Syracuse ends Hoosiers' season with 61-50 win
The Indiana Hoosiers are out of the NCAA Tournament.
Syracuse beat the top-seeded Hoosiers 61-50 Thursday night in Washington D.C.
Indiana led 3-2 early, but trailed by as many as 18 points in the first half. They cut the Syracuse lead to 12 at the half and got as close as six points on a Victor Oladipo three-pointer with 14:12 remaining before losing to the Orange.
"We just could never get over the hump. We got it cut down, but we could never get that gap, that margin, where we needed it to be," said IU head coach Tom Crean.
Oladipo scored 16 points to lead Indiana. Christian Watford (13) and Cody Zeller (10) also scored in double figures for the Hoosiers. Zeller grabbed 10 rebounds to lead Indiana.
Michael Carter-Williams had 24 points and four steals to lead Syracuse to a matchup with third-seeded Marquette in the regional final Saturday. The Golden Eagles knocked off Miami 71-61 earlier Thursday night.
The 50 points is the fewest the Hoosiers have scored all year.Indiana shot just 33 percent from the field.
"Credit them," Oladipo said. "They did a great job with their zone. They're well-coached."
The Hoosiers also committed 19 turnovers, which matched a season high.
"The story of the game for us is we didn't take care of the ball good enough, we gave them too many opportunities. We did not do a good enough job on a couple of their guys, especially Carter-Williams," said Crean.
The loss marked the final game as a Hoosier for Watford, a senior.
"It's been full of ups and downs, but I wouldn't trade it for the world. I just love my teammates and I'm happy to be an Indiana Hoosier at the end of the day," Watford said.
His teammates, Oladipo - a junior - and Zeller - a sophomore - were noncommittal when talking about a possible departure for the NBA.
"I don't know. I've put everything into this, I haven't thought about it one bit. I was just worried about playing this year," Zeller said.
"I've been focused on Indiana Hoosier basketball. I've loved playing with these guys and I've enjoyed the ride," Oladipo said. "That's all I've really been thinking about."