Tourney Watch: Win over Purdue boosts IU’s profile

  • 02/23/2016 11:07 am in

We’re back for our fifth installment of “Tourney Watch” as Indiana gets set for a Thursday primetime tilt against Illinois in Champaign.

In our weekly feature that will continue up until Selection Sunday on March 13, we take a look at IU’s current nitty gritty profile, updated bracket projections and much more.


At 22-6, Indiana picked up a pair of wins last week – a comfortable 80-64 decision over Nebraska at home followed by a four-point victory over Purdue on Saturday. The win over the Boilermakers was huge for Indiana’s resume as the Hoosiers added another RPI top 50 win to the resume. IU still has two more chances for major wins with a roadtrip to Iowa next week followed by the home finale against Maryland.

Nitty Gritty Profile

· Record: 22-6 (12-3 Big Ten)
· RPI: 29
· SOS: 92 (via CBS)
· Home Record: 16-0
· Away Record: 4-4
· Neutral Court Record: 2-2
· vs. RPI Top 50: 4-3 (via Crashing the Dance)
· vs. RPI Top 51-100: 4-1 (via Crashing the Dance)

Indiana rose seven spots in the RPI since our last update and now has a total of eight wins against the RPI top 100, including four in the top 50 (Iowa, Purdue, Notre Dame and Wisconsin). Iowa and Maryland provide two more chances for RPI top 50 wins.

Current Projections

· Assembly Call (Andy Bottoms): 6 seed in Midwest Region vs. Monmouth in Denver (Updated 2/23)
· ESPN Bracketology (Joe Lunardi): 5 seed in South Region vs. Valparaiso in Oklahoma City (Updated 2/22)
· CBS Sports (Jerry Palm): 5 seed in South Region vs. St. Mary’s in Denver (Updated 2/22)
· Crashing the Dance: No. 21 overall seed
· Bracket Matrix: Third No. 6 seed

Indiana rose three spots in the last week in the Crashing the Dance seeding list and moved up two spots in the Bracket Matrix from the top No. 7 seed to the third No. 6 seed. Assuming the Hoosiers can finish strong, they look like a strong bet to land as a six seed or higher.

Final record projections

The Hoosiers picked up a game in KenPom’s projected final record moving from 23-8 overall and 13-5 in the league last week to 24-7 and 14-4. His model projects Indiana and Iowa to both finish the Big Ten with a 14-4 record. has moved a 24-7 finish for the Hoosiers up to the top of its list of projections from 32 percent last week to 48.2 percent currently. Other possibilities: 23-8 (28%), 25-6 (19.8%) and 22-9 (4%). The Only Colors gives Indiana a 98% chance at a top four finish (up from 83.8% last week), a 49 percent chance of a shared Big Ten title and a 21.6 percent chance for the Hoosiers to win it outright. A top four finish would be a double bye to Friday in the Big Ten tournament in Indianapolis.

Around the Big Ten


· Maryland (22-5, RPI 10): The computers still love Maryland, but the eye test right now suggests something isn’t quite right with this team. The Terps lost at Minnesota last week and then survived at home to beat Michigan. The schedule to finish isn’t easy, either, as Maryland still has to go to Purdue and Indiana.
· Iowa (20-6, RPI 15): The Hawkeyes slipped up last week in State College, but still are the favorites to win the Big Ten title. Most projections have Iowa as a No. 2 seed at the moment, but a strong finish and a run in the conference tournament could put them back in the conversation for a No. 1.
· Michigan State (22-5, RPI 16): The Spartans are rolling and are moving up in the projections after winning six of their last seven. Michigan State will be favored in its final four regular season games and is very likely to grab a double bye in the Big Ten tournament.
· Purdue (21-7, RPI 22): The Boilermakers remain a lock for the tournament, but need a strong finish to avoid slipping down to a six or seven seed. With home games against Maryland and Wisconsin and a road trip to Nebraska left, Purdue certainly has a chance to finish strong.

Bubble In

· Wisconsin (17-10, RPI 44): The Badgers finally dropped a game, but for now, Wisconsin is on the right side of the bubble in most projections. That could change quickly, however, as the Badgers still have to go to Iowa, Minnesota and Purdue. Wisconsin’s final home game – this Sunday against Michigan – could have major bubble implications are both teams are jockeying for position.
· Michigan (18-9, RPI 54): Michigan is still in the field according to most projections, but the Wolverines could be sweating it out on Selection Sunday. The Wolverines are in a must-win situation on Wednesday as they host Northwestern and then go to Madison on Sunday for a huge game. If they can’t win at the Kohl Center, a home game to close against Iowa will provide a chance for a major resume boost in a game that could also have Big Ten title implications.

Bubble Out

· Ohio State (18-10, RPI 73): The Buckeyes are a team to keep an eye on in the final two weeks of the regular season. This team does have 10 conference wins, but only one has come against a team in the current top eight of the league standings. But Ohio State’s remaining schedule gives it a chance to get in as the Buckeyes play Michigan State twice and host Iowa in their final three games. Win two of those games and things could get very interesting in Columbus. One win in those three would probably require an accompanying Big Ten tournament run to get Ohio State in the dance.

2016 Tournament Sites 

· First Four: Dayton
· First, second rounds: Brooklyn, Denver, Des Moines, Oklahoma City, Providence, Raleigh, Spokane, St. Louis
· Regional: Anaheim, Chicago, Louisville, Philadelphia
· Final Four: Houston

Filed to:

  • Hoosierkamp

    I love this weekly post. Thanks Alex! IU wins 2 of the next 3, I think we are 4 seed at worst and potentially co-big ten champs or better

  • JT Thomas

    What do you project, with wishful thinking, if we were to win the remaining 3 what kind of seed we would be in the tourney…3?

  • Pat

    We lost to Wisconsin, does that mean we only have 3 RPI Top 50 wins (article says we won).

  • Beat Wisconsin at home.

  • CreamandCrimson

    Winning our final three games gives us an outright B1G title and the 1 seed in the B1G Tournament…let’s say we then knock off the 8 seed in the B1G Tournament (so many possibilities for who that is), as of today that’s Michigan, and then lose to the 4 seed in the semis (MSU perhaps). I think our profile at that point would warrant a 3-seed and a spot in the Midwest region (first/second round in Denver, Sweet 16 in Chicago). Such a long way to go and so many “ifs” involved with all of it as this point though.

  • CreamandCrimson

    Excellent work as always Alex, thanks!

    Michigan’s RPI is at 54 and they have a chance to help us out in a couple of different ways during the final two weeks. A win over Iowa would probably bump them into the Top 50 (giving us a Top 50 road victory) and would give the Hawkeyes another loss (increasing our chances for a regular season crown).

    Anyway, the matchups aren’t worth speculating about just yet but I’ve seen Valparaiso play multiple times and I want no part of them in a 5-12 game. I think they’ll give whoever they draw (if they get in) a really hard time.

  • Kyl470

    I could see IU getting anywhere from a 2 to 9 seed in the NCAA tournament. So much can change depending on if we win out or lose out.

  • NC Hoosier

    And if those projections came true, if we survived Valpo we would face UK in the second round. I really don’t want to get knocked out of another tournament by them.

  • PacoTaco

    All about attitude. Personally I would love a shot at kicking UK’s behind and I think we’ve got the right team to do it.

  • Pianoroark

    A 2 might be out of reach at this point IMO because of our 3 sub-100 losses and the B1G being “down” this year, and I could also see us falling to the 10 line if we lose out and don’t win a B1G tourney game, but yes, it’s bonkers to me, the huge implications of this upcoming handful of games!

  • NC Hoosier

    My comment was a reflection of my own insecurities. I married into a UK family and my father-in-law is unbearable.

  • Pianoroark

    My condolences.

  • BL

    Careful, he could be trolling this site 🙂

  • NC Hoosier

    Like I said, he’s a UK fan and he’s from Kentucky. He doesn’t know how to use the internet. I’m safe on here.

  • BL


  • BL

    While the odds are long, If we won out including the BIG tourney, I’m confident we’d be a 2. Certain the Committee will disregard the two early losses if we close tremendously strong.

  • Pianoroark

    Hope you’re right. Probably also depends on what the other teams vying for those top seeds do, too. Rooting for a good bit of chaos above us!

  • pdhoosier

    Really just need to shut down ulis and i think we’d be just fine, they’re struggling in the SEC and we’re atop the BIG

  • CreamandCrimson

    While I certainly don’t think the SEC is a good league, this statement, “they’re struggling in the SEC” isn’t really accurate. I despise UK but they are 10-4 and stand alone atop the conference. Are they “struggling” relative to preseason expectations of what their freshmen would do? Yeah. But they are still in first place in their conference and that’s not exactly struggling, in my opinion.

  • Kyl470

    If we won out that would mean we finished first in the Big 10 and won the Big 10 tournament. Winning out would add victories over Iowa and Maryland in the regular season. Then we would also have victories over MSU and most likely Maryland or Iowa again. That would add 4 top 25 victories to our resume which I think would propel the team up to the two line. Is it a long shot? Yes.

  • pdhoosier

    May have been a stretch to say struggling, but the lack of depth in the conference and their “eye test ” says to me they are a overrated team this year . So i suppose “to meet expectations” would be more accurate

  • bleeding crimson

    I totally agree, my Dad is a pUKe fan and we always get side ways when it come to BB.

  • bleeding crimson

    If we won out and won the B1G tourney there is a slim chance that we wouldn’t be a #1 seed, maybe 2.

  • TomJameson

    I would love to have a shot at playing UK, even close to fair would be nice, but the history of UK in the NCAA tourney is that they are “protected” by the officiating. It’s a shame that sort of thing happens, but it does. Ignoring the facts doesn’t change them. Just my opinion.

    Now getting them at home would be really sweet.

  • SilentBob

    The thing I like about where we’re standing is, assuming we get the double bye, we really don’t have many opportunities to shoot ourself in the foot. So with the lack of truly elite teams this year I think that bodes well for our chances of climbing. I think that realistic 6 seed ranking Mr. Bottoms has is probably closer to worst case scenario than best case

  • Ms hoosier

    Totally agree! I don’t think UK could keep up with IU!! With Rob healthy and without any more injuries I think IU wins that game!!

  • ForeverIU

    Your opinion seems reasonable!

  • Ms hoosier

    I live in sec country and trust me I get sick of hearing about the sec!! Although I do think it is the best football conferense in the country, i think it’s the 4th best conferense in basketball at best maybe 5th best. If UK played in any other conferense they would have more than 4 loses

  • Bill Graham

    I’m really not concerned with seeding this year…I know that sounds ridiculous…but its too much about match-ups. For example (and call me crazy) but I’d rather see top ranked Villanova than play Wisconsin in the tourney… I know that sounds ridiculous, but think about it Villanova’s 3 best players are guards vs. a 6-8 Hayes (who we know we can’t defend) and single handedly beat us once (nearly twice with some zebra help). Regardless my point stands. Just b/c your a high seed doesn’t mean anything this year. Heck look at teams like Gonzaga…they aren’t even ranked, they will prob be a low seed… and heck they could win the whole thing.

    Its not the seed its the match-up (at least this year).

  • hardly

    I think to get the 4 seed they have to 1. not lose to IL and 2. win one of the other 2 on the road as you pointed out. If they do that and do well in the b10 tournament, then we’ve got a reason to expect a good seed. Not sure what % we’re shooting at home vs on the road, but maybe the team should practice in any other gym but AH so they get used to being on the road.

  • marcusgresham

    They do practice in another gym–Cook Hall.
    I know what you mean, though. Maybe they should rent out the Yum! Center. For one, it’s a regional site; for two, we know Louisville won’t be needing it.

  • henryhansen

    I would say you’re a bit crazy. Villanova would be a much tougher team than Wisco.

  • Trevor Howenstine

    Check out the camera man and the cheerleader. They look like 1st graders next to Bryant.