Indiana on Top After Edging Michigan, but No. 1 Merry-Go-Round Will Continue
Welcome back, Cody Zeller, Victor Oladipo and that guy married to a Harbaugh sister.
On Monday, you'll be No. 1 again, Indiana Hoosiers. Just like you started the year. Potentially how you'll finish it. Probably not for too long.
Indiana proved worthy of "best in America at the moment" on Saturday night on the biggest stage with a 81-73 win.
Michigan barely had enough time for a cup of coffee at the top.
Florida, that team smacking the SEC around by better than 26 points a game, is next in line once the Big Ten gets its teeth on the new No. 1.
Round and round we will go these next few months.
Enjoy it. Don't overreact from one night or week to the next.
Indiana was supremely awesome on this night and has been for a couple weeks now. Both teams played with the kind of intensity that should be on display for No. 1 vs. No. 3.
Zeller elevated himself back into the Player of the Year race with some spectacular putback jams, nifty finishes and 19 points. Oladipo wowed and nearly gave us the play of the year and a chance to go where alley-oop puns have never gone before. (Alley-Oopaladipo!)
Here it is, via Big Lead Sports:
The Hoosiers are a complete team. Imagine them in Carolina blue (cue IU fans cringing), and they get up and down as well as any of Roy Williams' best squads. The 16 turnovers were the only thing keeping this performance from being described as an offensive masterpiece.
They didn't exactly make like Aaron Craft and knock Michigan and Trey Burke out of rhythm, but they made Burke chuck it 24 times to get his 25 points.
Here's the "that was impressive, but"...
This was at Assembly Hall. ESPN's College GameDay was in attendance. This is what should have happened.
Michigan should not drop too far and will get another shot at Indiana in the final regular-season game for both on March 10. (Thank you, basketball gods.)
The Wolverines seem to be missing a piece from being considered the best. That piece would be a dominant big man, one that could match Zeller. But they have the best point guard in the game in Burke and some awesome wings surrounding him.
Duke got its shot at the top, and the No. 1 bug bit Ryan Kelly right in the foot.
Louisville was up next, and Russ Smith shot his team to three straight losses.
Duke made it back, and then Miami happened.
Michigan shared its visit at No. 1 with Kansas in the other poll. That didn't work out so hot for the Jayhawks on Saturday either.
Who should be No. 1?
A year ago, only three teams got their turn to be No. 1. Kentucky took its spot at the top for a second time in Week 12 and never gave it back.
Monday will mark Week 15. Indiana is not Kentucky.
The Hoosiers are a special team and a great story for a program that two years ago went 12-20, which followed a 10-21 campaign.
We can all agree college basketball is a much better place with Indiana back in the national picture at the top. That may be where the Hoosiers finish this season. At the top.
Just don't think any less of them if they can't ride it out there until the end.
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