Indiana goes into the final week before Selection Sunday in an uncomfortable spot — it needs to win its way back into the NCAA Tournament picture.
Selection Sunday is this weekend following the Big Ten Tournament, so let’s take one final look to see where the Hoosiers stand in the eyes of the bracketologists.
Our favorite resource for bracket predictions is bracketmatrix.com, an aggregation site that compiles dozens of prognostications and produces an average.
Currently at Bracket Matrix, Indiana is one of the first four out of the Big Dance. After two losses last week (vs. Rutgers, at Purdue), Indiana dropped from a No. 12 seed to that first four out position. Prior to it losing seven of nine to conclude the regular season, Indiana had positioned itself solidly in the field as a No. 7 seed.
The clear consensus is that IU is out of the field as it currently stands. Only 25 of 123 brackets still have IU in. It is reasonable to believe they will need one or perhaps two wins in the Big Ten Tournament to play their way back in. The most favorable outlets have Indiana as a No. 9 seed.
Some of the best known bracketologists include:
- ESPN’s Joe Lunardi has IU as the first team out after updating his bracket to account for Sunday games.
- Bracketville’s Dave Ommen also has IU as the first team out after updating for Sunday games.
- CBS’s Jerry Palm has IU as the fourth team out after Sunday games.
- Indiana based Delphi Bracketology has IU as the second team out, with their last update coming yesterday.
- Bart Torvik still has the Hoosiers in as a No. 12 seed.
The 2021-22 men’s basketball season marks the fourth season of the NCAA Evaluation Tool (NET) rankings, which replaced the RPI prior to the 2018-19 season as the primary sorting tool for evaluating teams.
The NCAA Tournament Committee uses the NET to facilitate the selection of the field. The Hoosiers are currently No. 44 in today’s NET rankings, reflecting no change since our update last week. That is a surprising outcome since they picked up their first Quadrant 3 loss of the season after falling to Rutgers at home.
Last season’s No. 44 team Arizona was ineligible for the tournament due to a postseason ban. The No. 43 team St. Louis did not make the field, while the No. 45 team Drake was in the play-in round.
Using the quadrant system for the NET, the quality of wins and losses is organized based on game location and the opponent’s NET ranking.
- Quadrant 1: Home 1-30, Neutral 1-50, Away 1-75
- Quadrant 2: Home 31-75, Neutral 51-100, Away 76-135
- Quadrant 3: Home 76-160, Neutral 101-200, Away 135-240
- Quadrant 4: Home 161-353, Neutral 201-353, Away 241-353
Indiana (18-12, 9-11) has not made the NCAA Tournament since 2016. Here is their record this season by quadrant:
- Quadrant 1: 3-7
- Quadrant 2: 3-4
- Quadrant 3: 5-1
- Quadrant 4: 7-0
(Note: The home win over Nebraska moved up to a quadrant 3 win last week)
Indiana plays Michigan on Thursday at the Big Ten Tournament. Both teams will have much to play for. The Wolverines are a No. 11 seed at Bracket Matrix, and risk getting knocked out of the field with a loss to IU. They will also be playing their first game under the direction of head coach Juwan Howard since his suspension.
Big Ten co-champion and No. 1 seed Illinois awaits the winner of that contest.
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