Indiana's tournament hopes continue to only be mostly dead and not completely dead as they pull off another very big win against Ohio State at home. The Hoosiers really seem to have found themselves in the recent week and a half. Without Noah Vonleh in this game and functionally against Iowa, the Hoosiers have pulled off desperately needed wins against back to back ranked opponents.
More importantly, Will Sheehey has woken up from his season long slumber to be that guy that we've been desperate to have. Add in to the improved play of Sheehey (49 points in last two games) the role players on the squad filled their role admirably. With Vonleh out today with a foot injury Hanner Perea stepped up and was fantastic. Providing 8 points, 5 rebounds and sure hands throughout the game was an absolute must. The game ball should probably go to him. He saw an opportunity and blew expectations out of the water. Got to feel good for the much maligned big fella.
Despite Hanner's strong play the Hoosiers still struggled in certain aspects without the large bodied Vonleh in the paint. Ohio State his 14 free throws and scored all but two of their points from inside the paint. Without the natural shot blocking abilities of Vonleh Ohio State was getting a lot of good opportunities in the paint. Add in the fact that OSU defenders were leaving their men at will to block shots from the weak side and I'd rather not play without Noah going forward. Still a big performance with him sidelined.
The Hoosiers finished with 18 turnovers, but strangely I think we should be OK with that. Ohio State is an elite turnover forcing team and Indiana managed to avoid a lot of turnovers at the hands of Aaron Craft. In fact, a ton of your regular run of the mill, stupid mental turnovers accounted for well over half. Of course, that needs to stop, but we've been saying that all year to no avail. We're just going to have to deal with it.
Next up the Hoosiers face down with Nebraska at home. They own the Huskers a loss for their second half meltdown in Lincoln. The Hoosiers bubble chances, while still slim are alive. I think getting three more wins will get them in. That means a W against Nebraska and @Michigan along with a first round BTT win. But also losing to Michigan but getting to Saturday in the BTT should still do the trick. Bubbles are always weak and anything they can do to get to 20 wins is going to help a ton. Don't get too excited, but it's certainly plausible. But we'll talk more about that in the coming week.