Alright I’m gonna let you take a second here.
Breathe in through your mouth, out through your nose. Slow, deep breaths.
Breathe in... Breathe out.
Breathe in... Breathe out.
One last time, ya ready?
Breathe in... And breathe out.
Whew. That was quite the basketball game then, huh? Sure we all probably needed to take a minute to absorb what was happening but the Hoosiers pulled out the win there in the end. Even better, they did so in an incredibly funny way!
So it wasn’t funny in the moment, yes. Few such things are. However, in hindsight, we have the glorious ability to laugh and I intent to take advantage of that ability both tonight and in the coming days before the Big Ten Tournament.
First off, the energy to start the game was great! Far better than whatever happened earlier this week against [REDACTED].
Then it wasn’t! Michigan was able to claw back with a run toward the end of the first half and seize control of the momentum at the start of the second. Indiana started to look lost again as the Wolverines were all but automatic from the perimeter.
That was really the difference in this game until everything that happened at the end. Michigan was simply better at 3-pointers. Indiana had open shots mind you, they just were not going in.
For a while, Indiana’s sole 3-pointer came courtesy of Race Thompson. Nothing against the guy, but if you told me Indiana would have one guy hit a 3-pointer in the entire first half he would’ve been very close to but not at the bottom of my list of guesses.
Then it was just Michigan outworking Indiana, whose attempts to fight back were met with answers on the other end from the Wolverines. This included a sequence wherein Michigan was given three attempts to score with Indiana seemingly entirely unable to corral an offensive rebound.
The thing is, Michigan had a lot more to play for here. The worst that could happen to Indiana was falling down the No. 4-seed line or dropping a bit further with a worse seed in the Big Ten Tournament. Which, who cares on the latter.
Michigan, on the other hand, absolutely needed a win to feel a bit better about itself heading into Selection Sunday. Now the Wolverines will need a miracle Big Ten Tournament run just to qualify.
What Indiana had going for it was senior night. Pretty sure the seniors would rather not be sent out off of a loss and that the rest of the roster wouldn’t want to do that to them. Thanks to a heads up last minute play from Tamar Bates, that didn’t happen.
And how about Bates? He’s been off his game for a while now, missing out on open shots and taking a few questionable ones. It’s easy to criticize him for that, but he also played some important minutes down the stretch.
He all but took Kobe Bufkin out of the game in the last few minutes, hit two 3-pointers that later proved critical when every point mattered and finally came up with a steal in overtime. Bufkin’s pass bounced off of Hunter Dickinson’s back and Bates had the presence of mind to go for the ball before Dickinson could make a play on it.
It was an emotional rollercoaster from missed Indiana free throws to that turnover, but Indiana won in the end.
Back to senior night. Indiana’s seniors in Jackson-Davis, Thompson and Miller Kopp were all key to tonight’s win. Kopp had some good defensive minutes and Thompson scored 16 points, his most since the nonconference matchup against
Jackson-Davis was his usual outstanding self, scoring 27 points on the podcaster with nine rebounds and six assists.
All that stands between Indiana and Selection Sunday is the Big Ten Tournament, which ultimately can’t move the needle for the Hoosiers all that much.
Smooth Sailing. Enjoy it and have a laugh.