Three games. Seven days.

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This will be the most important stretch this Hoosier team faces this season.

Three games. All at the friendly confines of Assembly Hall, against the No. 1, 3 and 4-ranked teams in the Big Ten (with IU sandwiched in the middle at No. 2).

Each will be a huge test.

  • First will be the Badgers of Wisconsin, a team that handled Indiana rather easily on Jan. 31 at their place. They visit Bloomington on Wednesday for a 7 p.m. tipoff. And they’ll be hungry, after getting beat on their homecourt this past Saturday by a Purdue team that’s as hot as any other in the nation.
  • Then the much-anticipated showdown with Michigan State, once thought of as one of the most important games in the Big Ten this season as both Indiana and Michigan State were the top two pre-season favorites to win the conference title. Despite the Spartans’ two losses (at Iowa and at Penn State) they are still a game or two away from jumping right back to the top of the conference race. They’ll be ready to play. They know a win on Indiana’s home court would do a long way in their quest to get back to the top of the conference race.
  • Perhaps the biggest of them all. The Big Ten leader and Indiana’s fierce in-state rival, the Purdue Boilermakers, come to town for the teams’ only game against each other this season. Matt Painter has to be the leading candidate for conference Coach of the Year honors, as he has a team with only one senior at the head of the Big Ten race. Not only that, it will be the first time in years that an IU-Purdue matchup will be so important. The Boilermakers will face a stiff test though this week when the Spartans visit West Lafayette on Tuesday, and with an MSU win, IU would slide into first place heading into the Wisconsin game.

I believe Indiana’s back-to-back road wins says a lot about this team. They’re winning, away from home in the Big Ten no less, and that’s what they needed to do before this critical stretch. They needed to get into position.

Because in reality, they’re right where they want to be. A sole conference loss after 10 games? I think for most of you fans out there, you would have taken that before the season began. They’re playing their best basketball as they head into the year’s most important homestand.

What are your predictions for the these games? Three wins? If there’s one loss, to whom? What has Indiana been doing, in your mind, well these past two games that’s gotten them two victories? What do they need to focus on especially for this stretch?

15 comments

  1. Hard to say, but I think IU wins 2 of 3. These are three good teams and it’s highly unlikely that IU wins all three. I think IU matches up pretty well with MSU and Purdue. Wisconsin presents some problems because of their depth down low, and Krabbenhoft gave IU fits with his versatility. I think IU beats Wisconsin however. If I had to bet, I’d say IU loses the MSU game and then beats Purdue in a huge game.

    If IU wins all three, the Big Ten regular season title will be ours to lose.

  2. I think we go 3-0. We will be 5-7 point favorites against all 3 teams and we should never lose at home. It seems like people forget that we are 27-1 at home over the past 3 years (plus 4 games this year) in the B10. While all 3 games will be a great challenge, I think this team’s talent and the environment at the Hall will be too much for our opponents to overcome.

  3. I say we go 3-0. All three games will have an unbelievable atmosphere, especially that MSU game with College Gameday coming to town.

  4. I think the most important of these games is the first one, wisconsin, because losing that game would kill the great momentum we have built after winning two tough road games. winning however, will give this team all the confidence in the world against msu and purdue. even more so, if gordon can string a couple of really good games together here like he did in the beginning of the season, then iu will very tough to beat. as far as predictions, i think we will win all 3 because we have shown that when we play an opponent for a 2nd time we play better than we did the first time with iowa and illinois, and iu will want to show that the first game was a fluke. i think we matchup well with michigan state, dj vs. raymar morgan will be an amazing matchup but neitzel has been struggling and i think gordon will shut him down. purdue will be a tough game and they will expect to win, which is different than believing you can win, but i still think iu is a better team. these 3 wins will would have iu fans thinking a lot better of this team and im exited for the upcoming week

  5. These will be 3 great games and 3 great victories to show everyone how good we can really be. We have to continue to pass the ball well and get the ball to DJ, man he is playing crazy good! I also like seeing our guards drive to the basket. On defense we just have to play with high levels of intensity; we have the athletes to be good on D, we just need to play hard.

    I am looking for tickets to the michigan state game…I realize it is a hard ticket to find, but if you can’t go and want a true hoosier fan to step in and scream loud for the hoosiers, I’m your guy!

    GO HOOSIERS!

  6. Hate to put the jinx on ’em, but I think the Hoosiers win all three. Like Jefferey says, we’ll be favorites in all three, so it’s not like we’re predicting a miracle. The best thing that’s happened to us is the Illinois game – there’s nothing like beating up the neighborhood blowhard punk to give you some confidence. We look like a team that believes in itself now. Again, this team reminds me of ’81 – young, talented, and found themselves on the road against Illannoys. By the way, MSU beats PU this week.

  7. Great opportunity on their home court and coming off two big road wins. Momentum is on IU’s side. SO three wins at home puts IU in the drivers seat for a conference title and let’s them control their own destiny.

    I’m looking for the IU faithfull to pack the house and show what home court advantage is all about. I’m also counting on the home cooking from the refs like most teams receive at home in the Big Ten.

    My concern is IU’s young players being over-hyped and not playing under control. Also, I worry they will fall in love with the three point shot even if it isn’t going in. They must get to the free throw line.

    Prediction: IU takes all three and each game is a hard fought war that comes down to very end.

  8. I will be happy with 2-1 but ecstatic if we are able to win all 3.

    Don’t expect any home court calls from the refs, especially if Welmer is one of them.

  9. Here’s my question: If we win all three…that puts us at 23-3 (12-1), what type of seed would you guys guess that we would get come March? Obviously there will still be games left to play, but of the remaining games…at MSU looks like the only one that we won’t be favored in. I hope we find our way to a 3 seed.

  10. If Indiana is able to win these three, they’d have a good chance to move up into a three seed, and depending on how they perform in the Big Ten Tournament, possibly even a two.

    It really depends on how the rest of the Big Ten season plays out. I think the winner of the conference regular season gets a two or three seed, and the winner of the conference tournament (if it’s not the same team) gets a three or four seed.

    Right now, I would give IU a five seed. They only have two victories over teams in the top 50 RPI, and one of them, Illinois State, is ranked No. 49.

    That’s another reason why these next three games are so significant. The Hoosiers desperately need to pad their resume for the NCAA Tournament, because if not, they’ll end up with a four or five seed and have to face a Kansas, Memphis, Duke, UCLA or North Carolina a lot earlier than they would like.

  11. I can’t help but laugh at Illinois. That environment is the best thing that could have happened to the Hoosiers. They won’t play anywhere as bad the rest of the year. Even the Boilers have more class than that.

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