IUWBB: Hoosiers don’t make NCAA tournament field

UPDATE: Indiana will host Ball State in the opening round Thursday at Simon Skjodt Assembly Hall. The winner of that game will play the winner of IUPUI-St. Louis, at a site to be determined later.

A fourth-place finish in the Big Ten wasn’t enough to secure Indiana an NCAA tournament berth this year.

The selection committee selected four of the Hoosiers’ conference foes for the field of 64, including Maryland (No. 3 seed), Ohio State (No. 5), Michigan State (No. 9) and Purdue (No. 9). Michigan, the conference’s third-place finisher, did not make the field, either.

IU now heads for the WNIT. This is the eighth time the Hoosiers have played in the WNIT, most recently in 2013-14, which was Curt Miller’s final season as coach. This will be Moren’s first WNIT berth at IU and her third overall; she made the WNIT in her last two seasons at Indiana State.

This is not the result the Hoosiers were aiming for coming into the year, immediately following the program’s first NCAA tournament win in 33 years. Returning all five starters, including seniors Alexis Gassion, Karlee McBride and Jenn Anderson, Moren talked about the importance of a return to March Madness.

“In order for us to have any sort of shelf life, we are going to have to put a couple of years together of being consistent with winning and hopefully getting into the tournament, and that is a really difficult thing,” Moren said in November. “We’re not going to get ahead of ourselves from that perspective, but we are excited to have the expectations. I don’t think that any competitor would ask that they don’t have that on them.”

IU learned how hard it is to repeat this season. Moren again scheduled a difficult non-conference slate, but the Hoosiers dropped games to Auburn, Western Kentucky and North Carolina State. They beat Florida, a team previously ranked in the top 25, but the Gators finished the season below-.500.

For the first time in program history, the Hoosiers posted a second consecutive 20-win season, but their resume lacked big wins. Michigan was IU’s only win over a top 25 team, and the only victory over a team in the RPI top 50. But the Wolverines lost four out of their last five games and also dropped out of the tournament in one-and-done fashion.

The Hoosiers’ big losses — a road defeat to lowly Nebraska and a second-half letdown against Purdue in the Big Ten tournament — came late in the season.

In the end, the Hoosiers lost out to the Boilermakers, who went on to upset OSU in the next round. It seems the committee pretty much agreed with the computers, which graded the Big Ten as the sixth-best conference in the NCAA. The conference champion, Maryland, ranked No. 4 in the latest Associated Press poll, received the Big Ten’s highest seed (No. 3).

At-large bids also went to Auburn, despite a 17-14 record. The Tigers play in the Southeastern Conference, though, which has six teams in the RPI top 25, and they beat IU in a head-to-head matchup. The committee also picked Northern Iowa, which was ranked No. 52 in RPI, but did not win the Missouri Valley Conference.

IU finished No. 51 in RPI, but that wasn’t enough.

17 comments

  1. WOW.
    The NCAA (Not Consistent About Anything) showed absolutely no respect for the Big10.
    Four Big10 teams? Seriously?
    Just yesterday most bracket “experts” showed five or six Big10 teams in the big dance.
    To be totally honest, this fan would rather see the IU women playing in the NIT.
    That is, assuming IU decides a home game is in order during spring break, but that’s a different discussion, isn’t it?
    On a side note, I’m really enjoying the ESPN NCAA bracket show, coming live from Las Vegas.
    It’s all about the student-athlete, right?
    The hypocrisy level in college sports is now at a new all-time high.
    Sorry for the off topic rambling.

  2. Considering where the IU ladies currently are in their progress I like the idea of them playing in the NIT. The opportunity for a couple wins or making a deep run (final 4) into the tournament is a realistic opportunity.

  3. I’m good with this. It’s not like there is a long history of champions. IWBB is building. This is a well above average season.

    I’ll be following their success.

  4. I suspected IU would not make the tourney but Im guessing the Mich Nation is even more pissed they did not make it having been settled in the #3 position most of the season. For IU we didnt improve on the predictions made for preseason. We were preseason favs for #3 position, if anything we backtracked even though we finished 4th. The lack of consistancy from certain players that could have helped probably doomed us. Other players that were expected to help did nothing. So now we shall see how the wnit turns out . Are we demoralized or angry enough to do something big.

  5. Im guessing N. Iowa must have won their tourney to get in, how else? Iowa beats em by 50 and they get in but IU and Mich are left out, great job selection committee. C,mon IU ladies show em who you are- Go IU !

  6. A Big Congrats to Jaelynn Penn for getting the Ky. “Player of the Year”. I notice they just beat Sacred Heart Academy in the sweet 16 of which Grace Berger plays on that team who is another Louisville product and an IU recruit for 2018.

  7. The IU men not making the tourney did not bother me. It would have been one & done. What a collapse this year.

    The IU women’s team not making it was a bummer. Hope they tear-up the NIT.

  8. As usual, the selection committee is hard to understand? To be absolutely honest with you, I completely understand us not making the dance, we didn’t do enough period! Like SteveW mentioned, I am amazed Michigan didn’t make it? How they are left out is beyond me? We had opportunities all year long to secure a place in the field. Blowing a 17 point lead against Auburn and Purdue were instrumental in our failure to make the Big Dance. These games were easily winnable when you have acquired that kind of lead. We have made our bed and must now lay in it. SteveW, I completely agree with your assessment in post #5, everything you stated is accurate. Some didn’t play to their potential and others didn’t contribute at all. We had one player that has never been in condition since the moment she set foot on campus and another that was only in shape one year out of the 4 she was here. These 2 players could have been much better than they were on occasion which at times were pretty good. This is simply a lack of true commitment. We have another player who has really good athleticism and could be truly dominant but for some reason lacks any consistency in her play? These types of problems add to this team’s inconsistency.
    With all of this said, I am looking forward to us playing a couple of more home games. Although this season has been a little disappointing, I really enjoy watching this team play.

  9. As for the NCAA some have indicated the terps might be upset enough , dropping to #3 seed and in Uconn region and has the talent to upset them.
    have to say I agree with that thought. Another team of great interest might be Purdue providing they can play the defense they did against IU. West Virginia is another upstart who might not have made the dance had they not knocked off 3 biggies in their tourney including national ranked #2 at the time Baylor. Some think South Carolina has a chance to knock of Uconn, I dont. The terps only lost to the huskies by 7 early in the season.

  10. I agree with everything you say mike c . Never thought I’d say that . The only thing I would add is if someone plays for me for 3 years and gets more out of shape every year I have to take some of the blame . Coach should have told her get in shape or sit the bench . As far as the nit goes we have to be one of the favorites . No one will beat us at assembly and only a few teams can play with us if we play well . It could be a blessing to miss the big dance . Play more games and prepare some of the younger girls .

    1. If there is one thing I have learned over a lifetime in athletics it is that conditioning can only come from within. You can be pushed, prodded, cajoled..whatever…but if that fire for training is not in your makeup no one can force you to get in shape.

      OK, I once had a USMC Drill Instructor who had a gift, but a coach who can get you to come in on your own time and push yourself to the limit is a rarity.

      If you have the talent to play basketball in the Big Ten but can’t get yourself in shape I believe that’s on you.

      1. I agree Chet so why is the coach playing her . Her shooting percentage is very poor and she can guard no one . Play one of the other guards who can at l east defend . This has been going on all year . Develop a younger girl .

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