NCAA Bracket 2012: How Indiana Basketball Got To March Madness

Mar 4, 2012; Bloomington, IN, USA; Indiana Hoosiers guard Verdell Jones III thanks his teammates on senior night after the game against the Purdue Boilermakers at Assembly Hall. Indiana defeated Purdue 85-74. Mandatory Credit: Brian Spurlock-US PRESSWIRE

Indiana opened plenty of eyes with a non-conference win over Kentucky and even though the Hoosiers faded in Big Ten play, they're back in the NCAA Tournament.

Indiana opened plenty of eyes during its non-conference schedule before hitting a rough patch early in Big Ten play. However, despite a hit-or-miss record in conference play, the Hoosiers are back in the NCAA Tournament and could pose challenges for opponents early and often.

The Hoosiers' signature win came at Assembly Hall in December when they knocked off No. 1 Kentucky in what was widely viewed as an "I'm back" moment. Kentucky posed the toughest test in Indiana's non-conference slate and propelled the Hoosiers to an undefeated out-of-conference record and 13-game winning streak.

The streak came to an end quickly, however, as Big Ten play opened. In its first conference matchup of the year, Indiana fell to Michigan State, though the Hoosier bounced right back with wins over Ohio State, then No. 2, and Michigan, No. 13 at the time. The rough patch came shortly thereafter as Indiana lost its next three, falling to Minnesota, Ohio State and Nebraska.

When it was all said and done, Indiana finished with an 11-7 record, including a revenge win over Michigan State late in the conference schedule. The 11-7 record was good for fifth in the conference, between three-way champions Michigan State, Michigan and Ohio State, and fourth-place Wisconsin.

The No. 5 seed in the Big Ten Tournament, the Hoosiers easily advanced to the quarterfinals with a 75-58 win over Penn State. They ran out of gas against Wisconsin, though, getting bumped after losing 79-71.

Indiana was awarded the No. 4 seed in the South Region and will face New Mexico State in the Second Round.

Join our 2012 NCAA Bracket pool to compete against the best and brightest from around the network.

Check out SB Nation Indiana and Crimson Quarry for more on the Hoosiers. For more on the 2012 NCAA Tournament bracket, stay with SB Nation's Selection Sunday StoryStream, and stick around SB Nation's NCAA Tournament hub for a complete printable NCAA Tournament bracket and tons of analysis on who was snubbed, who got the best bracket, and who will make it all the way to New Orleans and the Final Four.

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