What Indiana Hoosiers Must Do to Hold Onto Big Ten Title

Josh SachnoffContributor IIIFebruary 26, 2013

Hoosier guard Victor Oladipo
Hoosier guard Victor OladipoGregory Shamus/Getty Images

The Indiana Hoosiers managed to make it past last week’s game at Michigan State and hold onto their No. 1 ranking in the AP Poll for the fourth straight week. 

Indiana now holds a two-game lead in the Big Ten standings, with just four games remaining on their regular-season schedule.

Can the Hoosiers hold on and win their first Big Ten title since 2002

With junior guard Victor Oladipo and sophomore forward Cody Zeller playing their best basketball right now, there is no reason to doubt this Hoosier squad. 

Oladipo was at his best last Tuesday at Michigan State, when he dropped 19 points on the Spartans. 

He’s averaged 15.3 points in his last four games, including the game against Purdue on February 16, where he left with an ankle injury. Not including the Purdue game, he would have been averaging 19.3 points in his past three games. 

Oladipo has also averaged 7.5 rebounds and 2.4 steals in the Hoosiers’ past four games as well. 

He is a game-changer and will be needed down the final stretch of the regular season when they face Ohio State and Michigan.

Cody Zeller is another big reason for the Hoosiers' success. Zeller is physical down low and can control the boards. 

He has been nothing but impressive in Indiana’s last four wins, averaging an astounding 19.0 points. If Zeller continues to be consistent on both ends of the floor, he will help lead Indiana to a conference title.

With Oladipo and Zeller leading the way, senior forward Christian Watford and senior guard Jordan Hulls must be solid in the last four remaining games too. 

Watford has averaged 14.8 points in Indiana’s past four games.

He needs to keep his scoring production up and continue to play well defensively. 

Hulls played well at Michigan State, by scoring 12 points and going four of six from beyond the arc. He is dangerous to opponents out on the perimeter because of shooting. 

With all of the talent the Hoosiers bring to the court, it will be difficult for Michigan or Michigan State to take the Big Ten title away from them, at this point. 

Indiana should be able to take down Minnesota and Iowa in their next two games. 

They have also already defeated Ohio State and Michigan once this season. The chances of them losing their two final games of the regular season to these two teams are slim.  

Look for the Hoosiers to take the Big Ten regular-season title.