Welcome back, Indiana basketball. Assembly Hall is rumbling. The Hoosiers have knocked off the top two teams, and have surged into the Top 25.
The 14-1 Hoosiers have had one of the best starts in their recent history and recently fended off No. 13 Michigan at Assembly Hall.
However, the Hoosiers have yet to prove one thing—that they can win road games against Top 25 opponents.
After losing all of its ten road games last year, Indiana was able to break its losing streak on the road with an early-season win against Evansville. The Hoosiers then won on the road against NC State, a decent ACC opponent.
The Hoosiers have proved that they can win road games. That is evident through their two non-conference wins on the road.
However, Indiana showed vulnerability in their road loss to fellow Big Ten opponent Michigan State (No. 17), who overcame the Hoosiers 80-65 and gave them their first loss of the season.
There's no denying that Indiana stacks up well against fellow Top 25 opponents, as the Hoosiers have upset No. 1 Kentucky and No. 2 Ohio State. However, they've done so at Assembly Hall.
This isn't to take away from the credibility of those monumental wins, as they were two of the most exciting college basketball games of the decade. However, the Hoosiers have yet to prove that they can win against Top 25 opponents on the road.
They certainly have the potential to do so, but as was proven in their game at Michigan State, potential doesn't win games.
Indiana will put to its biggest test of the year on January 15 against No. 7 Ohio State. The Hoosiers defeated the Buckeyes in Bloomington to register their first Big Ten conference win, but this time it's in Columbus.
The Hoosiers will also take to the road to play No. 19 Wisconsin, No. 13 Michigan, and Purdue in their Big Ten lineup. How Indiana performs without Assembly Hall on their back is crucial to their overall success this season.
Indiana has established itself as one of the best college basketball teams in the nation but if the Hoosiers expect to win the Big Ten or make a run at a NCAA championship, they will have to establish themselves on the road against tough opponents.
Can the Hoosiers win against Top 25 teams on the road? We'll find out January 15th.
Indiana's next game, this Sunday against Penn State, is on the road as well.