Roundup: National writers weigh-in on IU’s tournament chances

  • 03/14/2016 1:46 pm in

After falling to Wichita State in the 2015 NCAA tournament in Omaha, Indiana is back in the field in 2016 and tips off Thursday evening at 7:10 p.m. ET against Chattanooga at Wells Fargo Arena in Des Moines.

Here’s a roundup of what writers from around the country are saying about IU’s chances in March Madness:

· Eamonn Brennan of took a look at all 68 teams in the field and ranked the Hoosiers at No. 14:

On Dec. 2, after losses to Wake Forest and UNLV in Maui, Indiana allowed 92 points in 62 possessions at Duke. No hyperbole required here: It was the worst defensive performance by any team in at least five years. Three months later, the Hoosiers were the outright Big Ten champions. Tom Crean has done a remarkable job turning his once offense-only team into one of college basketball’s most well-rounded, and formerly disconsolate Hoosiers fans are allowing themselves to dream of a return to the Final Four. Go figure.

· Myron Medcalf of has the Hoosiers on upset alert against Chattanooga:

The Hoosiers are a talented program; that Big Ten title proves as much. Tom Crean’s squad could advance to the second weekend and perhaps beyond that. But Chattanooga has forced turnovers on 20.3 percent of its opponents’ possessions (54th per Interesting because the Indiana team it will see in the first round has committed turnovers on 19.8 percent of its possessions (283rd). Now, that doesn’t mean Chattanooga can stop this Indiana offense or withstand the Big Ten’s third-ranked per-possession defense. But this could be an interesting game.

· Five Thirty Eight published an interactive bracket with their calculated odds by round, giving Indiana an 88% chance of reaching the second round.


· Ken Pomeroy has a similar exercise that gives Indiana a 1-in-62 chance of winning the tournament:


· Sports on Earth ranks Chattanooga over Indiana as just the 20th most likely first round upset:

Everybody wants the second-round Kentucky vs. Indiana matchup, but the Hoosiers are going to have to get past the Mocs first. The 29-5 Mocs already beat Georgia, Illinois and Dayton, and despite its regular-season Big Ten title, Indiana has three loses to teams ranked outside the KenPom 100 (Wake Forest, UNLV, Penn State). The Hoosiers haven’t made a deep tournament run since losing the national final in 2002, and there’s certainly pressure on Tom Crean to make a run now, especially in the senior season for guard Yogi Ferrell. The good news? Indiana’s defense improved over the course of the season, and a team like Chattanooga is going to have a difficult time keeping up with IU’s high-powered offense.

· CBS Sports ranked the NCAA tournament teams 1-to-68 and put Indiana at No. 12 (the Hoosiers were No. 15 on the official S-Curve):

12. Indiana: The Hoosiers started slow this season, but completely changed their defensive makeup and became one of the 10 best squads in the nation. Yogi Ferrell is among the best point guards in the country, and Thomas Bryant and Troy Williams will be drafted.

· Pat Forde of Yahoo! Sports lists Troy Williams as one of his X Factors for March Madness in Forde Minutes:

Troy Williams (37), Indiana. Extraordinary athlete who has upped his intensity and focus late in the season, helping turn the Hoosiers into Big Ten regular-season champions. But he’s also capable of wanton carelessness with the ball, committing a turnover every 10 minutes of playing time. (That’s a lot for a forward.)

· Jay Bilas of ESPN believes Indiana will get past Chattanooga:

The Hoosiers left corner shooters open against Michigan and lost. Still, Indiana is a capable team in NCAA tournament play. Yogi Ferrell is one of a handful of the best point guards in the country, and Indiana scores 119.5 points per 100 possessions, the most efficient offense in the nation. Ferrell (17.1 PPG, 5.5 APG) is on pace to be the only Indiana player to average at least 15 points and 5 assists per game in the past 20 seasons. Ferrell is Indiana’s all-time leader in assists (607). Ferrell has recorded an assist in every game of his college career. Indiana will be able to get past Chattanooga to advance to the second round.

Filed to:

  • Ole Man

    Right. Accusing me of what you continually do.
    There’s a reason I have you blocked on the paid side. Wish I could do it here.
    You’re like a pigeon on a chess board. Pretending you know how to play. Strutting around, knocking pieces everywhere, making a “mess” on the board, and thinkin’ you’ve won.
    Go away!!

  • Koko

    I was was asking a question… you factor in a teams defensive rating when you are deciding which teams to include in your brackets?

  • Ole Man

    However, with a caveat..
    Duke last year had a high D rating because of poor play earlier in the year, but in the last month had been playing in the 10-15 range, which lowered its overall somewhat.
    I went with them even though others were overlooking them because their D rating was “high” based upon their season’s work.
    Obviously, I got lucky with my guess; but their D was trending in the right direction.

  • Koko

    Cool….I admire your due diligence. I’m far too lazy to do that. I usually go with who I “think” is playing well going in. I’m beginning to think that is why my brackets blow up early….lol

  • Koko

    I’m not picking sides b_side but you gotta admit the pigeon on a chess board was pretty funny. Quotes like that only come from a guy that has been around the block a couple times…..very funny.

  • BL

    Confused about the reference to the Elite Eight and WVA.

    Anyway, Coach dug us out of a very, very deep hole and then in the five years that followed, he won two outright BIG titles. The man has earned the right to get a fair shake based on all the facts and circumstances. For example, no coach is going to make a deep run with this team if RJ/CH/JM are unable to make meaningful contributions. If we make an early exit from the tourney due to injuries, call it unfortunate but a really good season and get on to 2016-17. If you feel roughly the same way, great, I don’t know why we are arguing.

    For what it’s worth, I genuinely like Coach’s apparent approach to winning basketball. Get in serious shape, develop players individually, defend, rebound and run, run, run. Same way Branch coached when my father played for him; same approach used by Auerbach and Wooden. Having said that, naturally, I have no way of knowing whether coach will be successful in his attempt to return us to Elite status. I hope he does and I honestly believe recruiting superior talent will be his biggest hurdle.

  • Missing Moye

    Par for the course. You severely lack reading comprehension skills.

  • b_side

    Tell me where I got personal in my initial reply that caused such a reply from you. My bullfrog comment rub you the wrong way?

    All I’m reading from you now is the opposite of what you preach on this site.

    Believe me when I say this: I’m not going anywhere, whether it’s this site or the forum. I haven’t crossed any lines and certainly haven’t thrown out any outlandish statements about your character.

  • Ole Man

    I like his approach as well. And I also hope the injuries do not catch up to us.
    If the brackets fall a certain way, we could end up playing WVA in the elite eight.

  • BL

    Gotcha. You definitely stuck it out there. I filled out a bracket for my wife but made her choose IU’s games because I didn’t want to choose with my heart. I explained the injury situation to her and she picked KY. Like you, I hope like hell our kids are healthy and we make a deep run. I can deal with the wife. ?

  • IU Hoosiers # 34, 1979-83

    I was close. Close on their record that is. Not the seeding.

  • BMusic

    Close? I do believe you were perfect.

  • IU Hoosiers # 34, 1979-83

    I wish you were going to the IU game.

  • Fifer39

    Hope you’re in a better mude today…

  • Fifer39

    Reckon that’s about right other than I think if we beat UK and and are competitive against UNC that moves the S16 mood to slightly positive/neutral. Not saying that everyone on here will be happy with that!

    I still get goosebumps thinking about the beatdown we gave NC in 2012. Can’t remember us playing better in recent years.

  • BallDontLie

    Totally agree. I was a student in ’12. In line for GA around 7am Roy Williams & staff walked right in the front door. A student yelled “Vonleh is here tonight. If you lose, he ain’t comin'” 🙂

  • TomJameson

    I think it’s more likely that you severely lack writing skills. Those were YOUR ACTUAL WORDS … LOL Okay, I’ve had enough of this one. Go back to your fantasy. Hahahahaha