After trailing by seven at 47-40 with just a minute to play, IU appeared to have a slim chance again a little later when Drew Crawford could only convert on one of two free throws with 31.6 seconds to play.
Indiana came down and instead of pushing the ball inside or attacking the basket, settled for a quick, step-back 3-point attempt from the left wing by Evan Gordon. The shot was an air ball and went out of bounds to the Wildcats with 22 seconds to play.
IU coach Tom Crean almost seemed as if he had been preparing himself for that question when it was asked in the postgame press conference. Crean had clearly been thinking about it.
"That was a terrible shot,'' Crean said. There's no question about it. You can't take a jump shot, that did not make sense. Our whole thing was to attack the rim. Our whole thing was not to take a step-back three in that situation with anybody, and we practiced this numerous times.''
"In fact, we covered it again in film study yesterday and today.''
As Crean continued you could hear a hint of frustration in his voice. It was clearly something IU had practiced for and yet when the situation arose in a game, IU failed to execute.
"We had a power spread call on,'' Crean said. "Get a screen in the middle of the floor, let's get it reversed and move, let's play and get it swung. Get the ball, attack and if we had wide open shot that ends up being a three, great. But the whole thing is about getting the court spread with a screen in the middle and four perimeter players, and you don't take a step-back three there.''
THE LATEST ON HOLLOWELL
Sophomore Jeremy Hollowell did not play for the third game in a row. No reason has been given for Hollowell's fate other that he needed to regain his focus.
Crean was asked about Hollowell at the end of Saturday's press conference.
"You'll see him when I put him in,'' Crean said. "I appreciate you taking the chance to ask that question again, but I think that is where it is and we'll put him in when I do. That's where I'm at. I apologize, but that's where I'm at.''
SHEEHEY SAID HE'S OK
Losing to Northwestern at home is one thing, but there was a time when Indiana fans had to think they may had lost one of their senior leaders, too.
With 7:15 to play, and Indiana leading 36-35, senior forward Will Sheehey drove to the basket from the right side and was fouled hard. He ended up landing awkwardly underneath the basket and stayed down barely moving for a few minutes.
Eventually, he was helped to his feet and doctors tried to get him to put his arms around their shoulders to get him off of the court. He tried to brush them away but then limped, with their assistance, to the bench. He was eventually taken back to the locker room.
A few minutes of game time later though, Sheehey was back in the game with 3:40 to play and his team trailing 40-38.
Sheehey was asked about the injury after the game and said he had hurt his ankle. It was believed to be his left ankle.
"Yeah, I'm going to be all right,'' Sheehey said. Just got bad ankles, rolled it once before. It's just going to be sore.''
Follow Terry Hutchens at Twitter.com/Foxsportshutch