Indiana teams participating in March Madness

Purdue center Zach Edey shoots over Ohio State center Felix Okpara in the second half of a Big Ten Tournament semifinal Saturday at the United Center. Edey had 32 points and 14 rebounds in the Boilermakers' 80-66 win.

Two teams represent the state of Indiana in the NCAA tournament this year: Indiana and Purdue.

Of the other big-name schools in the state, Indiana State was the only other one to make a postseason tournament, accepting an invitation to the College Basketball Invitational (CBI) as the top overall team in the 16-team tournament. This comes on the back of a 22-win season in which the Sycamores finished 5 in the Missouri Valley regular season standings and fell to Bradley in the semifinals of the MVC tournament.

Notre Dame will miss out on the tournament after making it to the 2-round in last year’s tournament. Coach Mike Brey officially resigned at the end of this season so the direction of the program heading forward seems to be trending downward following this 11-21 season, finishing ahead of only Louisville in the ACC.

Butler has not made the tournament since 2018 and will not reach postseason play this year either as they finished 14-18 overall, finishing 9 in the 11-team Big East.

Both Indiana and Purdue enter March Madness with high expectations.

Purdue will enter the tournament as a 1-seed, ranked the fourth best overall team out of the 68-team field. For a stretch, Purdue seemed to be the best team in the country on the back of Wooden Award favorite Zach Edey, winning the hotly contested Big Ten by four games and winning the Big Ten tournament. But the Boilermakers have looked vulnerable at times, especially down this last stretch leading to the tournament. They lost to Indiana twice and were 4-4 in their last eight games before the Big Ten tournament. Being a 1-seed, they should have an easy go in the first round, playing the winner of Texas Southern and Farleigh Dickinson. Past that, however, things will not be easy for the Boilermakers. They will play the winner of Memphis, who just thrashed Houston to win the AAC tournament, and 31-win Florida Atlantic. In the Sweet 16, they could see either Tennessee, who was ranked No.1 at times this season, or Duke, who is one of the hottest teams in the country following their ACC tournament win.

Purdue doesn’t go as far as Edey takes them, they will go as far as their freshmen guards, Loyer and Smith, allow them to go.

Indiana enters the tournament as a 4-seed after losing in the Big Ten semifinals to Penn State, spoiling a potential rematch with Purdue in the finals. Led by Trayce Jackson-Davis, arguably the second-best player in the country behind Edey, and Big Ten Freshman of the Year Jalen Hood-Schifino, the Hoosiers have the potential to make a memorable run or flop out of the tournament early. One of the most inconsistent teams in the country, either playing like a top-10 team or a team capable of losing to anybody, the Hoosiers are both a Final Four dark horse and first round upset favorite. They drew Kent State in the first round, one of the best mid-majors in the country. Survive that, and they have a meeting with either co-ACC regular season winners in Miami or the MVC champions Drake. Winning that would most likely set up a matchup with 1-seed Houston in the Sweet 16.

Being the only two teams from what the locals call the best basketball state in the country, there is a lot of pressure on both teams’ backs. They both enter as high seeds with even higher expectations, led by star players who want to go out in glory. Whether either team can survive the Madness, though, remains to be seen.