The Indiana Hoosiers started the season No. 1in the country but to say the ride was bumpy from there would be an understatement. The Hoosiers bounced around the Top 10 all season long and ended up in a position at the end of the season where they needed to fight the Michigan Wolverines for sole custody of the Big Ten championship.
Indiana’s come-from-behind win over the Wolverines embodied every aspect of their season up to this point, as it was a battle they were expected to win but was one they needed to fight for like never before.
The Wolverines jumped all over Indiana early in the game, which gave the impression that they’d be able to easily handle the Hoosiers and claim the Big Ten title. But after a strong first half, the hinges came off and Indiana came storming back to come with him one point in the final 30 seconds of the game. It was here that Cody Zeller strapped the Hoosiers onto his back and literally elevated them above the Wolverines.
Michigan star Trey Burke missed a crucial free throw in the final 30 seconds of the game and Indiana went on a 6-0 run to finish off their regular season. Zeller nailed a layup with under 15 seconds left in the game to give the Hoosiers a 72-71 lead but the game was far from over.
However, the basketball Gods seemed to be Hoosiers fans on Sunday as despite multiple scoring chances in that span of 13 seconds, including two shots that would have gone in under any other circumstance, the Wolverines couldn’t successfully drive the court and get the bucket they needed. Had the Wolverines won the game, they would have won a share of the Big Ten Championship, but instead the Hoosiers are the sole victors of the conference.
It was a heartbreaking loss for the Wolverines, one that Yahoo! reporter Dan Wetzel said caused Indiana head coach Tom Crean and an unnamed Michigan assistant to “get into it” after the final buzzer.
Both of these teams will be in the March Madness tournament, but the Hoosiers have pretty much secured a No. 1 seed in one of the regional brackets. Michigan will drop from No. 7 in the country but they’re far from being on the bubble for the tournament, so a rematch at some point between these two teams is not out of the question.