March Watch: It’s never too early to talk seeding

  • 01/09/2013 8:59 am in

IUJackITH0004Selection Sunday is a little more than nine weeks away and Indiana is roughly at the midway point of their schedule, so it’s time for our first 2013 edition of March Watch and a look at where the Hoosiers stand in terms of the NCAA Tournament.

Overview

Indiana’s lone blemish is an 88-86 overtime loss to Butler at Bankers Life Fieldhouse and their RPI and strength of schedule numbers should both begin to trend upward as Big Ten play rolls along. With a strong pool of favorable 2nd and 3rd round venues in terms of proximity, the Hoosiers will likely be able to take advantage of the pod system and land at a site like Dayton or Lexington.

IU currently sits at No. 6 on ESPN bracketologist Joe Lunardi’s s-curve, trailing Duke, Michigan, Arizona, Louisville and Kansas.

Nitty Gritty Profile

· Record: 14-1 (2-0 Big Ten)
· RPI: 16
· SOS: 43
· Home Record: 10-0
· Away Record: 2-0
· Neutral Court Record: 2-1
· vs. RPI Top 50: 3-1
· vs. RPI Top 51-100: 1-0

As Lunardi wrote Tuesday at ESPN Insider ($), IU’s non-conference schedule is currently working against the Hoosiers in seeding exercises. The overall strength of schedule is still respectable, but eight guarantee games could be viewed as a bit on the heavy side by the selection committee. Of course that nitpicking of the schedule will be totally irrelevant if Indiana wins the Big Ten, as a No. 1 seed would become a lock.

Bracket Projections

· ESPN Bracketology (Joe Lunardi): 2 seed vs. Vermont in Lexington
· CBS Sports (Jerry Palm): 2 seed vs. College of Charleston in Lexington
· Sports Illustrated (Andy Glockner): 2 seed vs. Detroit in Lexington

Indiana may get a game at Rupp Arena after all, it just won’t be against Kentucky. Right now, all three of the brackets we’re tracking have the Hoosiers in Lexington for 2nd and 3rd round games. But after that, getting a chance to play through the midwest regional in Indianapolis could prove tougher than originally expected. Michigan and Louisville are currently the primary competition for the No. 1 seed in the midwest and both are currently ahead of IU in all three projections. Again, it’s super early, but winning the Big Ten likely puts Indiana as the No. 1 in the midwest ahead of both the Cardinals and Wolverines. Indiana could even play through Indianapolis as a No. 2 if Louisville grabs the No. 1, but it seems unlikely that Indiana and Michigan would both land in the midwest as the No. 1 and No. 2 seed. Bottom line: The head-to-head games with Michigan could be crucial.

Tournament Sites

· First round: Dayton
· Second, third round: Auburn Hills, Austin, Dayton, Kansas City, Lexington, Philadelphia, Salt Lake City, San Jose
· Regional: Arlington, Indianapolis, Los Angeles, Washington D.C.
· Final Four: Atlanta

Filed to:

  • azhoosier

    well knowing how nasty the NCAA is they will probably send IU to Alaska for a first round game regardless of their record…they are real good at sending IU to far away places….IU better cover their hind end because the NCAA (would call them something worse but you wouldn’t post this) will screw them just like last year.

  • copernicus462

    It’s so early that I debated on whether or not to ask this, but I’m pumped about IU basketball right now so I’m curious…why would Indiana play through Indianapolis as a No. 2 under the scenario you suggested?

  • mrjonessodaandme

    Its not so much as they would go through Indy as a #2 with Louisville, its just that thats much more likely then them placing a #1 and #2 from the same conference on the same route. They like to keep conference opponents away from each other as long as possible.

  • Benhyoung14

    I think IU wins the B1G, and gets a #1 seed. Michigan’s schedule hasn’t been the toughest around. IU is leading the conference in most categories. Michigan has some weaknesses on the boards, and I’m sure somebody will exploit that weakness and beat them. I think we split the Michigan games, and lose another 1 or 2 on the road. We shouldn’t see more than 3 losses in the B1G.

  • Benhyoung14

    I think IU wins the B1G, and gets a #1 seed. Michigan’s schedule hasn’t been the toughest around. IU is leading the conference in most categories. Michigan has some weaknesses on the boards, and I’m sure somebody will exploit that weakness and beat them. I think we split the Michigan games, and lose another 1 or 2 on the road. We shouldn’t see more than 3 losses in the B1G.

  • SCHoosier

    I guess for the rabid fan..seeding discussions any time are “fun.” That said..with only two games played in the conference…the B-10 title..and post season tournament title yet to be decided..any seeding discussion is sort of… well…”bovine caw-caw.” If the Hoosiers take care of business in what’s left of the season..they’ll get a #1 seed..if not. IU won’t deserve one. I agree that having two top five teams (UL and UM) from our region.. works against IU getting the site selection map it wants to the Final Four. In a tight competition our RPI won’t help. Conference play..win title or not..should toughen these Hoosiers to the point where seed and site selection would be icing on the cake. Gotta beat everybody u play no matter when or where. Potential is there to do that.

  • HoosierSammy

    Would I be alone in saying that I wouldn’t mind a couple of road losses if it came at the expense of more PT for HMP and Jeremy? If the main thing holding them back is in game experience give them some in game experience! Obivously we can’t give one away like that in front of the home crowd, but why not give them extended minutes in say, East Lansing and Columbus just to give them major experience in a very hostile environment. Those are games we could very well lose regardless of who plays. The gains they could get from that could be worth a win or two down the stretch in March, and that’s all that really matters, right?

  • Benhyoung14

    It’s a crazy idea, but Coach Knight used to say that you have to know when to lose. It might not be a bad idea, but I wouldn’t do it against anybody but the bottom tier of the B1G.

  • HoosierSammy

    Perfect example would be 1/20 against Northwestern. Sure, there would be a big ruckus about us losing to Northwestern, but why not give them the minutes and see what happens? We could definitely win that game even if Jeremy and Hanner played 16+ minutes and if we lose, it doesn’t hurt us that much.

  • HoosierSammy

    Perfect example would be 1/20 against Northwestern. Sure, there would be a big ruckus about us losing to Northwestern, but why not give them the minutes and see what happens? We could definitely win that game even if Jeremy and Hanner played 16+ minutes and if we lose, it doesn’t hurt us that much.

  • IURob1997

    The article only suggests if IU wins the Big 10 and moves ahead of Michigan and Louisville they will play through Indy. Of course they could always be the #2 seed in a Louisville bracket going through Indy too.

  • Dagwoods

    EVERY game will count! Gotta play to win. My guess is the B1G will be decided by one game.

  • dtfreed

    Knight if he said it, meant the pre-B1G games

  • Bobby

    It’s not often I disagree with 100% of what someone says, much less 3 people at once. But I totally disagree with this suggestion of losing just to give players experience. Bordering on insane actually.

  • dtfreed

    Lexington not Louisville

  • dtfreed

    Lexington not Louisville

  • Indiana just needs to TCOB and win the B1G.

  • plane1972

    Early? Yes. But, I love the potential storylines that come with bracket forecasts. Looking at Bracketology, you see the potential rematches of Duke and Butler’s championship game, Butler and IU’s preseason game, or IU and Duke’s 2002 game. You also see IU playing in Rupp. Those are fun things to consider, even if too early to seriously consider them.

  • plane1972

    I think the Butler loss was pretty salty. It doesn’t look like such a bad loss now that they are in the Top 15. However, I think it was a reality check. Not sure if Crean is of the same mindset as RMK was about strategic losses as learning opportunities, or not. But, I agree with you. A loss to the lower half may provide more teaching moments than losing a squeaker to a conference contender.

  • HoosierSammy

    what i’m trying to say is I’d much rather lose the big ten regular season title and get a 2 or 3 seed and win the NC than lose in the NC, Final Four, or even Elite Eight because our frontcourt depth wasn’t tested enough in the regular season.

  • HoosierSammy

    what i’m trying to say is I’d much rather lose the big ten regular season title and get a 2 or 3 seed and win the NC than lose in the NC, Final Four, or even Elite Eight because our frontcourt depth wasn’t tested enough in the regular season.

  • marcusgresham

    I know Michigan is currently undefeated, but any team that relies so heavily on the 3 is bound to have a night or two where they don’t fall. I think the Wolverines will lose at least a game or two that no one thinks they should drop because of this. Indiana has shown the ability to win by shooting the 3, but also from pounding it down low and from driving. I just think IU has a smaller margin for error than Michigan and expect to see them seeded higher.
    Louisville is hard to peg because they really don’t shoot well at all. They also play against some Big East teams that might just beat the hell out of them physically (not that the B1G isn’t the same type of conference.)
    Duke and Arizona are almost assured #1 seeds. I’d say Arizona moreso than Duke, because there isn’t much in the Pac-75 (or however many teams they have this week,) other than UCLA, who looks to be righting the ship.

  • marcusgresham

    If it costs an opportunity to play a regional final in Indianapolis I’d give a big, resounding, “oh hell no.”

  • marcusgresham

    …and Kentucky’s almost a shoo-in to make it to MSG for the NIT championship.

  • azhoosier

    wrong….they will probably be in same bracket as IU…mark it down and then come back and tell me how smart I am..!!!

  • azhoosier

    a loss to a Northwestern (especially this year…they are bad) would absolutely never be acceptable…ever…anytime…anywhere….

  • jwcasey

    If Ryan Kelly’s foot injury causes him to miss extended time, Duke could struggle considering their depth. However, the ACC is pretty much laughable this season as is the PAC – #. Last night against Duke, Clemson scored 10 points in the entire first half of a Division-1 Men’s Basketball game.

  • NotTheRealSteveEyl

    Whatever our seed, we’ll probably be the late game. Seems like we’re always on at 9 or 10 first round (I refuse to call it the second round).

    We should all just take a minute to think of how far this program has come in a really short time. You have to take your hat off to Crean. A short few years ago, our #1 option was Tom effing Pritchard (no offense, Pritch, you earned your spot in IU lore. We don’t forget loyalty and hard work.) Now, I’m sort of disappointed we aren’t a projected 1 seed. And it’s January.

    When I can get myself out of worrying about the next game and just appreciate our rise from Sampsongeddon, I am truly amazed. Honestly, what coach in history has done a better job turning a program around?

  • NotTheRealSteveEyl

    Nice.

  • IUCommish

    OK, call me crazy, but look at that Lunardi’s West bracket. I hate to say it, but I think UK would be the team coming out of there. That’s a VERY soft region, hopefully they’d balance it out more. IU in Lexington, then Indianapolis? I could live with that!

  • I’m just not buying this Sammy. We lsoe to NW and we will face chants of “Overrated” and it will kill our seeding. I’d love to see Hanner and Jeremy play more but much prefer watching them after we are beating NW by 20 at Evanston.

  • I’m just not buying this Sammy. We lsoe to NW and we will face chants of “Overrated” and it will kill our seeding. I’d love to see Hanner and Jeremy play more but much prefer watching them after we are beating NW by 20 at Evanston.

  • HoosierGrad07

    I think you mean IU has a larger margin for error than Michigan if you think IU will end up w a higher seed than them. But I may not have read the sentence correctly.

    One thing about Mich this year though is that they are much less reliant on the 3. They still shoot a good number but when you watch their flow on offense, it’s not like last year where they had little to no ability to score inside the paint. We are probably gonna play 3 epic games against them this season, it’s gonna be fun.

  • HoosierGrad07

    but none of those things has anything to do with each other. It’s always nice to set up those scenarios and of course, we’d all take the NC w the 2 seed over the other stuff but that’s not how it works. History suggests that 1 seeds still make the tourney more than other seeds and 1 seeds have the easier road to a title. So let’s win those games however we need to and get that 1 seed!

  • aka Hoosier Daddy

    Where can i get a few of these shirts i love the red color but i have to have the exact same lettering…brilliant i say brilliant

  • aka Hoosier Daddy

    Where can i get a few of these shirts i love the red color but i have to have the exact same lettering…brilliant i say brilliant

  • DeeLyle

    Of the teams currently ranked ahead of us, Arizona is by far the weakest. I wouldn’t be surprised if they lose 2 out of their next 3 games.

  • DeeLyle

    I refuse to call it the second round also. I wish they would just go back to having 64 teams in the tournament and end the play-in games.

  • HoosierSammy

    I’m not saying we would definitely lose those games. If we did it at say, Northwestern we could very easily win even if they got more playing time. I just wanted to see how far off base I was from everyone else on here because I respect your guys opinions a lot. That being said I would MUCH rather us drop one in Evanston in January (not that we even necessarily would) because we played our freshman a little more than usual than one in Atlanta in March because they were too untested.

  • SCHoosier

    Have u watched UM this year….Coach B still loves the 3 (and they’ve got a couple of kids who can really shoot it)..but Burke, Hardaway and Robinson will take you to the hole in a NY minute. Ball movement is better than last year when Trey had it in h is hands 80% of every possession.

    Feb 2 at A-Hall is gonna rock for both teams.

  • HoosierSammy

    I think it very well could have something to do with each other because the teams we run into at that point in March will all be very, very good and then what if CZ gets in early foul trouble and has to sit the majority of the first half? Who steps into his spot? Heck that’s the best way we could get upset even earlier in the tourney which would be awful.

  • SCHoosier

    I think in the big games..unless we have foul trouble..TC will have a very tight player rotation with 8 guys. JH and HP won’t be among the 8 unless something unusual happens…Can’t afford to give ANYTHING away in the B-10. Unfortunately I think most of the growth for those two young players will have to come with hard work in the weight room and open gym during the off season. Of course last year..after VJ’s injury .. Remy stepped up big after not getting the minutes he should have during the year..so you never know.

  • SCHoosier

    I think in the big games..unless we have foul trouble..TC will have a very tight player rotation with 8 guys. JH and HP won’t be among the 8 unless something unusual happens…Can’t afford to give ANYTHING away in the B-10. Unfortunately I think most of the growth for those two young players will have to come with hard work in the weight room and open gym during the off season. Of course last year..after VJ’s injury .. Remy stepped up big after not getting the minutes he should have during the year..so you never know.

  • SCHoosier

    If Coach Cal can get some point guard play…u might be correct. The SEC is not teeming with great teams this year

  • CreanFaithful

    If you are going to argue that UM has a “better” front court than last year, I will conceded that point. But their 2 bigs are not that compelling. COMBINED they average 12 points and 11 rebounds (36 min). This may make them a little less reliant on the 3, but 27% of their shots still come from behind the arc (30% last season).

    Those points aside, I agree that we have some ridiculous games in front of us!

  • CreanFaithful

    If you are going to argue that UM has a “better” front court than last year, I will conceded that point. But their 2 bigs are not that compelling. COMBINED they average 12 points and 11 rebounds (36 min). This may make them a little less reliant on the 3, but 27% of their shots still come from behind the arc (30% last season).

    Those points aside, I agree that we have some ridiculous games in front of us!

  • DeeLyle

    This is crazy talk. No such thing as a strategic loss.

  • DeeLyle

    You’re crazy…

  • shknqk

    Pretty sure we still play your way into the line up. You stay in when you produce.

    These things take care of themselves. Foul trouble, injury, suspensions, etc also may present opps (ie remy).

  • IUMIKE1

    Not to mention the major hit our RPI would take. That alone could be enough to knock us out of a number one seed if it comes down to splitting hairs.