Indiana Women's Basketball made Me fall in Love with College Basketball Again

Covering Indiana Women's Basketball was a blessing this year.

Indiana v South Carolina
Indiana v South Carolina / Sarah Stier/GettyImages

When did you fall in love with college basketball? The answer to that question is easy. Danny Manning and the Miracles is when I fell in love with college ball. Larry Brown, Danny Manning, Kevin Pritchard, and the Jayhawks made an unprecedented run to the National Title.

Through the years, it has been easy to love college basketball. From the O'Bannons leading UCLA to a title to Miles Simon and Arizona making a Cinderella run to the championship, the game had players and teams you grew with. Who could forget the Fab Five or Dean Smith's loaded UNC squads?

There were the Hoosiers as well. Calbert Cheney, Matt Nover, and Damon Bailey were a team to watch. Hoosier fans might not want to hear this, but my brothers went to high school with Glenn "Big Dog" Robinson, who was an absolute menace with the Boilermakers.

Then high school kids starting declaring for the NBA, college players were one-and-done, or going overseas to play until they were eligible for the association. College ball suffered, and I stopped watching. What I didn't realize was all the things I loved about the college game still existed; it existed with the women's game.

Don't get me wrong. I watched Purdue's run to its National Championship in 1998-99. I even met Camille Cooper. It was hard to take your eyes off of UConn, Duke, or Tennessee in the 90s and 00s. However, it wasn't until this season when I became the site expert for Hoosier State of Mind that I fell in love with college basketball again.

I began as a site expert at the Hoosier State of Mind last November. As a football guy, covering college basketball was a big challenge. I broke in with Saturday Blitz, covering college football.

That said, I wanted to focus much of my time and effort with the women's basketball program. Women's college basketball has grown exponentially over the past few years, and it was important that Teri Moren, Mackenzie Holmes and the Hoosier women were covered equitably on the site.

What I didn't know was how watching and covering this team would re-kindle my love for college hoops.

It wasn't hard to fall for this team. Coach Moren makes half time adjustments as well as any coach in basketball, men or women at any level. Chloe Moore-McNeil is leadership personified. She never gets rattled and keeps IU steady from the point. I have no idea if Steph Curry is Sara Scalia's favorite player. She's the Hoosier's "baby-faced assassin."

Then there's Mackenzie Holmes. It's easy to feel her intensity and enthusiasm for the game. Holmes became Indiana Women's basketball all-time leading scorer this year, and she helped the Hoosiers get to the Sweet 16.

Down by as many as 22 points against South Carolina, the Hoosiers scratched and clawed its way to making it a game in the fourth quarter. If you don't love that fight in a team, you don't like team sports.

So to Mackenzie, Sydney, Chloe, Sara, Yarden, Coach Moren, and the rest of Hoosiers, thank you for a fantastic season and renewing my love for college hoops.