This is the first in a series of posts that will “preview” notable NCAA Tournament games in Indiana’s storied history. These are companion posts for our live rewatch series that we are doing in place of the cancelled 2020 NCAA Tournament.
Today, we will preview the opening round matchup of the 1998 NCAA Tournament: Indiana, the 7th seed in the East Region, against Oklahoma, the 10th seed in the East Region.
The live rewatch and postgame show for the IU-Oklahoma game takes place on Friday, March 20th and 8:00 p.m. Eastern Time. (Click here to access the YouTube replay of the game.)
Breaking down the matchup
Indiana (19-11) vs. Oklahoma (22-10)
- Indiana: Bob Knight (27th season)
- Oklahoma- Kelvin Sampson (4th season)
Last matchup: Indiana defeated Oklahoma 63-49 in the 1983 NCAA first round.
Indiana probable starters:
- G. A.J. Guyton (Soph)
- G. Michael Lewis (Soph)
- G. Luke Recker (Fr.)
- F. William Gladness (Jr.)
- F. Andrae Patterson (Sr.)
Oklahoma probable starters:
- G. Corey Brewer (Sr.)
- G. Michael Johnson (Jr.)
- F. Ryan Humphrey (Fr.)
- F. Robert Allison (Sr.)
- C. Evan Wiley (Sr.)
Indiana game notes:
The Hoosiers finished tied for third (with Iowa) in Big Ten Conference play, dropping their final three contests to Michigan, Illinois, and Iowa. In the inaugural Big Ten Tournament, the Hoosiers took care of business in their opener against Ohio State, 78-71, but would fall to arch-rival Purdue in the second round 76-71.
Clouding the outlook heading into the NCAA Tournament was the uncertainty surrounding coach Bob Knight. A $10,000 fine or one-game suspension loomed stemming from Knight’s post-game comments criticizing the officiating during the home game against Illinois on February 24th. Knight received three technical fouls and a subsequent ejection from official Ted Valentine regarding Knight going on the floor to check on injured Hoosier Luke Recker. Knight ended up paying the $10,000 fine to avoid not being on the bench for the NCAA match-up vs. Oklahoma.
Indiana is looking to win their first opening round game of the NCAA Tournament since 1994.
Oklahoma game notes:
The Sooners finished tied for second (with Oklahoma St.) in Big 12 Conference play. Winners of 17 of their last 23 games, Oklahoma reached the finals of the Big 12 Tournament and led Kansas, the top seed in the NCAA Midwest Region, half-way through the second half before falling 72-58. Oklahoma has rebounded nicely this season, bouncing back from a 6th place finish in the Big 12 a season prior.
What to expect — Indiana:
Following the departure of big man Jason Collier nine games into the season, the Hoosier front-line has thinned out considerably. Senior Andrae Patterson will be expected to continue as a low scoring necessity to balance out the backcourt threats of A.J. Guyton and Luke Recker. JUCO transfer William Gladness will need to have a solid rebounding game around Oklahoma’s front line.
What to expect — Oklahoma:
Sooner success has ridden all season long on the back of All-American candidate Corey Brewer. Look for Indiana’s Michael Lewis to be given the defensive assignment in limiting Brewer’s looks. Big man Evan Wiley can be a scoring threat down low as well, but will need to stay out of foul trouble at the other end of the floor.
The Sooners are one of the best teams in the country at getting to the foul line, a stat that will be key if Oklahoma is to beat Indiana.
If you want to know the result of the game and see the box score, click here.