What a tremendous win for the Hoosiers over a young, but gifted UConn team.
Indiana had come close at Duke, Kentucky and Ohio State, but had wilted at the end of all three of those big road games against NCAA Tournament-quality teams.
The Hoosiers didnâ€™t wilt Saturday. Although they didnâ€™t have the size or athleticism to match Connecticut on the boards, they looked like a savvy, veteran team with Rod Wilmont hitting two key baskets â€“ a long 3 and a fast-break drive – and Armon Bassett sinking four late free throws to pull out the game.
With Chris covering the game in Hartford, I was at home in Bloomington watching it on TV.
It was a terrific game. I have the feeling a lot of Hoosier fans watching on TV were reminded of the old days when their nervousness made it difficult, but thrilling, to watch a hard-fought, down-to-the-wire battle like this one.
One key to the win – Indiana’s outside shooting. I can hardly believe how well Indiana has shot the ball in three straight road games. Youâ€™re not supposed to be able to do that away from home.
Rod Wilmont and D.J. White continued to look Saturday like they are ready to carry this team. Wilmont led all scorers with 23.
Mike White got his first start Saturday and battled hard against taller opponents. Ben Allen and Lance Stemler were tentative and ineffective in limited playing time, leaving the Hoosiers lacking adequate support inside for D.J. White.
Now that the Hoosiers have won a thriller for their fifth straight victory, Indiana sports fans can turn their full attention to tomorrowâ€™s AFC Championship Game where the Colts could earn their first trip to the Super Bowl since they moved to Indianapolis in 1984.
When was the last time sports fans in Indiana have had weekends like these last couple?
And Chris, have a good flight back tomorrow. I might even have a cold beer waiting for you if you make it back in time for the Colts game.