Indiana won their first eight games of the year pretty easily. They won their first road game of the year at Evansville in a rout, but it wasn't really a hostile environment, and the Purple Aces haven't been impressive this season. The sixteen point win against Butler looked great at the time, but the Bulldogs have since lost to Valpo and Ball State. Hoosier fans saw their team get out to a 6-0 start last year by dominating lesser teams, only to have the season go down in flames once the competition picked up. So the skeptics had reason to take a wait-and-see approach to this year's team.
This season, the Hoosiers have stepped up their game to match their opponents. The win at NC State was the first thing that really made me think that this year will be different for Indiana. I assumed that IU would lose to Kentucky, but if they could keep the score from getting out of hand, then it would be another positive step on the road back to relevance.
As you are probably already aware, Indiana didn't just keep the score from getting out of hand, they beat the number one ranked team in the nation. The Hoosiers hit 9 of 15 from behind the arc, 14 of 17 from the foul line, and won the game on Christian Watford's last second three-pointer.
As someone who wasn't convinced that IU was a tournament team after the 7-0 start, the last two games have changed my outlook. I'm not predicting a conference championship or anything at this point, but the Hoosiers are going to be very hard to beat this year, especially at home. If they aren't dancing when March rolls around, I'll be very surprised.