Sean Merriman, BTN.com web editor, March 19, 2016
Move over, Kentucky. This day belongs to the Indiana Hoosiers!
The No. 5-seeded Hoosiers held off the talented Wildcats in a much-anticipated second-round matchup, 73-67.
This game had a ton of momentum as college basketball fans were hoping this matchup would take place when the brackets were announced. Well, it was just as good as everyone thought it would be…and then some.
Thomas Bryant scored a team-high 19 points, including a pair of big free throws with 10 seconds remaining to help secure the victory for the Hoosiers.
Here is a breakdown of Indiana's impressive 73-67 victory over Kentucky.
The star: Thomas Bryant. The Hoosiers' freshman big man was huge, pouring in 19 points on 6-of-8 shooting. He was active down low all game and was more physical than any player on Kentucky. His two free throws down the stretch were beyond clutch. This kid is a star in the making.
The stat: .250, which is the shooting percentage Indiana held Kentucky to from 3-point range. Kentucky star freshman Jamal Murray was just 1-of-9 from downtown, which was the difference in the game.
The key to victory: Hitting clutch free throws. Indiana made 11-of-14 freebies in the second half (79 percent). Most importantly, they hit their last four free throws to seal the game, none bigger than Bryant's two with 10 seconds remaining to give the Hoosiers a 71-67 lead.
It was over when: After Bryant hit those two free throws, Kentucky had a chance to cut it to a one possession game, but Murray was way off on a 3-point attempt and the Hoosiers grabbed the rebound. Yogi Ferrell stepped up to the line and knocked down both of his free throws. Game over.
What?s next: Indiana will take on the winner of tonight's North Carolina vs. Providence game in the Sweet 16. Tom Crean has taken the Hoosiers to the Sweet 16 twice (2012, 2013), but has never advanced past that.