I have a confession. I didn't watch this one. I'm usually pretty disciplined about staying offline when my parental duties require me to watch a game after 8 p.m. by DVR. It was to my immense good fortune that I accidentally stumbled upon the score early in the second half, and instead of inflicting this game upon myself via DVR, I simply followed it via phone app for the rest of the way. There are a few realities setting in:
- This team probably is closer to what we thought we had in mid-November than to what it looked like we had when we were 15-1 in early January.
- It still would take an epic collapse, i.e., losing all remaining Big Ten regular season games and to either NC Central or in the first game of the Big Ten Tournament.
- This team still has three opportunities left to improve its resume.
This would be easier to stomach if we had been beat by Iowa at the Hawkeyes' own game. As it is, however, IU had a horrible offensive game against the worst defense in the conference. .96 points per possession. 37 percent shooting. Jordan Hulls and Christian Watford, our upperclass leaders, supposedly, were non-entities.
I'm discouraged like everyone else, but it isn't the end of the world. IU still remains in a strong position for the NCAA Tournament. We should beat Purdue at home. Beating MSU or winning at Minnesota will be tough, but not impossible. I think that more than anything else, last night's game illustrates the strength of the Big Ten. We're all suicidal because IU got stomped on the road by a team that did the same thing to Michigan, and that won at Wisconsin. There is no team in the conference without a good win this season. We just need a couple more of our own. And I'm guessing that nobody will complain about that "get well game" against NC Central now, right?