March Watch: IU a No. 7 seed in most recent projections

  • 02/24/2015 10:48 am in

For the fourth straight week, Indiana split a pair of games, but the Hoosiers remain in very good position to return to the NCAA tournament after missing the postseason last season. The Hoosiers enter Wednesday’s game against Northwestern at Welsh-Ryan Arena with a 19-9 mark overall and a 9-6 record in Big Ten games.

We’re back this week with another edition of “March Watch,” which will be a weekly feature up until Selection Sunday on March 15. We’ll take a updated look at IU’s current nitty gritty profile, bracket projections, the Big Ten’s tournament prospects and more.

Overview

Indiana has built a strong tournament profile with several wins over teams currently projected to make the field including Butler, SMU, Ohio State and Maryland. IU also has a win over Illinois, which is right on the bubble line in most projections. With three conference games to go, including two at Assembly Hall against teams who could make the tournament, opportunities remain for Indiana to further strengthen its resume.

Nitty Gritty Profile

· Record: 19-9 (9-6 Big Ten)
· RPI: 33
· SOS: 33 (via CBS)
· Home Record: 15-2
· Away Record: 3-5
· Neutral Court Record: 1-2
· vs. RPI Top 50: 5-6 (via ESPN)
· vs. RPI Top 51-100: 3-3 (via ESPN)

Current Projections

· ESPN Bracketology (Joe Lunardi): 8 seed in East Region vs. Texas in Charlotte
· CBS Sports (Jerry Palm): 7 seed in East Region vs. Dayton in Pittsburgh
· Assembly Call (Andy Bottoms): 7 seed in East Region vs. Georgia in Pittsburgh
· Crashing the Dance: No. 27 overall seed
· Bracket Matrix: Final No. 7 seed

Indiana fell at least one seed line in all three bracket projections we’re tracking and fell two spots in the CBS bracket following the loss at home to Purdue. That said, the seeding model on Crashing the Dance currently has the Hoosiers with the third best overall profile among Big Ten teams behind Wisconsin and Maryland and just ahead of Michigan State.

Final record projections

With three regular season games remaining, KenPom.com continues to project Indiana to finish 21-10 overall with an 11-7 mark in the conference. The Only Colors, which has been projecting the Big Ten race all conference season, gives Indiana a 94.2 percent chance to finish with 10 or more conference wins (down from 97.3 percent) and a 65.2 percent chance to win 11 or more Big Ten games (down from 84.9 percent). That model also shows Indiana as a long shot for a Big Ten tournament double bye with just a 22.3 percent chance of a top four conference finish, down from 57.1 percent a week ago. RPIForecast.com continues to list 21-10 as the most likely final regular season record for IU:

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A look at the conference as a whole

As for the Big Ten at-large, the latest ESPN bracketology has the league as a eight-bid league with Illinois as one of the “last four in” and Purdue as one of the “last four byes.” Here’s a brief look at other profiles across the league:

· Wisconsin (25-2, RPI 6): The Badgers are in competition with Gonzaga and Duke for a No. 1 seed and may have to win out in the regular season and Big Ten tournament to get there. The stiffest remaining regular season test for this group comes tonight in College Park as the Badgers take on Maryland.

· Maryland (22-5, RPI 11): After dropping three of five, things have stabilized a bit for Mark Turgeon’s group as the Terps have won three in a row. A win against Wisconsin on Tuesday would go a long way in moving Maryland up the seeding list, but this team appears to be a lock for a top four seed.

· Michigan State (19-8, RPI 28): Suddenly, Michigan State is surging with four straight wins and the Spartans are closing in on “lock” status to make the field if business is taken care of at home the rest of the way (Minnesota, Purdue). Sunday’s win at Illinois was huge and trips to Wisconsin and Indiana remain as chances to further bolster the resume.

· Ohio State (19-8, RPI 43): The Buckeyes took a tumble in the computers following a loss Sunday at Michigan and while this group remains in solid position, it’s still too early to proclaim lock status for a NCAA bid because of an awful non-conference schedule. The Buckeyes finish with three of their final four games at home, but two of them come against Purdue and Wisconsin, which won’t be easy.

· Iowa (17-10, RPI 55): The Hawkeyes rebounded from a brutal week by throttling Rutgers and Nebraska. Neither win strengthens the resume, but avoiding bad losses this time of year is pivotal and that’s exactly what Iowa did last week. The Hawkeyes host Illinois on Wednesday night and the game is crucial for both teams as Iowa is just off the bubble and Illinois is squarely on it.

· Illinois (17-10, RPI 58): Illinois only played once last week and the Illini shot horribly in a home loss to Michigan State. Illinois will likely have work to do in the Big Ten tournament to solidify a bid unless it can win both of its remaining home games (Northwestern, Nebraska) and one of its remaining road games (Iowa, Purdue).

· Purdue (18-9, RPI 61): Purdue came up with a huge win at Indiana last week that put the Boilermakers in the field for right now. If not for losses to Gardner-Webb and North Florida in the non-conference season, Purdue would be looking at a very good NCAA tournament seed based on its work in the Big Ten. Still, if the Boilermakers can just split their final four conference games (Rutgers, at Ohio State, at Michigan State, Illinois), they’re likely in the field.

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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  • WhatsUpKnight2.0

    would be nice to close out the season with a couple home wins against the poke-eyes and msu. i’m just not sure if we match up well against either. both games are probably going to be ugly

  • Jim Miller

    I really hope they can get in the East region. If they do that and can win 2 games I can see them play live at the Carrier Dome.

  • Jim Miller

    Any chance we can get the students to come to the Iowa games with eye protectors on?

  • WhatsUpKnight2.0

    dang i hope so! i mean, they can’t leave that one alone can they??

  • SCHoosier

    Interesting to review..and appreciate the research… but doesn’t mean any thing until the clock shows 00:00 against MSU and the B-10 post season is complete. I like the Hoosiers chances of getting to the Dance..likely not to like their “partner” for the first or second “waltz.”

  • David Macer

    Damn near spit out my diet coke on that one !!

  • Jim Miller

    I am going to predict right here and now that if the student body shows up with goggles or other eye protection on, the Iowa coach will demand they remove them before his team takes the floor.

  • GaHoosier

    Yogi is ready for Iowa!

  • Michael Crawley

    Iowa actually scares me more than MSU.

  • B1G Lifer

    Man, I wish that 3 had gone down for Kevin against Maryland. It looked so good, and what a huge road win that would have been. (not that any road win in the B1G isn’t a big deal). Think we’d be looking at a 4 or 5 seed if we had that one in our back pocket?

  • ForeverIU

    LOL, I think these Hoosier Hysteria glasses are too flimsy to guard against Woodbury. We will need face masks!

  • marcusgresham

    There is a twofold reason why the #7 seed is important. If IU is in that 8/9 game they’re gonna get stuck with Kentucky in the next game. I know the committee doesn’t set things up, but they set things up. Here’s the next part of that, though….unless there are too many teams from one conference to avoid it you aren’t supposed to play against anyone in your conference until the regional final. At this point Wisconsin looks to the best #2 seed so IU won’t have to deal with that match-up nightmare.

  • inLinE6

    No. 7 sounds like the right seed to win it all. Ask UConn.

  • Kyl470

    Agreed a 7 or 10 seed would be way better than 8 or 9.

  • IU diehard from CT

    I’ve been saying this for weeks now. the 8-9 is horrible on every level. i would even be happy with the 6 or 11 seed as opposed to the 8 9. or the 7 10. the 7-10 would play the 2 and the 6-11 plays the 3. me likey much better. however, the only issue to that is teams that will fall into the 2, 3 or 4 seeds will be arizona, kansas, iowa st, villanova, notre dame, utah, north carolina, and probably louisville. of those teams, the only possibles i see IU winning is UNC, Nova, ND, and maybe ISU. all the remaining teams are big and play slow. and we all know thats a problem.

  • ForeverIU

    Ha, I like the thought!

  • Alan

    Yeah if we get a 8 or 9 seed you know the committee is going to pair us in a potential second round match-up with Kentucky… Let’s get a 6 or 7 instead.

  • calbert40

    Depends on which Iowa team shows up. They are the most inconsistent team in the league. Hopefully, we catch them on the right night.

  • Hoosier Hall

    We could beat Louisville right now. They are reeling at this point and barely pulling out wins against bad teams. I think we would beat UNC but the matchups against Iowa State or ND would be shootouts.

  • BigAd007

    What’s the B1G tie-breaker after head to head? So if we finish with the same record as Maryland or MSU and split games with them, who gets the higher seed in the B1G tourney?

  • Mack

    Good question.

  • Mack

    How about they just show up. And actually get up and root in the second half like it matters. That’s what I’d like. I might have to go down on the floor and pick up a megaphone myself if I get down there for this one.

  • dwdkc

    Maryland’s win over Wisconsin rules out a tie for 2nd at 12-6. Still hoping for a top 4 Big 10 seed but avoiding Purdue and then Wisconsin is a bigger deal. The tie breakers are big because I expect IU to come in at 12-6 with Purdue and MSU, behind Maryland.

  • chris

    it’s very messy is what it is…go to the BTN website and search for mens Basketball Tournament tie breakers

  • Jim Miller

    Can someone whisper in the equipment peoples ears that the players need to come out for intros wearing welding masks against iowa

  • IUMIKE1

    Not trying to be a Debbie Downer or one of the, sky if falling people, but I think reality is that we win 2 of the last 3, which team those 2 wins comes against is going to depend on which IU team shows up in these last 3 games.

    ” Suddenly Mich St. is surging “, glad Alex put it like that instead of, ” surprisingly ” cause it shouldn’t be surprising to anyone that has followed B1G bball. Izzo is a helluva coach IMO, even if he does look like he’s giving birth without the benefit of painkillers most of the time during games. lol At he beginning of the season many said that he had lost so many points and talent from the previous year that there was no way that they would even finish in the top 5 or 6. I said at the beginning of the season and I’ll say it now, no way that he finishes the conference that low, and will be surprised if he finishes out of the top 4. See the game against them, by far and away, the toughest game left on our schedule, even if it is at home and even if Iowa is a bigger and taller team than them.

  • eville87

    Call me crazy but we will probably get that 8 seed. If we are good enough to win in the first round what do we have to lose? Think about it. They will probably have won 35 or 36 on a row by that time. And the only way to beat them is to light it up from 3 so if we hit 22 to 25 3s we have a chance. If we get slaughtered nothing lost because there supposed to beat us.

  • Outoftheloop

    I did a little thinking about NCAA seeding. You don’t want to be an 8-9 seed. Because your second game, if you win, is likely against a #1 seed. Being a 7-10 seed is very similar because you have to play the #2 seed in your region if you win. Also, to me there is no real difference between being the #10 or the #7-8 or 9 seed. But if you can get a #6 seed you play the #11 team, and if you win, then likely the #3. Now the chances for a Sweet Sixteen start to look good!

  • Outoftheloop

    MSU has not beaten anyone that they were not expected to beat. This is a schedule driven “surge”. I pick MSU to lose their next 3 games: at WI, Purdue at home, and at IU. That would put them at 11-7 and IU at 12-6 and 4th in the B1G! Of course if MSU beats Purdue and Purdue loses at OSU, then it’s WI, MD, and a 3 way tie for 3rd with IU, MSU and Purdue all at 12-6. Indiana has 3 games it must win to feel really good about this season! But nothing matters except beating NW tonight!

  • Alan

    LOL hit 22 to 25 threes? You realize we just set a school record by hitting 18…

  • Michael Crawley

    I agree but it is easy for teams to get up when playing agaist IU. I hope they come in already defeated. Lol

  • IUMIKE1

    I will be VERY surprised if they somehow lose their last 3 games and WILL not be surprised if they win at least 2 of their remaining 3. IMHO Izzo just has them playing better, and as usual has them starting to play their best ball of the season at just the right time. The season is coming down the home stretch and it’ll be fun to see which of our views turn out to be right.