There’s simply no good way to articulate how electric the environment at Assembly Hall when No. 6 Indiana knocked off No. 2 Ohio State. However that is in fact our job, so we’ve gotta find some way to do it. We’re gonna go with some numbers:
78 - 65. The game’s final score.
Six. Indiana’s ranking in the AP Poll and the amount of ranked opponents felled by the Hoosiers.
10,455. The game’s attendance, a new record for the program. It beat the previous record set just over a week ago against Wisconsin.
191. Teri Moren’s wins as Indiana’s head coach, the most in program history and counting.
None of these numbers remotely do this win its due justice, mere absolutes that don’t tell the full story. Among the many things this win absolutely was there’s at the very least one thing it absolutely wasn’t:
Indiana has been Like That for years now under Moren. It’s been a steady climb from the days of Curt Miller’s departure, the WNIT title and the first few NCAA Tournament runs and anyone who was paying attention could see what was coming.
The problem was just that, attention. The ranked wins were piling up and the program was establishing itself on the national stage and yet there was its head coach and the players who put in the work to build it answering questions in press rooms that could hardly fill the first row.
Today? Not so. You had student media, visiting Ohio State media, the Indianapolis Star, the Herald-Times, literally ESPN and even the recruiting blog affiliates there to tell the story that had been unfolding for years.
It’s not like Indiana wasn’t trying to let you know.
There’s the annual Head to the Hall game where tickets are dirt cheap, viral campaigns from team social media and even the very system the Hoosiers play being designed to be highly viewable. Indiana had 21 assists as a team tonight. That’s because it looks cool and works, Moren has said as much in press conferences before.
And Indiana sure isn’t gonna let you forget the players who built this program into the monster its become. When star Mackenzie Holmes was asked about Indiana’s rise she made sure to name them.
Indiana isn’t here without them and not enough effort was put into telling their stories by outlets that’d rather use the time to watch a 5-Star men’s recruit multiple states away. Because what we need is definitely yet another ratings database.
Frankly, this new phenomenon of regularly setting the program attendance record should be the norm. Iowa has sold out Carver-Hawkeye arena before, there’s no reason Indiana, where basketball reigns, should have any issues matching that energy.
There’s so much to be said about Indiana’s rise and that’s a double edged sword. First off, good on everyone for recognizing that this is a top-ten team and the story needs telling. Second, why on Earth was it allowed to go untold in the first place.
This team is not a novelty, they’re not a feel-good story worth a story or two on a site’s homepage as a curiosity.
They’re the Indiana Hoosiers and they’re coming for a title.