If you are a fan of a team that plays basketball in Indiana, there is a good chance last night was a banner night for you, for what happened at both the college and pro levels. What exactly do we mean? Well, if you are a fan of one of those teams, you probably know already, but if you don’t, join us as we break down last night’s action.
The Hoosiers are No. 1 for a reason.
OK, maybe North Carolina isn’t great right now, but beating a team full of former hotshot recruits coached by one of the most successful guys in college basketball by 24, as top-ranked Indiana did in thrashing the Tar Heels 83-59 last night, is nothing to sneeze at all the same. Indiana got contributions from all over the place, starting with Cody Zeller, who tormented his brother’s alma mater and showed why he’s a favorite for national player of the year with 20 points, eight rebounds, and four blocks. Guard Jordan Hulls scored 13 while adding eights assists and – this is probably the most impressive part considering the guy is six feet even – seven rebounds. Guard Victor Oladipo and forward Will Sheehey had 19 each.
Additionally – and this makes Indiana even scarier – freshman point guard Yogi Ferrell struggled mightily shooting the ball (0-for-6 from the field, though he also had six assists against just one turnover), as did senior forward Christian Watford (1-for-9). In other words, Indiana beat North Carolina by 24 despite two key players shooting a combined 1-for-15. If that should terrify the Tar Heels, it should terrify everyone else vying to win the national championship just as much. The Hoosiers have star power and balance. They were impossible to beat last night, and will be extremely tough to beat all season.
Elsewhere in college hoops: Colorado avoided a major upset, staving off Texas Southern in two overtimes, 85-80, and Michigan proved that Indiana won’t be able to waltz to a Big Ten title, beating N.C. State 79-72. And No. 21 Minnesota did its part to prove the same point, beating Florida State on the road 77-68.
The Lakers still have some kinks to work out.
And now, the other half of the great night for Indiana basketball. The Pacers took on the Lakers in L.A., and the good news for the Lake Show is that Kobe scored 40. The bad news: the rest of the Lakers combined scored 37, and the Pacers had just enough to overcome it, winning 79-77. Look at this box score. Kobe’s stat line last night is one for the ages: 40 points (on 28 shots), 10 rebounds, three assists, three steals… and 10 turnovers. (On the Pacers, no one scored more than 19).
And the best part: it’s hard to blame Kobe for trying to do everything by himself: Dwight Howard was the only other Laker who proved himself remotely capable of making a shot. (We’re talking strictly field goals here: Howard was 3-for-12 at the line.) Aside from Howard and Kobe, who were a combined 19-for-38, the Lakers shot – wait for it – 5-for-38. That’s just over 13 percent, of you’re wondering. Looking at a number like that really makes you think the Lakers could use a point guard famously adept at creating excellent scoring opportunities for others (not to mention can shoot the ball well himself). If only they had someone like that on the roster.
Elsewhere in the Association…
The T-Wolves beat the Kings 97-89, with a vintage Kevin Love performance (23 points, 24 rebounds). The Suns beat the Cavs, though Anderson Varejao (20 points, 18 boards) continues to play out of his mind. The Sixers edged the Mavs despite 20 points from Chris Kaman, who should clearly get his own reality show called The Kaman Khronikles. And the Rockets beat the Raptors 117-101 thanks to a combined 40 points and 22 assists from James Harden and Jeremy Lin. And Omer Asik, that free agent signing some scoffed at? He had 13 points and 18 boards. He’s averaging a double-double. Not bad, Daryl Morey.
It’s hump day.
Celebrate by humping inanimate objects. TIP: if you don’t like your job, do it right in your workplace. You might not even have to go there anymore!
Photos via Getty