Indiana Daily Student

Hoosiers set for Cinderella UNC-Wilmington

Coverdale held out of practice, questionable for game

SACRAMENTO - Junior guard Tom Coverdale admits the Hoosiers were surprised when UNC-Wilmington knocked off USC in overtime Thursday night, 93-89, just before IU beat up on Utah. It's only natural there would be a little excitement, too, when you avoid playing the fourth seed and instead play the 13th-seeded Seahawks for a trip to the Sweet Sixteen.\nBut Coverdale and the Hoosiers' thoughts of looking ahead to IU's first Sweet Sixteen appearance since 1994 were stopped when they took a closer look at UNC-Wilmington.\n"There wasn't much reaction because we were trying to focus on Utah," Coverdale said of Thursday night. "I think we we're a little excited at first but then after watching the film we know we're probably playing the better of the two teams because they just totally outplayed USC.\n"We know this is not going to be an easy game at all." In the second round in the South Region, the Hoosiers face the Seahawks at around 7:45 p.m. at Arco Arena with the winner to play the winner of top-seeded Duke and eighth-seeded Notre Dame.\nSome people picked against IU Thursday night, but even more people chose UNC-W to be back home by now. IU coach Mike Davis knows his team will be tested Saturday.\n"I think we messed up a lot of people's brackets," Davis said. "I think people think we're already in the Sweet Sixteen just like they thought USC was already in the Sweet Sixteen. That's not the case. They beat Minnesota at Minnesota and that's enough for me right there to be scared of them."\nDavis has two more reason to be scared. First, Coverdale did not practice Friday afternoon because of his left sprained ankle he injured at the end of the first half Thursday night. He was able to come back in the second half and finish the game with a team-high 19 points.\nCoverdale will probably be listed as questionable, but he sees no way that he would not play.\n"I feel that I'm definitely going to play. It's a lot better than it was (Thursday night)," Coverdale said. "It's gotten a lot better since I've gotten treatment on it. It's not really like a sprain I've had before because I didn't roll it. It's just the ligament on the front of my ankle.\n"It's just a sharp pain when I try to cut off of it. I played through it in the second half (Thursday) so I don't think it's going to be that big of a problem."\nAnother problem for the Hoosiers (21-11) will be a feisty Seahwawk (23-9) team led by Honorable Mention All-American Brett Blizzard, who led UNC-W with 18 points against the Trojans Thursday night. \nBlizzard is known as a lethal three-point shooter, but his coach, Jerry Wainwright, said Blizzard has other aspects to his game as well. "He was classified as a shooter," Wainwright said. "If you look at his overall stats in terms of his rebounds and steals, his minutes played."\nBlizzard is not alone. The Seahawks had five other players in double figures against USC, including Craig Callahan with 18 and Ed Williams with 13. Davis said UNC-W possesses the combination of athleticism and shooting the Hoosiers have not seen too often this season.\nIf Coverdale is unable to play today, Davis said he has no trouble looking to freshman Donald Perry. Davis said he held Perry out early in the season and during the Big Ten tournament, but he has been pleased with how Perry has played down the stretch.\n"I'll go with Perry. He's ready to play," Davis said. "If he needs to play 25 or 30 minutes he can do it. Perry's played well for us the past month. He's really improved."\nTo solve the Seahawks, IU looks to what has worked in the past against any opponent- good defense. That isn't a given against a team that has just knocked off one of the better teams in the country two nights earlier.\nDavis said his team is not in the Sweet Sixteen yet, and it is going to take a big effort to get there.\n"It's going to take 40 minutes," Davis said. "I don't think if they beat us (today) it would be an upset."\nCoverdale said the Hoosiers won't be fooled by the low seed attached to UNC-W's name. "After watching the tape we weren't that surprised because UNC-Wilmington plays so well together and they have great shooters," Coverdale said. "We know they're very deserving to beat USC and they deserve to be in the second round. I think we're going to be ready to play"

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