December 31st was pretty special in that six in-state schools were in action, all at home. The participants made sure their fans would have a Happy New Year's Eve celebration as each came away victorious in their final on-court performance of 2011.
Indiana capped off their magical month of December with the kind of victory that could propel them to major success in 2012. Tom Crean's Hoosiers upset 2nd ranked Ohio State 74-70 at Assembly Hall Saturday night.
The victory combined with the memorable buzzer-beating win against Kentucky three weeks ago means this IU team has now done something no other Hoosier squad has been able to accomplish. They have defeated teams that were ranked #1 and #2 at the time in the Associated Press Top 25 in the same season.
The Hoosiers aren't the only players happy tonight. Indiana State defeated Bradley 77-66. The Sycamores were led by Jake Odum's career-high 24 points. Ball State beat winless Chicago State 86-58.
Butler rallied from a double-digit second half deficit to defeat Milwaukee 54-50. Chrishawn Hopkins made a major impact off the bench, leading Butler in scoring with 12 points. He also made a major impact on the defensive end tallying four steals.
Purdue starts Big Ten play winning its first two games. Ryne Smith made four three-pointers in the Purdue's victory over Illinois. The Boilers won with ease, 75-60.
In Northwest Indiana, Valparaiso also had a home game, the Crusaders beat Green Bay 90 to 87. Mooresville product Matt Kenny led Valpo in scoring with 21 points.