Indiana brushes off North Dakota State

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The No. 1 team stays the No. 1 team in the land, at least they did their part to keep it that way.

Indiana got 22 points and nine rebounds from national player of the year candidate Cody Zeller and went to  2-0 on the season with an 87-61 victory over North Dakota State in Assembly Hall.

Three other players finished in double-figures for the Hoosiers, including two bench players in Remy Abell and Jeremy Hollowell with 14 each. Indiana never led by less than 10 in the second half.

Marshall Bjorklund led the Bison with 16.

It’s another day at the office for the Hoosiers and Zeller, who overpowered the overmatched Bison and never really were threatened. Tom Crean and team have so far lived up the the well-deserved hype and if Hollowell and Abell keep up with the steady bench play — both had 12 each in Indiana’s season-opening win over Bryant — there’s no reason this team can’t be the team everyone thinks they can be.

David Harten is the editor of The Backboard Chronicles. You can follow him on Twitter at @David_Harten.