by Carl James • @jovian34 • May 5th
The Hoosiers are pretty much out of the hosting picture after losing the Illinois series, but still in strong shape for a 2-seed in an NCAA Regional by picking up an RPI top-25 win over the Illini to close the series.
- RPI: 28th
- Record: 31-16
- B1G: 12-6 (second place)
- Home: 18-4
- Road: 9-10
- Neutral: 4-2
- Non-conf SOS: 14th
Record against RPI-Tiers:
- Top-50: 3-6
- 51-100: 12-5
- 101-150: 5-3
- 151-299: 11-2
The top-50 record is not as good as it used to be because Evansville has dropped out (likely permanently). But three wins is respectable enough for a 2-seed and the next 5 games are all likely top-50 games so there is a chance left to make that even better. The 51-100 mark is really good. Only two bad losses as well.
Conference performance is really strong and the NCAA committee values that a lot. The Hoosiers are actually in control of their own destiny and could win the league title outright by sweeping both of the remain series. That is a really tall order (especially Michigan in Ann Arbor), but is still possible.
Boyd’s World’s Needs Report says the Hoosiers need to finish 5-3 to finish in the top-32 of the RPI in range for a 2-seed in the the NCAA Tournament. More importantly it’s no longer possible for the Hoosiers to finish in the RPI top-16 even winning all 8 of the last remaining games. Combined with the top-50 record, and no series wins in the top-50, its hard to see a realistic scenario that results in the Hoosiers hosting. The good news is the Hoosiers only need 1 more win to finish in the top-45 to have an at-large RPI.
None of this includes the B1G Tourney. Since we don’t know the matchups that is too hard to predict, but as only the top-8 teams in the B1G make the tournament there is unlikely to be an “RPI-killer” in that tournament. That means missing the tournament would probably require a 2-6 finish to the season and 0-2 finish in the B1G Tournament. This would constitute a total collapse I just don’t see happening. I see the floor for this team being 3-5 over the last eight plus 1-2 in the conference tournament. The Hoosiers are still easily in with that performance. I expect they will do better than that.
Best Series Win: Iowa (#52) 3-game sweep
Worst Series Loss: Seattle Tourney (#20/#61/#98) 1-2 weekend
Good Wins (3):
- Illinois #20 (will finish top-50)
- Connecticut #27 (2-5 to remain top-50)
- Indiana State #29 (will finish top-50)
Top 50 Games Left:
- Louisville #7
- @ Kentucky #44
- @ Michigan #40 x3
Bad Losses (2):
- #190 Michigan State (in a 2-1 road series win)
- #176 Penn State (in a 2-1 home series win)