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Indiana cut down the nets, celebrated Big Ten title after Tuesday’s loss

Mar 6, 2013, 9:30 AM EDT

Stymied by a stifling Ohio State defensive performance, Indiana, the nation’s most potent offense, struggled to their worse performance on that end of the floor this season.

The Buckeyes held the Hoosiers to a season-low 58 points. There has only been one game this year where Indiana scored less than the 0.95 PPP they mustered against Ohio State, and that was in their Big Ten opener against Iowa.

As I wrote last night, the performance isn’t that much of a concern for the Hoosiers’ national title chances; playing in the rugged Big Ten, things like this are going to happen. This is still the nation’s best offensive attack. There are still two all-american bookended by shooters, role players and a pair of quality point guards.

The concern, however, is that Indiana may have cost themselves an outright Big Ten title with the loss. They hold a one-game lead in the loss column on four teams tied for second place with one game to play. The one game they have left?

At Michigan on Sunday.

A loss would still mean that the Hoosiers are Big Ten co-champions, but that doesn’t change the fact that, after Tuesday’s Senior Night loss, Indiana’s Big Ten title celebration seemed out of place.

That’s right, after a loss that could cost them the outright Big Ten title, the Hoosiers donned championship hats, raised a Big Ten trophy and brought the ladders out to cut down the nets.


(Image via Jeff Rabjohns)

Look, I get it. I really do.

Win or lose, this was senior night for one of Indiana’s most important senior classes. Christian Watford and Jordy Hulls and Derek Elston, these guys were the players that came to Indiana when it was still a laughingstock, thanks to the Kelvin Sampson era. These were the kids that made their way to Bloomington with a dream and, through a lot of hard work and even more tough losses, found themselves Big Ten champions this season.

If anyone deserved to cut down the nets and celebrate during their final game in Assembly Hall, it was this group of kids. source:

But the heartbreak was palpable. Look at the screen-grab from ESPN3’s broadcast of the postgame festivities. Does it look like either of those two are enjoying the moment at all?

Does it look like either of them want to remember this moment?

I applaud Tom Crean for making the effort to do something special for the recruiting class that believed in him and changed the culture of the Indiana program. Like I said, that group of guys deserved a chance to cut down the nets and be honored in front of their friends, family and fans.

But doing it after the game, after a heart-breaking loss that could dramatically alter the course of the Indiana season, just seems silly.

“This is the epitome of bittersweet,” Indiana coach Tom Crean told reporters after the ceremony. “We’re trying to celebrate what these guys have earned at same time, we didn’t earn it tonight.”

You can find Rob on twitter @RobDauster.

  1. ukraiders - Mar 6, 2013 at 9:44 AM

    I hate Indiana. I live their. Don’t like most of the bandwagon fans. But I respect the tradition of this program. Top 5 without a doubt all time. But they are acting like the have never been there. Could you imagine Duke doing this? Kansas? This, hanging banners for regular season conference champs, and sweet 16 rings. What’s next? Rings for being No 1 in the polls?? They need to act like Indiana and not Nebraska.

    • myopinionisrighterthanyours - Mar 6, 2013 at 4:31 PM

      I’m sorry, but for somebody who lives in Indiana, you sure seem to know little about the B1G. To them, their regular season championship is EVERYTHING. They were the last conference to adopt a tourney. And I’m more in line with this thinking than the ACC which does not acknowledge a regular season champion at all. All it gets them is the #1 seed in their tourney (the FIRST to have one, by the way). And I’m an SEC fan knowing this. That said, I do have a problem with it in that there is still the very real chance of them being co-champions with at least one other team.

  2. dexterismyhero - Mar 6, 2013 at 9:46 AM

    Well it doens’t look like they are celebrating. Gut check time for IU!!!!!

  3. packhawk04 - Mar 6, 2013 at 11:03 AM

    I dont have any problem with this. I get that its indiana, but they went through hell and back with the violations and terrible seasons.

  4. ukraiders - Mar 6, 2013 at 11:46 AM

    That may be…..but its still Indiana. I don’t remember Kentucky doing it after Pitino turned it around. maybe they did. but it just seems a little much. Rings for a sweet sixteen?? who celebrates that?? I don’t care how bad things were because they had a cheater (something they act like never happened.) you should understand that what they are doing now is the expectation in Bloomington not finishing in the top of a regular season.

    • arlingtonsynn - Mar 6, 2013 at 6:08 PM

      Be honest though…

      Who in the SEC has the history of UK? Winning the B1G after all Indiana has been though matters.

      Btw… Indiana had a scumbag coach who got caught making impermissible phone calls (A LOT OF THEM. Sampson was the worst thing to happen to the IU program.

      It’s not like he paid a recruit’s father $1,000 while already on probation (see: UK 1989). You guys almost got the death penalty for the second time.

      And I didn’t even bring up Calipari.

  5. jpopejoy - Mar 6, 2013 at 12:00 PM

    I think it’s under reported how bad it was at indiana. When Sampson was fired, he orchestrated everyone transferring. When crean was hired he had something like 20 points returning from the year before. Not 20ppg…20 TOTAL POINTS. essentially it was like wiping a program out and saying “ok now start.” This class did deserve it. And I hear what you’re saying UK…I’m just saying most don’t realize how bad it was and this was creans first class HE recruited at IU.

    Time to right the ship at Michigan or bye bye 1 seed.

  6. barnesaintnoble - Mar 6, 2013 at 12:58 PM

    Being the Big Ten Champion actually means something. In the ACC, it’s Duke and UNC. Big 12 is just Kansas. There are actually more than 2 good, tradition rich teams in the Big Ten.

  7. dallasstars9 - Mar 7, 2013 at 3:12 PM

    This is one of those moments that can come back to bite you in the ass. Indiana doesn’t make to the Elite 8 because of this. Go Blue!

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