Indiana loss raises questions about Hoosiers
by Mike Lopresti, USA TODAY Sports
CHICAGO — The post-loss question to Victor Oladipo on Saturday: How confident are you that Indiana is playing its best basketball, with the NCAA tournament imminent?
“A little bit.”
Not exactly the ringing endorsement you’d want to hear from one of your stars on Selection Sunday Eve, was it?
But any mixed feelings are understandable, what with the Hoosiers’ recent meanderings. Fact is, Indiana has become a perfect symbol for this season.
You … just … don’t … know. You wonder if there is any reason to wonder.
You wonder about the 3-3 record the past six games. No. 1-seeded teams seldom finish in a zig-zag pattern.
Though Cody Zeller noted, “It’s the Big Ten. Teams have gone on losing streaks. It’s bound to happen eventually. We don’t worry about it too much.”
You wonder about that 68-56 thumping Saturday against Wisconsin, which has become to the Hoosiers what a windshield is to a bug. This made 12 Badger wins in a row. That hasn’t even happened in football. Though as Wisconsin coach Bo Ryan said, “There are just things in this game where no matter how you try to explain them, they defy explanation or reason.”
You wonder if Indiana is playing up to the No. 1 seeding it will almost certainly still get Sunday. Though coach Tom Crean said of this latest loss, “It doesn’t undo what we have done to this point. It doesn’t undo any of that. We have had an excellent season. There’s room for growth, there’s no doubt about that.”
Perfectly correct. But so was Oladipo when he mentioned, “We’ve got to bounce back. Real fast.
“If you lose in the tournament, that’s it. You go home. There is no other game. There is no second game. There’s no nothing. You’ve got to lock in.”
A No. 1 seed in a region would still be reasonable for 27-6 Indiana. The Hoosiers did win the … [For more on Indiana loss raises more questions about Hoosiers, click here.]