This recap is going to be quick, and we'll have more thoughts on the season later, but for now here's what we learned from an 81-76 loss in Omaha:
1. Indiana did more than enough on offense to win this game. The Hoosiers went 11-for-22 from the 3-point range, shot 85% from the line, and four guys scored in double figures. Guys were capitalizing on second chances, scoring at the basket, and shooting well all game. Overall, this was a valiant effort and the offense was clicking in ways that it hadn't been since the second Rutgers game. 76 points and 1.10 PPP should seemingly be enough to win. However...
2. Indiana's defensive problems came back to haunt them again. Good guards have had stellar games against the Hoosiers all season. Enter Fred VanVleet. The Shockers' junior guard had 27 points. In addition, Ron Baker had 15. Indiana also could not seem to a stop down low when it mattered. Unfortunately, the problems with the Indiana defense were never quite fixed this season, and that again was true today.
3. Experience trumped inexperience. Indiana had one of the youngest teams in the tournament, and for most of the game, they held steady with an experienced Wichita State team that starts three juniors and two seniors. The Shockers, however, used this experience to their advantage, as they tightened up their defense, got themselves to the line, and made enough clutch plays down the stretch to pull out a victory. Gregg Marshall has put together a talented squad in Wichita, and this is not a team that will lose games on their own. You have to beat them, and ultimately, IU couldn't do quite enough.
4. He's not wrong.
As the horn sounded, Tom Crean looked at official Kipp Kissinger (Nebraska native) across the floor and said, "You suck."— Dirk Chatelain (@dirkchatelain) March 20, 2015
(1000 fire emojis)
If this was really Crean's last stand as IU's head coach (we honestly have no idea), it was quite a way to go out. But seriously, those refs were an abomination. However, as bad as they were, that is not the only reason why Indiana lost this game, as we described above.
Wichita State goes on to play Kansas in the matchup that everyone in the national media wanted. The Hoosiers end their season at 20-14 and will probably get a cool shoutout on One Shining Moment.
LET THE LONG OFFSEASON BEGIN