No. 2 Indiana beats No. 7 Michigan 72-71 in a thriller in Ann Arbor. Cody Zeller scored the go-ahead layup for the Hoosiers with 13 seconds left in the game to seal the victory.
Zeller has been Indiana’s leader all season, and he showed it once again Sunday. The 7-foot center finished the game with 25 points and 10 rebounds.
The Hoosiers were coming off a big loss to Ohio State last Tuesday that opened the door for many teams to grab a share of the title with Indiana. Ohio State, Michigan, and Michigan State all had a chance before Indiana won Sunday.
This is Indiana’s first outright conference championship in 20 years and should help the Hoosiers in their quest for a No.1 spot in the NCAA Tournament.
Junior Victor Oladipo added a double-double in the Hoosiers win with 14 points and 13 rebounds. Will Sheehey was the only other Indiana player in double figures, with 10 points off the bench.
Michigan had a five point lead with under a minute left in the game but couldn’t make key free throws to secure a win and a share of the title. Tim Hardaway Jr. and Trey Burke both missed one-and-one opportunities at the line.
Tyler Zeller took advantage, making two free throws himself before the layup with 13 seconds to go. The Hoosiers will next play in the Big Ten Tournament as the No. 1 seed and have quite the resume.
Indiana is undefeated against teams ranked in the top 10 at 5-0 on the season. The Hoosiers 26-5 record is one of the best in college basketball, but losses to unranked Illinois and Minnesota in February have kept them from holding onto the No. 1 spot.
No. 7 Michigan also looks to be a lock for the NCAA Tournament even after the devastating loss to Indiana. The Wolverines will need to win a couple games at the Big Ten tournament next week if they hope to have a better ranking in the Big Dance.
The Big Ten has been a basketball powerhouse this year, and I wouldn’t be surprised if five or six teams from the conference get a ticket to the NCAA tourney. Indiana beats Michigan in a battle for the Big Ten and looks to be back on track with even bigger games ahead.