This game was a blatant waste of everyone’s time.
It has been harped upon all season. It’s the broken record that has no fix. It’s an overstated sentiment that I hate to over perpetuate, but it would be disrespectful to the result of this game to not acknowledge the true story here.
This basketball game should never have been played and the fact that it was is a violation of basic human justice.
After getting one day to rest after an emotionally demanding loss to Purdue on Sunday, Indiana looked lethargic from the very first moment of this game. On the other side of the spectrum, Ohio State, a basketball team that had not played since Thursday, looked fresh and completely in-sync.
It was transparently obvious from the onset that this actual game was futile.
Genuinely, what’s the point?
I don't believe a fully rested Indiana Basketball team beats Ohio State on the road, but I will never really know.
Ohio State is an elite team that is only one game behind Purdue for the top spot in the Big Ten. No matter what, Ohio State’s length and size was going to be a matchup problem for Indiana, but that doesn’t warrant taking away Indiana’s fighting chance.
“They set the tone very early with their physicality…knocked us on our heels pretty quick and we were working uphill from there most of the night,” said Archie Miller
Against Purdue, Indiana supplemented their size issues with energy and grit to fight for 31 rebounds. Against Ohio State, Indiana had none of those intangibles in their arsenal as the Hoosiers were out-rebounded 39-26.
Why? Why do we do this to student athletes? We learn nothing from these basketball games with an unbalanced rest structure. This isn’t an Indiana issue, this is a Big Ten problem.
While Indiana was getting out run against Ohio State, at the same time Rutgers lost to Illinois 91-60. Both Rutgers and Illinois can be quite abysmal at times, but the two shouldn’t be separated by 31 points. Illinois last played on Wednesday, January 24th. Rutgers’ last game prior to Tuesday was on Saturday, January 27th.
The argument in defense of the Big Ten’s truncated schedule is that every team has to go through tough stretches of games. The issue with this hilariously weak argument is that these tough stretches of games don’t align. If Indiana is playing on one day of rest, then Ohio State should be playing on one day of rest. Every game in the Big Ten shouldn’t be a disastrously uneven predetermined result.
“There’s no excuses,” said Miller. “We’re all going through our different rhythms in the league.”
Archie Miller has refused to make excuses all season in what seems like an effort to cap for his new conference. At some point, you have to acknowledge reality.
“It’s difficult,” said Miller. “Seven in 17 days or four in eight days…for us we just need to get back and get on our feet.”
It was evident from the other side of the court, that this game wasn’t warranted.
“Indiana had some tired legs,” said Chris Holtmann. “I recognize that. I think that’s just reality.”
This basketball game was unfair to all the fans of college basketball that watched. This game was unfair to Archie Miller and Chris Holtmann. This game was unfair to the referees that had to experience that lethargy. This game was unfair to every student athlete involved in it.
This game was pointless.