North Carolina Central Eagles
Current record: 14-12 (8-5 MEAC)
Current Sagarin: 224 (IU is #11)
Current RPI: 258 (IU is #16)
Current Pomeroy: 217 (IU is #15)
2010-11 record: 15-15
2010-11 RPI: 280
2010-11 Sagarin: 296
2010-11 Pomeroy: 311
Pomeroy scouting report eries: IU leads 1-0
TV: 6:30 p.m. Wednesday, BTN.com (subscription, free replay on BTN at 10:30 p.m.)
Did you include Indiana on your Top 25 ballot? If so, you're cool. If not, you're Poll Attacked.
Indiana's loss at Iowa was bad. No denying that. But should it have been enough for some voters to omit the Hoosiers from their ballots? Absolutely not. And yet 15 AP voters -- including my pals Seth Davisand Dick Vitale -- left Indiana off their ballots, which is confusing because there's no way to conclude Tom Crean's team doesn't have one of the nation's best 25 bodies of work. They own wins over No. 1 Kentucky, No. 8 Ohio State, No. 11 Michigan, No. 20 Notre Dame and NCAA hopefuls Purdue, Northwestern and North Carolina State. Meantime, four of their seven losses are to teams currently ranked in the top 16. So they really only have three bad losses.Iowa was one of them.Again, that's an undeniable statement.But almost everybody outside of the top 15 has at least three bad losses, and almost nobody outside of the top 15 owns the wins Indiana owns. Bottom line, what happened here is what happens too often in college basketball, i.e., a total overreaction based on the outcome of one 40-minute game that happens to be the most recent thing we've seen.
This seems to back up what I've been thinking. I don't want the Hoosiers to lose all of their remaining Big Ten games, but if they do, I still think we're in. This still has been a remarkable season compared to where we've been.
All that said, North Carolina Central is another program on the rise. Take a look at the Eagles' computer ratings this season compared to last season. In their fifth season in Division I and the first full season in the MEAC, the Eagles are in fifth place out of 13 MEAC teams. The Eagles don't have a signature win against an upper level Division I team, but they played very well against a common opponent, NC State, losing by 5 points there. They also played fairly well at Oregon, losing by 13. The Eagles' defensive numbers are better than their offensive numbers. Of particular note, NCCU is #33 nationally with a 23.5 defensive turnover percentage, and holds opponents to 32 percent shooting from behind the arc.
|Samuel "Nick" Chasten||26||22.5||3.5||6.8||51.1||0.5||1.8||29.2||0.8||1.1||75.0||1.6||2.2||3.8||0.9||1.1||0.8||0.6||2.3||8.3|
Despite NCCU's improvement, this obviously is a game that IU should dominate. I suppose it is good that the Hoosiers don't have to stew on the Iowa loss for a week. Stay healthy, rediscover some good habits, and get ready for the home stretch.