Flashes Come Up Short Against Indiana In Opening Round of the NCAA Tournament

Written by on March 18, 2023

For the first time since 2017, the Kent State Men’s basketball team played in an NCAA tournament game. Kent State came in as a 13 seed in the midwest region and the Flashes played against the Indiana Hoosiers, Indiana came into the midwest region of the tournament as the 4 seed. 

This is not the first time the Flashes and Hoosiers have met in the NCAA tournament, the first time coming back in 2001, with the Flashes winning the first-round matchup between the teams by a final of 77-73, and one year later the two schools met again in the Elite Eight with Indiana winning by a final of 81-69, which was the farthest the basketball program has made it in the NCAA tournament.

The game was an offensive struggle for the Flashes, as the team never got in a rhythm early against the Hoosiers. The game saw Kent State’s best player, Sincere Carry, struggling for the Flashes. Carry struggled from three-point range in the game, which he had been known for in the Mid-American Conference (MAC), and in last week’s championship game, he made four three-pointers in the championship game. 

Carry’s first three of the game did come on a shot clock-expiring play, which dazzled the Golden Flash fans who made the trip to Albany.

Malique Jacobs, the MAC defensive player of the year was not able to get in a rhythm either on offense or defense the Flashes looked outsized by Indiana all night long. The game ended up seeing Indiana winning by a final score of 71-60.

MAC’s sixth man of the year, Jalen Sullinger, was cold to start the game and struggled to make a lay-up early in the game, however late in the game, Sullinger did make a couple of three-pointers to bring the Flashes within eight points late in the game. 

The Flashes for the game looked outsized in the game as the game went on, and missing layups in transition offense was something that the team could not overcome. The team did continue to show hustle late into the game, despite the double-digit deficit. 

A play that almost gave the Flashes was a fast break play in transition on offense, and Carry threw an alley-oop to Payton, which was stolen by the Hoosiers and on the other end had an alley-oop of their own, which put the lead back over 10 for the Hoosiers. 

After the game, Rob Senderoff said that he was proud of the way his team fought back despite the double-digit leads, and in the huddle, his team was locked in despite the score. 

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