BLOOMINGTON, Ind. -- Tom Crean never crossed halfcourt, so this wasn’t exactly a victory lap. Still, as he zig-zagged across the Assembly Hall hardwood late Saturday night, it was obvious the Indiana coach was caught up in the moment.
Flanked by two police officers and nearly encircled by television cameras, Crean waved to the students who had spent the past two hours going hoarse behind the south basket. “Thank you,” he mouthed. “Thank you so much.”
Then the coach spun on his heels and pointed toward the folks in the high-dollar seats at midcourt and the players’ family members behind the bench, flailing his arms as the cheers grew louder and. When he finally made his grand exit, the coach exchanged high-fives for the kiddos who lined his path to the locker room.
“Good job tonight,” Crean told them. “Thanks for coming. Good job tonight.”
It was quite the celebration, to be sure -- especially for a win in early February. But if any regular game deserved a curtain call, the third-ranked Hoosiers’ 81-73 victory over No. 1 Michigan was certainly it.
Heck, the Wolverines probably should’ve taken a bow, too.
“Sometimes,” Crean said, “when there is so much attention and hoopla and hype surrounding game, it can’t live up to it.
“This one did.”
For the rest of Jason King's column on the Michigan-Indiana game, click here.