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Feels good to be a HoosierPosted Monday, March 19, 2012, at 10:48 AM
I grew up with a different version of the Indiana Hoosiers than I've experienced for most of my adult life.
My first memory of the program is Keith Smart's shot to beat Syracuse for the '87 title. I remember the Cheaney-Bailey years and still agonize over factors that prevented another title in '92 or '93.
Bob Knight had been the coach forever as far as I was concerned, and would continue to be as long as I could imagine.
Of course, Knight's firing changed all of that.
The only really good memories of the post-Knight era had been of the 2002 tournament run. It gave me hope that Mike Davis might be the coach of the future in Bloomington. That didn't work it out.
And then Kelvin Sampson -- whose name has become almost a curse word -- took the program to new depths with his NCAA violations and overall lack of control.
I loved the Tom Crean hiring, but had my doubts over three years of struggles. Would our Hoosiers ever become a point of pride again?
The run this team has been on this year has been a breath of fresh air. It's provides hope that our patience is paying off. The wins over Kentucky, Ohio State and Michigan State were great.
Will Sheehey gave me back the feeling of teams past on Saturday night. I don't know what the rest of the tournament holds for this team, but I'm thankful to have listened to Don Fisher's call of the game and to have fallen for Indiana basketball all over again.
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Jared Jernagan is a 2003 graduate of Wabash College and has been in journalism since 2005.