Best Moments from Indiana Basketball's Resurgent 2012-13 Season
The hopes were high all season long for the Indiana Hoosiers because of numerous weeks at the No. 1 ranking and winning big games. The Hoosiers ended the season with a 61-50 loss to Syracuse in the Sweet 16. That certainly wasn’t what IU was expecting, coming into the NCAA tournament with the No. 1 seed in the East region.
But, all Indiana can do now is reflect on the positives from the season and look forward to the next year. The Hoosiers won 29 games this season, beat Michigan and Michigan State twice and most importantly won the outright Big Ten tile for the first time in 20 years.
This team set the standard for winning in the Big Ten with success throughout the regular season.
The team will be different next year with Christian Watford, Jordan Hulls and Derek Elston graduating and Cody Zeller and Victor Oladipo entering the NBA draft, but nothing can change what they accomplished this season.
Here are the six best moments from Indiana's 2012-13 season:
Hoosiers Win Legends Classic in Brooklyn
The Hoosiers didn’t have any real competition in the beginning of the season until they arrived in Brooklyn, N.Y. at the Progressive Legends Classic. The two-game tournament truly tested this team at the perfect time and the Hoosiers came out on top.
First, IU battled against Georgia in the tournament opener and won 66-53. This should’ve been an easy game for the Hoosiers against a weaker opponent. However, Indiana didn't play well because of a poor shooting effort, but Georgia shot much worse, which led to IU’s win.
In the championship game, head coach Tom Crean knew Georgetown had tremendous size and an excellent scorer in Otto Porter Jr. The game turned out to be a defensive match between the two squads. The Hoosiers fought hard throughout the game and pulled away in overtime.
Both wins taught this team a lot about themselves and proved they could battle it out to win a game. The Georgetown victory ended up being one of IU’s best wins of the season.
Indiana Dominates North Carolina
Just a week after winning the Progressive Legends Classic, the Hoosiers had to play against then-No. 14 North Carolina in the ACC-Big Ten Challenge game. This was a huge game between two of college basketball's royalty and another solid non-conference opponent for IU.
But, the Hoosiers dominated the game and proved why they were one of the top teams in the country winning 83-59. Cody Zeller, Victor Oladipo and Will Sheehey were excellent in the game because they executed the transition offense well. The three players combined for 58 of the 83 points in the game.
Not to mention, they held the Tar Heels to 37.7 percent shooting from the field. Also, only allowed James Michael McAdoo to score 10 points, who was playing really well up to that point.
This win sent a message to the rest of the nation that IU can really play well against a solid team and dominate in the process.
Hoosiers Overcome Top-Ranked Michigan
The first Indiana vs. Michigan game had been hyped way before the season started. Both teams were ranked in the preseason top five. ESPN's College Gameday came to town for the big game, as the Wolverines were ranked No. 1 headed into Bloomington.
This turned out to be an excellent game that came down to the last few minutes. The Hoosiers won the game 81-73 in an excellent shooting effort by both teams. Trey Burke and Tim Hardaway Jr. combined for 43 points and helped carry the Wolverines.
Indiana’s balanced scoring attack led to each starter scoring double-digit points in the game. The Hoosiers shot 52 percent from the field and out-rebounded Michigan 36-22.
The home crowd certainly played an advantage for IU and helped them earn their second victory against a top-ranked opponent in two years.
Indiana Earns Their First Big Road Win of the Year
Three days before the Ohio State road game, the Hoosiers went to Champaign, IL and lost by two points to the Fighting Illini.
The Ohio State game was huge because there was a lot on the line for both teams. Neither team wanted to drop their second game in a row and fall further down the rankings.
Indiana won this game because of the scoring attack from Victor Oladipo, Cody Zeller and Christian Watford. The three Hoosiers combined for 70 of the 81 points and 22 of 32 shooting from the field.
The difference maker was IU's ability to get to the charity stripe and knock down free throws.
The win gave the Hoosiers confidence after losing to Illinois and beating a very good Buckeye team on the road. The momentum from the win certainly carried over the next few games.
Hoosiers Finish Strong Against Michigan State
Michigan State lost to Indiana at Assembly Hall during the first matchup between the two teams. In this game, the Hoosiers had to travel East Lansing, Mich., hoping to not give the Spartans revenge.
Michigan State looked like the better team throughout the matchup. The Spartans led for most of the game, but IU kept it close. MSU led 67-63 with one minute and 38 seconds left.
The Hoosiers finished the game on a 9-1 run, defeating the Spartans 72-68.
Credit Victor Oladipo.
Oladipo scored the last six points for the Hoosiers and played excellent defense. This game helped put his name in contention for the Naismith Player of the Year award and gave the team a huge win in a raucous environment.
Indiana Defeat the Wolverines by the Skin of Their Teeth
When the Buckeyes got revenge and beat the Hoosiers on senior night, IU would have a major test to win the outright Big Ten title. The next game it would have to travel to Ann Arbor, Mich., to beat the Wolverines in the final game of the regular season.
The Wolverines had been dominant at home, only losing once in two years. The game turned into a slug-fest between two college basketball powerhouses. Michigan was doing everything right towards the end of the game and had a five point lead with 52 seconds left.
But, the Hoosiers didn't give up, just like the Michigan State game in East Lansing, Mich. Big man Cody Zeller would make the next six points and give IU the one-point lead with 14 seconds to go.
Trey Burke drove the ball to the hoop for a lay-up, but missed. Then, Jordan Morgan got the rebound and went in for the put-back lay-in, but the ball rattled around the rim and rolled off.
The Hoosiers pulled off the big win, even with odds against them. The victory gave IU their first outright Big Ten title since 1993.
Give credit to Michigan's effort in the game, but the Hoosiers had the tenacity and will to win one of its biggest games of the year.