Despite Criticism, ‘Ball Keeps Bouncing’

Photo Courtesy of Indiana Public Media

The 2012-13 college basketball season has been considered by many as one of the weakest in years. This is because there are no dominant players like an Anthony Davis or Kyrie Irving-type who will be the unanimous choice as the number one overall pick in the NBA draft, or a clear cut front runner to win the National Championship, like the 2011-12 Kentucky Wildcats. But that doesn’t mean it hasn’t been an exciting season, and it hasn’t been one so far removed from the last.

ESPN College Basketball Analyst Jay Bilas recently tweeted “Total losses of Top 25 teams this week? 112.  Total losses of Top 25 one year ago this week? 122.  No great teams, but not much different.” So, there isn’t a big difference between the production of the Top 25 teams from last year to this year.

One particular story that has brought positive attention to the sport is the reemergence of the Indiana Hoosiers, led by Head Coach Tom Crean and star players Cody Zeller and Victor Oladipo, as a National Championship contender once again.

Crean took over the Hoosiers basketball program in April of 2008, after Kelvin Sampson was fired for committing serious NCAA violations.  It took some time for Crean to make the Hoosiers relevant again, but it happened.

Zeller was the unanimous pre-season National Player of the Year prior to this season.  He started off slow, but is currently dominating by averaging 18 points and 7.2 rebounds over the past five games.  Oladipo has been the most consistent player for Indiana all season, averaging 14 points, six rebounds and 2.4 steals per game.

While one of college basketball’s most storied programs, they are still accomplishing new and impressive achievements.  Their win over the Michigan State Spartans on Feb. 19 was the highest-ranked road victory in the history of their program.  That’s saying a lot for a program that has won five national championships and had the last undefeated season in college basketball, which took place in 1976.

There may not be many powerhouse teams and players this season in college basketball, but that doesn’t mean it hasn’t been a crazy ride so far.  There have still been historic upsets such as the TCU Horned Frogs beating the Kansas Jayhawks on Feb. 6, and great buzzer beaters such as Rotnei Clarke’s winner for Butler in Maui over Marquette to Matthew Dellavedova’s winner for St. Mary’s over BYU.

One thing we know for certain though is that this year’s “March Madness”will be filled with Cinderella stories and an amazing ride to see which team will have their “One Shining Moment.”