College basketball coaches often try hard to downplay epic regular-season encounters as just another step toward tournament time.
Indiana coach Tom Crean bucked the trend by simply enjoying the moment Saturday night following his No. 3-ranked Hoosiers’ 81-73 victory against No. 1 Michigan at Assembly Hall.
The clock ticked up to midnight and Crean was still in the press room talking about the win, his program’s development and the fact ESPN’s “Gameday” had anchored its coverage Saturday at Assembly Hall. An hour after the game had finished, Hoosiers such as guards Jordan Hulls and Yogi Ferrell were in the hallway outside the locker room giving interviews ... still in their uniforms.
“Well, it made for an exciting day,” Crean said. “I think you want to take in the whole atmosphere. You want to reflect a little bit and say ‘This is a really big deal.’ We had been part of one at Marquette (where he previously coached), and obviously, when we started here it wasn’t like ‘Gameday’ was on the horizon anytime soon.
“The program worked its way to have this be a place where it wanted to go. It’s a huge honor for us to have something like this, but I also think it’s well-earned not only by the program but by our fans.”