The Indiana basketball team came up with a huge win against Iowa on Thursday and for one night they saved a season heading in the wrong direction.
For a second straight year, the Hoosiers season was starting to spiral out of control. A four-game losing streak that included two very lackluster games had Indiana in danger of missing the NCAA Tournament for a fourth straight year. Combine that with a tough stretch of games and it looked like the Hoosiers were destined for the NIT once again.
But then something strange happened on Thursday night. The Hoosiers flipped the script on the visiting Iowa Hawkeyes and looked like the better offensive team in an easy win. Iowa came in as one of the best scoring teams in the Big Ten and the Hoosiers made it seem like the complete opposite.
Devonte Green went off for 27 points, which included a season-high seven three-pointers. It was the game the Hoosiers fans have been waiting on from Green and it couldn’t have come at a more crucial time for Indiana.
Trayce Jackson-Davis recorded yet another double-double with 17 points and 10 rebounds and Rob Phinesee added 12 points of his own to help pace the Hoosiers.
It took the Hoosiers about ten minutes of game time to show they were the better team on Thursday and they never looked back. There would be no second-half slump or long scoring droughts for the Hoosiers. It was a great game from start to finish for a Hoosier team desperate for a performance like this.
They would give up 38 points to Luka Garza, but nobody in the Big Ten has been able to stop him this year. The good news is they kept everyone else on the team beside Joe Wieskamp from scoring in double figures. The key to beating Iowa is making Garza try to beat you by himself. If you can shut down his teammates then you have a good shot at winning and that is exactly what the Hoosiers did on Thursday night.
Coming into the game the Hoosiers were, in most brackets, one of the last four teams in. While they still need to prove it, a home win against a ranked opponent could jump them up out of the last four.
The Hoosiers still have a tough stretch including two straight on the road against suddenly hot again Michigan and a tough game at the Barn in Minnesota. If they could steal one of the games on the road it could all but guarantee the Hoosiers a bid if they can protect their home court the rest of the way.
The Hoosiers still have work to do, but the win against Iowa saved their season as far as a bid goes…for now.