Indiana Basketball: Hoosiers Will Earn No. 1 Seed in NCAA Tournament

John RozumCorrespondent IFebruary 20, 2013

Tom Crean is excited that March is around the corner.
Tom Crean is excited that March is around the corner.Andy Lyons/Getty Images

There's no stopping Cody Zeller and the Indiana Hoosiers right now, so expect a top seed when March Madness tips off.

With the road victory over Tom Izzo and the Michgian State Spartans on Tuesday, Tom Crean's team proved why it is the best in college basketball.

After the game, Victor Oladipo stated the following, according to Terry Hutchens of the Indianapolis Star:

“I was probably 85-90 (percent),” Oladipo said, “but plus the adrenalin and the fans it got me to 100 percent.”

And Hutchens added this analysis:

No other team in the nation has six victories over Top 25 teams. For IU, four of those wins have come against teams in the Top 10, including two in the Top five.

What's scary, though, is that Indiana didn't quite play its best ball against Sparty either.

Despite leading at the half, Indiana found itself in an old-school Big Ten bout. Michigan State is a strong team, so the Spartans making a comeback to briefly gain the lead on three separate occasions in the second half was not surprising.

One of which saw the score at 67-66 with under a minute remaining.

As a team the Hoosiers shot just 66.7 percent from the line, were out-rebounded 31-28, out-blocked 7-4 and got called for 19 fouls compared to 15 for Michigan State. Given the conditions of the environment and the stakes of this conference matchup, though, Indiana grinded and continues to improve.

Currently riding a four-game winning streak and sitting atop the Big Ten, the Hoosiers are heating up right on cue.

Zeller and Oladipo were miraculous against the Spartans, which simply amplifies the confidence on Crean's team as the tournament nears.

Ohio State and Michigan will certainly pose as tough challenges to close out the regular season, not to mention the conference tournament itself. But the Big Ten is proving to be the nation's best conference overall, and Indiana resides as the front-runner.

Possessing the ability to score virtually at will and consistently crash the boards against other physical opponents, the Hoosiers are a complete team.

To sum up Crean's crew, Magic Johnson stated his thoughts per Jeff Eisenberg of Yahoo! Sports:

"This team will be the favorite to win the national championship," Magic Johnson said during the broadcast. "They've got everything."

Even the tournament's overall No. 1 seed is in sight. The Hoosiers are on pace to claim the Big Ten regular season title and will be expected to take home the conference tournament championship as well.

Factor in their strength of schedule, strength of victory, the fact that they are currently holding the nation's top spot and have two potential Player of the Year candidates in Zeller and Oladipo, and the Hoosiers are a force right now.

The end result will be a top No. 1 seed when the madness begins.