John Harbaugh gave Indiana a pep talk before Sweet 16 that didn’t work
Indiana was a popular pick to win the national championship heading into the 2013 NCAA Tournament, and the Hoosiers busted a lot of brackets on Thursday night. They were dominated by Syracuse from the opening tip, eventually going on to lose 61-50 in a game that was never really close.
If you are one of those people who likes pointing the finger at someone who in reality had nothing to do with the loss, you’re welcome to blame Baltimore Ravens coach John Harbaugh. Before tip-off on Thursday, Rachel Nichols of CBS Sports reported (via The Dagger) that Harbaugh had given the Hoosiers a pep talk in the locker room. Indiana coach Tom Crean is Harbaugh’s brother-in-law.
Nichols said Harbaugh emphasized how important momentum would be for Indiana. He also told them that he had watched them play multiple times during the season and that they remind him of his Super Bowl champion Ravens. Naturally, Harbaugh told the Hoosiers he believed they had what it takes to win it all.
He was wrong. Indiana shot a measly 33.3% from the field and hit only 62.5% of its free throws. They turned the ball over 18 times and allowed Syracuse to come away with 12 steals. Crean’s team played one of its sloppiest games of the year, and it ended up costing them. That’s what makes it so difficult to win a championship in college basketball — one rough game and it’s see you next year.