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A few brief thoughts from Columbus

COLUMBUS, Ohio -- You can argue the point, of course. Somebody will. That's the beauty of the digital age: There's always a somebody out there that will argue any point, even if it pertains to which direction the sun rises or if Pauly Shore might be the greatest film actor of the last 75 years.

Here's today's point, though, at the end if Indiana 81, Ohio State 68: You haven't seen Indiana play quite as well as it did today, given the setting and everything that was at stake.

Thanks to the meltdown in Champaign, what was at stake was a must win in a place Indiana hadn't won in five years, against a team that was ranked in the Top 10. And the Hoosiers hadn't beaten a Top 10 team on the road anywhere, let alone here, in 20 years.

So, of course, they won. They won by shooting 53 percent -- almost 59 percent in the second half -- and committing just 10 turnovers. They won with Cody Zeller playing maybe the best game he's ever played (24 points, 8 boards) and Victor Oladipo playing maybe the best game he's ever played (26 points, 8 boards, three assists, two steals) and Christian Watford playing, if not the best game he's ever played, one of the best (20 points, 6 rebounds).

When this team plays like that -- when it gets Zeller touches and he and Watford establish themselves inside, and Oladipo slashes and burns -- it's hard to see anyone in the country beating the Hoosiers.

Against Ohio State, which nearly took down Michigan in Ann Arbor the other night, they led by 16 at one point in the second half, and never trailed after Watford scored on a layup to give them a 20-19 lead with 7:18 to play in the first half. And, after taking an eight-point halftime lead, the Hoosiers never led by fewer than four points in the second half.

So to sum up: Indiana never trailed for the last 27-plus minutes. In a place where the Hoosiers had won only three times since 2000. On a day when they pretty much had to win, given that roadies against Michigan and Michigan State still await.

Big time.

Ben Smith's blog.

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