CHICAGO – Indiana will be back in the gym today as it waits to find out if winning the regular-season Big Ten title and one game in the conference tournament is enough to earn a No. 1 seed in the Big Ten tournament.
We’ll get some guys in the gym shooting and try to get better from this film, so we can get better, guard Jordan Hulls said after the Hoosiers fell 68-56 to Wisconsin (23-10) in the Big Ten tournament semifinals Saturday.
Indiana, which was the No. 1 seed in the Big Ten tournament for the first time in the event’s history, defeated Illinois 80-64 in the quarterfinals.
The Hoosiers (27-6) will bring one of the better résumés into Selection Sunday, which ends with the NCAA tournament announcement on CBS at 6 p.m. today.
The Hoosiers have a nation’s-best seven victories over teams rated in the top 25 of the Ratings Percentage Index, and they are 9-5 against the RPI top 50. Indiana went 7-1 against opponents ranked in the Associated Press Top 25 and 5-0 against top-10 teams this year.
Those numbers likely secured a No. 1 seed for IU, but it might not be enough for the No. 1 overall seed or even the top spot in the Midwest Region, which would start with games in Dayton, Ohio, (March 22- and 24) before moving to Indianapolis (March 29 and 31) for the Sweet 16. The Final Four is in Atlanta (April 6 and 8).
The Hoosiers’ top competition for the top spot in the Midwest is Louisville, which played Syracuse in the Big East tournament finals Saturday night. Louisville went 3-3 against teams in the RPI top 25, but it was 9-4 against the top 50.
To get that seed would be great for us, IU guard Kevin Yogi Ferrell said of being No. 1 in the Midwest. Hopefully, we’ve convinced some people (to be a No. 1), but we will see.
Indiana lost three of its last six games, falling to Minnesota 77-73 Feb. 26 and Ohio State 67-58 March 10 in the regular season.
While it’s not the best way to go into the NCAA tournament, Hoosiers forward Cody Zeller said the team is not panicking about the .500 finish to the season.
It’s the Big Ten, Cody Zeller said. Teams have gone on losing streaks in the Big Ten because there are so many great teams. It’s bound to happen eventually. We don’t worry about it too much.
We will learn from our mistakes that we had (Saturday against Wisconsin). There’s always things you can take from a win or a loss. We will go back and watch the film and make those corrections.
The real season starts now.