Neither the Kent State Golden Flashes nor the Indiana Hoosiers have forgotten their last meeting.
In the opening round of last year's NCAA Tournament, theNo. 13-seeded Golden Flashes upset fourth-seeded IU 77-73.
"It's going to be weird just because that was our defining moment, that was the game that put us on the map," Kent State senior guard Trevor Huffman said. "We're a different team now, but I look forward to the challenge to prove ourselves again against a Big Ten team that has proven itself."
IU junior guard Tom Coverdale, who injured a hip in the first half of that game and sat out the second half, said he and his teammates welcome another shot at Kent State.
"The feeling we had after last year's game, I think all of us want to play them again," he said.
IU senior guard Dane Fife said he has added incentive. After Indiana's loss, an article in Sports Illustrated mentioned that his father, Dan, a high school coach in Michigan, once said that Huffman "could be a good Division III player." Huffman scored 24 in that game.
Indiana's coach, Mike Davis, isn't thrilled by the prospect. He had hoped not to see two teams during the tournament, Texas Tech, coached by his former boss, Bob Knight, and Kent State.
"To tell you the truth, they almost cost me my job," he said.
INSIDE INFORMATION: Kent State coach Stan Heath, a former Michigan State assistant, said he did not ask Spartans coach Tom Izzo for a scouting report on IU. Izzo flew here Thursday to watch his former assistant.
"I'm sure at some point we'll talk, but his loyalty to the Big Ten is obvious and I don't want to put him in a tough position," Heath said.
DEVILISH BLUE DEVIL: Reserve senior Matt Christensen was so incensed that official Bruce Benedict didn't call Indiana for a foul when Duke's Carlos Boozer tried to follow up Jason Williams' missed free throw, he confronted him seconds after the game.
The Division I men's basketball committee will discuss the incident next week in Atlanta during the Final Four and decide if penalties are warranted.
_ BRIAN LANDMAN, JOHN MARTIN