A look at IU basketball and the Big Ten in the preseason Torvik and KenPom rankings

Indiana has the look of an NCAA Tournament bubble team according to the preseason analyses published by top advanced metric sites KenPom and Bart Torvik.

According to KenPom.com, IU will finish the 2021-22 regular season with a 20-11 record and a 10-10 mark in Big Ten play.  Barttorvik.com has the Hoosiers at 20-11 also, with an 11-9 record in the league.  The two sites project IU to finish eighth and seventh in the conference, respectively.

Nationally, KenPom places IU at No. 31 while Torvik has the Hoosiers at No. 30 to open the season.

KenPom puts Michigan at the top of the Big Ten, with Illinois, Purdue, Ohio State, Maryland, Michigan State and Iowa ahead of IU.  All of those teams have been consistently placed ahead of the Hoosiers in preseason prognostications except Iowa, who is widely expected to fall into the bottom half of the league after losing most of its production from last season.

Torvik puts Illinois on top, with Michigan, Purdue, Ohio State, Maryland and Michigan State all ahead of IU in that order.

While both sites have become very popular for their unique statistical view of college basketball utilizing team measurements such as offensive and defensive efficiency, they are data driven models and thus become a bit more insightful as the season progresses.  That is especially true in the transfer portal era where it is difficult for anyone or anything, human or analytical tools, to measure the synergies of an overhauled roster.  Moreover, in the case of teams like Indiana with new coaching staffs and new systems, the models seemingly don’t have a great deal of valuable data to work from.

Even in the case of the 2020-21 season, where IU had the same coach and largely the same roster, the preseason models were way off when it came to the Hoosiers. KenPom placed IU at No. 26 nationally and they finished No. 50.

KenPom likes Indiana to cruise through the nonconference with an 11-2 mark.  It gives IU an 87 percent or better chance to win each of its eight nonconference games against non-high major squads.  Against the three high majors on the nonconference slates, KenPom gives IU a 70, 43 and 49 percent chances against St. John’s, Syracuse and Notre Dame, respectively.  Those figures adjust to 77, 48 and 64 percent at Torvik.

Indiana’s top three most difficult Big Ten games will be road trips to Purdue, Ohio State and Maryland, where the Hoosiers have 23, 27 and 32 percent chances to win according to KenPom.  Torvik has the same three games identified as the most difficult and gives IU 23, 26 and 33 percent chance in those contests, respectively.

The three Big Ten games IU is most likely to win according to KenPom are home games against Minnesota, Nebraska and a tie between Rutgers and Penn State.  The Hoosiers are given 87, 79 and 74 percent chances in those games, respectively.  Torvik identifies the home games against Minnesota, Penn State and Nebraska, and gives IU 88, 78 and 76 percent chances.

Indiana opens the 2021-22 season on Nov. 9 at home against Eastern Michigan.  To see the complete schedule, GO HERE.

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