Sunday, January 25, 2009

Would'a, should'a

Once again, the IU men's basketball team could not get it done down the stretch. With under a minute to go and down three, all they could muster was a bad three-point shot. It wasn't even close and losing streak continued.

This was the second Big Ten game the Hoosiers should have won. The other was the blown blow-out of Michigan that ended in an overtime loss.

The Hoosiers were able to play well in stretches, but every time they had a chance to take the lead or tie, it ended in a turnover or missed shot. IU also missed 10 free throws, which probably was the biggest obstacle to victory today. Minnesota did not play like the 20th-ranked team in the country.

More and more, these Hoosiers remind me a lot of Northwestern. The Wildcats have landed some talent over the last 10 to 15 years, but have not managed to beat too many Big Ten opponents. I watched, and attended, several IU-Northwestern games where the Hoosiers played downright awful. They would be down 10 points in the second half and I would be thinking it was over. But somehow, IU would pull the game out.

Is that superior talent winning in the end or is it an opponent not knowing how to close? IU would play 30 bad minutes, but manage 10 good minutes and pull out a victory.

This year's IU team appears similar to those Wildcats. It is going to take a super-human effort for an entire game to get a win. We've seen even a few bad minutes are enough to lose a game.

The Hoosiers travel to Northwestern on Jan. 28 looking for that first conference win. The effort may be there again, but will that be enough?

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