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2016 NCAA Bracketology: Can the Indiana Hoosiers still get a 3-seed on Selection Sunday?

Let's take one more look at where the nation's nine-thousand bracketologists currently foresee the Hoosiers headed for next week's NCAA Tournament.

Brian Spurlock-USA TODAY Sports

We're mere hours away from final grades being posted.

Indiana's regular season has wrapped up and it is currently being measured against the profiles of (roughly) 80 other teams to see where it fits into the 68-team free-for-all that starts in a couple of days in Dayton, Ohio.

Let's look at the numbers:


Indiana Hoosiers 25-7, 15-3

Big Ten Regular Season Champions

KenPom: 14

RPI: 24

Good Wins: Notre Dame (n), Iowa, Purdue, at Iowa, Maryland

Bad Losses: Wake Forest (n), UNLV (n), at Penn State

vs. RPI Top 50: 6-3

vs. KenPom Top 50: 7-3

Bracket Matrix Average Seed Number: 3.73 (last 3 seed on the Matrix)

Indiana may be one of the most difficult teams to evaluate outside of the absolute mess that is currently the tournament bubble. They're still wearing the disastrous Maui Invitational and failed to win a game in their conference tournament but have five great wins in between the two. They also posses a very favorable record against teams in the field and in the top 50 of both KenPom and RPI.

But mucking up the evaluation is Indiana's identity change that occurred right before the new year, when James Blackmon Jr. was lost for the season, opening up playing time for a couple of talented freshman (OG Anunoby and Juwan Morgan) that led to a defensive resurgence for the Hoosiers. While the offense suffered without Blackmon for six weeks or so, it has almost completely recovered and the end result is a more balanced squad that can win games in a multitude of different ways. James Blackmon Jr.'s absence, however, began to hurt even more when Robert Johnson went down against Purdue and hasn't played a minute since. Indiana went 3-1 down the stretch despite being down to two scholarship guards. JBJ will not be back in the NCAA Tournament, but it appears that Robert Johnson will be. Does the committee give the Hoosiers a little leeway for a last-second loss to a desperate Michigan team because of that?


ESPN's Joe Lunardi doesn't seem to think so. Prior to the Big Ten Tournament, he had the Hoosiers playing in Des Moines as a 3-seed in the Louisville regional, as of this morning he's dropped them to a 4 playing UNC-Wilmington, and shipped them out west to Denver, but did them a small favor of moving them into the Chicago regional.

Jerry Palm of CBS went a little more lenient on the Hoosiers in terms of travel, still dropping them to a 4-seed but only projecting them to Oklahoma City where they'd play Northern Iowa and also leaving them in the Chicago regional. That said, playing Northern Iowa even remotely close to the state of Iowa seems like a recipe for disaster. It should also be noted that any bracketologist will quickly tell you that projecting first and second round sites are the hardest thing to do and almost impossible to predict. So it's not really worth getting too invested in where a given bracketologist sends the Hoosiers for the first and second round games.

The #1 Bracketologist on the Bracket Matrix rankings, Andy Bottoms of Assembly Call, also has given Indiana a 4-seed, opening against Fresno State, and has kept them in Des Moines and in the Chicago regional, which is close to an ideal draw for the Hoosier fans hoping to see their team in person.