At the start of the conference season we took a look at the order of difficulty of the conference games and where our best chances at getting wins were going to come. I figured now that we're 6 games into the conference season and exactly a third of the way it would be best to take a look at where we stand and what we have going forward.
|2. @Michigan State
|5. Ohio State
|9. Michigan State
|10. @Penn State
|16. Penn State
Here you'll see that Indiana has actually had a pretty tough go at it so far this season. Of their 10 toughest games in the conference schedule, Indiana has already played half of them. However, if we want to look at just our top 5 games we have only played one. Despite playing a good chunk of the first half of the schedule, the Hoosiers were still able to get two wins. Of course they negated that by losing their easiest game of the season as well.
If the Hoosiers are looking to go .500 or better they have to get wins against the bottom 3-4 teams in the conference. According to Pomeroy that means sweeping the remaining games against Penn State, Nebraska x2, Northwestern and Purdue. Dropping any of those 5 games pretty well assures that the Hoosiers aren't getting to nine wins in this conference season. If Indiana wants to get higher than that they're going to have to add defending home court to the equation from here on out.
Winning the remaining home games and the remaining road games in the bottom half of the difficulty spectrum gets Indiana to 11 wins. I'd say that's a pretty accurate look at where the Hoosiers ceiling hits. They're not going to do any better than that at this point and even those 11 wins is a pretty big stretch.
As I go through this schedule, I continue to feel more confident about where we settled on this at the beginning of the conference year. 8-10 just seems to be the destiny for this squad. Pomeroy has the Hoosiers at 7 right now. That of course is far from the 11-12 wins we were hoping for at the start of the year, but not nearly as bad as the 5-6 wins that looked likely before the second half of Penn State. I guess we're all reserved to just watching this squad game by game and just finding enjoyment where we can. A half of the conference finish will be a photo finish.