The first eight minutes of tonight's game was real fun.
The other 32 were not.
1. Indiana's defense is still bad, which isn't breaking news
The problems with IU's defense weren't going to be fixed overnight, but this was still arguably their worst performance of the year. Consider this: Indiana shot 50.9% from the field, 41.2% from behind the arc, committed just nine turnovers and lost by 20 points.
That's some historically bad defense.
Duke shot better in all aspects on the night, going 37-of-70 from the field (52.9%) and 11-of-24 from three (45.8%).
A lot of the blame goes on Crean, whose use of a 2-3 defense against a team shooting lights out is puzzling, but players are leaving their opponent all alone at the three-point line. Crean can't control that part.
2. The opening 8 minutes showed what IU COULD become, but they're a long way away
After falling down 10-4 early in the contest, Indiana went on a 12-0 run as part of a bigger 17-5 run to take a 21-15 lead at the under-8 timeout. They forced turnovers, got out in transition, and played smart. However, the problem for IU is sustaining that level of play throughout 40 minutes, which they haven't even remotely done.
Yogi was non-existent for much of the first half. Troy got into foul trouble. Thomas Bryant still can't defend the rim. The margin of error for this team is mighty thin.
3. IU's tournament resume is not pretty
The non-conference schedule of IU's was obviously weak, but the possibility of a couple of ranked opponents in the Maui Invitational and tonight's game offered chances to challenge top opponents, if not grab a win.
Now, Indiana's best wins are over Creighton and Austin Peay, both at home and neither inside KenPom's top 50 teams. The worse news is their toughest opponent remaining in the non-conference schedule is Notre Dame, who barely beat Illinois tonight.
The Hoosiers' resume is going to have to include some big wins over Maryland, Michigan State and Purdue in Big Ten play with few bumps in the road, if any, afforded to them.