The Indiana Hoosiers have returned to the No. 1 spot in the latest Associated Press Poll, following a key victory over then-No. 1 Michigan during the week.
Having held the top spot for the first five weeks of the year, the Hoosiers' 81-73 victory over Michigan saw them rise three spots overnight, with No. 2 seed Kansas' loss to Oklahoma State ensuring that Indiana finished the weekend on top.
A new team has now held the No. 1 spot in the past five weeks with Duke, Louisville, Duke again, Michigan and now Indiana all holding the top spot.
Their win over Michigan was certainly a strong performance over the weekend, with the Hoosiers staking a claim to be the top Big Ten team.
Cody Zeller again turned in a big performance, while Victor Oladipo continues to impress, with a remarkable defensive effort on the night.
Cody Zeller outstanding on both ends against UM. Victor Oladipo, in 45 possessions guarding 4 different players, gave up only 4 points.— Jay Bilas (@JayBilas) February 3, 2013
All of the Hoosiers' starters turned in double-digit scoring performances against Michigan, and it's that continued consistency that makes them so tough to beat.
Tom Crean said recently via ESPN:
Our guys appreciate winning. They appreciate the task that it is and I think because our older guys have been through so many hard times, they appreciate it that much more. And I think our younger guys were raised on winning.
Guys like Yogi (Ferrell), Cody (Zeller), Remy Abell——those guys were really raised on winning, and that helps.
The week on top as the No. 1 team could provide further spark for an already strong Indiana side, given the last time it spent that long on top.
It was 1975-76, when they spent at least six weeks as No.1—going 32-0 and dominating everything that came their way during the year. Many will no doubt be hoping that similar performances are produced this year by the Hoosiers.
But regardless, it's certainly a position that Indiana deserves to be in right now, and one that it will be desperate to avoid giving up this week.
Their consistency right across the court makes them one of the toughest teams to stop, and they rarely turn in a bad night—if ever since the loss to Butler.
They proved they can topple the best in the country by taking down Michigan; now they have to prove that they're the team to catch now.
Indiana's next big test will come Sunday against Ohio State.
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