A few weeks ago, I was asked to cover the IU in the Big Ten Championship. So, I started my Spring Break two days early last Thursday and headed down to Indianapolis with a photographer.
When we arrived at Banker's Life Fieldhouse, we grabbed our credentials and headed to the Media Hospitality room. There, we were directed to our reserved spot on 'Media Row.'
Unfortunately, no one was allowed to take b-roll of the game itself because Big Ten was planning on having one "pool feed."
My job during the game was to live chat and tweet about the Indiana vs. Penn State game.
The huge turning point in the game is when Verdell Jones III fell to the ground. Minutes later he was escorted off the court. Would his injury determine the rest of the tournament for the Hoosiers?
Regardless of Verdell's injury, Indiana came out with a win against #12 Penn State by 17 points.
Here's a link to the live chat that took place on Thursday:
Immediately following the game, I was given the chance to get one-on-one interviews with some of the Indiana Hoosiers. IU players Jordan Hulls, Victor Oladipo, Derek Elston, Tom Pritchard and Matt Roth talked about their Big Ten Tournament win vs. Penn State, their next game vs Wisconsin and season ending injury to IU guard Verdell Jones III.
The attendance for Thursday's games exceeded 17,000 people.
This win for the Hoosiers guaranteed them a spot in the second round of the Big Ten Championship. This time around, they'd be playing the #4 seed, Wisconsin.
On Friday morning, reports confirmed the Verdell Jones III had in fact torn his ACL and would be out for the rest of the season.
Friday afternoon, Banker's Life Fieldhouse was full of cream and crimson. Thousands of Hoosier fans filled the stadium with chants and cheers. Again, I was able to capture all of this from the sidelines. Over 50.56 miles away from Bloomington, the IU student section continued to stand in the nosebleed section. Now that's what I call 'Hoosier Pride.'
Many wondered if the Hoosiers would be able to put up a fight against Wisconsin since one of their best players wouldn't be able to play.
Friday's game was a close one. Coach Tom Crean and his players were determined to play their best despite their loss of Jones.
Despite the lost against Wisconsin, the Hoosiers put up a great fight only losing by eight points.
Both Thursday and Friday's games were completely sold-out.
I have never been more proud of the IU basketball team, even though they didn't make it all the way to the championship game. You can tell that their hard work finally paid off.
Sideline reporting for the Big Ten Championship was indeed a memorable Indiana University experience. I don't think many Indiana University students--especially sophomores--can say they've been able to speak one-on-one with the best players on the basketball team.
But their season isn't over! March Madness has just begun! Stay tuned and keep cheering for your Indiana Hoosiers!