We've improved by THIS much. Mandatory Credit: Brian Spurlock-US PRESSWIRE
Jim Nantz and Bill Raferty have picked Indiana as a Final Four team before the tournament starts. Think about that for a second. Now let’s rewind back to the end of August when people were making their seasonal predictions about who will finish where. Let’s pretend that at that time, Jim Nantz said "IU will make the Final Four this season." He probably would have been fired. John, Devin or I would have likely written an article about how Nantz is just putting such lofty expectations on Indiana so that when we fail to live up to those expectations he can tear us apart. *Cough* Dan Dakich *Cough*. Yes indeed, it would have been insane. When Dakich said the Hoosiers should win at least 23 games this season, I thought he was just stirring the pot to rile up listeners. Turns out he was right.
He was the one of the only ones. Even the most loyal and insane of Hoosier fans were predicting an incredibly optimistic win total in the 21-22 range. In fact, on message boards across the blogosphere if a Hoosier fan predicted anything north of 20, eight other fans would assault him with questions like "what in the world makes you think that is possible?" It turns out they were right and even a little pessimistic themselves. Indiana’s season marching into the post-season has been completely out of left field for most. Sure many expected great improvement, but Indiana has done much more than just improve. They have flourished.
In the last three years, Indiana has won a total of 7 conference games. This season alone they have already peaked the double digit mark with 11. They are the biggest turn around team in the nation, already having added 12 wins to their previous season. Where IU has come from in the span of only a year is nothing short of amazing. It is seriously within the reach of making a Disney movie out of this year if they somehow in some crazy scenario make a Final Four or National Championship. I expect Ryan Gosling to play the part of attractive go-getter blogger that always believed in the team when no one else did, but I digress.
Back to the point, this season has been nothing short of amazing. It has been a blast. If Joe Lunardi’s current bracketology stands, Indiana will have a 10-4 record going into the tournament against fellow tournament teams. Indiana has the chance to truly make some noise in the post season. I for one am incredibly proud of the team that has shown no signs of quit on the season. Even in a tough stretch where things looked to be falling apart the team regained its composure to win 8 of its last 10 games before the post-season tournaments. So while we have a short lull between the end of the regular season and the start of the Big Ten Tournament I thought we could raise our glasses to an incredibly successful season, no matter the post season outcomes. Now go out there boys and get us some hardware to go with it.