Indiana vs. Syracuse: Orange ponder Final Four, Hoosiers bummed over awful offense

USA TODAY Sports

Syracuse knocked out one of the favored teams in the NCAA Tournament Thursday night, stifling Indiana's offense in a 61-50 win. For the Orange, it was a win that was "easier than it was supposed to be," for the Hoosiers, it was a bummer.

Indiana was a popular pick to win the NCAA Tournament, but after a dismal performance where they couldn't figure out Syracuse's 2-3 zone, the Big Ten regular season champs are finished.

Syracuse blog Troy Nunes is an Absolute Magician is enjoying the victory -- check the .GIF in their celebratory post, handily titled in part "ELITE EIGHT YOU GUYS!!!" Blogger Sean Keeley found the game "way easier than it was supposed to be," and took pride in the Orange's effort:

A lot of people are going to say that the Indiana Hoosiers were absolutely mystified by the 2-3 zone that the Syracuse Orange hammered them with in their 61-50 win Thursday night.

Honestly, I'm not even sure it's that specific. Indiana looked absolutely lost whenever Syracuse played DEFENSE.

Michael Carter-Williams got a special shoutout for a performance Keeley thought was the best shooting outing of the freshman's career. And then, a look forward:

And I don't want to get cocky, but the road to the Final Four is right there, waiting for us to walk down it. No reason we can't.

Over at Indiana blog The Crimson Quarry, it was a different scene, as the potential national champions saw their year clang to a surprise stop.

I think we all knew that the season could end last night against Syracuse, a talented and well-coached team. I don't think any of us imagined the total offensive ineptitude that would do the Hoosiers in. IU's .77 points per possession number is the worst of the past two seasons and among the dozen worst of the entire Crean era.

Blogger John M also offered a look forward -- although in a much different way: this game represents a turning point in the Tom Crean era.

That's not to say that the fans will or should turn on Crean. But the honeymoon is over... As Crean himself said, "it's Indiana." Regular season conference titles are important, but they aren't the ultimate goal. In the next three or four years, we will find out if the progress will continue.

To be honest, the blog that probably enjoyed Indiana's exit the most was SB Nation's Illinois blog, The Champaign Room. Here's what their front page looks like right now:

Champaignroomindiana_medium

More in College Basketball:

16 things you should know about the Sweet 16

Get ready for an all-B1G Final Four

Bill Connelly: Here's how FGCU beats Florida

Sweet 16 power rankings: Cards still on top

Printable bracket for March Madness

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