The college basketball coaches have been more difficult to convince.
After returning to the AP Poll a few weeks ago for the first time in nearly two years, the IU men’s basketball program has now also returned to the USA Today Coaches Poll.
Indiana is just testing the waters this week, making its debut at No. 25. With no games until January, IU should be able to hang on to their newfound tenuous spot in the poll for now. Staying there once Big Ten play resumes will be more challenging.
Indiana is one of seven Big Ten teams ranked in the coaches poll, along with Michigan (4), Michigan State (7), Ohio State (11), Wisconsin (16), Iowa (21), and Nebraska (23). All of these schools are also ranked in the latest AP Poll except the Cornhuskers, which dropped out this week and are now the top unranked team receiving votes.
College basketball analyst Andy Katz sees the Hoosiers in a bit more favorable light right now than either poll, slotting the Hoosiers at No. 14 in his weekly “Power 36.” Katz notes that the Hoosiers will be heavily challenged in January when league play resumes:
Indiana (14): The Hoosiers are defending the way Archie Miller desires, holding teams under 65 points the past two games. And they haven’t been complacent one bit. The Big Ten will be unforgiving. Indiana will play three of the first five on the road against Michigan, Maryland and Purdue.
The most important ranking of all right now is the NCAA’s NET rankings, which replace the RPI as the Tournament Committee’s primary ranking metric for evaluating the 2019 tournament field. Indiana comes in at No. 16 in the latest NET rankings.
Note: The Hoosiers actually moved down a spot to No. 23 in this week’s AP Poll despite winning two games.
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