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Hoosiers Firmly on NCAA Tournament Bubble


The Indiana Hoosiers men’s basketball team still has some work to do if it is going to reach the NCAA Tournament this season.

Indiana enters play on Thursday with a record of 11-9 overall, and it is sitting in eighth place in the Big Ten Conference.

In conference play, the Hoosiers have gone just 6-7, and that could play a role when the NCAA Tournament selection committee makes its final decision in March. The Big Ten Conference is expected to get at least eight teams in the field, but up to 10 could be included.

One thing that will help Indiana is that it has swept the Iowa Hawkeyes this season. Iowa has spent much of the season in the Top 10, and those two wins could loom large when looking at the resume for the Hoosiers.

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ESPN Bracketologist Joe Lunardi currently has the Indiana Hoosiers as a No. 10 seed in Region 1. That would put the Hoosiers up against ACC power Clemson in the first round.

Currently, Indiana is one of the last four byes, but it could improve its position by picking up a few wins in the last few weeks of the season. The Hoosiers are set to take on the Michigan Wolverines in the second-to-last game of the season, and that is their only other game against a ranked opponent.

The Big Ten Tournament will also give the Hoosiers a chance to boost their resume, and they will have a bit of a home-court advantage. The tournament has been moved to Indianapolis from Chicago due to COVID-19 concerns.

Big Ten Conference Well Represented

As mentioned earlier, the Big Ten Conference is going to be well-represented in the NCAA Tournament, and a number of teams are set to earn some terrific seeds. Lunardi currently has nine Big Ten Conference teams in the field, the most of any conference.

Maryland is currently just outside of the NCAA Tournament picture, but the Terrapins could play their way into the field as well. The Big 12 Conference is slated to get seven teams in the NCAA Tournament, per Lunardi.

The Purdue Boilermakers are considered a lock for the NCAA Tournament this season, and Lunardi currently has them as a No. 6 seed. Purdue has started to fade a bit in recent weeks, but it has done enough to keep its spot in the tournament field.

What is even more impressive about the Big Ten Conference potentially getting nine teams in the field is how high some of these teams are ranked. Both the Michigan Wolverines and Ohio State Buckeyes are currently projected as No. 1 seeds in the 2021 NCAA Tournament.

The Illinois Fighting Illini are currently on the two-seed line, but they are trending up based on a recent winning streak. The Hawkeyes have slipped to a projected No. 3 seed, but they have the talent to make a deep run in March.

Wisconsin, Rutgers, and Minnesota are also projected to make the NCAA Tournament field this season.

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