Hoosiers may only be ranked #20 in the nation, but you’d be hard pressed to find any top 10 seeds that want anything to do with this bunch of hard nosed kids come the Big Dance. With wins over #1 Kentucky, #2 Ohio State, #13 Michigan, and now #5 Michigan State, Indiana looks to be peaking at the perfect time. They already became the first Big Ten school to upset the nation’s #1 and #2 seeds in the same season since 1952-53 and completed the their first undefeated nonconference season since 1989-1990.
Tuesday night Indiana showed just how much they’ve grown over the course of the season. After losing to Michigan State earlier in the year 80-65, they bounced back and clobbered the Spartans this time around 70-55. This win is no fluke, as the Hoosiers have piled up an impressive 23-7 overall record and 10-7 in the Big Ten.
This last matchup with Michigan State was incredibly one-sided. Indiana got off to a great start and were already up 41 to 27 at half. The points came in bunches for the Hoosiers who went 5-11 from downtown shooting 45.5%. Indiana was lead by big man Cody Zeller with 18 points, Victor Oladipo with 13 points, and Christian Watford with 10 points and 14 rebounds.
After the game Verdell Jones commented, “When we beat top teams like that we’re nasty, we’re scrappy, we’re fighting. But we haven’t accomplished anything yet.”
The stats speak for themselves. Indiana had 10 steals as a team on Tuesday. That’s some tenacious d even Jack Black would love. Just to round out the impressive stat sheet, Indiana only had 9 turnovers. Those are numbers that will almost always lead to a W at the end of the night.
Michigan State’s Draymond Green had a monster solo night with 29 points, 8 rebounds, but also 6 turnovers. The result was that the team first approach of Indiana dominated the one-man game of Michigan State. With everything going Indiana’s way right now, Bloomington is thinking Final Four.
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