INDIANAPOLIS -- Notre Dame tried to focus on stopping Indiana's guards Saturday. Big mistake. Cody Zeller, the Hoosiers' highly - touted freshman, dominated in the middle, scoring 21 points, grabbing eight rebounds and leading Indiana (No. 20 ESPN/USA Today, No. 18 AP) past the Fighting Irish 69 - 58 in the inaugural Crossroads Classic.
"It was more about stopping the guards and the bigs could rotate (against Zeller), to get in there and pester them a little bit," Notre Dame forward Jack Cooley said of the defensive game plan. "We tried. It just didn't work."
Instead, the Hoosiers went inside first, and the Irish didn't have an answer for the man who has changed everything in Bloomington this season.
Indiana is now 10 - 0 for the first time since 1989 - 90. The Hoosiers also protected their first Top 25 ranking in more than three years and are poised to make the 500 th all - time appearance in this week's Associated Press poll. Only six schools have been ranked more frequently.
The victory was Indiana's first over Notre Dame since 2003, and the Hoosiers also avoided stumbling a week after upsetting top - ranked Kentucky.
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