael Henry. “I don’t care if Illinois beat us twice or not, we are the Big Ten champions. Period.”
That cut no cloth with the NCAA, however.
“The committee’s responsibility is to nationally seed them based upon their overall performance during the year,” said Cedric Dempsey, chairman of the NCAA selection committee.