March Watch: Hoosiers enter February in solid position

  • 02/03/2015 10:06 am in

After missing the postseason altogether last season, Indiana is back in the NCAA tournament discussion thanks to a 16-6 start and a 6-3 mark in Big Ten play.

This year’s debut of “March Watch,” which will be a weekly feature up until Selection Sunday on Mar. 15, takes a look at IU’s current nitty gritty profile, bracket projections and more.


Based on preseason projections, Indiana is one of the surprise teams nationally with four wins over teams currently viewed as solid bets to make the tournament in Butler, SMU, Ohio State and Maryland. With nine conference games to go, including five at Assembly Hall, there are plenty of opportunities for Indiana to further strengthen its resume.

Nitty Gritty Profile

· Record: 16-6 (6-3 Big Ten)
· RPI: 35
· SOS: 41 (via CBS)
· Home Record: 13-1
· Away Record: 2-3
· Neutral Court Record: 1-2
· vs. RPI Top 50: 3-4 (via ESPN)
· vs. RPI Top 51-100: 3-2 (via ESPN)

Current Projections

· ESPN Bracketology (Joe Lunardi): 6 seed in East Region vs. Texas A & M in Omaha
· CBS Sports (Jerry Palm): 6 seed in East Region vs. First four winner in Omaha
· Assembly Call (Andy Bottoms): 7 seed in West Region vs. Oklahoma State in Portland
· Crashing the Dance: No. 24 overall seed
· Bracket Matrix: Last 7 seed

The consensus right now is that Indiana would be solidly in the field if it were selected today. The model on Crashing the Dance currently has the Hoosiers with the fourth best profile among Big Ten teams behind Wisconsin, Maryland and Ohio State.

Final record projections, which projected Indiana to start 3-6 in the Big Ten, now picks the Hoosiers to finish 21-10 overall and 11-7 in the conference. The Only Colors, which has been projecting the Big Ten race all conference season, gives Indiana better than a 92 percent chance to finish with 10 or more conference wins and nearly a 75 percent chance to win 11 or more Big Ten games. And finally, has the three most likely final regular season records for IU as: 21-10, 20-11 and 22-9, as shown below:


A look at the conference as a whole

As for the Big Ten at-large, most of the projections have it as a six-bid league. Right now, you can probably only put Wisconsin and Maryland as the teams that are “locks” to make it, but Ohio State, Indiana and Michigan State all appear to be in solid position.

In terms of potential bubble teams, Iowa, Purdue and Michigan are all receiving mentions, but each situation has plenty of caveats.

The Hawkeyes are just 13-8 overall and have lost three in a row, but have a favorable schedule down the stretch with five home games remaining and trips to Northwestern and Penn State still to come.

Purdue is surging, but has losses to North Florida and Gardner-Webb on its resume which brings down its overall RPI number (currently No. 78).

And Michigan is 6-4 in the Big Ten, but all six of its wins are against teams currently in the bottom half of the league standings and like the Boilermakers, the Wolverines have a pair of head scratching losses (NJIT and Eastern Michigan). Thursday’s game with the Hawkeyes in Ann Arbor is big for both teams.

2015 Tournament Sites 

· First round: Dayton
· Second, third round: Charlotte, Columbus, Louisville, Jacksonville, Omaha, Pittsburgh, Portland, Seattle
· Regional: Cleveland, Houston, Los Angeles, Syracuse
· Final Four: Indianapolis

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  • inLinE6

    I’m happy as long as we make the dance. Can’t ask too much for this year. But when will we be in the final 4 talks again?

  • marcusgresham

    I truly think this is Purdue’s year to hang a banner in Mackey. They’ll run through the tournament all the way to Madison Square Garden.

  • mdtreat

    We were in final four talks two years ago. The talks are not what Im worried about, its the action. I would even take a cinderella run to the FFour.

  • inLinE6


  • sd chuck

    Iowa has played the top of the league and should come on strong, opposite of them is Mich, who played the bottom of the league to start, Ohio St still has kinda tuff, purdue twice Maryland, Maryland we just have to see, IU after the Wisc, Maryland away games gets easier except it don’t matter who we play we have to shoot well to win, we don’t live off of defense, kind of playing from behind when you are giving up 3-6″ and more inside. This team will hang it’s hat on the three ball, doesn’t matter whether we play a good team or a bad team, shoot well, we’re in the game, don’t shoot well, we struggle! They have done a helluva job so far!

  • MarkHoltzHoosier

    NIT joke. Well done.

  • IUchrome

    I’m happy to see that IU actually scheduling some good games this year has helped this team overall. The last few years, the non-conference schedule was just horrible, regardless of the excuses that we had. (youth, size, tough big ten, etc) IMO, I don’t think its coincidence that scheduling better teams requires your team to get more focused and generally play at a higher level. Glad to see the hoosiers finding ways to win this year. Only one ‘bad’ loss to E. Washington and two no shows on the road in the big ten. Hopefully, we will finish up strong and get some favorable match-ups in the big dance. GO HOOSIERS!!

  • Eastwood88_2

    I am very happy to see us looking a NCAA bid. A second weekend run is not out of the question. This team gets hot from the outside anything is possible. 2002 all over again. Just need some upsets and hot shooting. Still one game at a time. Need 4-5 more wins to punch our ticket.

  • N71

    Its taken a number of years for me to say I’d be happy with simply making the tournament but after last year, I suppose that’s right about where I am with things, I’d be happy. Getting 2 or 3 rounds deep would help prepare the team for next year unless we go through a bunch of turnover again. I think we’re golden with our current guards, we just need to be a few more deep across the front line and we’d most likely be in Final 4 talks.

  • Hoosier89

    Next year.

  • iubase

    They got it right. The team should be much better when Hanner gets back since he has the strength and size along with amazing athleticism to protect the rim. This is what I had predicted 5 months ago –

    iubase5 months ago

    22-9. Assuming we decrease TO and learn to play better D.

  • iubase

    next year

  • iubase

    They have some good peices in place and if they stay healthy have the tools to do well this yr. Quite a turn around from last yr. Still think Whisky has the upper hand since they are a veteran team and can wear you down.

  • Rushman

    Not sure if you saw it last week, but Jay Williams picked IU as his Cinderella team come tournament time.

  • kaponya44

    I think the schedule worked out well for the rate this team has developed at.Ironic that we are currently in the portion(@OSU – @Maryland) that concerned me most at the time I looked forward from our first game.

    I still harbor concerns this stretch could affect the spirits of a young roster but given the way this team has responded to adversity.

    They show a short memory to a fault which is frustrating after the good wins but given the manner in which the wins have been achieved I couldn’t have imagined feeling this optimistic either..Again I still fear a possible breaking mental point being but Yogi and Troy are winning me over as leaders little by little and it is obvious this team is scary when the shots are falling and they take care of the ball.

    That goes no matter how the 4 road games we are in the middle of turn out record wise.I like our chances of bouncing back from anything because these kids are very cool headed.Everything that fazes them only makes them harder to faze the next time out.If we manage to steal Wiscy and/ or Maryland ,or even play competitively in both Ill feel very good once Hanner gets back.

    I am aware Hanner watched a game from the locker room.I hope he realized what emulating Hartman’s approach to recovery could do for him while seeing Collin play his minute in a way which he should also emulate.Lol Confusing but true??

    Hanner earning those minutes back(which should rightfully have to happen) would translate into something significant for this team.

  • genericHoosier

    Indiana is a team that nobody would want to play in the NCAA tourney. If we get hot from outside, this team can beat anyone, and our fans travel as well as any in the country.

  • SilentBob

    Agreed and it’s also a team anyone can beat. If we make a run in the tourney I might take back up smoking, because of all the stress those games will surely cause me lol.

  • Hoosier gal in Iowa

    Can I be a little selfish and hope for a visit to Omaha by the Hoosiers? I’m only 2 hours from there and promise to represent (along with my converted Hawkeye husband)!!

  • Crimson&CremeFraiche

    Nice. For a guy whose college career ended against IU, he has always had good things to say about us. I respect that.

  • Carolina Hoosier

    No, you may not be selfish. It’s best for the Hoosiers to play in Charlotte, so me and my buddies Cody and Noah can represent.

  • And One

    Sorry, I got dibs on Columbus. Hate Value City Arena but love my Hoosiers.

  • MillaRed

    All I’m going to say is, our work is not done. Maybe I’m still feeling the affects of last season. Or maybe I’m concerned about the eye test from our last three games, followed by whatever happens tonight.

    We are not playing our best basketball and need to figure that out in the 2nd half of The B1G. Our defensive ranking continues to plummet and is the elephant in the room.

    We should be OK, but these guys need to start playing with their hair on fire. This vertically challenged squad is not going to waltz into the tournament. They are going to have to earn it.

  • InCreanWeTrust

    Well you’re in luck! The Columbus games are at Nationwide Arena (where the Blue Jackets play) not Value City. Although, I agree, Value City is awful for College Basketball

  • NC Hoosier

    I just don’t want to be an 8 or 9 seed and have to face UK in the “second” round. I would honestly rather be a 10 seed.

  • oldiugymnast

    Okay – the forced open ads that kick my iPad to the app store and make it 5 clicks from getting back to the article I was trying to read are really, really, really annoying. Please STOP! Clicks only work if people come to your site.

  • Outoftheloop

    The seed is unimportant, as long as it is not KY, U VA, Duke, Kansas in the first game. Get in the NCAA Tourney, play hard and without pressure, win two games. The Sweet Sixteen! GO IU!

  • Outoftheloop

    I have to disagree Milla. Loses away to MSU, OSU and Purdue are not bad at all. A loss by 20 or by 2 is a loss, and only 1 L. Any win, no matter how “ugly”, is a W. If IU only loses at WI and at MD and wins the rest of it’s B1G schedule, that will be incredible (13-5)! It may “look” bad tomorrow (if WI stomps IU), but there should be no panic. Play hard, rebound, defense, low TO’s, and smart assists with a bunch of fast, skilled, little guys will work, as we proved against MD.

  • Outoftheloop

    They are actually a good team. But IU will get the W at Assembly Hall!

  • E Foy McNaughton

    If IU gets hot, like they did the year the lost to Maryland in the final game, they could shoot their way to the final 4. That being said, if they get cold and play poor defense, they could be done very quickly.

  • It happens occasionally in my desktop browser and my Galaxy too. I thought it was a virus or something.

  • twarrior87

    Well they definitely have enough room in the rafters at Mackey to choose the right place to hang a banner. Not like its going to be crowded by any other National Championship banners.

  • Rushman

    I have noticed multiple times this year it has looked like Yogi was above the rim and could just throw it down with some force. He gets pretty high on some of his layups. This picture made me think of that.

  • iuoiu

    I’m thinking next year is looking really good, assuming a few things. First Yogi and JBJ come back, and my money right now is on that happening.
    Second is that we have no surprise departures of significant contributors and that we have no more off season brain farts…..

  • INUnivHoosier

    We picked up Sunday tickets for Charlotte, so that would be ideal (if they played that day.)

  • SCHoosier

    I second^^^^^^^^^^^^^ these thoughts. IU’s work to get to the Dance has some tough challenges ahead!.

  • Aceman_Mujezinovic_07

    I wasn’t too concerned after the road losses to OSU or PUke because I figured those would be tough places to win. However, I am moderately concerned after that Rutgers game. I thought Tate played well at OSU and IU hung in there for much of the game. I thought PUke’s bigs would dominate at PUke because they’d be allowed to hang on us.

    However, I was sort of sickened to see the Hoosiers give up points inside and out against the league’s worst offense at home against Rutgers.

    Now, I’m concerned.

  • eville87

    Dear Santa can we have a post player

  • marcusgresham

    What MarkHoltzHoosier said. See the specific reference to “Madison Square Garden.”