ANN ARBOR, Mich. (WISH) - Indiana benefited from a couple of big baskets by Cody Zeller in the last minutes of their game at Michigan, along with some missed free throws by the Wolverines, to pull out a 72-71 victory in Ann Arbor Sunday evening.
"My heart was racing you know?" said Junior Forward Will Sheehey. "We just stuck with it, that's pretty much a microcosm of our team, that last couple seconds there. We just came up with some big plays and it's fantastic. It's something we've been working for for a long time. Ever since I got here, ever since coach got here and it means a lot to us."
"I think it hadn't been done in 20 years or something like that," added Freshman Jeremy Hollowell. "It's just a real good feeling. A great group of guys, we've been working hard for it, it's everything we wanted."
Coach Tom Crean has seen a lot in his five years at Indiana.
"I think when you grow up in this program the way that they have. We've got people in here who have been a part of those eight league wins in three years. You learn to deal with adversity pretty good, how to overcome things. You learn that it's really not. Nothing's easy."
- PHOTOS | View photos from the game
Athletic Director Fred Glass agreed.
"I love to get the win but you know it's the way we won. Toughness, rebounding, I don't know what the rebounding was but we had to out rebound them by almost two dozen. Second chances, not caving, fighting back, everything this team's been about. This program's been about was really encapsulated in this game."
Coach Crean added that winning the Big Ten title outright wasn't necessarily their main goal in the game.
"Coming up here and winning the game and playing the right way was the focus. They'd already won the championship, now if we lost we would have shared it, but that wasn't what we were coming to do. We were coming to absolutely make sure we brought our best here because that's what we needed to do."
They were ready to cut down the nets at Chrysler Arena. Michigan was ready to party and be part of the Big Ten title, but Indiana made all the plays in the final minute to get things done and claim the outright championship.
Their first in 20 years.
They'll head into the Big Ten Tournament as the number one seed and play at noon on Friday, March 15 at the United Center in Chicago.
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