March Watch: A look at IU’s NCAA Tournament profile

  • 02/24/2012 1:23 pm in

With Selection Sunday just sixteen days away, it’s time for “March Watch,” our look at where the Hoosiers currently stand in their quest for the program’s first NCAA Tournament berth since the 2007-2008 season:

Overview

Thanks to marquee wins against Kentucky, Ohio State and Michigan, which highlight a solid 8-5 record against the RPI top 100, Indiana’s tournament resume is among the top 20 nationally. In the latest s-curve exercise by ESPN’s resident Bracketologist Joe Lunardi, the Hoosiers come in at No. 17. That makes them the top five seed in the bracket and puts them within easy striking distance of moving up a line to a No. 4.

The importance of Indiana improving its resume over the season’s final two weeks lies primarily in climbing the seeding ladder to take advantage of the pod system that started before the 2002 tournament. Because the system is designed to give preference in geographic placement to the highest seeded teams, Indiana’s best chance to play in Columbus, Louisville or Nashville and avoid going west to Albuquerque, Omaha or Portland is to finish the regular season strong and win multiple games in the Big Ten Tournament.

Nitty Gritty Profile

· Record: 21-7 (8-7 Big Ten)
· RPI: 19
· SOS: 33
· Home Record: 16-1
· Away Record: 4-6
· Neutral Court Record: 1-0
· vs. RPI Top 50: 6-4
· vs. RPI Top 51-100: 2-1

Wins over Kentucky (RPI 4), Ohio State (RPI 7) and Michigan (RPI 10) stand out, but the Hoosiers have hurt their profile by a couple of bad losses to Iowa (RPI 126) and Nebraska (RPI 134). If IU can knock off Michigan State next Tuesday in Assembly Hall, they’ll own four wins over the RPI top ten.

Bracket Projections

· ESPN Bracketology (Joe Lunardi): 5 seed vs. Colorado State/Xavier in Nashville
· CBS Sports (Jerry Palm): 6 seed vs. Mississippi State in Louisville
· Sports Illustrated (Andy Glockner): 4 seed vs. Seton Hall in Albuquerque

In their most recent updates, Palm has the Hoosiers in Louisville, Lunardi sends them to Nashville and Glockner ships the Hoosiers west to Albuquerque. The Bracket Matrix, which aggregates projections from around the web, has the Hoosiers as the last of the No. 4 seeds in their latest update. This much is clear: A 2-1 record to finish out the regular season would go a long way in solidifying IU on the four line and would greatly diminish their chances of being sent west.

Tournament Sites

· First round: Dayton
· Second, third round: Albuquerque, Columbus, Greensboro, Louisville, Nashville, Omaha, Pittsburgh, Portland
· Regional: Atlanta, Boston, Phoenix, St. Louis
· Final Four: New Orleans

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  • HoosierMick

    Before the season started the question was – would we make it into the tournament?

    Now the question is what single-digit seed will we be?

    What a great job by the coaches and players to exceed preseason expectations!

    Thank you Seniors for your perseverance and dedication!

    Thank you underclassmen for your drive and passion!

    And thank you coaching staff for doing things the right way and striving for long-term sustainable success rather than reaching for a quick (and most likely temporary) fix!

  • rgd213

    I think this team can beat the Syracuses, Kentuckys, the Michigan Sts…its the Belmonts and Nevadas, and Ionas that worry me……Brand name teams dont want 2 see Indiana in their bracket

  • MillaRed

    Well said HoosierMick. At this point we just have to be thankful. Did not expect to have this discussion until 2013.

    Our road woes make Minny look tough.
    MSU is a top 10 team for certain.
    Purdue would like nothing better than bringing us down.

    It’s a pretty ugly schedule. At least Iowa’s win over UW made that look a little better.

    I’m thinking it’s 50-50 on us going 1-2 or 2-1. I don’t see the other possibilities happening.
     
    Just play well! No blowouts man.

  • iujunebug

    I would prefer a 4 seed, because of the location issues. If we end up a 5 seed though, I would rather be a 6 seed. Something about playing a 5 seed vs 12 seed game makes me nervous. I also agree with HoosierMick that it is incredible what this team has accomplished in terms of what we thought they could accomplish before the season started.  Major kudos to all! And I agree with rgd213 too; we get up for the big games, but don’t seem to do so for the “smaller” games.   My gut says we are out in the first round regardless of matchup, but my heart says otherwise. Go heart!

  • IUMIKE1

    The picture that you have at the top of this article is rather appropriate IMHO because just as that player who is holding the ball in his hands is also holding a great deal of our fate in his hands when it comes to how we finish up the regular season and how well our post regular season play goes. I have been one of those that has been kinda hard on CW, most of it justified too IMO, but it is only because I think he has it in him to be able to contribute a considerable amount more than he has been for some time now, if he will just get determined enough do it. And CC don’t go on and on any more about how much he is contributing other than scoring points cause we can have other players out there that will score at least a few points and grab just as many or more rebounds as CW and not give up that much on D, if any. Come on CW get pissed and attack the games we have left like there is no tomorrow cause if you continue to play the way that you have been we may not have too many tomorrows.

     It’s kinda like the old saying goes, “don’t worry about when the coach is getting onto you cause it only means he thinks you are better than what you are showing and that he also thinks you have the capacity to be even better and when he quits getting onto you is the time to worry cause it probably means he thinks you can’t or won’t get better and that you have maxed out on your ability. 

    Remember CW, that there has been a decree handed down by the kingdom of
    ITH that you MUST get it together. Please don’t make us hand your case
    over to the enforcement department of the ITH police. I’ve heard that
    they won’t actually even admit that that department even exists and that
    it is secretly ran by a certain former IU bball coach that had a reputation of going for the throat to get his point across.

  • Todzilla Cape Coral Florida

    I hope CTC and the players are as hell-bent on revenge against Minny as I am…RS III is soft…Cody needs to dominate…

  • HoosierPat

    These last three games are going to be very tough. We clearly have issues on the road, and Minnesota still has a lot to play for. MSU is a really good team. At this point, they are my favorite to win the B1G tourney. PUke is going to battle. Thy are still trying to get a bid and I’m sure they would love some payback. These three games are crucial for confidence and seeding. I think a lot will depend on how Jordy and Watford play. They can’t keep slumping if we’re going to finish out strong. Also, Oladipo and Sheehey need to play with a lot of energy and swagger. Their energy is contagious. Let’s finish strong and make a run.

  • HoosierPat

    These last three games are going to be very tough. We clearly have issues on the road, and Minnesota still has a lot to play for. MSU is a really good team. At this point, they are my favorite to win the B1G tourney. PUke is going to battle. Thy are still trying to get a bid and I’m sure they would love some payback. These three games are crucial for confidence and seeding. I think a lot will depend on how Jordy and Watford play. They can’t keep slumping if we’re going to finish out strong. Also, Oladipo and Sheehey need to play with a lot of energy and swagger. Their energy is contagious. Let’s finish strong and make a run.

  • iujunebug

    Anyone else think we will somehow end up playing against BYU, simply because Carlino ended up there and sport’s talking heads love to talk about that kind of thing (even when the rest of us don’t give two craps about it)?

  • IUfanPurduePhD

    It would be better to get a lower seed (6) and play closer to home than a higher seed (4) and play way out west … right? I know IU fans travel well, but Louisville would be ideal.  Plus, winning in the state of Kentucky is nearly as good as beating pUKe, and Watford’s shot would get local airtime on all the stations, pissing off pUKe fans even more, which would serve as the icing on the [postseason] cake.

  • cooper

    I think you have to do better than one game over .500, regardless of what conference you are in, to deserve a 5 seed or less

    This team still has to win a couple games or they could be a 8-11 seed. Three or four straight losses and IU could be on the outside looking in

  • CreamandCrimson

    I used to feel that way.  However, when they passed on the opportunity to pair IU and Texas Tech against each other in an 8-9 game I stopped believing they cared about “storylines”.  I am sure some things happen like that but I don’t think IU vs. Carlino matters at all when they are making the bracket.

  • Eastwood88_2

    zero percent chance of IU looking in from the outside.  Even if we lose our last 4 games we are still in as a 8-10 seed.  To many quality wins and it would end up just like the 07-08 season.

    Now why it won’t happen anyway, senior night, Purdue and this program.  NO CHANCE!

  • SCHoosier

    I would prefer we concentrate on beating MN and Purude..and the seeds will take care of themselves…..there’s an even chance that IU will lose its last 3 games..especially if Wat and Hulls don’t return from the missing list. Sad to say..but I really feel that way…Iknow all the seed talk is fun this time of year..but there  is a lot of meat left on the season bone!

  • While Louisville would be closer I hope our Hoosiers end up somewhere else.  I am afraid getting tickets will be hard in the Ville.  Especially with pUKe there as well.

  • WatchingYogi_atYogis

    The pod system means that geographical preference will be given to the top seeds, 1-4.  That means our best chance of playing close to home is to be a 4 and not a 6.  Otherwise, seed wouldn’t really matter a whole lot.  It gets pretty complicated, having listened to a few bracketologists and former and current members of the selection committee- but you have two major competing obligations that the selection committee must juggle.  The pod system being one and the rule that conference rivals cannot meet before the elite eight.  That means, all things considered if we were to end up a 5 seed and Wisconsin a 4 seed (it’s more the reverse in actuality as we currently stand), they would get first geographical preference and we would have to be moved out of their bracket.  We could still get geographical preference but only if they could first serve all the 1-4 seeds and make sure none of them have conference opponents in the first four rounds, which makes it more and more unlikely. 

  • WatchingYogi_atYogis

    Having listened to former and current selection committee members describe the process- considering all the directives they have to follow, the pod system, making sure conference rivals do not meet until the elite eight, etc.  The bracket kind of fills itself out.  There really is no room to account for matchup storylines, it just becomes impossible to consider other factors.

  • Awesome summary Alex.

  • catronhoosier

    I honeslty don’t care about location.  More important to me is the matchups we get. 
    I think everyone would rather have us getting a high  seed (5-10) and playing out west with good matchups then us getting a great seed playing in louisville.  Getting to go would be great, but getting to a sweet 16 or possibly an elite 8, would be even better.  Especially because once you get that far in the tourney your team starts to feel some confidence after beating 2 good teams in a row and next thing you know we look like the team that beat OSU, UK, and UM early on and then who knows what can happen

  • DJ5

    Coop – IU is a lock even if they drop 4 straight, as it would be to a top 10 team, 2 bubble teams, and a neutral court loss to a 125ish team. Also conference affiliation and conference record don’t impact the committee, only talking media heads. IU has 3 top 14 RPI wins and two bad losses, both on the road. There are a lot of empty resumes out there. Wisconsin was swept by Iowa and their best wins are UNLV, IU, and NW. Louisville lost to Providence and Cincy and their best wins are Vandy, Seton Hall, and Memphis. Georgetown has losses to Cincy and Pitt, and their best wins are Marquette, Louisville, and Memphis twice. I could go on, but I don’t thing there are much more than 10 resumes that are hands down better than IU.

  • inadvertentelbows_stillhurt

    It’s time for IU to play like a tourney team…not to worried about the seeding because when the team is firing all barrels we will be a tough out…to much NCAA talk lets get on a roll and do some damage in the B1G tourney first. “Lets Go”

  • jayrig5

    One of the reasons I tend to agree with you is that the Committee has a tendency, when seeding the lower at-large teams, to seed the major conference schools that barely get in over the mid-major schools that barely get in.  And since I tend to believe that this year especially will see teams from power conferences (ACC, SEC, Pac 12, Big East) get in along with mid-majors that get in, either via an at-large bid or an autobid, all of whom will be in that 11-13 seed range.  That might be poorly explained.

    My main point is, I’d rather play the underachieving power conference team than a team like Long Beach State, who will be around that area.  And since I believe the Committee is more likely to seed LBSU and schools like it 12th than 11th, I guess I’d rather be a 6 than a 5.  But, IU still has a very reasonable chance at a 3/4 seed, (winning out plus a B1G tourney win or two would probably get them back around the 3 line, IMHO, no worse than a 4, while losing to MSU but winning 2 B1G tourney games should put them firmly as a 4, in my rational world of college basketball.) so I’m not too worried.  (Sorry for rambling.  Not my most organized post here.  I promise to do better.)

  • Mr_Howard8h

    When was the last time we won an NCAA tournament game?  Whenever it was, it’s been too long.

  • Mr_Howard8h

    When was the last time we won an NCAA tournament game?  Whenever it was, it’s been too long.

  • IUHoosiers23

    Alex, thank you for this site.  You guys are always on point, up to date and giving us something new to read.  As a die hard Hoosier fan, I truly appreciate ITH and will cotinue to visit it daily.  GO HOOSIERS!!!!!!

  • Oldguyy

    I’d like to see Elston start instead of Watford against Minnesota.  It would be another guy who can bring energy to the start of the game, where it’s been lacking on the road, and maybe light a fire under Watford coming off the bench.

  • Remy Willing and Abell

    Off subject but I think its totally awesome how if Kentucky happens to go the rest of the way undefeated ( which i don’t think they will ) that we will be the ones to protect our own 76′ undefeated record .

  • Ball sCrean

    I know it sounds crazy, I can hardly believe it myself… but I think the Hoosiers end up in the Final Four this year and win it all next year.

  • Ball sCrean

    I know it sounds crazy, I can hardly believe it myself… but I think the Hoosiers end up in the Final Four this year and win it all next year.

  • InTheMtns

    I had that very same thought today as I was reading an article predicting UK as one of the teams most likely to win the championship. I’m certainly not pulling for them to win, but if they do, it would be pretty cool that IU was the team that kept them from a perfect season.

  • Kelin Blab

    Carlino does not want any part of VO

  • Kelin Blab

    I want IU to have another shot a UK again.

  • Kelin Blab

    +If IU is lucky enough to get to play in L’ville, Nashville, or Columbus it could be some sort of home court/road advantage.

    + I think the challenge of playing in the ncaa tourney could bring out the best in these guys. They have met the Big Game challenge before, with KY and OSU, no reason to believe the can’t do it again

    + Wow we are really talking NCAA tourney. IU is a lock, just a matter of when and where.

  • Aceman_Mujezinovic_07

    I agree man.  Let’s stop talking NCAA tourney and seeding at least until after we knock of PUke and MSU and win a game or two in the B1G tourney!

  • 888

    me too. in the final four. lol

  • 888

    I agree. I think this team plays up to their competition. As long as its a neutral court weve got a great shot to win. If it was on someone elses home court wed be in big trouble. Of course all NCAA tournament games are nuetral in theory. I think we just have to hope we dont lose to a team we should destroy in the first round.

  • Sniderdoug1

    I live and work in Louisville. pUKe fans are saying they want another shot at Indiana thats all i hear! Although we travel well…pUKe fans will be there in record numbers… I am afraid it would be a HUGE advantage for pUKe.I really hope we go elsewhere and meet up with pUKe later in the tourney.

  • marcusgresham

    I think  the majority of the country sees Carlino as having left UCLA, not IU.

  • marcusgresham

    I think  the majority of the country sees Carlino as having left UCLA, not IU.

  • marcusgresham

    I don’t. I want them to be the first one to ever lose to a 16.

  • Sherronhasaheadache

    before the season started i was figuring 16-18 wins and an NIT berth.  now with a strong finish and 2 wins in the BIG

  • Sherronhasaheadache

    we have a chance for a 4 seed

  • Bleeding Crimson

    I’m sitting here at work listening to the pUKe pregame show and they were just talking about how they use the IU win as a motivator.  Funny how things work out.  They even mention that they would like to see a re-match in the tourney but in the same sentence saying we won’t make it to the sweet 16.

  • bfoutty

    Man, it would be nice to add a win over MSU.

  • DannerPerea

    Didn’t GTown also lose one recently to Providence or some other unranked while they sat at #8?

  • IUMIKE1

    That would be t-shirt with a slogan on it waiting to happen and I would be one of the first, if not the first, to buy one.

  • Geoff_85

    And win on the road against Minnesota. I wanna get those ba$tards back so bad. 2 revenge games left and an opportunity to sweep the Boilerdrunkards on senior night AND the prospect of another revenge game (against Wisc) if the Hoosiers win their first game of the Big Ten Tournament. I got ahead of myself there didn’t I?

  • Geoff_85

    I would have said that a long time ago, but after watching IU take down Duke in the Sweet 16 at Rupp Arena, I have to say that I do care about location. That was a home game for IU. My ears are still ringing from hearing “AJ MOYE!” followed by the proverbial clap clap clap-clap-clap.

  • Geoff_85

    I would have said that a long time ago, but after watching IU take down Duke in the Sweet 16 at Rupp Arena, I have to say that I do care about location. That was a home game for IU. My ears are still ringing from hearing “AJ MOYE!” followed by the proverbial clap clap clap-clap-clap.

  • jpniles

    I am so glad that this team is going have some leadership that will have tournament experience before “The Movement Pt. 2” gets here.