Strong week helps IU climb in both polls #iubb

Indiana’s place in the polls received a significant boost after a pair of wins last week.

The Hoosiers jumped four spots to No. 18 on Monday in the Associated Press Top 25, while climbing six spots to No. 15 in the USA Today Coaches poll. For IU, its AP ranking is the highest for the program since securing a spot at No. 13 during the week of Nov. 23. That was the same week that saw the Hoosiers lose two of their three games in the Maui Invitational and spent the next seven weeks unranked.

IU is one of five Big Ten teams in the AP poll, joining No. 6 Michigan State, No. 8 Iowa, No. 10 Maryland and No. 20 Purdue, which dropped three spots after Saturday’s loss in Bloomington. For the second consecutive week, Villanova is No. 1, Kansas is No. 2 and Oklahoma is No. 3.

While the jump in the rankings offers a perception boost for Indiana, the Hoosiers are more focused on the conference standings. IU opens the week in first place and a half-game ahead of second-place Iowa.

The Hoosiers play once this week, heading to Illinois for a 9 p.m. tipoff on Thursday. The Hawkeyes play twice, including a Wednesday home game against Wisconsin followed by a trip to Ohio State on Sunday.

Firmly in the NCAA Tournament picture, Indiana appears as high as a No. 5 seed in the latest bracket projections.

ESPN’s Joe Lunardi has IU as a No. 5 seed matching up with Valparaiso in a first-round showdown in Oklahoma City. CBS Sports’ Jerry Palm predicts the exact same opening-round matchup, but has the game taking place in Spokane, Wash. USA Today’s Shelby Mast has IU as a No. 6 seed facing either Cincinnati or Alabama in St. Louis.

7 comments

  1. Well that’s nice, but let’s hope the team plays a lot better than the last time we were ranked that high. A win against Illinois will go a long way toward making this a very good season, while putting a lot of pressure on Iowa and Maryland.

  2. It is up to the seniors: Yogi, Max and Nick to whip up the energy at tip-off at IL. Too often IU comes out lackadaisically at the start of away games. I would include Collin in that senior leadership group, he always plays like an experienced leader! Just tone down the needless fouls Collin, we need you on the floor not sitting on the bench.

  3. It all kinda boils down to the biggest complaint critics have had about CTC in recent seasons.

    How are they going to finish?

    If they finish strong then his critics will just have to put a sock in it. If yet another Hoosier squad crashes and burns at season’s end I would expect to see the torches and pitchforks.

    Should make for great theater.

  4. Yes, and the seniors need to emphasize intense defense, right out of the gate. The shots don’t always fall when playing on the road, but defense can quiet a hostile crowd and carry a team through a bad shooting night.

  5. Between now and the end of the conference tournament the coach has a golden opportunity to win over the hearts and minds of MOST of his critics. A deep run in the big dance would not hurt either.Talk is cheep. Positive results are always convincing.

  6. Definitely agree that defense & a next man up attitude in the back court is necessary in Champaign. Illinois WILL compete for 40 minutes if given the sense that they’re in the game. Our squad needs to develop a sizable lead and then play defense like they’re down 2. The foot has come off the throttle a few games this season. Thursday is an opportunity to develop a killer instinct. Go Hoosiers!!!

  7. It appears to me that the foot comes off the throttle when Williams goes to the bench for a rest. In spite of his stupid mistakes at times, he’s the fuel that gives IU that extra horsepower.

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