NCAA men's tournament | East Regional: Freshman guard a blur in Indiana’s win

By The Columbus Dispatch  • 
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DAYTON — Indiana freshman point guard Yogi Ferrell insists he has never been timed in the 40-yard dash, but he likes the idea of giving it a try — as long as he can run with a basketball in his hands.

“I feel I’m faster with the ball than without it,” Ferrell said.

James Madison doesn’t doubt it. Ferrell staked the Hoosiers to a 9-0 lead and scored 14 of their first 16 points, and No. 1-seeded Indiana breezed to an 83-62 win over the Dukes in the second round of the East Regional at University of Dayton Arena. The Hoosiers will face No. 9 Temple on Sunday for a trip to the Sweet 16.

Ferrell’s quickness stunned James Madison physically and mentally. The Dukes had not seen anything like it, and it showed, as they spent most of the first half watching instead of playing.

“The speed is unbelievable,” said Devon Moore, the Dukes’ fifth-year senior, who played at Northland. “Coach told us (coming in) to run to spots. Now I see what he means.”

Even Indiana’s players know that trying to guard Ferrell by getting in front of him is almost impossible. The trick, if there is one, is to pick a spot where you think he’s going to go.

“There’s no way you can really guard him. It’s test your luck,” said 6-foot-5 junior Maurice Creek, who often attempts to guard the 6-0 Ferrell in practice.

Ferrell led Indiana (28-6) with 16 points — 14 coming in the first 4:38 — and also with eight rebounds. Will Sheehey added 15 as five Hoosiers scored in double figures. Andre Nation led No. 16 James Madison (21-15) with 24 points.

Indiana led by as many as 33 points before the Dukes began to make three-pointers in the final five minutes, when it was too late. The Hoosiers, and Ferrell, were long gone.

Ferrell began his career as a 10-year-old, once ranked as the No. 1 fourth-grader in the nation by scouting publication Hoop Scoop.The publicity took its toll: Ferrell began to believe his headlines, at one point telling his younger brother to Google his name to prove that he was, in fact, a somebody. A two-year fast from AAU basketball turned him around.

“He’s just a very mature young man,” Indiana coach Tom Crean said.  Temple 76, North Carolina State 72: Khalif Wyatt hurt a thumb, shook it off and went on to save Temple — and keep the Atlantic 10 Conference undefeated at 6-0 — in the first game of the afternoon doubleheader in Dayton.

Wyatt briefly left the game in the first half after injuring the thumb on his left — nonshooting — hand. He returned to make six painful — but consecutive — free throws in the final 32 seconds to clinch the win. The No. 9-seeded Owls (24-9) finally broke through to the third round after getting knocked out in their opening game in four of the past five seasons.

Wyatt finished with 31 points, the last coming on two free throws with 2.2 seconds left. The No. 8 Wolfpack (24-11) had trailed by 18 early in the second half before closing to 74-72 with 6.2 seconds left.

Lorenzo Brown led North Carolina State with 22, and C.J. Leslie added 20.

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