If you look at it from the standpoint of national ranking, the Indiana Hoosiers were indeed the victim of an upset in its 88-86 loss to the Butler Bulldogs Saturday afternoon at Bankers Life Fieldhouse.
The Hoosiers, after all, were the No. 1 team in the nation, and had steamrolled through the competition leading up to its showdown in the backyard of the Bulldogs.
But in this era of college basketball, an era where parity seems to be the norm rather than the exception, it’s tough to call the Hoosiers’ loss to the Bulldogs an upset.
At the very least, the loss isn’t a surprise. You didn’t really think Indiana was going to have a perfect season did you?
Keep in mind that Butler is one of the better mid-major teams in the country.
You don’t get to two Final Fours by accident, and you sure as heck don’t make two national championship games by accident.
Butler is legit and it’s going to have an opportunity to play in the NCAA basketball tourney again this season.
But to think that Indiana is doomed for some reason is foolish. The Hoosiers are going to be fine. It’s just on Saturday they didn’t come ready to play up to their potential for 40 minutes.
And in a game where it was tight throughout, the Hoosiers didn’t get the job done in a pressure-packed moment.
“They executed down the stretch, that’s why they won. It’s that simple,” Indiana star Victor Oladipo said in a post-game press conference.
It really is that simple. Execution matters, and on the defensive end of the floor, the Hoosiers struggled. It’s a lesson learned as far as head coach Tom Crean was concerned.
“We cost ourselves at the end of the game defensively,” Crean said in a post-game press conference. “They made the plays, there’s no question about that. But we made mistakes on how we guarded them.”
The Hoosiers will correct those issues and they will be in the mix for the national championship come March.
Saturday just wasn’t their day. It’s that simple.
Brian Lester is a featured Big Ten columnist and college basketball writer for Rant Sports. He is a member of the United States Basketball Writers Association as well.
Follow him on Twitter @BLester1993 or send him an email at email@example.com.