Hoosiers’ tournament resume on shaky ground

Another important week for Indiana’s NCAA Tournament resume is on tap.

Home games against Purdue and Michigan represent opportunities for the Hoosiers to earn wins when they need them most. Indiana standing in the RPI — No. 74 — is concerning with a month’s worth of regular season games left to play.

This week could provide a boost.

The No. 16 Boilermakers are firmly in the tournament picture, while the Wolverines are on the bubble. The Hoosiers have already lost four of their five Big Ten road games, with four of their final seven contests overall scheduled away from Assembly Hall.

At this point, given IU’s road troubles, Indiana’s margin for error in Bloomington is dangerously thin.

KenPom.com projects a 3-4 record down the stretch, including wins against Michigan, Northwestern and at Iowa. Forecasted losses included Thursday against Purdue (39 percent chance of victory), next week at Minnesota, at Purdue and at Ohio State.

That would put the Hoosiers at 18-13 overall, 8-10 in the Big ten, potentially 5-7 in their final 12 and without a RPI top 50 road win in the conference. According to KenPom.com, IU’s non-conference strength of schedule is ranked No. 309.

Even with a weak bubble, this is not good news for Indiana. There is, of course, a month with which to work.

Here’s how Indiana stands in some of the latest bracketology projections:

— At Assembly Call, Andy Bottoms has Indiana as a No. 10 seed facing No. 7 Xavier in Orlando.

— At CBS Sports, Jerry Palm has Indiana as a No. 11 seed facing No. 6 Notre Dame in Salt Lake City.

— At USA Today, Shelby Mast has IU as as No. 11 seed facing No. 6 Saint Mary’s in Salt Lake City.

— At ESPN, Joe Lunardi has Indiana as one of the last four teams in the field. Lunardi puts the No. 11 Hoosiers in a Dayton play-in game, where they’d face No. 11 Clemson.

— At SB Nation, Chris Dobbertean also has Indiana in a play-game. Dobbertean has the No. 11 Hoosiers facing No. 11 Seton Hall.

17 comments

  1. Indiana at their best have done very little in
    tournament. As much as some teams overachieve IU bb for men under achieves. Really, a boring conversation. NIT bound, maybe.

  2. Might be shaky but wins over kansas and unc and michigan state especially if michigan state gets in too should hold weight

    1. But they also didn’t lose to IPFW, Nebraska at home and Michigan by 30 points.

      They beat Arizona earlier this year (although AZ had a few injuries). Right now, they are laying waste to their league. Granted, it’s the WCC, but they are committing genocide against their conference foes. If they keep it up, they definitely deserve their #1 ranking.

      I was thinking about checking them out when they play St Mary’s out here, but the snow is too good, so I’m headed to the mountains.

  3. “Snow looks good” Many years ago I thought the same think. Off to Big Bear & onto the beginners slope. One tree on the slope, which I fixated on. Blood everywhere, glasses broken. Since I was military no doctor, clinic or hospital would touch me. Long drive to base. nearly blind and 18 stiches later realized I was an idiot.

    1. We had a melt off of a foot and a half but we’re getting a few flakes right now. We need some fresh stuff.

  4. Their dominating a terrible league wow yay clearly their the best team hands down give me a damn break their overrated as always

    1. We’ll see. Gonzaga has never made it past the Swt 16 under Few, so there’s certainly some precedent there. But they do look pretty tough this year. Tougher than they ever have.

      Indiana [15-9 (5-6), RPI: 74, SOS: 55] didn’t exactly play against a murder’s row. We played 6 games against sub RPI 280 teams like we did. Big Ten is pretty soft again this year, too.

  5. I have to agree with bomber…I can’t take anything concerning the Zags too seriously. Hard enough to take the Pac 12 seriously.

    I like Syracuse…..or Duke as probable NCAA champs. I think Duke will, unfortunately, march home with another banner.

    Still intrigued by Michigan because of the big German boy in the middle.

    Florida State could be another going deep into March.

  6. That Wagner dude may just end up taking the NCAA tournament by storm….Probably the most skilled big in the BIG. Probably the hottest post player in the nation. At 6-10, he made some plays tonight that were just scary good(in quickness, agility, running the floor, vision). Here come the Wolverines.

  7. Most years people comment about the Big Ten being soft. Compared to who? The SEC? The Pac12? The Big12? Look at the ACC. The team in 4th is 16-9 with an RPI of 72. They’ve got two teams with RPIs over 100. The Big Ten has one. They have 5 teams with an RPI of 25 or better, the Big Ten has four. The team with the worst record in the Big Ten is Nebraska with an RPI of 80. The team with the worst record in the ACC is BC with an RPI of 188(!!!). BC isn’t even in last place, either. That would be Pitt.

    It just one of those seasons where things have gravitated toward the middle with very few outstanding teams.

    Maybe the Big Ten doesn’t the best team at the top but the conference is as tough or tougher than any of them.

    1. Maybe the Big Ten doesn’t [give] the best team at the top but the conference is as tough or tougher than any of them.

      But not as tough as it used to be I suppose.

      So the answer is: compared to itself, in the past.

  8. I don’t know, Chet….I don’t really fully trust those RPI numbers. Wisconsin doesn’t look nearly as good as a couple years ago….I think there was a real talent turnover over the last few seasons and the conference, as a whole, does appear to be collectively down. I believe the parity(the bunching in the middle) is more the result of top talent not being fully replenished in the traditionally upper tier teams. Do any of these Big 10 teams even look like Elite 8 material? There are a few jaw-dropping talents here and there(e.g. Bridges @ MSU)….And for every team in the BIG appearing to have some strong inside game, they don’t have the showstopping point guard of many BIG teams of recent past that makes for a lethal combination come March Madness.
    From a competitive standpoint, the balance may create a very wide-open Big !0 Tournament and what some would consider more exciting contests to watch. But I miss the wars between crafty post players seasoned and experienced. I miss those truly dynamite point guards and pure shooters who raise their games on biggest stages. I’m not seeing many of those type players throughout the conference this year.
    Michigan may have the most talent through the first 8 or 9 spots on the roster. There guy in the middle is also really coming on…I like to go into March with an athletic post player beaming with confidence…They’d be my pick to go deepest in March. If we had our full roster back, we’d be equally matched in talent(though lacking somewhat seriously in the coaching department). Getting Blackmon back is our wildcard….RJ’s shot has suffered without the easing of pressure a one-two punch from the perimeter provides.

    It’s hard not to make excuses for Crean this year. From my personal assessment of the league, a healthy Hoosier team would have been the deepest and most talented in the conference this year.

  9. I never said the Zags are going to win the NC. Ever. The odds are definitely against them. The odds are against every team. But more so when you aren’t playing in a power conference. But they deserve their #1 ranking right now. Until someone beats them. Or if Villanova starts doing to the Big East what Gonzaga has been doing to their conference foes. Which is, winning my 30 – 40 points every game.

    I hate talking about this stuff. I don’t know why I got sucked into it. It’s all nonsense speculating, talking in circles and biased hating. The games are going to happen and we are of no consequence to the outcomes of any of this stuff. Yay internet.

Comments are closed.