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Crean confident IU has locked up a top seed

Indianhead coach Tom Crean during first half an NCAA college basketball game Big Ten tournament against Illinois Friday March 15

Indiana head coach Tom Crean during the first half of an NCAA college basketball game at the Big Ten tournament against Illinois Friday, March 15, 2013, in Chicago. (AP Photo/Charles Rex Arbogast)

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Updated: April 17, 2013 6:13AM



CHICAGO — There’s still at least one game for Indiana, maybe two, before the NCAA Tournament selection committee finishes its work.

Have the Hoosiers, regardless of how they fare the rest of the weekend, done enough to earn one of the NCAA Tournament’s No. 1 seeds?

“I would hope we’ve done enough,” Indiana coach Tom Crean said after the top-seeded Hoosiers defeated Illinois 80-64 on Friday in the Big Ten Tournament second round. “I think when you have the league the way that it is and you win it outright the way that we did.

“And I think that one of the bigger things is the way we played on the road, and the only home losses that Ohio State, Michigan and Michigan State have are to us,” he added. “And that says a lot, because those are three teams that can win a national championship and have been considered that way most of the year. So I would hope that we have (earned a No. 1 seed), but that remains to be seen.”

The Hoosiers (27-5) could end up as the only team in the country with nine top-50 wins and no losses to teams outside of the top 50.

Indiana is sixth in the RPI and could be in line for the No. 1 overall seed if things break their way. Duke is the likely No. 1 overall seed right now.

A Big Ten Tournament title to go along with the regular-season championship could be what the Hoosiers need to ensure the top seed in the NCAA Tournament, especially when Crean expects the conference could put eight teams into the NCAA field.

“I think Iowa’s an NCAA Tournament team. I have all year,” he said. “I think Minnesota is.

“I haven’t read any bubble forecasts or anything like that. (But) we just played a high-level team. … So I don’t think there’s any question that Iowa and Minnesota are highly deserving of being in that,” Crean added. “The other ones (IU, Michigan, Michigan State, Wisconsin, Ohio State and Illinois) are probably pretty much givens.”



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