Selection Sunday has passed, the bubbles have been popped and the 68 teams fighting for one goal; a Championship, have been selected. That was the scene Sunday evening as the Nation tuned into CBS’s Selection Sunday show. However the scene Monday morning for the Orange was who are the Indiana State Sycamores?
Well for starters they’re Larry Bird’s alma mater and that’s pretty much about it. The Sycamores making their fourth ever NCAA tournament appearance this year hasn’t really been that successful without number 33 as in their previous appearances. Without their hometown kid Larry Bird they have been just awful, 1-2.
After going to the National Championship game in 1979 the furthest the Sycamores ever made it to in the tournament was the second round, back in 2001 where they would lose 85-68 to Gonzaga. After a ten year drought making it back to the tournament this year was a win in itself for the Sycamores but having to go up against the Syracuse Orange was just as bad as finding out that you got all clothes for Christmas.
However, luckily for the Sycamores number 33 will be suiting up come Friday night, just not the same number 33 that brought them to the title game back in 1979. This year’s number 33 goes by the name of Jake Odum.
Growing up in Terre Haute, Indiana and just about 81 miles away from Larry Bird’s home town in West Baden, Odum definitely knows his Sycamore basketball history. He also knows how to win.
Who will win?
Hitting his last four out of five free throws to close out the MVC Championship game and complete the 60-56 upset victory over the heavily favored Missouri State Bears last Sunday night, the Sycamores would clinch an automatic bid to the NCAA Tournament for the first time in ten years.
Now come Friday night the Sycamores and their hometown kid wearing the cherished number 33 jersey will try to bring Sycamore basketball back to the level that they were at during the year of the 1979.
Though how that would be a great story to see come Friday night, the possibility of it happening would be very slim as the clock for this Cinderella team struck dawn as soon as they found out that they were playing the 12th ranked and 26-7 Syracuse Orange in the first round.
The Orange just have too much talent and height for this small Sycamore team with their tallest player being 6’8". Also with senior leader and Big East Defensive Player of the Year, Rick Jackson leading the 2-3 zone defense with his 2.5 blocks per game, Sycamore players meet Rick Jackson hand.