The Indiana Hoosiers find themselves with work left to do in order to get in the 2019 NCAA Tournament, at least in the eyes of many analysts. While the end of the regular season is here, the conference tournament will prove to potentially be huge for Indiana. Although the Hoosiers have multiple intriguing pieces and quite a bit of talent, they sit with just a 15-14 record heading into Thursday’s game against Illinois.
The strong play of Romeo Langford and Juwan Morgan has been a big part of Indiana’s success this season, but they’ve seen multiple others step up and play solid roles. We’re going to evaluate what some of the bracketologists are saying prior to the Big Ten Tournament when it comes to the Hoosiers’ outlook.
More specifically, let’s find out how much work is left to be done for this group in order to make it to the dance.
Latest Predictions on Indiana’s NCAA Tournament Outlook
Prior to Indiana’s game against Illinois, Stadium pointed out that they have the Hoosiers currently among the “first four out” of the tournament. They spoke with analyst Jeff Goodman, who proceeded to point out that if the Hoosiers win each of their final two regular-season games and one conference tournament game, that they’ll be in the mix.
As seen above, Goodman did call it a “complete joke” that the team would have a chance if those things play out. Obviously, that’s just one opinion, but a few others seem to agree with Indiana being just on the outside looking in at this point.
ESPN’s Joe Lunardi currently placed Archie Miller’s team a bit further back, pegging them in the “next four out” list. This leaves Indiana with ground to make up, and Lunardi has TCU, Saint Mary’s, Furman and Murray State currently ahead of them in the “first four out.”
In another article from ESPN, John Gasaway lists the Hoosiers as a team with “work to do,” but states that they moved back onto the bubble with their second win over Michigan State. Interestingly, Gasaway states that if Indiana wins their final two regular season games that it could be enough to get them into the tournament.
Indiana’s March Madness Resume
An early-season loss to the Arkansas Razorbacks wasn’t great but also wasn’t enough to push them off the bubble. It was the brutal stretch from January 7 through February 22 in which Indiana dropped 12 of 13 games that made the situation far worse. Although they had a number of fairly close losses in there and five of them came against top-25 teams, it’s left them 15-14 overall and 6-12 in conference play.
But on the positive side of things, the Hoosiers have the aforementioned two wins over Michigan State, along with victories over Marquette, Louisville, and Wisconsin. Two wins to wrap up the year and doing some damage during the Big Ten Tournament would make things very interesting for Indiana. But there’s also the big topic of what happens with other bubble teams and whether a few mid-majors who likely have automatic bids win their conference tournaments.