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Indiana 94, Penn State 63

It's nice to deliver an old-fashioned beatdown on Senior Night. Lots of fun in the second half, nice exits for the three seniors, and the whole nine yards. It does appear that the Senior Night festivities changed a bit. Under Knight and Davis, all postgame festivities were held for the end of the game. When Knight was at IU, he basically emceed the event, recognizing the senior cheerleaders, poms, and band members before moving on to the managers and players. Davis added the tradition of presenting the framed jersey, and Sampson seems to have added pregame introductions of the families and players while saving the speeches for postgame. Unfortunately, it's been a crazy weekend (crazy in the sense of home improvement, nursery preparation, and family dinners, not what would have passed for a crazy weekend a few years ago) and I haven't yet read or listened to the speeches. Thanks to the bye, we have five full business days before IU plays Illinois or Penn State (Illinois) in the last game of day two of the Big Ten Tournament. So, I'll double back on that issue this week as well as providing some retrospective numbers and preview stuff on the Big Ten Tournament. It's hard to believe that this will be the tenth Big Ten Tournament. It also will be the last in Chicago for the foreseeable future. Beginning next season, Conseco Fieldhouse will host the tournament for at least five years.
As for the game, what can be said? The Hoosiers spanked an inferior team trying to finish a really disappointing season. Penn State likes the zone defense, but that defense certainly allowed IU quite a few open three pointers. IU attempted 32 three point shots as compared to 25 from inside the arc. IU hit 17-32 from the field. Calloway and Wilmont both played admirably in their Assembly Hall finales. Calloway scored 15 points on nine shots. He hit 3 of 5 from three point range (don't tell Matt Painter--the kid can shoot!) and added 11 assists. Overall, IU managed 23 assists on 32 made baskets, and Earl himself assisted over a third of IU's baskets. Not shabby. Wilmont scored 21 points on 18 shots and had a couple of nice, crowd-pleasing breakaways, really nice for senior night. Errek Suhr scored only two points in his final game, but did manage a couple of assists. AJ Ratliff gets the trophy for most active stat line: 18 points on 8 shots, including 6 of 7 from three point range, and 5 fouls, all in 14 minutes. He even found time for a rebound and a turnover.
It's hard to take much from this game in the grand scheme of things. This was Penn State at home, IU's only home game against the #11 seed. Literally, this was the easiest Big Ten game of the season on paper, and the reality was consistent. Still, there were some pretty numbers in the box score from last night. IU scored in the neighborhood of 1.5 points per possession last night, while Penn State was around 1.0. IU had 13 offensive rebounds on only 25 missed shots and pulled down 19 of Penn State's 25 misses.

This was the first 20-win regular season since 2000 and first undefeated home season since 1994. Now that it's tournament time, IU can lose only two more games this season. Accordingly, IU's loss total will be the lowest since 1999-2000. In 2001, when the media was in the midst of its successful campaign to berate Myles Brand into hiring Mike Davis for the long run, much was made of the fact that Davis's 21 wins were the most for any first-year IU coach (although his winning percentage did not approach that of the first seasons of Bob Knight (17-8) or Branch McCracken (17-3). I haven't heard anyone mention it this year, but with one win in each of the upcoming tournaments, Kelvin Sampson will have won more games than any first-year IU coach.