There's not much doubt that Indiana, along with the rest of the Big 10, was a bit disrespected in their seeding.
Without question, the Big 12 was a fantastic conference all year. But a 21-11 Iowa State team that finished 5th in its conference was given a 4 seed. Indiana, who won the regular season conference title outright by two games in the Big Ten and finished 25-7, including winning 20 of their last 24, was given a 5 seed.
Would the Hoosiers take that personally for both themselves and their conference in a game that was a fairly trendy upset pick? They certainly did.
Here are some of the takeaways from the Indiana Hoosiers victory.
1. Yogi Ferrell is a 'carry a team' type of player
How often do we see it in the NCAA Tournament? An immensely talented player like Yogi Ferrell can string together a couple of games that leave you with a dropped jaw to carry a team to a few wins and possibly beyond. Tonight, he surprised me.
Not in the way that he played at all. I was surprised to learn that this was his first career 20 point, 10 assist game. He's been such a fixture for this program that I made the assumption he had hit the 20-10 plateau at least once before. But what better time to do it for the first time than in the NCAA Tournament in his senior year?
There's no question Yogi is one of the more explosive players in this tournament and in the country. In a win or go home scenario, a player with that type of capability can certainly be the difference.
2. Guard play really is the difference at this time of the year
For those of you who watched the Purdue Boilermakers collapse, you might have watched and thought 'Man, if only they had the guard play.'
The adage has always been "guard play wins in March." The difference between the Indiana Hoosiers and their in-state rival Purdue was never more evident than it was today, without the two even matching up. Guys like Yogi or Robert Johnson, who made his return to the lineup today, can handle the pressure and make the right plays at all times.
Yogi had 10 assists and 2 turnovers. That's the sort of efficiency that you absolutely have to have in a single-game elimination scenario.
3. Balance is what makes Indiana so dangerous
Every single player that took the court for the Hoosiers tonight scored, and the lowest point total was six points from Juwan Morgan. The way that they space the floor and play around Yogi Ferrell to open up shots for everyone else on the floor is truly an offensive tutorial at times.
When they get things clicking offensively and everyone is hitting shots, there are few teams in the country that I would put against Indiana in an offensive category. Troy Williams playing within his talents makes this team so wildly dangerous and with somebody like O.G. Anunoby doing the things he can do as far as defend, bring energy and just flat out make plays offensively is the type of X-Factor that the Hoosiers will need to make a deep run in the tournament.