Indiana falls to Fort Wayne: Takeaways from Mastodons' epic upset of No. 3 Hoosiers
An incredible scene played out in Fort Wayne on Tuesday; the Hoosiers looked really average
Talk about a mammoth Mastodon upset.
Fort Wayne "hosted" No. 3 Indiana on Tuesday night. I write "hosted" because, although the game happened at the Mastodon's home arena, truthfully, IU fans packed the joint. It made for an unusual setup. But going on the road, even if you have a home crowd, is always tough.
And Fort Wayne just pulled off one of the biggest upsets we'll see this season by knocking off Indiana 71-68 in overtime. It was a thrilling watch -- the frenzy of the crowd, the high-perched camera angle, Tom Crean's anxiety, all of it made for terrific television -- might wind up being the best game we see during Thanksgiving week's smorgasbord of games.
Here's a great court storm.
Indiana fans are shaking their heads. Fort Wayne fans will party right through the weekend.
The Hoosiers go from beating Kansas on the opening night of the season to taking a demoralizing loss. Let's break it down.
1. Fort Wayne went D-I in 2000. This is the program's first win ever over a ranked team
Previously, the school was 0-14 against ranked opponents. Jon Coffman convinced Tom Crean to schedule this game in quasi-hostile territory, and it turned out to be one of the most intriguing matchups and games we'll see this November.
2. Fort Wayne isn't a pushover; this team is projected to win the Summit
The Mastodons (talk about one of the best nicknames in all of college sports) were picked in the preseason to win the Summit League. They won 24 games a year ago. It's a program with a terrific backcourt, and Crean knew what he was getting into with this one. Ultimately, while it's a big-time upset, Fort Wayne was a 13.5-point underdog. Arkansas State's win at Georgetown (ASU was a 22-point underdog) was a much more shocking result.
It's a wild game and an unexpected outcome, but Fort Wayne is a team you could easily see in your tournament bracket come March. Remember the Mastodons.
3. OG Anunoby didn't play in the second half for IU due to illness
Tom Crean: "OG is sick. Not sure what it is. It started this afternoon. We tried to push him through there, but he didnt have it." #iubb— Zach Osterman (@ZachOsterman) November 23, 2016
Now, Indiana had trouble all night, so there's no telling whether or not Anunoby being on the floor would've given IU the win. But still. If there's a caveat here, it's that Crean's best defender was unavailable to play, and so he actually went to a zone in the second half because of it. With 10 minutes remaining, Indiana faced a double-digit deficit. It was lucky to get the game to OT.
4. Indiana has a great offense, but it can and will fail them on given nights
The Hoosiers went ballistic in their 103-99 OT win against Kansas, hitting 15-of-31 from deep in that game. On Tuesday night, far from it. IU was 7-of-24 from deep and in general lacked any ability to create shots against Fort Wayne. They definitely missed the playmaking ability and overall give-it-to-me alpha-dog qualities that Yogi Ferrell carried the past two seasons. Also hurtful: Indiana's 15 turnovers. This was a surprising performance by IU.
Remember, Indiana goes positionless with its offense now. It's something Crean is still tweaking, and chances are the Indiana team you see play against Mississippi Valley State this weekend is going to be ticked off and ready to put up 100 points.
5. A few more amazing images
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