Who do we yell at for this scheduling? For the second week in a row, Tuesday night featured just one Big Ten game. This is outrageous. For the second week in a row Indiana was one of the two teams in action. The Hoosiers, for now, laid to rest any concerns that may have arisen from last Tuesday's first conference loss at the hands of the Wisconsin Badgers and the huge blown lead against the Minnesota Golden Gophers.
Game of the Night: Indiana Hoosiers 80, Michigan Wolverines 67
There were rumors that Caris LeVert may have returned from his lower leg injury and play in his first game of 2016, but I'm not sure his presence would have helped on the floor against the Hoosiers. The Wolverines held a 24-20 lead as the clock slipped under 9 minutes remaining in the first half, before the Hoosiers began one of the more dominant stretches of basketball one will witness. Indiana finished the half on a 25-0 run, shooting 10-13 from the floor in the process, with only four possessions in that stretch producing no points.
The run stretched out to 28-0 in the second half and Indiana was able to cruise the rest of the way, as the issue was never really in doubt even with Michigan making a couple of small runs in the second half. Yogi Ferrell lead all scorers with 17 points, and was an assist away from recording a double-double. Robert Johnson scored in double figures for just the third time in conference, dropping 16 points. Zak Irivin lead Michigan with 16 points on 16 shots, and Duncan Robinson was the only other Wolverine in double-figures scoring 14 points. IU freshman OG Anunoby continued to make a case to be inserted into the Hoosiers' starting lineup, scoring 11 points on 5-of-6 shooting in 19 minutes of play.
It now appears we are on a collision course for Indiana and the Iowa Hawkeyes to meet in a battle for first place in the Big Ten next Thursday. Indiana has Penn State as another tune-up on Saturday, and Iowa faces Penn State and Illinois this week. A wise betting man says that both of these teams will meet next week at Assembly Hall at 10-1 in conference.
Michigan, who many had labeled as the dark horse in the top-6 of the conference to sneak into the championship picture will now have to quickly as it welcomes the No.10 Michigan State Spartans on Saturday. We have hit a point in the schedule, where Purdue faces Maryland, Michigan State, and Michigan all in a row, that Indiana and Iowa can create separation in the standings by beating up cellar-dwellers this week.
For the second Tuesday in a row there weren't any other conference games. Other than letting Rutgers in the conference, this spread-out mid-week scheduling is the worst thing Jim Delaney has done.