Not ending up in Indy could be a blessing in disguise for Hoosiers

IUB1G1ITH0019There was a great deal of speculation throughout the weeks and months leading up to Sunday that Indiana’s path to the Final Four would go through Indianapolis. The Hoosiers were ranked No. 1 for a good portion of the year, and they figured to be a safe bet for the Midwest region’s top seed.

But when the brackets were revealed Sunday evening, the Hoosiers were sent East. They won’t be playing in Lucas Oil Stadium this postseason.

Why? Well, most likely because of their loss to Wisconsin in Saturday’s Big Ten tournament semifinal in Chicago. The Hoosiers lost, and Louisville won the Big East tournament, giving them the top overall seed in the Big Dance.

“Probably,” guard Victor Oladipo said when asked if Saturday’s loss cost Indiana the Midwest region. “But I can’t go back and change time, I can’t go back and change the past. All I can do is look forward to the future.”

The Hoosiers’ path will first take them to Dayton and then to Washington D.C. if they advance to the second weekend.

“I expected our road to be kind of rough,” said senior forward Christian Watford. “That’s how it’s been since I’ve been here, so why would it change now?”

Ending up in the East could be a blessing in disguise for the Hoosiers. Most national analysts agree the Midwest region – which includes Louisville, Duke, Michigan State and St. Louis – is by far the toughest in the Tournament.

Plus, if the Hoosiers were in Indianapolis, they would be expected to win and advance to the Final Four. The pressure would be significant, and Indiana doesn’t always play well as a favorite.

“I feel like we play better on the road anyway, to be quite honest with you,” Watford said. “Our mentality is just a little different. We go in with our underdog mentality that we’ve had for so long.”

  • http://twitter.com/btown1056 brian workman

    Playing in DC could also be great for recruiting.

  • Victorbear

    How about the obvious……Victor gets to go home!!!!!!!!

  • HoosierCruz

    I agree with this 100% for five reasons:

    1. Senior night proved that we can get pressured and out of our game in front of a home crowd. Almost everyone broke out of the game plan at some point and tried to force stuff individually, and there’s no bigger stage ‘at home’ than the Midwest Regional.

    2. I love the raucous IU crowd, but I think the loud cheering doesn’t allow clear communication on defense. This would definitely be a problem playing in Indy.

    3. This is Victor’s back yard, and you know he is going to represent and kick ass at home.

    4. We have just as many road losses as home losses in the toughest league in the NCAA, clearly we don’t have a problem with playing on the road!

    5. We are recruiting HARD in the DC area so this could be a big win for us there as well!!

  • Kelin Blab

    Could not agree more with this Justin. Playing in Indy would be a MASSIVE amount of pressure and a huge target for anyone IU would faced….however…first lets get to the first game won and out of the way…..

  • stroot

    Here’s to hoping Vic’s dad uses the games in DC (assuming IU makes it there) as his opportunity to end his policy of avoiding his son’s games, and will give Vic that extra little incentive to push his game to the next level in the NCAA tournament.

  • stroot

    Here’s to hoping Vic’s dad uses the games in DC (assuming IU makes it there) as his opportunity to end his policy of avoiding his son’s games, and will give Vic that extra little incentive to push his game to the next level in the NCAA tournament.

  • HOOSIERS135

    I was going to say the same thing. IF we make it there, Vic is going to want to show his home town crowd how it’s done!!

  • IU80

    I live in DC. There are a slew of IU alumni here. A slew. You will be surprised.

  • Capt. Steve

    This is the most insightful and salient comment ever. Instantly, I cared more about Victor and his reluctant father than any game.

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Jason-Atkins/521747034 Jason Atkins

    Whether or not you’re a fan of the Pomeroy rankings, here’s what we have in our region:

    Miami — #14
    Marquette — #25
    Syracuse — #13
    UNLV — #36
    Butler –#52
    Illinois — #42
    NC State — #35
    Temple –#68

    Certainly not a cakewalk, but definitely could have been a lot worse…

    Go Hoosiers!

  • Ole Man

    State in the second game scares the heck out of me.
    They did the same thing in the regular season last year, then turned it on for the tourney.
    They have a ton of talent.
    There’s some revenge factor from their loss to us last year.
    They’ll be underdogs with nothing to lose.

  • Bake

    Hoosier fan from Michigan here.. Bought tickets this morning for Dayton and took the chance of them being there. Glad it worked out! Saw them at MSU this year but never been to the NCAA tourney. Can’t wait to see fellow Hoosier fans! Section 103 row K

  • Bake

    Hoosier fan from Michigan here.. Bought tickets this morning for Dayton and took the chance of them being there. Glad it worked out! Saw them at MSU this year but never been to the NCAA tourney. Can’t wait to see fellow Hoosier fans! Section 103 row K

  • Hoosier Pete

    I am ecstatic. This is a good draw and I agree with Justin’s premise: this is a blessing in disguise. IU plays better on the road. They have all year. And for whatever reason, don’t play so well when the target is on their back. That would have been the case in Indy. The Verizon Center is great. Been there a lot. It’s a good arena, a real basketball arena as opposed to domes, which I don’t like. That aside, I think NC State is going to be a tough second game. I think Bucknell could upset Butler and I think Syracuse is vulnerable against Montana, a team that has a super point guard in Will Cherry, whose game is like Lillard (Weber State/Portland Trail Blazers). Either way, I like going to Dayton and hopefully D.C. Go Hoosiers!!!!

  • Rantool

    These guys always play best with their back against the wall. They haven’t made it easy for themselves all year long. That being said, it seems that when they absolutely have to play ball, like the Michigan game on the road, they find a way to getter done! I don’t know why, but I do know it’s do or die now. Win or go home might be the best type scenario for these guys? It’s been a great year, but I really think it’s time to hang banner # 6! That was the goal when we stood in line for 4 1/2 hours to get into Hoosier Hysteria, and that is still the goal! Don’t you ever ever give up on your dream guys! Indiana we’re all for you!

  • stephen

    haven’t you seen sister act II. nightmare dude! vic plays fine without his dad there.

  • stephen

    really struggling over the wisconsin ole miss first round match up. 1. wisconsin is playing great ball right now, we know this firsthand. 2. marshal henderson is a destiny-type guy in this tourney, like a pittsnoggle or something, i just cant see him not making a splash and winning a few. thoughts?

  • PDXHoosier

    I always think Wisc is going to do some damage because they do so well in the B1G, and then they fizzle in the tournament. I expect them to fizzle, but they should get out of the first weekend

  • PDXHoosier

    I always think Wisc is going to do some damage because they do so well in the B1G, and then they fizzle in the tournament. I expect them to fizzle, but they should get out of the first weekend

  • SCHoosier

    NCSt worries me in the second game (not that Temple is a pushover) However the Pack has under-performed despite having excellent talent. In my mind they are similar to MN. but smoother with a better point guard (Brown)…and a great wing in Leslie

  • Born_in_81′

    “I feel like we play better on the road anyway, to be quite honest with you,” Watford said. “Our mentality is just a little different. We go in with our underdog mentality that we’ve had for so long.”…my thoughts exactly and take it one game at a time.

  • mel_anon

    Interesting. Temple’s the lowest-ranked team by KP’s ratings to get an at-large bid.

  • stroot

    Here in Houston TX, a group of IU alums is referred to as a herd.

  • Earl Scheib

    I agree with this post and what you’re all saying. DC it is, and we got a great draw. These guys will step it up and I just can’t see us not getting to the Final Four. I’m in NYC so I have lots of Syracuse friends who all dread facing us and still have flashbacks of Smart’s shot. Bring ‘em on! And Miami. Or whoever. Go Hoosiers! #6!

  • CreamandCrimson

    I see the similarities there. However, they don’t rebound near as well as Minnesota and are not near as physical as Minnesota (and we won’t be playing them in the crazy “Barn”).

  • kewaynes

    Sweet 16 is fizzling?

  • Eastwood88_2

    Marshall will be shut down. Bo will have him t-d before the first. Half. Wisconsin elite eight

  • Eastwood88_2

    Nc state reminds me of iu in 2007. Pros and great talent. Getting blown out in the firat round. Taking temple

  • http://www.facebook.com/blair.mckee Blair McKee

    Jordy might shoot better out of the Midwest…

  • achurt

    So your thoughts are two of the most cliche statements in sports?
    haha – sorry

  • The_Real_Assembly_Hall

    Play anyone. Anytime. Anywhere. Including Wisconsin.

  • NWI_Hoosier

    Maybe a blessing in disguise for the team and but not a blessing for my plans that I had to be in Indy that weekend watching the Hoosiers! At the end of the day though, I suppose watching Lville/SLU, Duke/MSU, then probably Lville/Duke isn’t that bad of a gig and I won’t miss a game of IU since they play Thurs/Sat. Decent tradeoff and a much more favorable path for IU to the final 4 out East. I’ll take the hit for my team!

  • http://twitter.com/BrandonTucker Brandon Tucker

    I live in Austin & will be in Houston this weekend, do let me know if there are any good Hoosier-friendly spots to watch the games. Thanks,

  • stroot

    The best two spots for IU games is going to be Luke’s Icehouse (at 903 Durham) and the Ragin’ Cajun (at 9600 Westheimer), as both are owned and/or managed by IU alums. The local IUAA chapter typically arranges get-togethers at Luke’s.

    Luke’s is a sports bar, while Ragin’ Cajun is more of a restaurant/bar with a of TVs. Luke’s will have the bigger crowd and more drink options (and I’ll be there), but I’m sure both will have plenty of Hoosiers for the weekend.

  • dtfreed

    Didn’t we play them before? Last year in ACC Challenge

  • And_One

    Yes! I have seen so many comments by snakebit Hoosier fans along the lines of, well at least UW isn’t in our region, and thank goodness we don’t have to play the Badgers. I want to play them again! That monkey stays on our backs until we beat them, and we can’t beat them if we don’t play them! Bring ‘em on! Er, next year, please…

  • karen

    Please get together and let the team know you are there!

Powered by WordPress. Designed and developed by Ryan. Read our Privacy Policy. // Back to Top