March 11 update: Well, so much for the Hoosiers being done. Indiana has pulled off two Big Ten tournament wins over likely NCAA Tournament teams Michigan and Illinois. That’s a few more quality wins for Hoosiers, who are still on the bubble but are moving closer to being in the field. If Indiana can advance to the Big Ten title game and other teams across the country falter, the Hoosiers may have done enough to merit a spot in the final 68.
The Indiana Hoosiers were seemingly a lock for the NCAA Tournament until a disastrous late-season swoon put them squarely on the bubble. The team ended up losing five straight games in the month of February and seven of its final nine games total.
At 18-12 for the year, the team is fighting for its NCAA Tournament lives. We’ll go over what needs to be done, if anything at all, for them to make it into the big dance.
Indiana finished ninth in the regular season conference standings and will have a first-round bye in this week’s Big Ten Tournament. The Hoosiers will hit the court on Thursday to face another bubble team in Michigan and the winner will advance to the quarterfinals to face top-seeded Illinois.
IU absolutely needs to get past the Illini in the quarterfinals to even have a shot at NCAA Tournament consideration. The team only has three Quad 1 victories on its resume and absolutely needs to start racking those up quickly. Should the Hoosiers get past Illinois, it would still need to acquit itself well against the likes of either Iowa or Rutgers in the semis before the championship game.
With its second-round matchup with Michigan serving as a de-facto elimination game, Indiana would greatly benefit from other bubble teams like Virginia Tech falling by the wayside as well.
Will Indiana get in?
Answer: No. Indiana needs to go on a deep run in the Big Ten Tournament to have a shot and considering how loaded the conference is, they’re most likely to be left out in the cold on Selection Sunday.