MINNESOTA 59, INDIANA 58 (FINAL)
In one of the most astounding plays I have ever seen, Blake Hoffarber catches a Hail Mary pass near the free throw line and gets a shot to fall.
This arena is stunned. Except for the 100 people wearing gold.
INDIANA 58, MINNESOTA 57 (1.5)
White misses. But then he’s fouled going for the rebound. With 1.5 on the clock, he misses one free throw.
He sinks the second.
INDIANA 57, MINNESOTA 57 (3.1)
Gordon drives and is fouled. But he misses his first free throw.
On the second, he gets the ball to pop up and hop around the rim. In comes D.J. White to finish. And draw a foul.
MINNESOTA 57, INDIANA 55 (10.6)
White makes a crucial block on Coleman and Ellis is there to grab the ball. Dakich is in the middle of the huddle now.
MINNESOTA 57, INDIANA 55 (23.9)
Gordon misses the second free throw and McKenzie somehow gets to the ball without stepping out (he was right in front of me and it was too close for me really to tell). The Gophers have 15 seconds on the shot clock coming out of this time out.
MINNESOTA 57, INDIANA 54 (42.6)
The Gophers can’t get off a good shot. Gordon, as he does in these situations, brings the ball up court. He sees a seam and attacks it, drawing a foul but not finishing.
The officials are reviewing the play because about four seconds ran off after the whistle. Gordon will shoot and then ….. what do you do in this situation?
MINNESOTA 57, INDIANA 54 (1:31)
Crawford with one of his silky drives to the net. He finishes with good touch around the rim.
Wondering how good Dakich is in late-game situations? You’re about to find out.
MINNESOTA 57, INDIANA 52 (1:49)
Some bounces are going Minnesota’s way, but Coleman and Johnson are playing really well.
Johnson ripped the ball from White’s hand to get a bucket and Coleman followed Westbrook’s drive to get another.
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Devin Ebanks is sitting with a large Indiana contingent behind our spots on press row right now. He’s wearing an Indiana sweat shirt and sitting next to Ray McCallum Jr. the son of Indiana assistant coach Ray McCallum.
Ebanks, a 6-9 wing out of New York City, has signed a letter of intent to play for Indiana next season. But, he’s able to get out of that agreement now that Kelvin Sampson is no longer coaching the Hoosiers (he negotiated that out, just in case.) Ebanks is still considering playing for the Hoosiers but as he waits to find out what will happen with the program, he’s also planning to take a look at several of the other schools who have inquired about his availability.
As for the game at hand, Indiana has worked it’s way back but will need to control Coleman and Johnson when they come back in the second half. Minnesota’s starting forwards combined for four rebounds and nine points despite playing a combined 13 minutes due to foul troubles.
MINNESOTA 34, INDIANA 27 (HALF)
AT the very least, Indiana is awake now. It’s almost like they need a little kick of adversity to really get into the game.
MINNESOTA 28, INDIANA 22 (3:31)
The Hoosiers put together a run with a couple of offensive put back by Crawford and Gordon. D.J. White is owning the inside on defense, too, as Minnesota is without Coleman and Johnson because of foul trouble.
DeAndre Thomas gets a big applause as he comes off the court after a few inspired minutes. His spin move and miss became an alley oop for Crawford during that run.
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All week, the folks on talk radio and the message boards and around the bar at your local tavern have been wondering about this Indiana basketball team. Not about what style of defense it should play, or who should play alongside D.J. White in the paint.
No, the question has been: is this team prepared to play the way it must play during this time of the year? Can it overcome the tumult of the past month?
I think we’ll be able to tell the answer to that in the first few moments of this game. The Hoosiers are playing in front of pretty much a home crowd.
Minnesota center Spencer Tollackson, who was third on the team in scoring with 9.8 points per game, is wearing a boot on the left foot he hurt last night. That changes the complexion of this game, as it means Minnesota will probably concentrate even more on winning from the perimeter. Tollackson never had much luck shutting down D.J. White, but now the Gophers will almost certainly need to double him a majority of the time.
It’s over. Illinois 74, Purdue 67. The Illini will play the winner of Indiana-Minnesota tomorrow.
Bruce misses two free throws to give Purdue a chance, but the Boilermakers miss a couple of shots of their own and foul Illinois on the rebound. Trent Meacham just hit one of two throws and the Purdue missed two more quick shots right at the bucket. The Illini can’t hit their free throws, but they’re still in good shape with 4.7 seconds left at 72-67.
With 39.4 seconds left in overtime, Illinois appears to be in control of this one. A 71-67 lead and the ball. An Illini fan behind me is shouting “We want the Hoosiers,” loud enough that you can probably hear it from home.
Sure enough, McCamey gets away from Kramer, the Big Ten Defensive Player of the Year, and hits a 3-pointer to tie the game.
Kramer’s final shot bounces off the rim. We’re headed to overtime.
Even the Purdue cheerleaders seem a bit shocked.
A Kramer travel will give the Illini the ball trailing 63-60 with 31 seconds left. McCamey’s been unreal these past few minutes.
Purdue has taken a 57-52 lead with 3:18 left. The Boilermakers are finding a way to pull away late, as they have done in so many games.
Chris Kramer just charged through the lane. He is a safety playing basketball.
The streets of Indianapolis are mostly crimson, with a touch of orange and good deal of black and some Minnesota maroon.
It’s Big Ten Tournament time.
Illinois and Purdue are currently engaged in a lively little game to decide who will play the winner of the Hoosiers-Gophers game, which is slated to start at 9 p.m.
Indiana junior guard Jamarcus Ellis is expected to play tomorrow night when the Hoosiers play either Minnesota or Northwestern at 9 p.m. He is practicing with the team today.
Ellis was suspended for the Hoosiers’ final game of the season at Penn State and spent the week trying to work his way back into the good graces of interim coach Dan Dakich.
On Tuesday, Dakich described Ellis’ status as “up in the air” but also said his return was “up to him.”
Ellis, who was the only conference player to finish in the top 10 in rebounds, steals and assists, was an honorable mention all-Big Ten selection by the media.
Dakich has not said what Ellis did to get suspended.