Indiana closed out the regular season in style, beating Michigan 72-71 to win their first outright Big Ten title since 1993. As expected the game went down to the final seconds, the Hoosiers battled and took the lead for good off a Cody Zeller layup with 13.8 seconds to play. Michigan had chance to win it but Trey Burke missed a layup and Jordan Morgan missed the put back securing IU’s win.
“I’m kind of speechless you know. It’s been a crazy ride we’ve had our share of ups and downs but this team comes together when it really needs too,” said Victor Oladipo who finished with a career-high 13 rebounds.
The Hoosiers were led by Zeller who finished with a game-high 25 points, he also scored the teams final six points of the game. The Sophomore big man is currently in the running for the Big Ten Player of the Year award along with the Wooden Player of the Year award and is his teammate Oladipo.
“Any game in the Big Ten is physical and it can go down to the last five minutes so we’ve worked on that all year, closing out games,” said Zeller.
“I cherish every moment with these guys it has nothing to do with how long they stay. Those are special guys. He (Zeller) will be so much better for what he has dealt with in Indiana the scrutiny he has been under,” added Head Coach Tom Crean.
The Hoosiers are the one seed in the Big Ten tournament next week in Chicago. That means they’ve also earned an all important first round bye.