The most surprising aspect of Indiana’s complete and thorough whupping of the Michigan Wolverines on Tuesday was the comeback during the 80-67 victory.
Indiana trailed early by 11 points.
And then it went on an insane 28-0 run to pull away in the first half and never look back. This was a big-time win for IU because it came on the road against a Michigan team that still has hope to make the NCAA Tournament. IU’s Big Ten slate is back-loaded. Tougher challenges still await, but any time you can get a road victory in conference against a genuinely good team, you send a kiss to the stars.
Nevermind that Michigan still is without Caris LeVert. Win’s a win. UM definitely needs LeVert back soon — we still don’t have a timeline for his return from that left leg injury — in order to salvage its season.
The Hoosiers are now 19-4 and a Big Ten-best 9-1. Michigan fell to 17-6/7-3. Yogi Ferrell went for 17 points and nine assists. He is playing his way to some sort of All-American status, be it first, second or third team. Barring a collapse, he’ll be recognized come season’s end. Robert Johnson added 16 points for IU. Michigan was paced by Zak Irvin’s 16 points.
Indiana’s defense has come such a long way in two months. Michigan was so woeful it didn’t score in the final nine minutes of the first half. The final margin didn’t reflect the true nature of the blowout. Michigan scored a few garbage points late to trim the margin, but in reality most of the second half was recreational. IU rallied from a weirdly bad start to shoot 50 percent.
Now the Hoosiers can get to 20 wins with a victory at Penn State on Saturday. Michigan gets a tough intra-state test with No. 10 Michigan State coming to Ann Arbor on Saturday night.