Indiana starts Big Ten play tonight against Nebraska at 6:30pm. After a nonconference game against Louisville on New Year’s Eve, they’ll head back to Bloomington for two straight games before hitting the road and facing Maryland. Here’s how I see the Big Ten schedule playing out:
Dec. 28 vs. Nebraska - Win. The Huskers have not impressed in noncon play, and while the Hoosiers may start slow, I see them winning by double digits by the end.
Jan. 3 vs. Wisconsin - Win. Should be a close game, but I see the home court being the deciding advantage for the Hoosiers.
Jan. 7 vs. Illinois - Win. Illini had a rough start on the road against Maryland yesterday. I expect the Hoosiers will outlast them in the real Assembly Hall.
Jan. 10 at Maryland - Win. The Hoosiers head to College Park for their first Big Ten road game (and first “true” road game since Fort Wayne). The Terps do have Melo Trimble, but I’m still not sold on them. Hoosiers win.
Jan. 15 vs. Rutger - Win. No comment.
Jan. 18 at Penn State - Loss. Listen, the Bryce Jordan Center is a tough place to play and I don’t want to take any win there for granted. Also, my friend helped design the new lighting in the arena, and she thinks the lights may prove tough for opponents.
Jan. 21 vs. Michigan State - Win. A big opportunity for the Hoosiers to finish off a basketball/football sweep over Sparty.
Jan. 26 at Michigan - Win. Y’all rememeber what haeppned last time Indiana came to the Crisler Center, right?
Jan. 29 at Northwestern - Win. Tom Crean has a history of letdown games in Evanston, and Northwestern has a strong claim to be the 4th-best team in the B1G right now. But usually those NW losses came when the Wildcats weren’t any good - this year, as they are a threat to make the tourney, IU will definitely take them seriously.
Feb. 1 vs. Penn State - Win. Revenge in Assembly Hall for the loss earlier in the year in State College.
Feb. 5 at Wisconsin - Win. This game will most likely be better than the Super Bowl, which will happen later in the day. But if the Cubs can win the World Series, then Indiana can finally get a win in Madison.
Feb. 9 vs. Purdue - Win. Caleb Swanigan is stifled by a raucous atmosphere at Assembly Hall, and the Hoosiers take a close victory.
Feb. 15 at Minnesota - Win. The Barn is a weird and tough place to play. Minnesota played IU tough twice last year despite winning only 8 games. Still, I think the Hoosiers get it done on a below-zero night in the Twin Cities.
Feb. 21 at Iowa - Win. Indiana honors their 2015-16 team, who clinched the Big Ten title in Iowa City, with another victory at Carver-Hawkeye.
Feb. 25 vs. Northwestern - Win. This could be Thomas Bryant and OG Anunoby’s last game in Bloomington. They won’t want to lose here.
Feb. 28 at Purdue - Win. Indiana wins at Mackey for the first time in four years and Purdue fans come with torches and pitchforks to Matt Painter’s house.
Mar. 4 at Ohio State - Win. Gotta finish the season strong and yeah yeah I know, you probably got the joke of this article about 5 teams ago now.