BLOOMINGTON, Ind. — The No. 1 chants rained down from the student section even before Saturday’s game ended.
By Monday afternoon, it should be official.
Cody Zeller finished with 19 points and nine rebounds, and Victor Oladipo added 15 points, leading the third-ranked Hoosiers to an 81-73 victory against No. 1 Michigan on a day that the nation’s top two teams lost. The results will likely send Indiana back to the top spot, which it held for the first seven weeks this season.
“It’s a huge accomplishment," Oladipo said about the expected climb. “You know we started there, we had a hard road to get back here. We’re just going to continue to keep working."
If the Hoosiers (20-2, 8-1 Big Ten) keep playing like this, they might even change the trend and hang around for a while.
Since Indiana’s loss to Butler on Dec. 15, the No. 1 spot has been held and surrendered by Duke, Louisville and Michigan (20-2, 7-2). Kansas, which may have been poised to move up, also lost 85-80 to Oklahoma State on Saturday.
That puts Indiana, on top of its game and the Big Ten standings, in position to rule the college basketball rankings, too.
It has won five straight since losing to Wisconsin last month, broke through a logjam atop the conference standings to take sole possession of the league lead at the midway point and became the first team in school history to beat No. 1-ranked teams at home in back-to-back seasons.
Over the past seven days, nobody has played better than the Hoosiers. On Sunday, they survived a slugfest with No. 13 Michigan State and eventually pulled away for a 75-70 win over Indiana coach Tom Crean’s former boss, Tom Izzo. On Wednesday, they handed archrival Purdue its worst home loss ever, 97-60.
On Saturday, all five starters reached double figures. Christian Watford posted a double-double with 14 points and 10 rebounds and Indiana limited Michigan to 42.9 percent shooting.
“Indiana’s a heck of a team and I’m glad we got to play them tonight," Trey Burke said after leading the Wolverines with 25 points and eight assists. “We’ll get better from it, move on to the next game."
In other games on Saturday:
Oklahoma State 85
No. 2 Kansas 80
LAWRENCE, Kan. — Markel Brown scored 28 points, Marcus Smart added 25 and Oklahoma State held on to upset Kansas, ending the Jayhawks’ nation-leading 18-game winning streak.
No. 4 Florida 78
No. 16 Mississippi 64
GAINESVILLE, Fla. — Erik Murphy scored 19 points and was instrumental on the defensive end in leading Florida to a victory over Mississippi.
No. 5 Duke 79
Florida State 60
TALLAHASSEE, Fla. — Seth Curry scored 21 points, Quinn Cook added 18 and Duke cruised past defending Atlantic Coast Conference champion Florida State.
No. 6 Syracuse 55
PITTSBURGH — Tray Woodall had 13 points, four assists and three steals as Pittsburgh continued its mastery of top 10 teams at home by pulling away from Syracuse.
No. 7 Gonzaga 65
San Diego 63
SAN DIEGO — David Stockton hit a runner in the lane with 55.9 seconds left after Kelly Olynyk scored on consecutive possessions and Gonzaga held off San Diego for its fourth straight win.
No. 9 Butler 75
Rhode Island 68
INDIANAPOLIS — Rotnei Clarke scored 23 points and Roosevelt Jones added 18 to lead Butler past Rhode Island.
No. 11 Ohio State 63
LINCOLN, Neb. — Lenzelle Smith Jr. had 21 points and Ohio State held off a late Nebraska surge.
No. 14 Miami 79
No. 19 N.C. State 78
RALEIGH, N.C. — Reggie Johnson tipped in a missed shot with 0.8 seconds left to lift Miami over North Carolina State.
Northern Iowa 57
No. 15 Wichita State 52
CEDAR FALLS, Iowa — Anthony James scored 16 points and Northern Iowa beat Wichita State, sending the Shockers to their first losing streak of the season.
No. 17 Missouri 91
COLUMBIA, Mo. — Keion Bell scored 24 points and Earnest Ross added 23, both season highs, as Missouri used another strong second half to beat Auburn.
No. 18 Kansas State 52
NORMAN, Okla. — Angel Rodriguez hit two free throws with 5.6 seconds remaining to give Kansas State a victory over Oklahoma.
No. 20 New Mexico 75
ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. — Chad Adams hit two 3-pointers during a key second-half run that carried New Mexico past Nevada.
No. 21 Creighton 75
OMAHA, Neb. — Doug McDermott scored 25 points, including nine during a decisive 12-0 run, and Creighton overcame poor 3-point shooting in the first half to defeat Bradley.
Air Force 70
No. 22 San Diego State 67
AIR FORCE ACADEMY, Colo. — Michael Lyons scored 20 points and Air Force beat San Diego State, overcoming a 25-point performance by Aztecs star Jamaal Franklin.
No. 24 Cincinnati 65
Seton Hall 59
NEWARK, N.J. — Sean Kilpatrick scored 21 points, Cashmere Wright added 17 and Cincinnati held off Seton Hall after blowing nearly all of a 20-point lead.