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Indiana's basketball schedule for 2009-10: initial thoughts.

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As I posted earlier, IU now has released the basketball schedule for 2009-10.  Here are my initial impressions:

  • The two Big Ten teams that IU plays only once are Penn State (away) and Michigan State (home).  This has been released before, but I'm not sure I mentioned it.  It would be better for IU if the locations were reversed.  This feels like 0-2; we would have a chance at 1-1, maybe, if Penn State came to Bloomington.
  • The only nonconference games that IU plays away from Bloomington are three games in a tournament in Puerto Rico and a newtrual site game against Pittsburgh at Madison Square Garden in New York.  In other words, no true non-conference road games. 
  • In the Puerto Rico tournament, IU played Mississippi in the first round, and either Kansas State or Boston U in the second round.  The teams in the other half of the bracket are Dayton, George Mason, Villanova, and Georgia Tech.  In other words, at the very least, IU should get two decent nonconference games out of that event.
  • As has previously been announced, IU's BT/ACC game will be at Assembly Hall against Maryland, a rematch of the 2002-03 game that IU won in overtime at Conseco Fieldhouse, which itself was a rematch of the 2002 NCAA Championship game. 
  • The RPIs of the lesser-known teams on IU's schedule: Howard 330; South Carolina Upstate 288; Northwestern State 311; North Carolina Central 335; Loyola (Maryland) 194; Bryant 306. 
There isn't much in between in this schedule.  There are six quality opponents, one team ranked around #200, and five that are around 300 or worse.  Without knowing what to expect from the team, this seems like a reasonable schedule for an NIT-type team, although if IU is unexpectedly better, the schedule provides the opportunity for some nice wins.