Zeller's consecutive dunks off misses send Crean to Superbowl with Hoosiers No. 1

Tom Crean will fly to the Superbowl tomorrow to see which of his brothers-in-law join him with a No. 1 team in their sports.  Indiana beat Michigan, which will propel them back to No. 1 in Monday’s polls ahead of Florida, as Cody Zeller had dunks off offensive rebounds on consecutive trips with 7:36 and 7:13 to play to hold off a rally by Trey Burke (22 points).

Zeller hit 8 of 10 field goals while grabbing 10 rebounds in a dominant performance.  He had plenty of help as Victor Oladipo added 15 points, but also stepped in to play fantastic defense against his old high school teammate Burke.

The only lead Michigan held was 3-2 on a 3-pointer by Burke.  Indiana was ahead 18-7 before they missed their first shot, as Alumni Hall went wild.

However, Burke was dominant in leading a rally.  He hit a 3-pointer at the end of the first half and again with 18:37  to bring Michigan within 37-38 with 18:37 to go  in the game.  Indiana tied the game at 40-40 moments later, but Crean shifted Oladipo over to guard Burke.

At 6-foot-5, Oladipo is five inches taller than Burke, super athletic, and came into the game ranked as the 9th best player in the country on www.valueaddbasketball.com, just behind No. 1 Burke and No. 6 Zeller. More important perhaps, the two were high school teammates so he knows all of Burke's moves.

To that point, Burke had hit over half of his shots (6 of 11) en route to 17 points.  From that point on Burke was forced to settle for jumpers over the taller Oladipo and other Hoosiers rotating to guard him and made just 3 of his final 13 shots while Zeller and Oladipo took over to pull away down the stretch for a 81-73 win.

The rule of thumb is that unless you beat a team by double digits at home, you would have lost to them on the road.  Michigan hopes that holds true when Michigan gets to host Indiana on March 10 in the season finale, but for now Indiana will come in at No. 1 just ahead of a Florida Gators team that dominated Mississippi today.

 

FGM FGA FTM FTA Ast Stl Pts
Burke 1st 22 minutes 6 11 2 2 4 1 17
Burke last 18 minutes 3 13 1 2 4 1 8
Game 9 24 3 4 8 2 25

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