Tourney Watch: An early look at Indiana’s resume

  • 01/24/2017 9:28 am in

After finishing last season as Big Ten regular season champions, Indiana entered the 2016-2017 campaign with major expectations. But the Hoosiers have battled injuries and several close losses along the way. Despite those setbacks, Indiana has now won three in a row and is above .500 in conference play for the first time this season.

This year’s debut of “Tourney Watch,” which will be a weekly feature up until Selection Sunday on March 12, takes a look at IU’s current nitty gritty profile, bracket projections and more.


At 14-6, Indiana’s record is solid, but the Hoosiers have a tough Big Ten schedule the rest of the way. Indiana still has six games remaining against the RPI top 50 and ten games remaining against the RPI top 100.

Nitty Gritty Profile

· Record: 14-6 (4-3 Big Ten)
· RPI: 73
· SOS: 63 (via CBS)
· Home Record: 12-2
· Away Record: 1-2
· Neutral Court Record: 1-2
· vs. RPI Top 50: 4-4 (via ESPN)
· vs. RPI Top 51-100: 1-1 (via ESPN)

Current Projections

· ESPN Bracketology (Joe Lunardi): 7 seed in Midwest Region vs. Seton Hall in Salt Lake City (updated Jan. 23)
· CBS Sports (Jerry Palm): 8 seed in West Region vs. Marquette in Salt Lake City (updated Jan. 23)
· Assembly Call (Andy Bottoms): 7 seed in East Region vs. Marquette in Orlando (updated Jan. 24)
· Crashing the Dance: No. 34 overall seed
· Bracket Matrix: Top No. 8 seed

The consensus right now is that Indiana would be in the field if it were selected today. The model on Crashing the Dance currently has the Hoosiers with the seventh best profile among Big Ten teams behind Wisconsin, Maryland, Purdue, Minnesota, Northwestern and Michigan State.

Final record projections projects the Hoosiers to finish 20-11 overall and 10-8 in the conference. has the three most likely final regular season records for IU as: 20-11 (25.5%), 21-10 (22.2%) and 19-12 (19%).

A look at the conference as a whole

The Big Ten currently looks like a seven (or eight) bid league with Wisconsin, Maryland, Purdue, Minnesota, Northwestern, Michigan State and Indiana all in on most projections.

The three other teams from the conference on the fringe, according to Crashing the Dance, are Michigan, Illinois and Nebraska.

As the season moves along, we’ll dig more into each team’s projections, but Bracket Matrix (updated Jan. 23) currently has Wisconsin as a No. 5 seed, Maryland and Purdue as No. 6 seeds, Minnesota and Northwestern as No. 7 seeds and Michigan State as a No. 9 seed.

2017 Tournament Sites 

· First Four: Dayton
· First, second rounds: Buffalo, Greenville, Indianapolis, Milwaukee, Orlando, Salt Lake City, Sacramento, Tulsa
· Regional: Kansas City, Memphis, New York, San Jose
· Final Four: Phoenix

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  • Ian Karanovic

    Does anybody else really want that first round game against Marquette? The former Marquette coach…the former IU player…two teams who like to get up and down the court and shoot 3s…two teams that seem to have a point guard by committee approach (last time I saw Marq. was their loss to Wisconsin, so maybe they found a guy). Would be a fun game to watch and I think favorable for the Hoosiers. The Fischer-Bryant matchup alone would build hype (probably leading to actual disappointment, as usual for overhyped things).

  • Hoosier Hall

    “10 games remaining against the top RPI 100…” I believe we have 11 games left but who is outside the top 100? Iowa? Realistically, none of our remaining games will hurt our RPI as much as the Austin Peay and Miss. Valley St. games so we should be in with 5 more wins. That said, I’d like to see 6 or 7 wins and maybe a conference tourney run. Is that too much to ask? Maybe.

    On a side note, Illinois on the fringe?????? Lol, they’re awful. Probably Groce’s last season.

  • Shaggy_C

    #73 in RPI is really concerning – based on my research the lowest RPI to ever get an at-large bid was #67 USC in 2011. Really need to improve that if we’re even going to sniff postseason play.

  • That’s how bad the bubble is this year. Illinois is on several first four or next four out lists right now.

  • Bradley Kreppel

    Markus Howard is better than any point guard IU has.

  • Hoosier Hall

    Yeah I’ve noticed that. Crazy for sure because they definitely don’t pass the eye test.

  • Hoosier Hall

    Win or lose, our RPI will improve over the next several games. 73 is actually the highest it’s been in a while. The cupcakes kill your RPI. Playing any team below 150 is usually bad news.

  • IUBizmark

    St. Bonaventure recently missed the tournament with an RPI of 29. I know the committee claims to use that “metric,” but I’m not sure how much weight they place on it and what other factors they’re unofficially using.

  • AUPD111

    And Im sure that RPI ranking for USC was at the end of the season and not January 24th.

  • vicbert caladipo

    UW is the best 5 seed I’ve seen in quite some time and Nebraska and Illinois have no shot at the dance unless they win the automatic tourney bid and that isn’t happening.

  • pcantidote

    Of course I want us to make the tourney and make a run but I am just in this depressed fog right now that says whether we make it or not, we are just playing out the string. I think it just stems from losing OG and CH and knowing we just don’t have the depth or talent to get it done anymore. Sorry to be Debbie Downer. Someone talk me off the cliff….

  • vicbert caladipo

    Nahh. Jump. I feel that same pain.

  • pcantidote

    HA. Can’t we at least not get freaking swept by Purdue? That just might be too much to handle.

  • Hoosier Hall

    I we get swept by Purdue I’m jumping with you!

  • vicbert caladipo

    I’d like to borrow Grayson Allen and Draymond Green for some good old fashion groin kicking and tripping for those 2 games and coach K to look the other way and coach

  • KelvinSampson87

    Im going to make the “bold’ prediction that we finish the season 8-3 splitting with Purdue and Northwestern and losing to Wisconsin. I am sure this is aggressive but so what.

  • inLinE6

    Groce’s last season was supposed to be 3 years ago. But I’m hoping he stay as long as he could. He seems a quality man, just can’t coach in a major conference for some reason.

  • vicbert caladipo

    For all the ranking freeks. IU got zero votes in the AP but 16 in the USA coaches. Media has never given us the respect that coaches do. Our RPI is a whopping 74 while our BPI is 20.Our strength of schedule is 48. Even though I don’t care for any of it. I am about wins and titles and could care less about rankings, but I do,believe that BPI and kenpom seem to be the most accurate. We/they/whomever really needs to get rid of RPI. I see some strange #’s with RPI.

  • Kwang

    I like that prediction, but your avatar really cracks me up.

  • JethroTroll

    RPI is the most generic, useless tool to use to evaluate teams. Any statistic where 75% of it’s rating is generated by what ‘other teams’ do is completely useless.
    Anybody that doesn’t know how RPI is computed should look it up. It’ll blow your mind.

  • JethroTroll

    I’ve heard that the committee has drifted away from using RPI for selecting and seeding teams, and for good reason. It’s a complete joke of a statistic.

  • JethroTroll

    Yeah, the bubble has been really bad since they’ve expanded this tournament to 68 teams.

  • Hoosier Hall

    It’s basically using the transitive property. It can be fixed but the model should look more like Kenpom.

  • JethroTroll

    But RPI takes it a step further, which makes it a moot statistic. The formula uses opponents’ opponents winning percentage for 25% of it’s calculation. So basically, 25% of RPI is based on how some teams did that a given team didn’t even play. LOL
    Thus why you see the wildly weird RPI rankings.

  • Splitting with Purdue would make the season just that much more palatable to me. It’ll take some excellent guard play, because I think Purdue’s bigs will give us serious trouble.

  • Just read a story that some of the NBA ranking sites are shifting OG from the 2017 boards to the 2018 boards. Thoughts?

  • Hoosier gal in Iowa

    Maybe we can get Woodbury back to poke some eyes too.

  • b_side

    We did just beat MSU without those two and Morgan. Considering we outplayed them for the better part of the game as well, I’m feeling pretty good about our prospects with a tightened rotation (including a healthy Morgan).

  • pcantidote

    Man I’d kill for your optimism. We played this inspired home team role in 2014 as well if you recall. It didn’t translate. I’ll try to keep the faith.

  • b_side

    Hear that. And we certainly won’t get 33 every night from JBJ.

    But thankfully the 2014-15 was historically bad on D, featuring a non-existent frontline that dealt with successive injuries to Hanner and Hartman. We’re still below average this year on defense, but I think we’re much more balanced in terms of having two legitimate players in the low post (TB/DD).

    The team’s ceiling increases as Morgan gets healthy and McRoberts does his best Hartman impression (defensively more so than offense of course).

  • John D Murphy

    Interesting to know. Not sure if it means anything.

  • pcantidote

    Could mean it was serious/major and since the injury was relatively late in the year there won’t be enough time to evaluate his prognosis?

  • IU Hoosiers # 34, 1979-83

    Sadly true. I hate to also add that OG may not of had the expected or hyped performance to keep him high in the 2017 draft.

  • Hoosier89

    Need to get Haas in foul trouble to open up the paint. I’d hope for Swanigan too but don’t foresee that happening.

  • Yep, and he was _just_ starting to turn things around.

  • I’m inclined to think that it’s definitely such a late injury that evaluating him during the draft will be impossible. So, the possibility of him coming back next year is increasing, I think.

  • Yeah, it’s very early. Just found it interesting, as you say.

  • cbags05

    I fear for his confidence when he returns. He looked scared after the ankle…was barely starting to show more aggression…who knows what this will do.

  • Yeah, that happens with every player returning from a major injury like that. Consider JBJ — by some accounts, he’s just now regaining confidence in his athleticism. If OG were to return and follow the same basic rehab process as JBJ, he’ll starting getting back to himself around the same time, meaning somewhere during the 2018 B1G season. All we can hope for his sake is that maybe his recovery goes more quickly than JBJ’s, meaning the typical 6-9 months following what we could assume to be ACL surgery.

  • Chi-Town Hoosier

    Would be interesting to hear what Jordan Tucker thinks about that

  • I have a feeling we’ll find out soon enough when he makes his choice of schools.

  • vicbert caladipo

    Was watching big ten commentary and the analysts all agreed that if OG is unable to show anything at the summer camps he probably will not get drafted, but as you all have said… depends on how serious….guess it’s not required to say if it was acl, mcl, meniscus, patella or a combination. From what I understand a meniscus tear is easier to come back from??

  • vicbert caladipo

    Was it ever said what exactly was wrong with JBJ’s knee?

  • These situations really stink, from so many different perspectives. No, as far as I know, nobody’s required to say anything, and they won’t. As the process moves along, I’m sure those who need to know will be informed as to the nature and status of the injury, and that won’t include us fans. In the meantime, we might as well assume for OG’s sake that things progress quickly enough that he’s drafted in the first round so he gets a guarantee.

  • Not as far as I’m aware.

  • vicbert caladipo

    Or he comes back here next year and kicks butt and becomes a lottery pic like Vic(haha that rhymed). That’s my hope

  • Well, IF his injury keeps him out of a guaranteed contract, THEN absolutely, I look forward to him coming back and showing what he can do. That would be an interesting team with OG on it, for sure, particularly if Tucker decides to join it.

  • Old_Time_Hoosier

    Mark, I don’t see a snowball’s chance in he__ that he even comes close to being drafted in the first round this year. His play so far this year probably pushed him down to late first or early second round this year. At best. And an injury on top of that? And a knee injury at that? No, he’s an early to mid second rounder at best at this point. And that’s a damn shame because I thought his play was coming around and he could have played himself into the lottery.
    The main thing is:
    Get yourself healthy OG.
    Then worry about all that other stuff.

  • Sure, there’s all that to speculate about. My point was pretty much the same as your conclusion: I’m just going to hope for the best for OG.

  • IdahoHoosier

    Have to agree with your thoughts. The NBA definitely values potential over actual experience and demonstrated value. OG is a great example. If he’d left IU after his first season, despite minimal minutes, he’d have been a first rounder easily. Instead, OG stayed at IU (awesome for us!) to develop his game and play a bigger role. His reward? He gets injured, doesn’t play up to the sky-high expectations put on him, and now we’re hearing he may not even get picked if he enters the draft. Pretty crazy. If OG had played less, in theory, he would’ve been a “better prospect”. I hate seeing players leave college early but who can blame them? It is all but proven that the less sample size you show NBA scouts the more they want you!