Tipoff: Indiana vs. LIU Brooklyn/James Madison, NCAA tourney, 4 p.m., Friday
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BLOOMINGTON – Long Island University-Brooklyn or James Madison will try to go where no NCAA tourney No. 16 seed has gone before:
Upset a No. 1 seeded team in its opening game.
In this case, that would be Indiana, the No. 1 seed in the East Region.
Brooklyn (20-13) and James Madison (20-14) will play Wednesday night in Dayton for the right to face the Hoosiers (27-6) at 4 p.m. Friday in Dayton.
The Hoosiers, guard Victor Oladipo said, will be ready.
"We can't wait to get back onto the court," he said.
LIU Brooklyn won an unprecedented third straight Northeast Conference tourney title (meaning three consecutive NCAA tourney appearances), and it did it under first-year coach Jack Perri, who had spent the previous seven years as a Brooklyn assistant coach.
The Blackbirds enter NCAA tourney action on a five-game winning streak. They played a solid non-conference schedule that included road losses to Maryland (91-74) and Kentucky (104-75)
Brooklyn is led by Jamal Olasewere, a 6-7, 225-pound forward. The NEC player of the year averages 18.9 points and 8.5 rebounds.
He gets inside help from 6-7, 230-pound forward Julian Boyd, who averages 18.5 points and 6.1 rebounds.
The Blackbirds have a strong backcourt with C.J. Garner and Jason Brickman. Garner averages 16.1 points and 4.1 rebounds. He scored a career-high 31 points in the NEC tourney title game and was named tourney MVP. Brickman is the offensive catalyst with a nation-leading 281 assists against 131 turnovers. He averages 9.6 points.
James Madison, a veteran squad that starts four fifth-year seniors, has won its last four games, including a Colonial Athletic Association tourney championship, to reach the NCAA tourney for the first time in 20 years. It is led by 6-6, 265-pound senior forward Rayshawn Goins, who averages 12.7 points and 7.4 rebounds. A.J. Davis, a 6-6 senior guard, averages 12.1 points.
The Dukes have two other double-figure scorers -- 6-4 point senior guard Devon Moore (11.6 points) and 6-7 senior forward Andrey Semenov (10.0 points). Moore has a team-leading 162 assists against 77 turnovers.
James Madison coach Matt Brady has an 87-81 record in five seasons.
“The coaches said James Madison is an older team with fifth year seniors,” forward Cody Zeller said. “If they have that much experience, they'll be good. They're very methodical in what they do.
“Brooklyn is a quick team that gets up and down, and scores a lot of points. It seems like contrasting styles. Either way, both teams will be good. Anytime you play a team at this time of year, they'll be good. There's a reason why they're in the NCAA tourney.”
Added forward Christian Watford: “Brooklyn is a fast-paced team that can score. James Madison is an older team. They're not a slow-down team. They're a physical team.
“We'll be ready for both. The coaches do a great job of preparing us.”