This isn’t a season that Indiana are making any kind of move towards the Big Ten title, so pulling off upsets over rivals and ranked teams is the best they can do. For the second time this season, they’ve beaten a ranked conference opponents, beating Michigan 63-52.
Their previous big win came against Wisconsin, taking down the Badgers 75-72 three weeks ago. Michigan, #10 in the nation, were undefeated up to this point in Big Ten play, overcoming Wisconsin, Iowa and Michigan State one after the other before beating Purdue and now falling to Indiana at Assembly Hall.
Michigan are the fifth top 10 team to lose over the weekend; The last time that 5 Top-10 teams lost in the same weekend before conference tournament play was Feb. 26-27, 2011. For Indiana, it was their 10th win over a top 10 opponents since the beginning of the 2011-2012 season, with Kansas being the only team with more wins against such teams over that span.
Yogi is playing at an extremely high level. He’s a true lead guard with everything he does. You’ve got to make his catches hard and his looks even harder. You’ve got to be conscious of where he is at all times. I’m proud of our whole team defensively. Yogi was the catalyst.
Nik Stauskas was limited to only 6 points on 1-of-6 from the field mostly thanks to Yogi Ferrell doing pretty much everything on both ends of the floor. He finished the game with 27 points on 8-of-10 from the field, including hitting 7 three pointers but it was probably his energy, more than anything else, that rallied the team on defense to hold Michigan to their lowest scoring game this season.
Indiana slowed the game down and took great shots: They finished with 53.5% from the field and 60% from beyond the arc. Michigan hit only 40% of their shots from the field, but being unable to put the game into higher gear and get Stauskas comfortable shots showed just how little there is to work with beyond him and Glenn Robinson III.
I think it’s really good for us. I didn’t think we were going to go undefeated. We hadn’t lost since Dec. 11, against Arizona. In the long run, we have to get better.
Is losing good? Michigan are now tied with the Spartans for the lead in the conference, but this was probably a sign for other teams on how to play against the Wolverines and Stauskas, which unlike what John Beilein said, might not be best thing for the team.
Can Indiana make the NCAA tournament? A lot has to do with how they play on away games, winning only once so far this season when playing away from home. Their over reliance on Ferrell obviously makes it easier for teams to handle them, but at home Indiana have shown they can beat anyone in the conference. Away from home? They have Michigan and Wisconsin among others to play at, but there’s a chance this young team is coming together towards something better than what we’ve seen so far from them.