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Something has been missing in college basketball the last three seasons and until Saturday, I hadn’t realized it. Indiana Hoosier basketball is what has been missing.

Complete with the candy cane striped warm-up pants and all the historical moments from the great state of Indiana as portrayed in the movie “Hoosiers.”

Basketball is a way of life there and it plays out well in national competition, but for the last few seasons we haven’t had the pleasure of seeing Indiana basketball the way it used to be.

While Butler from Indianapolis has been going to the Final Four, the kids from Bloomington haven’t given us much to be inspired by. That was at least true until Saturday afternoon when the Hoosiers knocked off No. 1 Kentucky, 73-72, on a 3-point buzzer beater by Christian Watford.

With the win, Indiana is now 9-0 and ranked No. 18 in the AP poll. And better yet for bettors in Las Vegas, the Hoosiers are now 5-0 against-the-spread.

The win against Kentucky was Indiana’s first win against a No. 1 team in nine years and the first victory over a top-10 team in three years. The Hoosiers have gone 28-66 under head coach Tom Crean over the last three seasons as they try to regroup from the NCAA rubble left by Kelvin Sampson.

Saturday’s win puts all the losses in the rear view mirror, but more importantly, it reminds us how much better college basketball is with Indiana basketball mattering.

Immediately following their win Saturday, sports books across the city adjusted their future odds on Indiana to win the National Championship. The South Point dropped the Hoosiers from 80-1 all the way down to 25-1.

The Hoosiers will have the entire week to celebrate until their next game against a struggling Notre Dame (7-4) squad on Saturday.

Racing in the polls

The Murray State Racers jumped into the top-25 at No. 24 with their big 76-72 Sunday win at Memphis. Donte Poole connected on six 3-pointers to score 20 points to lead the Ohio Valley Conference team to their 10th win against no losses.

The loss for Memphis knocked them out of the top-25. Murray State has now covered four straight games.

Marquee matchups

After UNLV’s big wins against North Carolina and Santa Barbara, they’ve stumbled a bit with two road losses against quality teams Wichita State and Wisconsin.

Following Wednesday night’s home game against UTEP (2-4), the Rebels will travel to Chicago to face No. 19 Illinois (10-0) Saturday. Illinois has quality wins against Richmond, Maryland and Gonzaga, but has failed to cover the spread in its last two games.

Memphis (5-3) will get another shot at getting into the top-25 again with a game Saturday at No. 4 Louisville (9-0). BYU (8-2) welcomes No. 7 Baylor (7-0) and No. 13 Florida gets a visit from No. 22 Texas A&M (8-1) in the only clash of ranked teams this week.


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