Indiana knocks off No. 1 MichiganBy David A.
The top team in the country will change when the Top 25 NCAA basketball rankings are released this week after the No. 3 ranked Indiana Hoosiers knocked the No. 1 ranked Michigan Wolverines off their perch on Saturday night.
The Kansas Jayhawks, ranked No. 2 heading into their Saturday game against Oklahoma State, were defeated 85-80 helping to open the door for Indiana to move up to the top spot. The official rankings will not be released until Monday, but rest assured the Hoosiers will own the top spot.
With the 81-73 win, the Hoosiers should move up into the No. 1 spot in the ranking, while the Wolverines will drop to third or fourth. Indiana was led by All-American candidate Cody Zeller who scored 19 points and pulled down 10 boards. Victor Oladipo chipped in with 15 points.
Indiana started the season as the No. 1 team in the country but two losses knocked them from the top, but they have worked their way back and now are also in sole possession of first place in the Big Ten conference. Since their only conference loss in January to Wisconsin, the Hoosiers have won five straight games.
The fans were behind the Hoosiers the entire game cheering, booing, bouncing and even signing, but held off from rushing the court when the game concluded as they know this was just one game in their conference schedule. The players were also reserved in their celebrations.
Head Coach Tom Crean said his players do not play for the No. 1 ranking, but instead play to improve their game and to prepare for the NCAA tournament in March.
Indiana has played incredible ball over the past week. Last Sunday, they defeated Michigan State the No. 13 ranked team 75-70, in a very physical game. Wednesday night, the Hoosiers routed the Purdue Boilermakers by the score of 97-60. The Hoosiers handed Purdue its worst ever loss at home.
On Saturday, all five starters scored in double figures and the Indiana defense held Michigan to just 43% shooting from the floor. Wolverines’ point guard Trey Burke said that Indiana was a great team after the game. He said his team would get better from losing against Indiana.
The loss was not the end of the world for Michigan. The Wolverines are now 20-2 on the season and 7-2 in the Big Ten. Michigan had to play nearly the entire game without Jordan Morgan their starting forward who sprained an ankle in the team’s previous game and could only play the first two minutes of the game before being taken out.
The loss by the Wolverines ended their four game winning streak and makes their stay at No. 1 the shortest in school history, just a single week.
Michigan has now been defeated in 11 straight matchups against teams in the top five that dates back to December of 2006 against Duke.
With half of the Big Ten schedule still left to be played and then the conference tournament, there is much still to be proved by both teams. Then both will have to prepare for the pressure of the NCAA tournament.
However, for now, the Hoosiers can enjoy their Sunday, knowing that Monday afternoon they will be the top ranked team in the country.