The Dagger - NCAAB

Indiana basketball has hit its fair share of lows in 2008-09, one of which came last night when Northwestern beat Indiana in Bloomington for the first time in like 256 years. Maybe not that long. But it had been forever, and that Northwestern finally broke its streak is a testament to just how far the Hoosiers have sunk this year. If you like IU, you may now cry. If you hate IU, you may now cry tears of joy.

Ah, but wait. There's more. What's worse than losing to Northwestern at home? Losing to Northwestern at home immediately after promoting 5-foot-9-inch team manager Mike Santa to play reserve guard. Yes, this is really happening:

Mike Santa, all of 5 feet 9 inches from Huntington, Ind., suited up with the Hoosiers on Wednesday after spending the season prior to last night as a student manager. Santa played as well, logging one game minute. “I didn’t do this as a reward,” Crean said. “It is a special deal to be a manager here. Those guys come out here and they work.”

In any real sense, this is no big deal. The manager, one of the more thankless positions in all of collegiate athletics, gets to say he played basketball at Indiana University, that he logged court time at the same school as Isiah Thomas and Calbert Cheaney. It's a nice little gesture if you're willing to look at it practically.

If you want to make jokes, though, oh, can you make jokes. Start with "The Waterboy" (warning: Sanderlian language) and just work your way down. There's gold in these southern Indiana hills.

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