BOSTON (Ticker) -- Second-seeded Pittsburgh used a balanced attack and its typical tight defense to pull away for a 74-52 victory over seventh seed Indiana in the second round of the Midwest Region.
Jaron Brown scored 20 points and Brandin Knight added 17, seven assists and five steals as Pittsburgh scored the final nine points of the first half and never trailed thereafter in advancing to the "Sweet 16" for the second straight season for the first time in school history.
Brown dominated inside, grabbing seven rebounds as Pittsburgh held a decisive 28-17 advantage on the boards. Julius Page contributed 13 points and Chevy Troutman 10 and nine rebounds off the bench for Pittsburgh (28-4), which won its 11th straight game and advanced to a meeting with Marquette in Minneapolis on Thursday.
"I thought the guys played great today, especially when you consider we had one day to prepare for our opponent," Pittsburgh coach Ben Howland said. "It wasn't so much our preparation in terms of walking through plays, but following our normal rules of how we defend things."
George Leach scored 15 points and Jeff Newton added 14 for Indiana (21-13), which was last year's runner-up. The Hoosiers lost 10 of their last 17 games.
"It comes down to discipline," Indiana coach Mike Davis said. "We lost that after the first eight games because of the all the outside calls they got from other people telling them they should be playing or doing this or doing that. They all think they're good, very, very good. But the key word is team. We lost 13 games and you shouldn't lose that many if you're good."
The Hoosiers overcame an 11-point deficit in defeating Alabama in the first round, but failed to recover from Pittsburgh's first-half surge.
Freshman Bracey Wright had 11 points and eight boards for the Hoosiers, but Tom Coverdale had a lot of difficulty with Pittsburgh's defense. The senior guard had few open looks and made just 2-of-7 shots, finishing with six points and six assists.
"I don't think we changed anything on defense," Page said. "We just picked up the intensity and it was just a matter of getting a little bit hungrier."
Pittsburgh shot 53 percent (25-of-47) and outscored Indiana in the paint, 42-22.
"The thing I like about Pitt's team is they're playing the way Ben is coaching and my guys don't play that way," Davis added. "I told them after the game this is the most selfish team I've been around from the standpoint of not executing what you try to teach them from day one. When you play a really good team, that is when you get exposed."
The first half featured six ties before Troutman followed his own miss with a layup to give the Panthers a 21-19 edge with 9:47 remaining. After Knight made 1-of-2 free throws with 8:56 left, Leach hit a jumper to get the Hoosiers within, 22-21, with 6:32 to go.
Wright missed a shot from behind the arc and Coverdale couldn't hit a layup before Brown nailed a 3-pointer to give Indiana a 25-21 advantage with 3:59 left. Knight hit a 3-pointer 29 seconds later and another with 2:34 to go.
"Brandin was really the orchestrator of everything," Howland said. "The two threes that he made towards the end of that first half really were key shots. We outboarded our opponent by 11 and we did a great job with defending them. And that's what wins, defense and rebounding. I couldn't be happier."
Wright made a layup to cap a 9-2 burst and pull the Hoosiers within, 36-32, with 15:22 to go. Troutman responded with a pair of free throws 22 seconds later to ignite an 8-2 surge for a comfortable 10-point cushion.