As the Indiana basketball team rolls into the new decade its time to take a look back over the past ten years. We rank the top ten games of the decade and today we look at number three.
The 2011-12 season was a great season for the Hoosiers and one that many experts didn’t see coming. They shocked the number one ranked team earlier in the year (still to come) and would beat a ranked Michigan team later in the year, but first came the number two team in the country. That brings us to game number three of the top ten games of the decade.
Indiana 74 Ohio State 70
Bloomington, IN – December 31, 2011
Seven years ago the Indiana Hoosiers hosted the Buckeyes on New Year’s Eve looking to ring in the new year with another big upset. They had already taken out number one Kentucky at home and were trying to do the same thing against the second-ranked Ohio State Buckeyes.
The Buckeyes came in with stars Aaron Craft and Jared Sullinger. They also had Deshaun Thomas on a loaded team. They were a favorite coming into the game, but the Hoosiers were riding a hot streak at Assembly Hall and were in the middle of a surprising reemergence onto the national stage.
The Hoosiers were trying to do the rare feat of beating the number one and number two teams in the same month and in the regular season on top of that. They would do just that and continue their storybook season.
The game was tight throughout and one masked with foul trouble. Freshman Cody Zeller was limited all night with foul trouble, but the Buckeyes felt it too as Jared Sullinger, William Buford, and Deshaun Thomas all sat out a good portion of the first half with two fouls.
Both teams would take small leads throughout the game, only to see the other team answer each time. The last five and a half minutes saw 10 lead changes or ties. Finally, Victor Oladipo would get a fast-break layup with 36 seconds left to take the lead 71-70.
The Hoosiers would seal it with three more free throws to end the game and give Indiana another huge win.
All five starters for Indiana would score in double figures led by Jordan Hulls 17 points. Oladipo would add 15 including the big go-ahead layup.
Indiana would do all of these despite being outrebounded by the Buckeyes and shooting well under their shooting average for the year. It was a gritty game for the Hoosiers and one that continued to show that Indiana was for real.