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Home > News > DAILY DISH: Is Indiana back? Hoosiers shock Kentucky at buzzer, NO LA for Chris Paul

DAILY DISH: Is Indiana back? Hoosiers shock Kentucky at buzzer, NO LA for Chris Paul

By: Kels Dayton

  • It’s about time. After four years of self-lamentation, NCAA sanctions and just plain bad basketball, Indiana is back atop the college basketball universe, having knocked off No. 1 Kentucky, 73-72, in front of a manic crowd at Assembly Hall in Bloomington on Saturday. Christian Watford drained a buzzer-beating three to complete a marvelous afternoon for the

    Indiana is now 9-0, with wins over N.C. State, Butler, and now Kentucky, and appears ready to return to the NCAA Tournament for the first time since 2008.Indiana is relevant again after Saturday's 73-72 stunner of No. 1 Kentucky. (AP Photo/Darron Cummings)

    Hoosiers, one that ended with a signature, program-changing win that will likely vault IU into the Top 25 on Monday. Indiana controlled much of the second half, building as much as an eight-point lead before allowing Kentucky back into the game with poor shot selection.

    The Hoosiers appeared headed for their first loss of the season when guard Victor Oladipo turned the ball over with 8 seconds to go and Indiana trailing by one. But Kentucky’s Doron Lamb missed one of two free throws, and Kentucky held onto a 72-70 lead with 5.6 seconds to go.

    Out of timeouts, Indiana’s Verdell Jones raced the ball up the court, created contact, turned and dumped it off to Christian Watford, who was trailing him at the three point line. Watford caught it, then went straight up and launched a program-defining shot at the buzzer. By the time it splashed through the net, Indiana fans were on their way to the court, mobbing their Hoosier heroes in a scene that has been a long time coming.

    Indiana is now 9-0, with wins over N.C. State, Butler, and now Kentucky, and appears ready to return to the NCAA Tournament for the first time since 2008.

Since that time, of course, Hoosiers fans have watched as their once-proud program endured the worst three-year stretch in its history, winning just 6, 10, and 12 games and falling into the Big Ten cellar. Making matters worse is the fact that tiny Butler, from Indianapolis, made back-to-back runs to the National Championship game. That’d be like Kansas bottoming out in the Big 12 and watching Wichita State nearly win it all twice, or North Carolina fading into oblivion and witnessing UNC-Charlotte become a national darling. It’s been a bizarre  few years for basketball in the state of Indiana, but now, finally, the Hoosiers are back where they belong.

  • Rivalry Saturday was everything you’d expect and more, with great games, big upsets, and yes…a brawl. The annual Crosstown Shootout between Xavier and Cincinnati was cut short after an ugly, bench-clearing fistfight that left Xavier center Kenny Frease bleeding and Cincinnati head coach Mick Cronin telling reporters that he doesn’t know who will still be on his team going forward. Cronin said he snatched the jerseys from every one of his players, “some of them physically”, and wondered aloud if the university president would fire him after the incident. While the brawl was ugly, the post-game press conference was even more embarrassing. Take a look:

The writing was on the jersey for Chris Paul all along. (Photo: http://www.bleacherreport.com)

Also worth a look is Paul Daugherty’s postgame article in the Cincinnati Enquirer, in which tried to figure out the difference between a gangster and a thug, which is apparently the subject on which Tu Holloway is writing his senior thesis paper. It was an ugly Saturday all the way around in Cincinnati.

  • NBA experts are going nuts over the league’s rejection of a three-team trade that would have sent superstar guard Chris Paul to the Los Angeles Lakers, but like it or not, the league had the right to do so. While general manager Dell Demps was given permission to make the major basketball decisions surrounding the franchise, the NBA still owns the Hornets.

If the rest of the team owners throughout the league don’t want to give the Lakers yet another superstar while devaluing the franchise they’re looking to sell in the process…well, they have that right. The trade made sense basketball-wise, with the Hornets getting Lamar Odom, Luis Scola, Kevin Martin, Goran Dragic, and draft picks, but it didn’t make sense to further stack the deck against small market teams just weeks after league owners ended a lockout aimed at making it easier for small market teams to compete. Like it or not, the league had the right to block this trade.

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