So much for the joy of Senior Night.
Three seniors—Jordan Hulls, Christian Watford, and Derek Elston—played their final game at Assembly Hall on Tuesday night, with a chance to win Indiana’s first outright conference championship since 1993.
Only the Buckeyes—who had just two prior wins over ranked opponents all season and yet to win a significant game on the road—weren’t invited to the party.
In fact, Thad Matta’s squad, now very much in the thick of the Big Ten title race after stunning the Hoosiers 67-58, decided to crash it.
The Buckeyes outmanned Indiana’s frontcourt, picked its pocket eight different times, and exposed its most glaring problem, Indiana’s bench.
The loss to Ohio State was just one blip on an otherwise sterling regular season. Unless the Hoosiers can beat Michigan, which remains the only undefeated B1G team at home this season (17-0), they’ll carry the stain of an unrealized goal into the postseason.
More important, Ohio State exposed a few of the Hoosiers’ “trouble spots” on Tuesday night.
Here are their most pressing questions going forward.