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:

  • Matt S

    Palm’s a Purdue guy. Just sayin’…

  • That picture looks somewhat familiar. 

    The “Wat Shot Spot”http://jscottsports.com

  • tetkalee

    I have tickets to the Friday night games in Nashville — really hoping to see the Hoosiers here for one of those games!

  • Shawnrchtr

    Away record 6-6?

  • HoosierDadE

    Hey Alex or ITH nation…what is/are the team or teams that are keeping IU from playing in Louisville or Columbus due to a higher ranking?

    In the end, it doesn’t matter…I’ll drive the 5 hours to Nashville.

  • HoosierDadE

    Hey Alex or ITH nation…what is/are the team or teams that are keeping IU from playing in Louisville or Columbus due to a higher ranking?

    In the end, it doesn’t matter…I’ll drive the 5 hours to Nashville.

  • WhatsUpKnight

    i think they’re a 3 if they can make it to the conference championship game, which would mean wins over wisconsin and likely msu. and i think that’s entirely feasible. 

    it’s nice to know they won’t have to go through either osu or michigan to get there (not that we should be afraid of either). and who’s to say they won’t have matchup #3 with PUke!

  • CZ40

    Keeping my fingers crossed for Nashville or Louisville in the 2nd and 3rd rounds and St. Louis or ATL regionals!  Travel well Hoosier Nation!

  • 5-6.

    Wins: NC State, Evansville, Minnesota, Purdue, Penn State

    Losses: Michigan, Michigan State, Iowa, Nebraska, Ohio State, Wisconsin

  • millzy32

    IF and it’s a big IF we win the Big Ten Tournament then I think we get a 2 seed and we should get a 2 seed IF we win it. 

    Say we beat PSU and lose to Wisconsin I think we are a 4 seed, maybe a 5.  If we beat Wisconsin put us at a 4 seed at worst and most likely a 3 seed.  If we make it to the Big Ten final and lose then we are a lock 3 seed.  Then comes that big IF.  IF we win it we should be a 2 seed.  It’s about who’s hot at the time and that would mean that we will have won 11 of our last 12 and 4 in 4 days.  That’s HOT.  Easier said than done though.

  • MillaRed

    I know losing to PSU would be bad but I don’t see us falling below a 4th regardless. I also would say our ceiling is a 3 even if we with the B1G tourney.

    Either way I am just enjoying the ride………………….

  • Aceman_Mujezinovic_07

    Man I liked last week’s draw where we were seeded 4th against I think the winner of NW vs Drexel or maybe it was Seton Hall vs Xavier, but either way we weren’t playing a tough tournament darling in their backyard! 

    Belmont is dangerous every year and gives Duke one heckuva game at Duke every year.  VCU would be an obvious bad draw given the fact that Butler just shocked everyone last year by making back to back runs!

    I think the ideal draw for IU would be the 3 seed in the East or Midwest against Akron or Davidson.  That means we’ll have to have a great B1G tournament and get farther than Michigan!  I think Gtown will go down quick in the Big East tourney so it would be possible for IU to jump to a 3 seed in one of those regions!

    Either way, the Hoosiers just need to continue to move the ball and play unselfishly.  When they do, they can beat anyone, anywhere, anytime!

  • iujunebug

    Don’t forget about Penn State. They say it is hard to beat the same team three times in a season and they say it for good reason. I like our chances against Penn State, but I think we all know what happens when IU gets caught looking ahead.

  • Bottom line I think is that if we get past the trap game Thursday then Friday’s game against Wisc. will be a 3-seed play-in game.  Because Wisc is already on the 3 line.  If we beat Wisc then we take their place.  If we lose then we stay a 4 or slip to a 5 depending on how others do around us.  That’s just how I figure it, anyway.

  • Bottom line I think is that if we get past the trap game Thursday then Friday’s game against Wisc. will be a 3-seed play-in game.  Because Wisc is already on the 3 line.  If we beat Wisc then we take their place.  If we lose then we stay a 4 or slip to a 5 depending on how others do around us.  That’s just how I figure it, anyway.

  • If my beloved hoosiers come to boston – it would make my day….probably head over there with Jerry and try to keep him under control when pritch enters the game….

  • The way I see it, Indiana could end up anywhere from a 3 seed to a 5 seed, when selection Sunday rolls around.  Where they end up within that range, depends much on, not only how they perform in the Big Ten Tournament, but also, how other similar teams do in their respective conference tournaments. 

    Other teams which I believe are in the 3-5 seed range (and teams I will be rooting against this week) are Georgetown, Marquette, Wisconsin, Baylor, Michigan, and Florida State. 

    IMO, If Indiana happens to drop the ball and lose to Penn State in the opening round, we could get as low as a 5 seed.  I don’t believe we could receive a lower seed due to our quality wins.  That goes a long way to balance our few bad losses. 

    On the complete opposite end, if Indiana happens to Win the Big Ten Tournament, by beating Wisconsin, (let’s say) Michigan State, and OSU or Michigan… I believe we could be in line for a top 3 seed… This would of course depend on the nature of the wins (close wins, blow outs, etc.)

    But the one game in the Big Ten Tournament that stands out to me, due to the fact that they are in line for similar seeding at the moment, is Wisconsin.  We must first take care of Penn State, but beating Wisconsin is crucial to obtaining either a top 4 seed (if we do not progress further) or even a 3 seed (if we go on to the Championship, or perhaps win the Big Ten Title).  However, there are so many different possibilities that you can drive your self nuts, trying to figure them out.  I would pay close attention to the other 6 teams I listed above, and if the majority of them do not have strong showings in their respective conference tournaments, that will only pave the way for an even higher IU seeding, shall they take advantage. 

    Good luck Hoosiers.  You have exceeded our expectations thus far, and hopefully, continue to do so.

     

  • KraigIU

    I agree.  I think that if we get past Wisconsin and as long as we don’t get blown out on Saturday that should be enough to get the three seed.  I don’t really see us dropping to a 5 seed unless we totally crap the bed against Penn St.

  • KraigIU

    I agree.  I think that if we get past Wisconsin and as long as we don’t get blown out on Saturday that should be enough to get the three seed.  I don’t really see us dropping to a 5 seed unless we totally crap the bed against Penn St.

  • WhatsUpKnight

    what can i say, it’s hard not to be a little cocky right now, and i think this team is gonna have my back.  

    but i know you’re absolutely right. the big wins over msu and PUke have me thinking a bit fanatically at the moment. not to mention, i really, really want that rematch with wisconsin. they badly need to be put in their place once and for all! 

  • The_Real_Assembly_Hall

    The way I see it is that we have 10 games left to win. I am not taking anything likely or for granted but this team can do it. Go IU!

  • millzy32

    If anyone is wondering about the math this is because the ND game was considered Neutral.

  • millzy32

    Getting a MAC team in the tourney would be good.  The MAC isn’t as strong as some of the other Mid Majors this year.

  • Eastwood88_2

    I say two wins and an early exit from Baylor or Georgetown and we are a three.

  • Eastwood88_2

    Miila is right. Winning the big ten tourney does nothing for our seeding. With it being the last game on Sunday, the brackets are done.

  • Eastwood88_2

    Miila is right. Winning the big ten tourney does nothing for our seeding. With it being the last game on Sunday, the brackets are done.

  • Benhyoung14

    I think if IU beats Penn St and Wisconsin then IU is a 3.  Hopefully in the South region as I live 2 hours from Nashville.

  • millzy32

    I think Ohio State will squash the PUke rematch hopes.

  • Eastwood88_2

    I want nothing to do with vcu. Rather be a six seed against harvard than playing a team with their experience.

  • fortwaynehoosier

    i do not want any part of vcu.. i think that would be a match-up nightmare for us

  • fortwaynehoosier

    i do not want any part of vcu.. i think that would be a match-up nightmare for us

  • CreamandCrimson

    It’s a lot of fun trying to project where the Hoosiers will end up.  What city are we going to?  What seed are we going to end up with?  The most important of these projections questions is “which team will we be playing?”  The NCAA Tournament is all about matchups. 

    For instance…look at the current projections above. 

    #4 seed against VCU in Nashville.  I watched VCU and Drexel last night.  They are a tough matchup with tournament experience but I think we would beat them. 

    #4 seed against Nevada in Albuquerque.  Iona showed Nevada is prone to being run on and they don’t have the athletes to compete in a fast-paced game.  I like that one. 

    #3 seed against Belmont in Nashville.  Uh-oh.  A good team that shoots the three really well, has a lot of tournament experience (compared to our roster’s zero) and the game is in their backyard.  That would be a really harsh draw.  So the three seed would give us a much tougher draw than the 4 seed.  The lesson?  It’s going to be all about the matchup and the draw.  I hope we continue to play well and carry momentum into the NCAA tournament.  At this point, the results may shift our seeding a line or two either way but the matchups are more important.

  • HoosierTrav

    The like was for your username. I love my city. Only problem is it’s too far from b-town. I also agree with the statement that VCU could be a matchup nightmare. I just have a good feeling about this team right now. They seem to have a swagger about them. Everyone on the roster seems to be healthy and firing on all cylinders. Are they the most talented team? Absolutely not! I do remember a team that looked similar to the current team during this point in their season. I believe it was the 2002 Indiana Hoosiers. Could we have truly arrived a year ahead of schedule? Name a team in the country that we CAN’T beat right now. Cheers to another potential Cinderella run.

  • RckyMtnHoosier

    3 seed…5 seed…Huck Seed…I don’t care.  The fact that we have 24 wins and are a lock for the tourney is absolutely amazing.  Prior to the season, if you would have told me we would be on the bubble come Selection Sunday, I would have been pleased.  This has been one sweet, sweet ride.

  • RckyMtnHoosier

    3 seed…5 seed…Huck Seed…I don’t care.  The fact that we have 24 wins and are a lock for the tourney is absolutely amazing.  Prior to the season, if you would have told me we would be on the bubble come Selection Sunday, I would have been pleased.  This has been one sweet, sweet ride.

  • marcusgresham

    I personally think that prior to next year’s Senior Day, someone should take a jigsaw to that section of the court and cut a piece out to be the background in Watford’s framed jersey they present to him.  You could have it replaced before the game and no one would even have to know until presentation time.

  • marcusgresham

    I didn’t see that, but if NW means Northwestern, whomever drew it up didn’t know what he was talking about because there aren’t supposed to be any conference matchups in the first or second round unless a conference has so many teams in the tournament that it’s unavoidable.
    Belmont and VCU scare the hell out of me.  Belmont should be higher than a 14.

  • Aceman_Mujezinovic_07

    Yeah, Akron would be a great draw.  I wouldn’t even mind the matchup of Big 6 Conference duds after they fight it out in the play in round but I definitely do not want to see IU play against one of those tournament tested teams like VCU or Belmont!  I also don’t want to see Valpo!

  • Aceman_Mujezinovic_07

    I honestly think if IU gets past the trap game against PSU, they will beat the crap out of Wisconsin!

    I think it’s a good matchup and IU would’ve beat them bad the first time they played if the officiating would’ve been halfway decent!

  • Aceman_Mujezinovic_07

    I honestly think if IU gets past the trap game against PSU, they will beat the crap out of Wisconsin!

    I think it’s a good matchup and IU would’ve beat them bad the first time they played if the officiating would’ve been halfway decent!

  • marcusgresham

    Anybody happen to remember Nevada’s #34, Malik Story?

  • HoosierDawg

    Let me think about this for a minute…yeah, I guess I’d be ok with 34-7 and the NCAA Championship this year. Let’s DO IT!!

  • plane1972

    I like how you think millzy, but I think I recall hearing in the past that the B1G tournament finish was too late to be a resume builder for anyone outside of an unexpected team getting the automatic qualifier. Basically, you could play your way IN, but not play your way UP after the semifinals. That may be wrong, but I think I remember hearing that.

  • plane1972

    I like how you think millzy, but I think I recall hearing in the past that the B1G tournament finish was too late to be a resume builder for anyone outside of an unexpected team getting the automatic qualifier. Basically, you could play your way IN, but not play your way UP after the semifinals. That may be wrong, but I think I remember hearing that.

  • plane1972

    Sorry, I didn’t see Eastwood’s post below. 

  • Kennydescombes

    I’m trying not to put a lot of stock in what these pre bracket matrix projections are saying about possible matchups.  The fact is that the seeds that we would likely be matched up with as a 3 or a 4 seed are generally a crap shoot.  It could be anyone from a team that was off the bubble from a major conference that got a few huge wins during their tourney but didn’t get the championship (could be anyone in the Big East, ACC, or a Pac-10 or 12 team).   Or it could be a conference and tourney champ from a  mid-major conference.   Or even a bubble team that barely did enough in their tourney to get in.  Basically what I am trying to say is that outside of the top 2 seeds (UK and Syracuse), almost anyone is capable of sliding up or down based on their performances in their tourney.  There is even a chance that MSU and OSU fall to 3 seeds if they get shocked on Friday (considering MSU’s recent injury and losing two opportunities last week, and how much OSU has seemed to struggle the last month).  If things really go IU’s way, we could be a 2 seed, maybe not even the last two seed.  I don’t put a lot of stock in the idea that the Big East gets as many as 9 or 10 teams.  I think that if you compare the top 12 teams in the BIG East and the Big Ten, Penn State  could compete with St. John’s,  Nebraska is able to compete with Rutgers, and Illinois could beat just about anyone in the Big East.  Then I look at Iowa and Northwestern as beign two teams that still have a shot at playing their way in.  Iowa probably needs to have a perfomance like Penn St did last year, but we have seen them shoot superior teams out of the gym before.  All in all, come Friday we will have a more clear, but still not a reliable idea of what the tournament field will look like. 

  • NervousWreck

    Absolutely.  Would be fitting to knock him off after he jumped ship.

  • HoosierGrad07

     Actually the committee always comes up with an “either/or” backup plan based on each scenario in the B1G tourney. They basically decide as a group if anything would change seeding-wise based on which team wins and if they decide it would they then make a bracket for each scenario and just have it ready ahead of time. It’s only two options so it would be incredibly lazy for them not to do this. Rabjohns discussed this during his time on the mock committee.

     With that said, I do think IU has a chance for a 2 seed. But only if they win the B1G tourney by beating both MSU and OSU. The committee has in the past bumped a teams seed up “unexpectedly” when they make a great conference tourney run. Two examples that come to mind are UCONN last year and Syracuse from about 5 years ago. Both got 3 seeds with average conference records. I actually think they could give us a 2 over MSU if this scenario happened just because MSU would have lost 3 of their last 4 (two of them to us) coupled with the Dawson injury.

  • HoosierGrad07

     Actually the committee always comes up with an “either/or” backup plan based on each scenario in the B1G tourney. They basically decide as a group if anything would change seeding-wise based on which team wins and if they decide it would they then make a bracket for each scenario and just have it ready ahead of time. It’s only two options so it would be incredibly lazy for them not to do this. Rabjohns discussed this during his time on the mock committee.

     With that said, I do think IU has a chance for a 2 seed. But only if they win the B1G tourney by beating both MSU and OSU. The committee has in the past bumped a teams seed up “unexpectedly” when they make a great conference tourney run. Two examples that come to mind are UCONN last year and Syracuse from about 5 years ago. Both got 3 seeds with average conference records. I actually think they could give us a 2 over MSU if this scenario happened just because MSU would have lost 3 of their last 4 (two of them to us) coupled with the Dawson injury.

  • Peter

    Yeah, we could’ve used that guy. Remember how many of the seniors talked about “honoring their commitments”