INDIANA 70, ISU 57

Eric Gordon dunks. The world spins round.

Kelvin Sampson, his eyes red from a head cold, explained after the game that he was pleased that his team fought hard in this type of game. The Redbirds did everything they could to beat Indiana — from constantly changing defenses to physical play — and the Hoosiers found a way to win. He’s more interested in the outcome of the scrap than the style of the fighter.

The Hoosiers did seem to rely on Eric Gordon a lot, but that really had to do with point guard Armon Bassett being out of the game. I’ve written many times about the fact that Bassett’s not exactly the prototypical point guard type — he looks to score so often — but he helps steady the team. Think about it: he’s the only guard in the rotation with a year of Big Ten play behind him.

So, if you’re in that situation and you have Eric Gordon to throw the ball to, you throw the ball to Eric Gordon.

Jordan Crawford did come up with two huge mid-range jumpers — how many players have true mid-range game these days? — and Eli Holman played a few key minutes early.

Tonight — since I’m posting this at 12:20 a.m. EST on Saturday morning — is the real test. Xavier is well-coached and deep and led by Drew Lavender, who played two years for Sampson at Oklahoma. His transfer was relatively acrimonious and although Lavender said he doesn’t see this game as being anything special, it undoubtedly will be.