In today’s edition of Banner Morning:
• Indiana’s two home losses didn’t drop the computer rankings as much as you might expect.
• Some bracketologists have IU out … and some still have the Hoosiers (barely) in.
• Zach Osterman is not buying the notion that Indiana still has a realistic shot at the NCAA Tournament.
• Happy birthday to one of the all-time great scorers in IU history.
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Welcome to another edition of Banner Morning. We’re four days away from Indiana’s next chance to get a win.
In team news …
Let’s take a quick look at Indiana’s computer rankings.
Indiana’s two-game losing streak to Iowa and Ohio State didn’t have a major negative impact on the Hoosiers’ overall KenPom ranking, as IU entered the Iowa game ranked 45th and the Hoosiers were still sitting at 45th prior to Monday night’s games.
The Hoosiers are still in the top 40 in Sagarin, at #38. And Bart Torvik’s T-Rank, which weights recent play a little more heavily than the other two, continues to be the least bullish on the Hoosiers, with IU at #56.
In terms of bracketology, the two recent home losses have finally caused Indiana to start dropping out of some bracket projections. Delphi Bracketology, currently number one overall in the Bracket Matrix rankings, knocked Indiana out of their latest projection.
But at USA Today, Shelby Mast still has Indiana among his last four in. Why? Here is how Scott Gleeson explains it:
“How does a team that’s lost nine of its last 10 games have a fighting chance of making the NCAA tournament field? Because the NCAA selection committee would analyze 13-11 Indiana’s overall body of work. The Hoosiers have three Quadrant 1 (top-30 home/top-75 road) victories with wins against projected No. 2 seed Michigan State, No. 3 Marquette and No. 4 Louisville.”
So there you go. Even with 11 losses overall, and nine out of 10, Indiana’s resume is still good enough to warrant strong NCAA Tournament consideration.
Granted, the Hoosiers will have to start winning again — and probably need to win at least five of their final seven regular season games to have a legit shot at a berth come Selection Sunday — but it’s somewhat amazing that it’s even a possibility given the team’s six-week nosedive since Christmas.
But don’t count Zach Osterman among those holding out hope that the possibility is realistic any longer. As he wrote at IndyStar.com:
“Sunday felt like the knockout punch. It will probably take Indiana’s first-ever Big Ten tournament championship to get the Hoosiers into the dance, and right now it’s much more likely they’ll be playing Wednesday than Sunday at the conference’s annual showcase. At this point, there’s just no realistic path for Indiana to recovering a season that once promised much more.”
And we have a birthday today …
Happy birthday to one of the greatest shooters and scorers in IU history: AJ Guyton, who turns 41 today.
AJ played from 1996 to 2000, and became one of the few Hoosiers to score over 2,000 points in his career. He shot 41.4% from downtown for his career, and also dished out 3 assists per game. He won Big Ten Player of the Year and was a first-team All American as a senior.
For the links mentioned in this edition of Banner Morning, visit assemblycall.com.
We’ll be back tomorrow with a new edition of Banner Morning. Until then, keep your elbows in and your eyes on the rim, and go Hoosiers.