College basketball

Indiana moves back into No. 1 spot in AP poll

2013-02-04T21:00:00Z 2013-02-04T21:04:05Z Indiana moves back into No. 1 spot in AP pollMICHAEL MAROT AP Sports Writer nwitimes.com
February 04, 2013 9:00 pm  • 

Tom Crean's whirlwind week got even crazier Monday.

Upon returning home from the Super Bowl, the Indiana coach found out he's leading America's No. 1 college basketball team. Again.

It was another crowning moment in a week full of big wins for the Crean clan. Indiana beat No. 13 Michigan State, archrival Purdue and No. 1 Michigan in a seven-day span, before Crean headed to New Orleans. There, he watched one brother-in-law beat his other brother-in-law for the Super Bowl title. Finally, he saw the Hoosiers reclaim the top spot in The Associated Press poll after seven weeks.

"Our guys appreciate winning. They appreciate the task that it is and I think because our older guys have been through so many hard times, they appreciate it that much more," a weary-sounding Crean said during Monday's weekly Big Ten conference call. "And I think our younger guys were raised on winning. Guys like Yogi (Ferrell), Cody (Zeller), Remy Abell, those guys were really raised on winning, and that helps."

It's the fifth straight week there is a new No. 1 team.

The Hoosiers, the preseason No. 1, held the top spot for the first five weeks of the regular season. They moved up two spots Monday after their win over the Wolverines and then-No. 2 Kansas' loss to Oklahoma State. They received 58 first-place votes from the 65-member national media panel, while Florida, which jumped two spots to second, got the other seven.

The change at the top of the poll came as no surprise in Bloomington.

Even before Saturday's game ended, fans were chanting "No. 1, No. 1."

"We've been playing with a chip on our shoulder since the day I got here," junior swingman Victor Oladipo said Saturday. "We've got to continue to play with that chip because it can be taken away at any time."

Indiana found that out the hard way with an overtime loss to then-unranked Butler on Dec. 15.

For the next seven weeks, the Hoosiers were trying to get back to No. 1.

The only stumble was a home loss to Wisconsin. But last week, they played their best basketball all season, leading almost from start to finish in all three games and handing Purdue its worst home loss ever.

For Crean, that was just the start of the whirlwind weekend.

He flew on a private plane Sunday morning to New Orleans, where he watched the Super Bowl with his wife, Joani, the sister of John and Jim Harbaugh.

"It's really hard certainly for Joani and her parents because you've got such great joy for one and such pride," Crean said.

He received a text message Sunday from Celtics coach Doc Rivers, who has had three children play college sports, that Crean showed to his father-in-law late that night.

"He said as a parent, you're only as happy as your unhappiest child, and I think it's an amazing statement and one of the most profound things that I've ever heard, and it probably fits what Joani's parents are going through," Crean said. "But in a sense, it could be a once-in-a-lifetime thing, so there's incredible joy in being able to be a part of it and see it."

No. 9 Syracuse 63, No. 25 Notre Dame 47: C.J. Fair had 18 points and 10 rebounds, freshman Jerami Grant scored a season-high 14 points, and No. 9 Syracuse beat No. 25 Notre Dame 63-47 on Monday night to snap a two-game losing streak that had dropped the Orange three spots in the rankings.

Syracuse (19-3, 7-2 Big East) was coming off consecutive road losses against Villanova and Pittsburgh and has only three conference losses in its last 32 Big East games. The Orange have now won a school-record 36 straight games at home, the longest active streak in Division I. Notre Dame (18-5, 6-4) had won three straight.

It was the first meeting between the teams since the Irish handed Syracuse its only conference loss last season, 67-58 at Purcell Pavilion last January.

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