IU closes regular season ranked in top 10 #iubb

A late-season surge has turned Indiana into a consensus top-10 team.

The Hoosiers received a boost in the polls on Monday, entering the week ranked No. 10 in both the Associated Press Top 25 and the USA Today Coaches poll. For IU, it is the program’s highest ranking since closing the 2012-13 season ranked at No. 4 in the AP poll.

Indiana, which stood at No. 12 last week, is the outright Big Ten champion for the second time in the last four seasons after wrapping up the title with an 81-78 victory at Iowa on Tuesday. The Hoosiers closed the regular season on Sunday by running Maryland out of the gym in an 80-62 thumping on Senior Day at Assembly Hall.

IU has won five in a row and eight of its last 10 — a span that includes four wins over ranked opponents. The Hoosiers open the Big Ten Tournament in Indianapolis on Friday at noon against the winner of No. 9 seed Northwestern and No. 8 Michigan.

In the penultimate AP poll of the season, Indiana is one of five Big Ten teams included. Michigan State leads the pack at No. 2, while Purdue jumped two spots to No. 13. Maryland, which continues to fizzle down the stretch, dropped four spots to No. 18, while Iowa’s late-season struggles have dropped the Hawkeyes four spots to No. 20.

At this point in the year, the polls amount to little more than an extra complement to what is shaping up as a solid NCAA Tournament resume for Indiana. In the latest bracketology predictions released Monday, IU appears as high as No. 3 seed.

That’s where ESPN’s Joe Lunardi slots the Hoosiers, with a potential opening round matchup against No. 14 Northern Iowa in Des Moines. USA Today’s Shelby Mast also sees Indiana as a No. 3 seed headed for Des Moines, where they would match up with No. 14 Stephen F. Austin. At CBS Sports, Jerry Palm has IU as a No. 4 seed in Oklahoma City, where the Hoosiers would face No. 13 Yale.