We’re now just 40 days away from Selection Sunday and the Hoosiers are sitting atop the Big Ten standings with nine conference games remaining. With that in mind, it’s time for another edition of March Watch, a look at where Indiana stands in terms of the NCAA Tournament.
Since our last update, Indiana has been on the rise, compiling a 4-0 record with wins over Penn State, Michigan State, Purdue and Michigan. As a result, the Hoosiers currently sit at No. 2 on ESPN.com bracketologist Joe Lunardi’s s-curve, trailing only Florida.
Nitty Gritty Profile
· Record: 20-2 (8-1 Big Ten)
· RPI: 11
· SOS: 24
· Home Record: 14-1
· Away Record: 4-0
· Neutral Court Record: 2-1
· vs. RPI Top 50: 5-2
· vs. RPI Top 51-100: 3-0
Despite meetings with Michigan and Michigan State, IU’s strength of schedule actually fell three spots since our last update. The reason: Two of their games came against Purdue (RPI: 136) and Penn State (RPI: 180). The overall RPI number for Indiana is still lower than what you might expect because 12 of IU’s 20 wins are over teams outside of the RPI top 100.
· ESPN Bracketology (Joe Lunardi): 1 seed (Midwest) vs. Norfolk State/Bryant in Dayton
· CBS Sports (Jerry Palm): 1 seed (West) vs. North Carolina Central in Dayton
· Sports Illustrated (Andy Glockner): 1 seed (West) vs. Niagara in Lexington
All three of the brackets we track have the Hoosiers back on the top line with Lunardi sending the Hoosiers to the coveted Indianapolis regional and Jerry Palm and Andy Glockner shipping Indiana west to Los Angeles. Despite Indiana’s win over Michigan, there’s still no consensus on which team would receive the nod in the midwest at this point and ultimately, that determination will likely come down to who wins the Big Ten regular season title. The Bracket Matrix, which aggregates nearly every bracket projection available, has the Hoosiers as the final No. 1 seed. Crashing the Dance, which uses brackets from the past to predict what the selection committee will do, has IU as the top No. 2 seed.
Tournament Sites (distance in miles from Bloomington in parenthesis)
· First round: Dayton (139)
· Second, third round: Auburn Hills (295), Austin (881), Dayton (139), Kansas City (435), Lexington (133), Philadelphia (608), Salt Lake City (1343), San Jose (1908)
· Regional: Arlington (723), Indianapolis (45), Los Angeles (1791), Washington D.C. (515)
· Final Four: Atlanta