On Wednesday night, the Indiana Hoosiers faced off against the top basketball team in the country for their ACC/Big Ten Challenge matchup: the Duke Blue Devils. Duke was coming in at 8-0, having just beaten the No. 7 team in the country, the Florida Gators. Indiana, meanwhile, has had its ups and downs already in a few short weeks of the 2017-18 season. A great showing against Duke would turn things in the right direction.
The Hoosiers got just that, albeit in a losing effort. The game was back and forth for most of the first half. The two teams were tied at 34 with just over four minutes remaining before the break. Duke ended the half on a mini 8-4 run to take a 42-38 lead into the locker room.
In the second half, Indiana held tough yet again. It was arguably the best game this team has played all year. The bar is kind of low in that regard. This was the team’s second game against an opponent of note. In the first, it lost handily at Seton Hall. Playing Duke even for close to 40 minutes is something to hang your hat on.
The game was tied at 75 with five minutes remaining before Duke made another mini run to close the game out. It was something to build on though. Indiana shot over 50 percent from the floor against the top team in the nation. Tightening up small spots will have this team where it wants to be.