IU Insider Blog: IU-OSU one year later

Almost a year ago to the day, Indiana and Ohio State met with the Hoosiers needing a win on Senior Night to wrap up the Big Ten title outright. As it turned out that would have to wait a game as the Buckeyes posted a 67-58 victory. Today's game is important for a different set of reasons.

It has been almost exactly a year since Ohio State came to Bloomington and ruined Indiana's Senior Night.

It was March 5, 2013 when the Buckeyes rolled into town as the No. 14 ranked team in the country and faced the No. 2 Hoosiers. The game before, just like this season, IU had handled Iowa at home.

But that's pretty much where the similarities end between the two seasons and today's matchup.

A year ago, Indiana was 25-4 heading into the Ohio State game. The Hoosiers were 13-3 in Big Ten play and needed a win to capture the Big Ten title outright.

This time, Indiana is 16-12 about to face the Buckeyes and trying to do everything in its power to say alive for any hope of postseason play.

A year ago, Ohio State ruined Senior Night (a 9 p.m. nationally televised game that would go on well into the next morning) with a 67-58 victory. The big question is will the Buckeyes make it two wins in a row against Indiana at Assembly Hall and once again give the Hoosiers another shot to the head that they really can't afford?

Once again, the problem for Indiana basketball fans is that there is no way to predict which Indiana team will show up today against the Buckeyes?

The styles of play in this one will be so much different than the up-and-down, run-and-gun game Hoosier fan witnessed Thursday against Iowa. IU scored 93 points. That was 27 more points than the Hoosiers had scored in any of the past 10 games.

IU had 49 points at halftime against Iowa. IU scored 47 FOR THE GAME against Northwestern at Assembly Hall. It had 52 at Syracuse. IU has had three other games (Michigan State, Illinois and Nebraska) where it has scored 56 points or less.

But today will be a much different experience against an Ohio State team that is one of the best defensive teams in the Big Ten. This game will be played, if the Buckeyes have their way, more in the half court.

The biggest concern for Indiana fans should be turnovers against Ohio State's pressure. More than likely that is where the game will be won or lost.

In terms of postseason possibilities, though, you cannot put enough emphasis on the importance of today's game.

A win and the Hoosiers will have 17 victories overall and have a little momentum going into this year's Senior Night game against Nebraska on Wednesday at Assembly Hall.

A loss and IU will limp to Wednesday night's game with a 16-13 record against one of the most surprising teams in the Big Ten.

One thing working in IU's favor this time around against the Buckeyes is that Ohio State, despite still being ranked No. 22 in the nation, is not the imposing Ohio State team that IU faced this time last year.

The Buckeyes' record is similar. Last year, Ohio State was 21-7 coming to Bloomington. This year the Buckeyes are 22-7. But the difference is in the conference record. Last year Ohio State came to IU with an 11-5 Big Ten record. This year the Buckeyes are 9-7.

And included in those seven losses are two losses to Penn State, the most recent coming in Happy Valley on Thursday.

So factor it all in and what do you have?

You have the same feeling you've had for 28 other games this season with Indiana basketball and that's that you really don't know what to expect. The Hoosiers will play hard and if they don't turn it over 20 times should have a chance to make it two wins in a row today.

But once again, which Indiana basketball team shows up this afternoon at Assembly Hall?

Follow Terry Hutchens at Twitter.com/Foxsportshutch

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