It was supposed to be a special night for the Indiana Hoosiers. They were hosting the same Ohio State Buckeyes team they beat by 13 points just a few weeks ago in Columbus and it was senior night, honoring Jordan Hulls, Christian Watford and Derek Elston.
They were also supposed to clinch the Big Ten outright championship on this special night for the first time since 1993. It didn’t get much better than that: honor those three for taking a chance at coming to a six-win team the season before and trying to lead them back and have the opportunity they had last night.
Unfortunately, Indiana forgot they had to play a game before they got to hoist the championship trophy and do the ceremonies after the game. They looked confused and thought that all they had to do was show up with little effort and they’d walk away with an outright championship on the very emotional special night.
Ohio State came with the effort and wasted the evening for Hoosier fans as they won 67-58 in Assembly Hall. It was the worst margin of defeat of the season for the Hoosiers as this was the low point of the year.
Last week’s loss to Minnesota was bad enough, but the stage was all set for Indiana after getting some help from other teams this past weekend. How in the world do you come out flat with no fight with so much on the table?
Don’t give Ohio State too much credit: Indiana just flat out lost this game. They looked to be in a fog all night.
Now, the Hoosiers must win Sunday at Michigan to win the Big Ten title outright. If they would have played like they’re supposed to this evening, they would have won easily and walked off the court as outright champions.
It was bad timing for this type of performance. How a team with so much to play for comes out with no effort is a question that will never be answered. They have no one else to blame but themselves. The excuse about the other team being better tonight isn’t valid here.
Indiana just flat out lost this game on their own doing and are in trouble. Losing two of their last three games to mediocre teams at the end of the season isn’t good. It’s time for a good showing out of this group of the tournament may be disappointing.