This was the first loss of the season where all hope of a comeback had vanished with a good chunk of time left on the clock. For me, the dagger was the Deshaun Thomas corner three that put the Buckeyes up nine with 4:24 remaining on the clock. What worries me is that this wasn’t just a bad shooting night or the ball just bounced Ohio State’s way. The recipe to beating the Hoosiers is out and teams are taking advantage. Get extremely physical with them, work the clock on offense, and crash the offensive glass hard will exploit some of IU’s major weaknesses. This was not a good loss considering the timing of it, Senior Night and a chance to clinch an outright Big Ten Championship.
Victor Oladipo sat and watched while in foul trouble for the second straight game. You could see that the Player of the Year candidate wanted very badly to lead the charge towards a comeback but ended up forcing too much and finished with 4 turnovers. Yogi Ferrell had another game where he couldn’t buy a bucket and Will Sheehey’s game has pretty tame since his perfect game against Purdue.
Give a lot of credit to the Buckeyes’ defense because they manhandled the most efficient offense in the country. Everything the Hoosiers were going to get would be earned and there were times that I wondered where the scoring was going to come from. That has rarely happened all year. They held a team that averaged 82ppg coming into the game to 58 points.
On a night that Indiana had everything to play for, they came out flat. A previous record of 6-0 against ranked teams was a comforting statistic when thinking about the tournament but this game brings some caution. This team is definitely beatable but still presents every weapon you need to win a championship. Will the toughness be there where when a team punches them in the mouth? Only time will tell.
Team Grade: F
Looking Forward- The biggest game heading into the year has lost a little big of its mojo since Indiana has already clinched a share of the title but has major seeding implications for both the conference and NCAA tournaments for these two teams. The Hoosiers will head up to the Chrysler Arena on Sunday where the Michigan Wolverines have yet to be beaten this season. It should be a great finale to a fantastic season so far.