1. It gives me a warm and fuzzy feeling inside knowing we are keeping Nicholls St. athletic department viable so we have cupcakes to beat for years to come.

  2. It gets old hearing about the patsie schedules since Crean came. While it’s easy to research these schedules before making a comment, I decided to research one & post. I notice little difference in this schedule (considering teams back then) than mush of the Crean schedules. There were 3 teams of importance back then on the schedule. The rest are patsies!!!! Look who we lost to…Vanderbilt??

    This was the 1987 National Championship team!! We struggled with North Carolina Wilmington!!!! Ummm, last I remember, they’ve never been National Champ (sarcasm)


    The 1981 National Championship team are loaded with cupcakes! Pan American, Ball State, California, Oral Roberts, Baylor (back then)

    We lost to Texas Pan American, is that school still around? We had 3 teams of serious importance of which we also lost, we had close games with patsies also, cmon people, if you claim the schedule is nothing but patsies, cite me some sources that prove any different than these 2 banner years!!!


  3. We also were NCAA Champs both those years. Something CTC will NEVER get. Big 10 record this year: 8-W 10-L If we are lucky.

  4. Looking at our schedule, the first third of the B1G is crucial:@Ill, vs MSU, @PSU, vs WIsc, vs NW, @MSU. If we can pull off a home upset, we have a good shot at being 4-2 out of the gate. The middle third is manageable, with 4-2 likely and 5-1 not out of the equation. Then we have another brutal back end: @Wisc, vs NW, vs OSU, @Mich. If we haven’t gelled by then, though, we’re probably not going to. I say we’re looking at 7-9 losses, max. Without a few marquee wins or a strong B1G tourney run, 8 losses puts us right on the bubble. Nine losses is an NIT invite.

    We don’t have any horrendous losses yet, but we have yet to beat a quality team. An Illinois loss wouldn’t appear on paper as a horrendous loss, either, but to me it’s about as close to a must-win conference opener as you can get. A quality road win at Champagne goes a long way towards setting up a successful conference campaign. It’s about to get real.

  5. Larry – I am a life long fan of IUBB since 1966. The truth is our preseason used to prepare us for big10 and tournament play. Dig a little deeper into your research and you will find that 2/3 or more of those earlier “cupcakes” were tournament qualified teams and were often coached by some of the greatest coaches in college basketballs.such as pan American university. Last years team came up flat because they were not strong enough to compete down the stretch – there should have been another banner in assembly hall.
    The two teams you refer to hung banners because their prebig10 schedule toughened them up for tourney play – they were not near as talented as last years team. Cupcakes only build coaching resumes. I am sure TC will have a W/L record that will put him among the college coaching elite- but there won’t be a whole lot of depth to it.
    Our RPI is a joke

  6. You’re right Relbuz… We weren’t prepared for B1G play last season… I really felt like we should have won the Conference Title outright.

    I mean we had a talented, veteran team… There’s no reason we shouldn’t have won at least 12 or 13 games in the B1G…

    We were especially bad down the stretch… If we could have just pulled off wins at OSU, MSU, or UM maybe we could’ve got a better seed in the NCAA tournament…

    But instead we scheduled all those cupcakes and ended up wasting Jordan and Christian’s senior season… I’ll never forget watching them trudge off Michigan’s court at the end of the season, the awful look of defeat dripping out of their souls and onto their faces, knowing it would be the last game they ever played in an IU uniform.

    You could practically read it in their eyes… If only we’d played a tougher preseason schedule maybe we could have turned this thing around… Instead it was nothing but 4 years of losing and being humiliated, and leaving the program no better off than when we found it. It was so sad to watch them fail down the stretch against teams ranked #1, #4, #7, and #10, knowing that maybe just one of those wins in the last month could have built their resume and gotten them into the tournament.

    (Or maybe they just ran into the wrong team in the NCAA’s… A coach and system that Crean has never figured out how to overcome… Yeah, maybe all the stuff above never even happened)

  7. Relbuz—The preseason used to prepare us for The Big10 you say, I just posted those 2 links to make my point, how is the schedule so much different in those 2 years than now??? We had 3 teams in each of those 2 seasons that were of any significance, the rest are patsies, we lost one of those years to Texas Pan American.

    Screw gettin prepared for The Big10 season those years, we won the National Title both years.

    How are those 2 schedules so much more difficult than Creans schedules, that it would have prepared us for The Big10 season let alone The National Championship?

    1) we lost to patsies in those 2 years
    2) we struggled with patsies
    3) we lost to rank teams

    Pan American, cmon, you’re stretchin a bit or simply rationalizing to fit your agenda, Pan American??? lol And tryin to qualify your knowledge with the fact that you’ve been a fan of IUBB since 66. Those teams and a few i didn’t mention are weak schools back then. sorry, I’ve been around a few years myself.

  8. “The two teams you refer to hung banners because their prebig10 schedule toughened them up for tourney play – they were not near as talented as last years team. Cupcakes only build coaching resumes”

    You have to tell me how those 2 schedules are so drastically different or tougher to take us to titles?

    I know enough about college hoops to know who the patsies & the contenders were back then

  9. Amazingly, even though we were not toughened up by our preseason schedule we managed to be the best team in the best conference in America last year, and have the most wins in the entire country against the RPI top 25.

  10. Nobody says we couldn’t use another strong pre-con matchup. But that’s where I get so confused. Does the pre-con set us up for the con? Or the tourney? Or does the con set up the tourney? Or does the pre-con set up the con which sets up the tourney? And where does the con tourney fit in? It’s just befuddling? How do I know which games are important, and what the recipe is for success?

    Maybe taking a look at last year’s Final Four teams and their schedules will reveal something. Let’s see. Michigan had a lower SOS than we did pre-con after their best competition was unranked Pitt and KSU in the NIT, and an NC State team in free-fall. SDSU, Temple, and (ho-hum) Arkansas were Syracuse’s biggest tests. L’Ville was supposed to have a juggernaut pre-con schedule, but Duke turned out to be the only “great” team they played. (Memphis and Mizzou were respectable, but less than advertised, and we all know what happened to UK.)

    Then again, those guys all came from the two toughest conferences in the nation. So maybe they didn’t need top competition to build resumes and prep for the tourney. Sound familiar?

    And what of Witchita State? They didn’t have a powerhouse conference. Nobody’s going to accuse the Missouri Valley of being the Goliath of the mid-majors– that belonged to the A-10. So it must have been their juggernaut pre-con schedule that geared them up for the FF. You know, blue-bloods like Iowa, Tenessee, and VCU. Oh, wait. Only one of those teams made the tourney?

    Hmmm. Well that doesn’t solve anything. Maybe it’s winning the conference tourney then? Except that L’Ville was the only one to claim that crown.

    I guess then the only proven formula to make a FF and win a championship is to play a challenging pre-con schedule, survive a rugged conference, and win your tourney. Because it happens every year. Right, Kansas?

  11. Simply because we had Cody Zeller doesn’t make for a tough team with prepared mindset for tournament play.

    With the talent and experience we had(especially in the post where we featured a 2nd year player featured on the cover of nearly every sporting magazine), the Big 10 crown was not the grandest achievement in the history of IU basketball. Anything but a first or second place finish would have been a hideous waste of talent.

    Merely reaching the Sweet 16 game was a hideous misuse of talent.

  12. The NCAA tournament, where you face teams far less routinely scouted and familiar, separates the true coaching talent far more than the disparities in roster talent.

    Players gain a strong familiarity during conference play. Come tournament time, the superior coaching brains and tacticians of the game, the trusted leaders in the suits and ties, move to the forefront while the standardized fare, the mere recruiters that can’t make adjustments or find innovative strategies to use unexpected contributors, experience early to mid exits from the field.

    Give our roster to any of the other Sweet 16 head coaches and chances of playing in the Final Four are vastly increased simply because of the competence from the bench.

  13. Ok Harvard, but Crean at IU is 4-0 against unfamiliar foes in the NCAA tourney, and 0-2 against teams and coaches he has played numerous times and are well-scouted…

    So again you lack a valid point.

  14. There’s no point in comparing the past to the present day. Because talent and athleticism is so far more advanced than in the ’70s and ’80s(with the added reality of possibly even more consolidation of that ‘elite’ talent in the top 25 teams in the country because of advancements and lower time investments in national recruiting), the softer scheduling could end up being far more detrimental.

    Unlike the old days, very few exceptionally talented players escape the radar to play on a “cupcake” squad. The financial rewards in the NBA are exponentially greater and the highest level of talent seeks exposure by way of the hype machines rather than taking a big chance on a small school and gain exposure by way of a deep tournament run.

  15. Unfamiliar foes way over-matched in a higher seed vs. lower seed contest….Even the best of coaches can’t overcome grand disparities in talent without tons of luck or very, very favorable whistles crippling the superior opponent’s top players.

  16. I simply won’t watch the cupcake games. It’s a joke. Every program does it to pad their wins against losses. I think we’re scheduling far too many. It lures players into a mindset that I really see little benefit. There’s confidence and there’s complete bullying and overpowering another team that has no answer. It’s silly and disgraceful to gloat in the ring of such lopsided contests.

  17. If we play like we did last night against Big Ten teams, we’ll be blown out by 20 points. 20 turnovers is pathetic, especially playing against a team like Nichols.

  18. I’m always fascinated by the discussions about the types of theories people come up with to draw correlation/causation between theories and results. Like “play a tough therefore you’ll succeed in the tournament,” etc. Yet, no one uses any actual data to back it up this correlation. Confirmation bias is ripe within this discussion.

    I think there is too much randomness that is specific to the game of basketball itself that doesn’t lend to any meaningful correlation. This is why the old Indiana High School basketball tournament was the best. Anyone could beat anyone in a given game. The whole, “They would win 99 times out of 100” is irrelevant when you only have to play 1 game. Gene Hackman called me and says he agrees. The NCAA tournament is the next best thing.

    For the record, I’m a proponent of playing a tougher schedule just because I like watching more meaningful games. I’m just not sure it would actually translate to more tournament success.

  19. No shot clock in Indiana H.S. tournament. That gave “cupcakes” with one superstar or a couple marksman a chance. Control the pace…Rip the nets….Keep it close and the favorite begins to feel the pressure. Depth and supreme athleticism were not always the determinable trump cards. The game had many more applicable strategies and possible twists.

  20. Double Down…..evidently you did not read 2 of my earlier posts. I posted 2 National Championship years 81 & 87. Both pre-conference schedules were weak, we even lost to Texas PanAmerican one of those years. A poster said hey PanAm was not a cupcake had an incredible coach(rationalizing to defend there theory)

    Those 2 schedules are very similar to Creans, 3 ranks teams each year, some cupcakes, some close games vs cupcakes.

    Sorry you missed factual comparison.

  21. Agreed, DD. (I trust you sensed the sarcasm in my last post.) I do think an extra marquee matchup or two would be useful in a couple regards, though. The obvious is entertainment value. Yeah, it’s fun to see if we can rack up a hundred from time to time, but we also want to be entertained by some good early season competition beyond the nail biting (and potential death trap) of a would-be schedule-filler like LIU-Brooklyn.

    More importantly, it gives us a better gauge of where we are and what we need to work on come conference play. And with all things being equal, if we get to the point where we’re looking at a 10-12 loss Indiana and a 10-12 loss, say, Iowa or Purdue with similar conference records for that last bubble spot… well… that early schedule is usually the difference maker.

  22. That being said, I don’t think there’s any real correlation between early schedules and post-season success. Duke plays several highly-ranked teams early each year. Sometimes they go deep, maybe even win it all. Sometimes they flame out in the first or second round. Win they win, it’s because they’re good. When they don’t, it’s because they weren’t good enough on a given night. The schedule has very little, if anything, to do with it.

  23. The posts above are proof that Double Clown is slowly coming to his or her senses, finally, while Podonke’s name seems to have been hijacked AGAIN. Merry Christmas everybody!

  24. Prancer, the other day, I went inside a Wal Mart, which I haven’t done since the early 2000’s. There were a bunch of Santa’s on sale. I wondered how the reindeer would feel that their patriarch was on sale. Then I saw plastic reindeer on sale. You, Prancer, were on sale at Wal Mart for $3.79. Not even a good quality one that some old lady would spend years collecting and their kids selling it on eBay after she dies.

    I bought it, to save it the humiliation of collecting dust at the bottom of the Christmas bin. The eye had been scratched off by the Justin Beiber doll wearing a Santa Suit. My 3 yr old niece held it and loved it (because she doesn’t care about Justin Beiber). But she left it the McDonald’s bathroom. I asked her if she wanted to go back and get Prancer and she said, “Who?”

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