Saturday, March 11, 2017

Two things we kind of knew

Both Purdue and Indiana went down in the Big Ten quarterfinals yesterday. This confirms for their close observers a couple of things that aren't "Well, we've got the weekend off now":

1. The only consistent thing about Indiana is its inconsistency.

Which is to say, you could have bet cash money the Hoosiers would follow up their dominant performance against Iowa with a, well, somewhat less dominant performance. Remember the 60 percent shooting against the Hawkeyes? That became 41 percent shooting against Wisconsin, which beat Indiana by 10 last night.

It's been the one constant for IU fans this year: Indiana following up a ray of hope with an omigod-this-team-is-terrible crapshow. By now you can almost set your watch by it.

2. Who didn't see Michigan beating Purdue?

I'm totally serious.

Because Michigan, right now, might be playing the best basketball in the Big Ten. And Purdue didn't really need to win a single game in the Big Ten tournament. So, of course, the Boilermakers didn't.

Which, in a sense, follows the Boilers' pattern, too. As versatile as they are, as many weapons as they have, they've had a disarming tendency to lose games they absolutely had no business losing. Nebraska. Iowa. Minnesota, at home. Michigan, twice now.

Which suggests Purdue, with all its weapons, could take one of two completely divergent paths in the Madness ahead.

One, it puts it all together and reaches the Final Four. This team has that capability.

Two, it gets knocked off in the first or second round. This team has that capability, too.

The Blob leans toward the latter.

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