After chasing for 20 ½ minutes, Michigan finally tied the score at 40 with 17:42 left in the game.
It didn't last long.
Watford broke the tie with two free throws on the next possession. Oladipo completed a three-point play, Watford made one of two free throws and Jordan Hulls hit a 3-pointer and Will Sheehey's jumper closed out the 11-0 run that gave Indiana a 51-40 lead.
Michigan roared back with an 11-2 spurt, cutting the deficit to 53-51 when Jon Horford scored on a putback with 11:02 to play.
But every time the Wolverines got close, Indiana answered.
Indiana finally got some breathing room with a late 7-2 run that made it 71-62 with 1:42 left, and the Hoosiers sealed the win and their likely ascension in the polls from the free-throw line.
"Sometimes in these situations with all the hoopla and the hype, the game doesn't live up to it. This one did," Crean said. "We felt the defense we played last year was what Michigan remembered and we wanted to give them something different because we wanted to prove that we could defend that well against a team that really is that good and they are. Let's hope we're all playing again at the end of the season for something really big."