Indiana won the biggest game of the college basketball season so far and will likely get a lot of votes to return to the top of the polls where it started the season after knocking off current No. 1 and arch rival Michigan .
The third-ranked Hoosiers won because of stellar play from their core group led by Cody Zeller's 19 points and nine rebounds. He also made a huge play late hustling through traffic to snag a loose ball for the Hoosiers. Victor Oladipo also came up big for Indiana making several highlight reel plays with his athleticism offensively and as a thorn in the Wolverines' side defensively.
As Indiana coach Tom Crean said afterward, seldom do such ballyhooed matchups live up to their billing, but this one definitely did. In fact, it likely left fans of both schools and college basketball in general looking ahead to the rematch. These two finish the regular season at Michigan on March 10. It could decide the Big Ten regular season champ and also could have seeding implications in the NCAA tournament.
It certainly helped that the Hoosiers were playing at home and they were able to capitalize on a good start to force Michigan to play from behind with the crowd in the game the whole night. Michigan will hold that advantage next time.
But both teams have other hurdles to clear first and getting over a loss like this won't be easy for Michigan. Likewise, Indiana could stumble if it doesn't put the euphoria of beating its rival behind it quickly.
The Hoosiers have two meetings with Ohio State, as well as road games at current top-25 teams Michigan State and Minnesota remaining as their major stumbling blocks before they see Michigan again.
The Wolverines appear to have a tougher road. Their next two games are against Ohio State at home Tuesday. The Buckeyes are the only other team to beat Michigan this season. The Wolverines then travel to play Wisconsin, one of two teams to beat the Hoosiers so far. Following that, Michigan has two dates with its other major rival, Michigan State
Watching how this young Michigan team responds to this loss and to be bounced from the No. 1 ranking he held for a week, will be of interest in the coming weeks. The Wolverines' response will go a long way in determining who wins the Big Ten.
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