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Indiana loss to Ohio State in Big Ten tournament could spell end of NCAA tourney hopes

Michael Osipoff, Chicago Tribune on

Published in Basketball

CHICAGO -- Did Indiana's NCAA Tournament bubble burst Thursday?

It remains to be seen Selection Sunday.

But the Hoosiers' 79-75 loss to Ohio State in the second round of the Big Ten tournament at the United Center might have been the final pin.

Indiana coach Archie Miller acknowledged the issue.

"It'll be difficult," Miller said. "Our resume, if you put it up on a blank sketch, I'm sure it compares favorably to some other teams. We've played a ridiculous schedule.

"At this stage, when you're comparing everybody -- can you beat a team in the tournament, can you win a game? This team can win a game in the tournament.

 

"It's played good ball here lately, and it's played good ball early. ... Are we capable? Yes. Did we do enough? I'm not sure."

In a game viewed as a potential eliminator, eighth-seeded Ohio State (19-13) did enough against ninth-seeded Indiana (17-15), which entered the game with four straight wins.

The Buckeyes, who broke a three-game losing streak, built a 20-point lead with seven minutes left before the Hoosiers closed within two in the waning seconds.

"We knew they would come back and battle -- that's just their DNA," Ohio State coach Chris Holtmann said. "But our guys weathered the storm."

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