This is Indiana

(Photo: Indiana University)

(Photo: Indiana University)

In 49 states it’s just basketball. But this is Indiana.

That’s all well and good when the Hoosiers win. But the downside of that mentality is that when they don’t, well…you get this.

The Hoosiers didn’t just lose to Syracuse. They looked under-sized, under-skilled, and underprepared for the Sweet 16 playoff game. And they ended up underachieving.

Yes, this is Indiana. But let’s not go and shut the whole state down over this.  No, we didn’t get the ending we were hoping for…but there is still a lot to feel good about when you look at the Hoosiers and where they’ve come from.

Put this loss in perspective. From damaged and depleted just five years ago, dead last in the Big Ten…to a number one ranking, the Big Ten title (outright), and Sweet 16 appearances two years in a row.

Losing isn’t pretty or glamorous. Especially this one. But if you do it right, you learn something about your team and yourself. The players will. Tom Crean will. And they will come back better and stronger for it. Those who come back, anyway.

In the meantime, let’s not throw the baby out with the bath water. And when I say “the baby,” I mean Yogi Ferrell. Give him some time, guys.

There was a lot of good this season. Mostly good. And that’s what I’m going to remember from this team. From these good, nice kids who put all they had out there for us…even when it wasn’t enough. And they knew it.

Think back on the history of the other team love of our lives…the Colts. What happened for years before they won the Super Bowl? Heartbreaking losses. Over and over. Season after season. It always ended the same way. Until one year…when it didn’t.

The Hoosiers started the season on top. And one of these years, they’re going to finish it there.

Because this is Indiana.

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