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Off and running

OK, first off, since it seems to be what everyone wants to know before they want to know anything else: 8.0

That's what I'm giving Victor Oladipo's 360-dunk at the end of Indiana's 80-64 win over Illinois today, on a scale of 10. It was, you know, nice and all, and it was a great flourishing signature to the afternoon, but it wasn't John Hancock signing his name twice as large as everyone else or anything. It didn't really make my jaw go clunk.

Otherwise ... well, we have our answer to whether or not Indiana would take its foot off the throttle up there in Chicago, and as expected, the answer was no. From the time the Hoosiers boogie-ed out to a 22-7 lead to the 20-12 run to end it, this was never in doubt.

And, again, the lesson was clear: When Cody Zeller shows up with his mojo in place, the Hoosiers are the best team in the country. Zeller went for 24 points and nine rebounds, ran the floor like a point guard and -- highlight of the day -- even made a backcourt steal and loped in for the layup.

When he plays like that, all that preseason Player of the Year talk doesn't sound nearly as removed from reality as it has on a number of occasions this season. The man runs the floor like no big man in the college game when he's right, and he was Right Squared today.

And now?

On to Wisconsin, and stop number two on the great Revenge Tour.

Ben Smith's blog.