The Hoosiers offered their best performance in months and absolutely beat down the Hawkeyes in the opening round of the Big Ten Tournament on Thursday night.
Lights-out shooting from the three-point line and a second-half blitz led IU to it’s most impressive win in the Big Ten Tournament in, uh, ever?
This version of the Hoosiers are a tournament team
IU looked great offensively, but more importantly, great defensively. Save for letting Jordan Bohannon go off for 24 points, Indiana was superb defensively, specifically in the second half.
The problem is, we don’t know when this team will show up. We haven’t seen this team play like this since maybe against Michigan State at home, and they might not have even been that good then.
However, IU just has to bring this version three more times and they’re in the tournament, guaranteed. Do it two more times and you’ve all but guaranteed yourself a spot in the tournament.
That second half, though
Indiana played well in the first half save for a stretch in the final minutes that allowed Iowa back in the game. Pair that with a similar stretch to start the second half and the score was a bit deceiving.
However, after being tied at 48-48 with 16:13 left, Indiana outscored Iowa 43-14 over the next 13 minutes. That’s absurd against a team that was on the bubble. Indiana beat them so badly, they may have just ended Iowa’s tournament chances.
The best part was everyone took part in it. Sure, James Blackmon Jr. poured in 18 second-half points, but Juwan Morgan made some monster plays, Josh Newkirk hit some big shots, Deron Davis was his normal effective self and Thomas Bryant was energetic as always.
That was a complete destruction in the second half.
Indiana isn’t dead yet
It’s shocking to think this team could be a tournament team, but here we are with Indiana in the quarterfinals and a win against Wisconsin potentially separating us from the tournament.
I know it’s the Big Ten Tournament, I know it’s Wisconsin, but I also know that version of the Hoosiers we saw tonight are capable of doing it.