March Watch: Hoosiers rising toward the three line?

  • 03/06/2012 12:20 pm in

With Selection Sunday just five days away, it’s time for another edition of “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

What would have been hard for anyone to believe before the season tipped off has become a reality: Indiana is a lock for the NCAA Tournament. What’s less certain is if the Hoosiers can improve their resume enough before Selection Sunday to get placed at a favorable site like Columbus, Louisville or Nashville. The higher IU can climb on the s-curve, where they’re currently No. 13 according to Joe Lunardi and No. 10 according to Crashing the Dance, the less likely a trip west becomes. Given the Kansas and Missouri are near certainties to be sent to Omaha and Duke and North Carolina will likely be headed to Greensboro, those two locations are unlikely to host the Hoosiers.

Nitty Gritty Profile

· Record: 24-7 (11-7 Big Ten)
· RPI: 12
· SOS: 27
· Home Record: 18-1
· Away Record: 5-6
· Neutral Court Record: 1-0
· vs. RPI Top 50: 8-4
· vs. RPI Top 51-100: 3-1

Top 11 RPI wins over Kentucky, Michigan State, Ohio State and Michigan give the Hoosiers one of the best resumes in the country, but losses to Iowa (RPI No. 130) and Nebraska (RPI No. 149) could ultimately push IU below teams like Baylor, Georgetown, Marquette and Michigan on the s-curve.

Bracket Projections

· ESPN Bracketology (Joe Lunardi): 4 seed vs. Virginia Commonwealth in Nashville
· CBS Sports (Jerry Palm): 4 seed vs. Nevada in Albuquerque
· Sports Illustrated (Andy Glockner): 3 seed vs. Belmont in Nashville

In their most recent updates, Palm is the only bracket sending the Hoosiers west. The fourth-seeded Hoosiers would get Nevada, which would be an unfavorable draw given the geography. Lunardi sends IU to Nashville in a meeting with last year’s Cinderella, VCU, while Glockner puts them on the 3-line in Nashville against Belmont. Both would be tough, but given that Belmont is in Nashville, the latter draw could be a disaster especially if IU does enough to jump up to a three seed. The Bracket Matrix, which aggregates projections from around the web, has the Hoosiers as the top No. 4 seed in their latest update. With a couple of wins in Indianapolis, a jump up is not out of the question.

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

Filed to:

  • CH

    Izzo and MSU are mad right now after the whooping IU put on them and senior night loss to OSU. I would rather play anybody else in the country than MSU right now. That being said I hope we get by Penn. St and Wisc but MSU again will be toughest game of the year When Green and Izzo are fired up.

  • SCHoosier

    I think everybody ought to concentrate on beating PSU (hard to beat a team 3 times in one year)..and the rest of the stuff will take care of itself. To advance you have to beat whomever they match you with..so who cares.

  • HoosierGrad07

     The only point I’d make with all you just said is that if you look at recent history, i don’t believe you’ll find an at-large team on the 14 line…ever. The only one I can think of from recent memory that was from a Big 6 conference was Georgia when they made a miracle run through the SEC tourney and had like 14-15 losses. They got an at-large 14 and lost to Xavier. So if IU gets a 3 seed, it’s about 98% sure they will be playing an auto bid from a non-big 5 conference. (I say 5 this year because the Pac-12 is so bad and who knows where those teams will be seeded, but they are basically mid-majors this year).

  • calbert40

    I am just excited to be talking about a guaranteed NCAA seed and not an NIT berth.  I thought we were NIT bound at the beginning of the year.  I am really excited to be wrong!

    I think that we are a 5 if we lose to PSU.  I think if we beat them, we are a 4.  If we make the championship, we are a 3.

    Obviously, the manner in which we win will determine if we are a “strong” seed or a “weaker” seed within that seed line (S-curve).  That can be the difference between being knocked down a line based on a team below us having a great conference tourney, or going up a line if we have a great tourney.

  • Bleeding Crimson

    I like Milzy thinking.  Keep in mind that if we keep winning so does our opponents…meaning tired legs and they way CTC has been rotating his bench I like our odds even more due to our bench depth.  Who has a deeper bench might be the B1G champs.   IMHO.

  • Andrew

    Please.  You don’t think they were fired up Sunday?  They just got dismantled Tuesday nite, and it was Green’s last game at Breslin.  If we face MSU and lose, it will be b/c they played better, not b/c the COY and POY were “fired up.”  Stuff like that is so overstated.

  • HoosierGrad07

    We all want the players and the coaching staff to only concentrate on PSU but since we’re the fans, we get to have all the fun and look ahead.  So don’t get too down on your fellow fans for being excited about the possibilities of this years team. 🙂

  • Hoping they make it out here to Portland.  I know it wouldn’t be the best situation as far as everyone having to travel, but hey I’m being selfish 🙂 I’m just glad we are back, no matter where they play.

  • KingCalbert

    I’d love to see IU play valpo in the opening round provided valpo takes care of detroit tonight. Indiana is 5-0 in the state and should make it 6-0

  • Andy B

    Does anyone realize that if we were to get a 3 it would be our highest NCAA seed since Calbert Cheaney was a player?!?!? This season has been an amazing accomplishment regardless.

  • jayrig5

    I honestly think they’re ahead of Baylor and G’town right now, but it’s not like I know anything.  So I just think they need the two wins.  

  • jayrig5

    Eh. I don’t blame any of those kids for leaving.  No ill will toward them at all, especially because we don’t really know what the coaches were telling them about playing time going forward.

  • marcusgresham

    Especially a kid from all the way out in California.  That’s a long way from home when you’re getting your ass kicked every game.

  • jayrig5

    I went through earlier in the season to see when IU had been a better seed than a 4. Had to go back awhile.  And I believe they’ve only been a 4 one time since the early 90’s, although it may have been twice.  Either way, this season has been a great season for IU basketball by any measure, not just in light of the previous 3 years.

  • jayrig5

    I went through earlier in the season to see when IU had been a better seed than a 4. Had to go back awhile.  And I believe they’ve only been a 4 one time since the early 90’s, although it may have been twice.  Either way, this season has been a great season for IU basketball by any measure, not just in light of the previous 3 years.

  • Will The Thrill

    I’m not really concerned with the exact seed, be it 3, 4, 5 or whatever.  Just don’t put us against VCU.  I live in Richmond and have been keeping up with them all year and yes, they are as hot if not hotter than last year.  Smart’s “havoc” style is similar to Arkansas under Richardson.  They take no plays off, and jump on any opportunity you give them.  It’s a style we have not seen this year.

    The reason I would not want to see them is that if we pull one of our away from home sleepwalk starts we could be looking up at a 22-0 hole, much like Mason did on Sat. in the CAA tourney.  They are the ultimate super-spurt team – not scoring in bunches of 8 like most, but bunches of 14 or more.  Now we do have the things that they hate to see though – good shooting, great FT shooting, and a big man who can RUN.  Ultimately I think we win but it’s a scary setup.

  • millzy32

    One more thing is this.  If we win the Big Ten Tournament that means we will have split with Wisconsin and most likely taken 2 out of 3 against Michigan State and either Michigan or Ohio State.  That can’t be ignored.  Again, it’s a big IF.

  • Mattcoll03

    Why doesn’t the NCAA just go ahead publish that from now on Duke and Carolina get home games for the 1st two rounds of the tourney? Quit pretending- N Carolinagets a site evry year just waiting for the homies each March. It’s sickening, frankly.

  • Mattcoll03

    Why doesn’t the NCAA just go ahead publish that from now on Duke and Carolina get home games for the 1st two rounds of the tourney? Quit pretending- N Carolinagets a site evry year just waiting for the homies each March. It’s sickening, frankly.

  • Outoftheloop

    There is no such thing as a “disaster” seed. You have to win two tough games to get to the Sweet Sixteen! That is the way it always is. If you can’t beat Belmont in Nashville or Nevada in NM, you don’t belong. Indiana belongs this year. GO IU!

  • Outoftheloop

     IU needs to play teams like VCU, and BEAT them! Are we #15 or not? If you can’t beat VCU then you are not. Also, better get use to this style as IL will be playing it next season. If you can beat KY, OSU, MSU, MI, ND, and Purdue twice, you can and should beat VCU. This is the time when winners show their stuff and pretenders shrink aside! GO IU!

  • Outoftheloop

     Detroit killed Valpo. Young Ray McCallum, Jr., is good!

  • Outoftheloop

     I don’t think that he “jumped” at all, and “no” we could not use him on this team! That does not make him a “bad” kid at all. But the current and future IU teams have great quality kids with better talent than Malik.

  • Andy B

    IU was a 4 seed in ’94 and ’01. Barring a Penn St. upset this will at least tie for our best seed since ’93.

  • Outoftheloop

    You so called “basketball” fans probably did not notice, but Harvard could not make the NCAA dance (first time since 1946) without Princeton carrying them over the “hump” by beating U-Penn 62-52! GO TIGER!

  • Outoftheloop

    I just checked out the “Bubble Tracker”. Against teams “in” the NCAA, IU is 9 wins and 4 losses: Stony Brook, w, ND, w, MI, w+L, MSU, w+L, OSU, w+L, Purdue, w+w, WI, L, Savannah St, w, KY, w. Against “bubble” teams IU is 2 wins and 0 losses: NC St, w, Northwestern, w. 11-4 looks pretty good to me! 

  • Pfunk999

    I here you. I haven’t seen IU play live since 95. The selfish me wants to see them in Portland. I’ll take anywhere though. Great season and a bright future!

  • Geoff_85

    I agree with a lot of this, but the NCAA has said they don’t look at injuries. I think because you can’t say that a team performed as well as they did because of the injured player, but anyway they did say that injuries don’t have an effect on who gets in or how they seed teams.

  • Geoff_85

    I watched the VCU/Drexel game and was not impressed. Indiana would dominate either team on the glass and probably offensively as well. VCU likes to run from what I saw in that game, and that would be a mistake against Indiana. What’s impressive about the Hoosiers is they’ve shown that they can win in a slow tempo and a fast tempo game. That coupled with the way they’ve been rebounding should give Hoosiers fans tons of confidence right now, which I didn’t have in the first half of the season when they were running teams to death, but started getting beat in slow tempo games. I was scared of good mid-major teams until the Hoosiers showed they can win slow tempo, grind-it-out games. We’ll see if they can maintain, but VCU doesn’t scare me as of right now.

  • Geoff_85

    No way IU slips to a 5.

  • Geoff_85

    Did you watch the VCU/Drexel game? If they try to run with IU, the Hoosiers will dominate them.

  • Geoff_85

    Anyone who didn’t know that has been napping for a few days.

  • Geoff_85

    Anyone who didn’t know that has been napping for a few days.

  • NervousWreck

    I don’t feel ill will towards him either.  I just think it would be “fitting” because he was there at the beginning.  I like to follow ex-former players like Story, Williams, Holman, etc. to see how things are going for them.

    For example, Ray McCallum Sr., his son, and Holman just punched their ticket for the tourney last night in an upset win over Valpo.  Would be interesting to play that bunch….