Victor Oladipo (left) and Yogi Ferrell led Indiana past Michigan State, 75-70, Sunday.
BLOOMINGTON, Ind. (WDRB) – There's a new leader in the Big Ten. Indiana slipped back into first place by slipping past Michigan State, 75-70,at Assembly Hall Sunday in a game that was tight from start to finish.
Indiana has won six of its first seven Big Ten games. The Hoosiers sit a half-game ahead of the Spartans (6-2) and Michigan, which is 5-1 prior to its game at Illinois today.
STAT OF THE GAME: The Hoosiers showed a potent and versatile offense. They made nearly 51 percent of their shots and four guys scored in double figures, led by Victor Oladipo, who had 21.
Although Cody Zeller scored only nine points, he delivered the game's signature basket, driving from the top of the lane to score with 1:39 to play to put Indiana ahead, 74-70. Zeller also drew a charge in the final 14 seconds. Will Sheehey also continued to emerge from a slump, scoring eight points off the bench.
IT TAKES A THIEF: Oladipo doesn't lead the nation in steals, but it certainly seems as if he should after the way Oladipo picked Michigan State clean Sunday. Oladipo was everywhere – hands, legs, arms, the total package.
He had a steal and dunk on the first play of the game – and Oladipo was just getting warmed up. He was in the passing lanes, swiping dribbles, flying to the rim. The box score credited him with six steals and 21 points. He also blocked three shots.
WHERE DID THAT COME FROM? – Michigan State center Adreian Payne has never reminded anybody of Ray Allen. Or Larry Bird. Prior to Sunday's game, Payne had made three three-point shots this season and four over three seasons.
Payne came out firing against the Hoosiers. His first shot was a three. Good. His second shot was a three. Good. After that, Indiana started guarding him from the three-point line, but Payne made a third three-pointer in the second half. He finished with 18 points.
WHERE IS THE LOVE? Indiana wanted Gary Harris to be a part of the recruiting class that included Yogi Ferrell and Jeremy Hollowell. Harris had another idea. He signed with Michigan State.
Sunday was his first trip to Assembly Hall since Harris was the featured visitor at Indiana's 2011 Hoosier Hysteria. He was booed. He was taunted. He was pointed at.
Once, while Harris was shooting free throws, his mother stood behind the Michigan State bench and waved a picture of her son at the crowd as Gary made both shots.
Harris had a fine game, showing why he's one of the best freshmen in America. He made five three-pointers and finished with 21 points, his highest-scoring Big Ten game.
After the game, IU coach Tom Crean went behind the Michigan State bench to congratulate Harris' parents.
HAR-BOWL – Jack and Jackie Harbaugh must have been getting their Super Bowl game faces on. After watching their son-in-law, Tom Crean, coach the Hoosiers against Penn State Wednesday night, the Harbaughs did not attend the Michigan State game. Their sons, John (Ravens) and Jim (49ers) meet in the Super Bowl next Sunday in New Orleans.
FASHION STATEMENT: Oregon football isn't the only program that Nike takes care of. They've even given Michigan State a new team color – bronze.
The Spartans showed up in designer sneakers (bronze with a green swoosh) as well green uniforms in bronze lettering with only the Spartan logo on the front. I thought Michigan State's colors were green and white. Turns out Nike officially added bronze several years ago.
UP NEXT: Indiana plays three of its next four games on the road. The Hoosiers visit Purdue Wednesday and then return to play Michigan in Assembly Hall on Saturday night with ESPN College GameDay booked for IU. Then IU plays at Illinois and Ohio State the following week.
THE QUOTE: Michigan Stat coach Tom Izzo, before the game: "You came to see the worst 17-3 team in the country?"