It all comes down to this.
Indiana has two home games to close out the regular season. If the Hoosiers win them both — they are a lock to return to the NCAA Tournament for the first time since 2016.
But if they lose one, and especially Wednesday’s contest against Minnesota, IU is squarely on the bubble going into the Big Ten Tournament. A critical week for Indiana starts tonight.
GAME DAY ESSENTIALS
Minnesota (13-15, 7-11) at Indiana (18-11, 8-10)
- Tip time: Wednesday / 7 p.m. ET
- Location: Simon Skjodt Assembly Hall (17,222), Bloomington, Ind.
- Television: FS1 (Stream)
- Series: Indiana leads 102-69 (Last meeting: Indiana won 68-56, 2/19/20)
- Point Spread: Vegas likes IU by around 3.5 points. KenPom likes IU by 2.
- Tickets (Seat Geek affiliate link)
INSIDE THE NUMBERS
Minnesota Statistical Leaders
- Daniel Oturu (C) 20.2 ppg
- Marcus Carr (G) 15.7 ppg
- Gabe Kalscheur (G) 11.2 ppg
- Daniel Oturu (C) 11.4 rpg
- Marcus Carr (G) 5.5 rpg
- Marcus Carr (G) 6.6 apg
- Gabe Kalscheur (G) 1.0 spg
- Daniel Oturu (C) 2.6 bpg
Highlights from the first meeting
A look at KenPom No. 32 Minnesota’s noteworthy metrics vs. No. 38 Indiana
Not forcing turnovers. In Big Ten games Minnesota is forcing turnovers on just 14.1 percent of possessions. That’s the worst rate in the league. Indiana coughed it up just 10 times on the road in the first meeting.
Struggling from distance. Minnesota is also the worst team in the league shooting from behind the arc, making just 29.5 percent of their attempts. The Gophers shot just 4-of-25 (16 percent) in the first meeting.
Strong against the two-point shot. The Gophers defend well inside the arc, coming in at No. 2 in league games against two-point shots (44.8 percent). Trayce Jackson-Davis dominated the first game with 27 points. Look for Minnesota to trap the post to force someone else to beat them.
Top 100 player rankings:
- Daniel Oturu is No. 62 at effective field goal percentage, No. 89/98 at defensive/offensive rebounding percentage, and No. 63 at block percentage.
- Marcus Carr is No. 19 at assist rate and minutes percentage.
- Payton Willis has the No. 19 best turnover percentage.
WEDNESDAY BIG TEN TOURNAMENT GAME LOOKING LIKELY
Even if Indiana wins both of their home games this week they still appear likely to have to play on Wednesday at next week’s Big Ten Tournament. The teams that finish No. 11 to No. 14 in the league do not receive any byes and must win five consecutive games to take home the tournament title.
The Hoosiers are currently in eleventh place and could still tie or surpass four teams — Ohio State, Michigan, Rutgers and Purdue.
The first tiebreaker is head-to-head, however, and Michigan, Rutgers and Purdue all hold an advantage over IU. One clear way that Indiana can avoid Wednesday should be something that most Hoosier fans can get behind — a Rutgers win over Purdue this weekend along with two IU wins.
The Boilermakers currently sit at 9-10 in the league, and two IU wins along with a Purdue loss would put the Boilermakers into the eleventh spot. The bad news is that Purdue’s game is at home where the Boilermakers are really good, and Rutgers has only won one true road game all season.
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