Honestly the headline and dek say everything you need to know about the game. Hoosiers sucked mongo chungus in the first half but they spent the entire second half reminding the fans in attendance and the Red Flash that they are a far better basketball team.
While this is TECHNICALLY A POSTSEASON CONTEST it’s important to remember that St. Francis (PA) is typically the kind of team that would normally be compensated handsomely to come to Assembly Hall in November and get beaten soundly by the Hoosiers. So the six-point halftime deficit certainly generated some #takes by the twitter populace and a round of boos from the fans in attendance as the Red Flash literally skipped off the floor in jubilation.
Here are my three observations:
- Never miss a chance to capture value with a live bet: I took IU -18.5 when the line came out and got burned as the line moved down a bit before crash-landing at -16 when it was announced that Romeo Langford wouldn’t play. With that cover all but dead in the water at halftime, I jumped on and took them -3.5 for way too much money, but there really wasn’t a lot in the first half that suggested that St. Francis was going to hold down Indiana as long as the Hoosiers committed to what they did well: getting to the basket and stop doing what they haven’t been able to do all year: shoot three pointers. Hell, the Hoosiers were so good in the second half they briefly covered the opening line before late free throws from the Red Flash sealed it.
- SPEAKING OF WHICH: Credit Archie for getting it fixed at halftime but I can’t fathom how these guys got sucked into a three-point contest with St. Francis in the first half. In a competition that has moved the arc back, shooting 13 treys in a half with this shooting outfit is malpractice. Maybe Archie wanted to ride it out and fix it at halftime, and ultimately it’s hard to criticize coaching in a 17 point win, but the first half offense was as confounding and inefficient as it has been all year, and that’s saying something.
- Wherefore art thou, Romeo?: He was on the bench, I just wanted to write that line. Archie said postgame that Indiana’s freshman phenom would not have played even if this had been an opening round game of the NCAA Tournament, so Langford is clearly dealing with something rather serious.
Indiana plays the winner of Arkansas/Providence next.