CHICAGO, IL – Tournament season is upon us. Not only are the Hoosiers fighting for their Big Ten Tournament lives, the Hoosiers are also fighting to stay in the conversation as a potential team to see their name mentioned on Selection Sunday.
Ohio State came to play. Indiana did not, and now close their regular season with a 75-79 loss added to their team page.
Just when Indiana and their fans thought that they had some inspirational momentum, IU came back to reality and their seemingly cursed Big Ten Tournament performances. Indiana moves to 12-22 all time in the Big Ten Tournament.
For 35 minutes of the game, Ohio State controlled the tempo, controlled Indiana’s offense, and most importantly controlled the style of play. The Buckeyes missed the way Wesson’s 6’9” / 270 pound frame dictates the opposing defensive and the gravitational pulls on the floor.
To accommodate, Indiana fouled and pulled help side offense from both backcourt and frontcourt players. Not only did Wesson still manage to finish the game with 17 points, he completed the double-double with 14 rebounds.
Bucket after bucket repeatedly hit iron and even with reasonable shot selection, Indiana was only able to muster up 30% shooting going into the second half. Freshman star Romeo Langford hit an opening three pointer, but would then miss his next 5 in the first half. Langford finished his Big Ten Tournament with 9 points, 6 rebounds, and 5 assists.
Whatever the Hoosiers had to start their games throughout the past six or so games, dating back to their home match up against Purdue, was lost.
The start of the second half was much of the same. Archie Miller worked with interesting line ups largely due to foul trouble created by Wesson.
De’Ron Davis tallied 16 minutes and Evan Fitzner saw 18 minutes of actions in one of his better performances as a Hoosier. Juwan Morgan’s last Big Ten Tournament added another 12 points and 7 rebounds to his Hoosier career.
The true star today was Devonte Green who seemed to be the only Hoosier that could generate any scoring this afternoon in the United Center.
Green hit a career high 8 of 10 three point shots and finished the game with also a career high 26 points. He tagged 4 assists and 4 turnovers as well. The rest of Indiana hit just 2 of 17 behind the arc.
Indiana, down 20 with 7:30 remaining, began to see signs of a revival. With big shots from Devonte, Evan, and De’Ron, Indiana managed to cut the lead to single digits with a little less than a minute of play.
Devonte Green drained multiple 32 footers in the final minutes of the game that kept the Hoosiers within closing distance of the Buckeyes.
The deficit would close all the way until a one possession difference, but the Hoosiers could not apply the final knockout punch. A Devonte Green turnover and an Evan Fitzner offensive foul gave enough of a gap for the Buckeyes to hold onto their lead until the final whistle.
After a first round bye, Indiana leaves Chicago with another first game loss. Archie Miller remains winless as a head coach in the Big Ten Tournament.
Source: Big Ten
Indiana now must sit patiently and await their destiny that will be determined by the NCAA selection committee on Sunday. The 2019 selection show will air on CBS at 6:00 pm EST, where the Hoosiers will see if their 17-15 record is enough to get the trident on the screen, or if more games will continue in potentially the NIT or worse.