IUPUI. The name itself strikes fear into the hearts of those who have no idea what it could possibly stand for. If my memory is right, it is Indiana University Purdue University, Indiana.
Okay, I was close...
Indiana University-Purdue University Indianapolis (IUPUI), a partnership between Indiana and Purdue Universities, is Indiana's urban research and academic health sciences campus.
IUPUI's mission is to advance the State of Indiana and the intellectual growth of its citizens to the highest levels nationally and internationally through research and creative activity, teaching and learning, and civic engagement.
Despite the convoluted name and its relative obscurity to college basketball fans (and people in general), the Jaguars are a fairly competitive team.
IUPUI, coached by former Sendek assistant Ron Hunter, won a school-record 26 games last season. But the Jaguars (5-3) have yet to find a replacement for George Hill, drafted in the first round by the San Antonio Spurs last summer. In its lone game against a team from a power conference, IUPUI lost by three at Indiana on Nov. 18.
IUPUI isn't one of college basketball's marquee names. But the Jaguars have won at least 19 games in four of the last six seasons, and they're not likely to be intimidated by playing ASU in an NBA arena.
Lets look at IUPUI's 2008-2009 schedule, shall we? They have lost to Northeastern, Indiana, and Western Illinois. Outside of Indiana, these teams are not powerhouses by any stretch of the imagination.
They have won 5 games, with a beatdown of "Indiana-East" by a 92-55 margin. These types of victories aren't exactly impressive, but it shows that this team has some talent. We can't be lulled to sleep by their wordy name and their lackluster track record this season; I know Herb Sendek wouldn't dare skimp on preparation for this big game.
With the chance to put on an impressive show before Gonzaga takes on Arizona, this team will take advantage. Tomorrow might be the day that basketball supremacy changes hands in the Grand Canyon State.
Here is a statistical breakdown of IUPUI:
They average 5 players scoring double digits, so it is clear they share the wealth on the court. The zone defense might have trouble containing Gary Patterson, who is shooting 50% from 3-point range this year.