Indiana Basketball: Hoosiers Slay Another Giant, Take Big Ten Lead

Matthew WolfeCorrespondent IIIFebruary 20, 2013

EAST LANSING, MI - February 19:  Jordan Hulls #1, Cody Zeller #40, Victor Oladipo #4, Christian Watford #2 and Kevin Ferrell #11 of the Indiana Hoosiers prepare to take the court against the Michigan State Spartans at the Jack T. Breslin Student Events Center on February 19, 2013 in East Lansing, Michigan. Indiana won the game 72-68. (Photo by Gregory Shamus/Getty Images)
Gregory Shamus/Getty Images

With the game of musical chairs currently being played atop the NCAA standings this season, it seemed as if nobody was safe in the nation's top spot.

The Indiana Hoosiers have altered that theory a bit, giving themselves some security at the top with last nights victory over Michigan State in East Lansing. 

While no team is a permanent fixture at the top of the totem pole, especially this season, the Hoosiers are certainly looking to make #1 their permanent home by strengthening their resume once again.

The boys from Bloomington have now knocked off four opponents in the top 10 this season, with two out of those four victories coming on the road.

Last night's victory marked the first time the Hoosiers have defeated the Spartans on their home floor since 1991, and they made a statement to the whole country watching on national television.

There was no lack of story lines surrounding last nights matchup, it was a sportswriters dream.

There was Tom Crean's return to Michigan State to face his old comrade Tom Izzo, or the lengthy losing streak for the Hoosiers in East Lansing, or Magic Johnson's return to East Lansing to call his first college basketball game ever.

But even with all of these exciting headlines, it was Victor Oladipo who stole the show again for Indiana.

The 6'5" junior from Upper Marlboro, Maryland took over last night's game in the final minutes, but is that really a surprise at this point?

Oladipo has proven to be the difference maker for the Hoosiers all season with his efficient offense and stifling defense.

The man who was once the best kept secret in college basketball is now getting all of the attention he deserves, skyrocketing up the NBA Draft boards.

Oladipo scored six points in the final minute of last nights game, and also contributed five steals and nine rebounds while finishing with a total of 19 points.

While Oladipo had a fantastic outing, it took a team effort from the Hoosiers last night to knock off the #4 Spartans on their home floor.

Indiana had four players in double digits, and all five Hoosier starters showed flashes of brilliance throughout last nights victory.

If not for Cody Zeller's shooting touch and composure, or Christian Watford's and one in crunch time, they outcome of the game may have turned out to be quite different.

The Hoosiers are solidifying themselves as the nation's team to beat, and they now stand alone at the top of the standings in the best conference in the country.

What is most impressive about last night's game, and a scary thought for every other team, is Tom Crean's team did not even play their best basketball last night.

The Hoosiers received just six points from what is usually one of the deepest benches in the nation, and were bothered by foul trouble throughout the contest.

Indiana's victory over Michigan State in East Lansing has Hoosier fans feeling good, and they will look to maintain that #1 overall seed despite having the toughest remaining schedule in the nation.