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Miller’s strong voice resonates with Indiana players, fans

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BLOOMINGTON, Ind. (AP) — Archie Miller speaks Indiana’s language.

He expects the Hoosiers to work hard, play hard and, above all else, focus on defense.

It’s a simple philosophy that resonates with basketball fans in Bloomington. They appreciate good, old-fashioned basketball and a strong-willed coach who likes to stay on message.

“I think I know what we do works,” the new Indiana coach said. “I believe in what we do.”

The Hoosiers have spent almost two decades searching for someone who could replicate the sustained success of Bob Knight. And while there some shining moments occurred along the way, they didn’t last long.

Mike Davis took the Hoosiers to a national championship game before the bottom fell out. Kelvin Sampson appeared to have Indiana on the verge of a breakthrough — until he was fired amid an NCAA scandal.

Tom Crean inherited a reeling program, put it back in the national conversation and wound up winning two Big Ten titles before he was fired in March.

Now, Indiana believes it finally has the right man .

Instead of plucking someone from Knight’s coaching tree, athletic director Fred Glass hired a 38-year-old emerging star whose blue-collar approach and blunt assessments sound a lot like, well, Knight.

But Miller does more than talk and it could pay big dividends on the court. The hard-nosed 5-foot-11 Pittsburgh native who was North Carolina State’s starting point guard before he started coaching has players listening attentively, too.

“He has a different kind of basketball IQ because he was a player,” guard Devonte Green said. “He understands what works and what doesn’t.”

Miller is not afraid to make his thoughts clear.

Those who stick to the plan will be rewarded. Those who deviate from it could find themselves on the bench.

At Indiana, it’s more than just idle chit-chat. Miller’s strong voice is just what they’ve been looking for.

“I think it’s a testament to what he put in place, but I think it’s also a testament to the guys on the team,” forward Juwan Morgan said of the Hoosiers’ eagerness to work with Miller. “If we get the stops all the time, there will be no problem scoring.”

Here are some other things to watch this season:


After missing the NCAA Tournament last season and having three starters declare early for the NBA Draft, there’s a lot of work to do. Miller understands a complete turnaround will take time, so he’s asking for patience.

“They’re not going to be able to do things our way and win right now,” Miller said. “The expectation level for us is to be ready every single day.”


Indiana lost three of its top four scorers from last season and has only one double-digit scorer returning. Senior guard Robert Johnson is ready to accept a bigger role after averaging 12.8 points last season, declaring for the draft and then withdrawing.

“They told me was they wanted to see if I could play point guard at a high level, they wanted to see how I handled being one of the primary scorers this season,” Johnson said, describing the feedback from NBA scouts. “I think Archie’s system will help me get in the open court and handle the ball and that kind of stuff.”

Miller also expects Josh Newkirk (9.0 points), Morgan (7.7) and De’Ron Davis (5.9) to score more.


Davis, a 6-foot-10 sophomore forward, doesn’t look the same after slimming down during the offseason. After losing about 20 pounds, Davis insists he’s quicker and every bit as strong. The hope is that the 249-pound Davis will play more minutes over longer stretches and avoid getting into foul trouble when he’s weary.

“I’m a way better player overall,” said Davis, one of only two players on the roster taller than 6-9. “My conditioning is good. Overall, just ready for the season.”


Forward Collin Hartman made headlines last year when he proposed to his girlfriend on senior night. Now, he’ll get a rare opportunity for a second senior night speech. The oft-injured Hartman decided to come back for his fifth and final season after deciding he wasn’t ready to walk away from the game. And Miller likes the fact that Hartman is healthy and can provide a veteran voice on a young team.

“Physically, I think he’s confident,” Miller said. “He’s in great shape, and just looking at his mobility and what not, I don’t think he’s tentative.”

No Haas, no problem: No. 2 Purdue sneaks past No. 10 Butler, into Sweet 16

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No Haas, no harm.

Playing without Isaac Haas, their senior 7-footer who fractured his elbow in an opening round win over Cal St.-Fullerton, the Boilermakers shot 11-for-24 from three and got a valiant effort from their other 7-footer, freshman Matt Haarms, in a 76-73 win over No. 10-seed Butler.

The second-seeded Boilermakers advanced to the Sweet 16 for the second straight season. They’ll take on No. 3-seed Texas Tech in the East Region semifinals on Friday evening in Boston.

Purdue was led by 20 points from Vincent Edwards, Purdue’s senior leader, who scored 20 points on 6-for-8 shooting as his partner in crime, sophomore Carsen Edwards, shot just 4-for-17 from the floor and finished with 13 points. The biggest shot of the night came from another senior, Dakota Mathias, who buried a three with 14 seconds left that put Purdue up five.

But the real story here was Haarms.

The freshman will be thrust into a critical role for the Boilermakers throughout the rest of this tournament, and I don’t think that it’s crazy to say that the Boilermakers will go as far as he allows them to go. Haarms is the only big man currently on the Purdue roster that played any kind of meaningful minutes this season. Purdue played roughly 100 possessions during the regular season without Haas or Haarms on the floor, and it’s probably safe to assume that the majority of those possessions were played during garbage time, when the walk-ons were on the floor.

Haarms finished with seven boards, six boards and a pair of blocks in 27 minutes, doing a good enough job in the role that he was asked to play to keep Butler from lighting up the Boilermakers in pick-and-roll actions and in protecting the rim. He is certainly a better defender than Haas, particularly in space, but he is no where near the threat that Haas is on the offensive end of the floor. It limits what Purdue can do offensively, and with a game coming up against one of college basketball’s best defensive teams, a group that prides themselves on their ability to run teams off the three point line, we could be looking at a situation where Purdue really needs that interior presence.

What Haarms can provide will be a difference-maker.

I hope he’s ready for it.

VIDEO: Jordan Poole got a hero’s welcome in Michigan’s locker room

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Jordan Poole hit the game-winning, buzzer-beating three to send Michigan into the Sweet 16.

And as you might expect, when he made his way back into the Wolverine, he was greeted with a wall of water:

Let’s see that from another angle:

I can never see enough of these videos, but perhaps this is the best part: Two weeks ago, after Michigan won the Big Ten tournament, John Beilein was absolutely drenched in the locker room, having to go to his press conference sopping wet, cold and wearing a towel around his shoulders.

So on Saturday night, he did the smart thing. He wore a poncho and goggles and went on the offensive:

Sunday’s betting lines, point spreads, over-unders

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Here is the full TV schedule, with spreads, over-unders and betting lines, for every game for final day of the first week of the NCAA tournament.

Detroit: Ian Eagle, Jim Spanarkel, Allie LaForce

  • 12:10 p.m.: No. 2 Purdue (-3.5) vs. No. 10 Butler, CBS (143.5)
  • 2:40 p.m.: No. 3 Michigan State (-9) vs. No. 11 Syracuse, CBS (129.5)

Charlotte: Jim Nantz, Grant Hill, Bill Raftery, Tracy Wolfson

  • 5:15 p.m.: No. 2 North Carolina (-6.5) vs. No. 7 Texas A&M, CBS (151.5)
  • 7:45 p.m.: No. 9 Kansas State -10) vs. No. 16 UMBC, CBS (135.5)

Nashville: Andrew Catalon, Steve Lappas, Jamie Erdahl

  • 6:10 p.m.: No. 2 Cincinnati (-8) vs. No. 7 Nevada, TNT (136.5)
  • 8:40: No. 1 Xavier (-5.5) vs. No. 9 Florida State, TNT (159)

San Diego: Carter Blackburn, Debbie Antonelli, John Schriffen

  • 7:10 p.m.: No. 4 Auburn (-1.5) vs. No. 5 Clemson, TBS (146.5)
  • 9:40 p.m.: No. 5 West Virginia (-12.5) vs. No. 13 Marshall, TBS (159.5)


Saturday’s NCAA Tournament Recap: An evening full of buzzer-beaters and monster performances

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No. 5-seed Kentucky advanced to the Sweet 16 with a win over No. 13-seed Buffalo, and the star of the show was the guy that’s been Kentucky’s best player for three months: Shai Gilgeous-Alexander. He finished with 27 points, six boards, six assists and a pair of steals on 10-for-12 shooting while making both of his threes and 5-of-7 free throws.

That’s a ridiculous line, one that makes me wonder whether or not we were premature in saying that this Kentucky team does not have a superstar that can take a game over.


  • ZACH NORVELL, Gonzaga: Two days after hitting a game-winning shot against No. 13-seed UNC Greensboro, Norvell went for 28 points, 12 boards, four assists and two steals — sidenote: !!!!! — as the Zags beat No. 5-seed Ohio State.
  • ANGEL DELGADO, Seton Hall: 24 points, 23 boards, five assists, career over. Salute, sir. It’s been a pleasure.
  • KEENAN EVANS, Texas Tech: Evans finished with 22 points on 8-for-14 shooting to lead the Red Raiders to the Sweet 16 with a win over Florida.


You make the call here.

Was it Jordan Poole’s buzzer-beating three for No. 3-seed Michigan:

Or Clayton Custer hitting Loyola-Chicago’s second game-winner in the span of three days?:


The buzzer-beater that didn’t matter … did.

Myles Powell, with Seton Hall down 83-76, hit this running three at the buzzer. It meant that the final score was 83-79, meaning that Seton Hall covered the 4.5 points that Kansas was favored by. It also meant that the Pirates covered the second half line (Kansas -1.5) and Seton Hall’s wild last minute rally meant that this game also hit the over:

Bad beats everywhere.


No. 1-seed Kansas was +21 in the 22 minutes that Udoka Azubuike played on Saturday. They were -17 in the 18 minutes he didn’t play.

No. 1-seed Villanova shot 17-for-41 from three in an 81-58 win over Alabama to get to the Sweet 16.

Marvin Bagley III and Wendell Carter overwhelmed No. 7-seed Rhode Island as No. 2-seed Duke is now a Sweet 16 team.

VIDEO: Jordan Poole’s last-second three sends No. 3-seed Michigan into the Sweet 16

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For the first time in this NCAA tournament, we have a buzzer-beater.

After Devin Davis missed a pair of free throws with 3.6 seconds left, No. 3-seed Michigan went the length of the court and Jordan Poole, a freshman who was scoreless on the night, buried a three as time expired to send the Wolverines into the Sweet 16 with a 64-63 win:

When asked after the game how a freshman was able to make that shot, Michigan head coach John Beilein said he has “an overdose of swag.”

Poole’s three bailed out Michigan in what was an otherwise ugly performance.

John Beilein’s club shot 35.6 percent from the floor, 8-for-30 from three and looked stagnant and bogged down offensively for 39 minutes and 56.4 seconds before Poole saved their season.

No. 6-seed Houston got 23 points from Rob Gray, who was again sensational and certainly deserved a chance to extend his career for another game. He had 39 points in a win over No. 11 San Diego State in the opener and was the best player in the West Region for the first weekend of the tournament.