Bubble Watch: Is IU back in the discussion?

  • 03/04/2014 10:25 am in

After a month hiatus, “Bubble Watch” is back following a pair of IU wins over ranked teams last week and a revival of NCAA tournament hopes for the Hoosiers.

The return of Bubble Watch takes a look at IU’s current nitty gritty profile, what the Hoosiers might need to do to reach the tournament for a third straight season and other Big Ten teams currently on the bubble.


It’s been an up and down season in Bloomington as Indiana has home wins over four ranked teams, but also has home losses to Northwestern and Penn State and just three wins away from Assembly Hall. With two conference games and the Big Ten tournament to go, there’s an opportunity for Indiana to play its way into the big dance.

Nitty Gritty Profile

· Record: 17-12 (7-9 Big Ten)
· RPI: 79
· SOS: 56
· Home Record: 14-3
· Away Record: 2-7
· Neutral Court Record: 1-2
· vs. RPI Top 50: 4-6
· vs. RPI Top 51-100: 2-2

Current Projections

· ESPN Bracketology (Joe Lunardi): Not among “first four out or next four out,” but listed as “also considered”
· CBS Sports (Jerry Palm): Not among “first four out or next four out”
· Crashing the Dance: Tenth team out

Not surprisingly, none of the three projections we’re currently tracking have Indiana in the tournament, but the Hoosiers have definitely moved up with last week’s wins over Iowa and Ohio State.

Wednesday’s game with Nebraska is huge because the Cornhuskers are also battling for a bid and it’s a chance to inch closer to 20 wins, which is where IU needs to get to warrant serious consideration. It’s essentially a must-win for the Hoosiers if they plan to have a chance to make the field without winning the Big Ten tournament.

Saturday’s game at Michigan, which IU has beaten three straight times, is also a major opportunity because the Hoosiers don’t have a marquee win away from Assembly Hall.

The various scenarios are obviously impossible to break down given how many teams are involved, but if IU splits its final two games and goes to Indianapolis at 18-13 and 8-10 in the conference, the Hoosiers will likely need to win two and possibly three games to make the field.

A look at the Big Ten

As for the Big Ten, at-large, most of the projections have it as a five-bid league with room to grow.

Right now, Michigan, Wisconsin, Iowa, Michigan State and Ohio State are “locks” to make the field with Minnesota, Nebraska and Indiana (in that order, currently) still in the discussion.

In looking at the potential for the Golden Gophers or Cornhuskers to dance, Minnesota currently has the edge because it’s played a tougher schedule (No. 3 nationally) overall. With that said, Nebraska will finish at least .500 in the conference and still has two opportunities to move up the board this week while Minnesota only has a home game remaining with Penn State. The best the Golden Gophers can finish the regular season is 18-12 and 8-10 in the Big Ten.

2014 Tournament Sites 

· First round: Dayton
· Second, third round: Buffalo, Milwaukee, Orlando, Raleigh, San Antonio, San Diego, Spokane, St. Louis
· Regional: Anaheim, Indianapolis, Memphis, New York
· Final Four: Dallas

Filed to:

  • ForeverIU

    Well then I hope we’ll be in a position to test this theory. We might never know.

  • Alford Bailey

    I hope we win the B1G tourney so it doesn’t matter.

  • pcantidote

    Sorry but I don’t think the committee looks at whether the game was scheduled for you. A game is a game.

  • pcantidote

    I do not understand the logic of Minnesota. How are they part of the last 4 in? Is it the SOS? We have more top 25 wins than they do. Their big wins are the same as ours — at home against OSU, Iowa, and Wisconsin. We also beat the B1G champ, they didn’t. It’s hard to see how their schedule was any tougher than ours, but even if it is, they didn’t WIN any more tough games. Are you telling me that if we schedule 15 pre-conference games against the top 20 and lost them all then we are dancing? It is silly. You have to win.

    They have the bad losses – Illinois, PU, NW. They don’t have any big road wins either. The ONLY reason I put them ahead of us right now is because they beat us. But that is a little unfair since they got the only game at home. If they win out and we win out in the regular season, I see ZERO reason why they should have the edge.

  • Alford Bailey

    That wasn’t the point

  • pcantidote

    So you say that yes, he can know what will happen in games in the future, and then proceed to disagree with him. That makes you seem pretty foolish. Bottom line, Lunardi isn’t any more accurate than a monkey until all the games have been played on selection Sunday. At that point he is pretty good.

  • pcantidote

    well then what was the point of mentioning that? did you just want to whine about the pre-conference schedule again? what do you know about college basketball scheduling?

  • Alford Bailey

    RPI 47 SOS #3 for Minny vs RPI 79 SOS 56 for IU. Committee cares about who you play non. conference.

  • RWN

    Way too early to discuss the possibility until IU earns and earning it means they have to win to Sunday of the B10, so you can only win the game next up. Nuff said, if IU beats NE than things would become interesting to that point.

  • Alford Bailey

    Point was 8 of the 9 remaining games scheduled were against LOW mid majors and its biting us in the rear right now.

  • pcantidote

    Who cares who you play non-conference if you don’t actually beat the good teams? What have you proven if you lose to good teams? Nonsense.

  • Alford Bailey

    LOL. Not sure why you are arguing about this. What does it prove when you beat the cupcakes? Bottom line is SOS #3 helping Minny out big time.

  • pcantidote

    You are failing to support why SOS is a good metric. Wouldn’t quality wins be much more instructive?

  • pcantidote

    Strength of schedule is such a lazy metric. IU is 4-7 vs. the RPI top 50. Minnesota is 3-9. Why are they sooooo much better than us?

  • Alford Bailey

    I’m not trying support the selection committees use of SOS. Just stating its important and part of the process. Crean and Co. know this. They had to know this non. conference schedule wasn’t going to get us anywhere with the selection committee. I guess they were counting on 11-12 wins in the B1G.

  • pcantidote

    You do realize that Calipari quit on us and ND is having a down year, right? Those are two games that would typically boost the pre-conference SOS. You don’t replace a UK overnight.

  • Alford Bailey

    Two years in not playing pUKe. Crean played a part in this debacle, also. IU could have continued to play pUKe at neutral sites, like we used to every year, but no. I’m out:)

  • CreamandCrimson

    Notre Dame having their best player removed from the team about three weeks after playing us certainly didn’t help that loss look good for us the rest of the way…you are correct though, that ND game would typically carry more weight than it did this season.

  • CreamandCrimson

    Let me preface by saying that I think we would beat Minnesota by 6-8 points right now…that being said, I think their SOS is significantly better than ours because of the number of games we played against teams with an RPI in the 300s. Those games absolutely murder the SOS, winning them adds nothing but a weightless W to the resume and I really hope next year’s schedule features more teams in the 100-200 range than this year’s did. I do agree with you though, Minnesota hasn’t really done anything to distinguish themselves from us.

  • Bled4IU

    In the B1G Tourney, does the top 4 teams get a 1st round bye, while the bottom 8 teams play in 1st round?

  • JetpackJunky

    Not to jinx it, but Stephen F Austin has been insane this year. I can’t see them losing to any conference opponent in the Tourney. Except for their non-conference losses they have only had two games that were even close and they were serious flukes. It would be a major upset for anyone else to take it this year.

    I don’t know as much about Southern Miss, (SFA is an adopted team of mine from one bored and desperate Friday night looking for a game to watch) they’re in Conference USA right? They’ve been ridiculously competitive this year, I have no trouble seeing them losing in the Tourney. That’s disconcerting.

  • millzy32

    This is where Crean and Greenspan get their gimme wins biting them in the backside. I watched a special on the B1G network on the 1981 team the other day and they went 7-5 pre season and won the title. They credited their tough schedule with getting them ready. It didn’t hurt that Landon Turner decided to play in the second half of the year either. Great show if you can catch it sometime. It’s on demand here in ohio on TWC.

  • millzy32

    Then you would probably argue that Wichita State is the best team in college basketball and probably one of the best ever just because they are undefeated. After all wins are all that matters even if you only play bad teams all year right?

  • CreamandCrimson

    That was a good show…the BTN has some really good original programming. Greenspan? Please don’t take us back to that man. I think Glass is the name you were intending to type.

  • millzy32

    Cupcakes are scheduled to boost win total plain and simple. Wins = coaching dollars plain and simple. Coaches all striving for 20 win seasons to boost contracts by whatever means necessary.

  • millzy32

    If IU wins their last two B1G games they are in. If they win tonight and lose to Michigan they still have a chance if they reach the finals of the B1G tourney. They would be 21-14 if they split and then make the B1G tourney final and lose.

  • pcantidote

    Sorry, but no. My point all along has been that losses against good teams should be no more valuable than wins against bad teams. The best measure is W/L vs top 50.

  • millzy32

    Classy Freddy Glassy yes that is who i was referring to my bad.

  • Jim

    Well there goes the must-win Nebraska game.