Despite the loss last night, you’ll still hear Indiana Hoosiers #1 seed on Selection Sunday. It would take a major collapse by IU to prevent that from happening. However, should we see Indiana Hoosiers #1 seed overall this March madness? Future NBA PF Trevor Mbakwe had 21 and 12 to help the Gophers topple an Indiana Hoosiers #1 team last night, the seventh time the AP poll’s top team has lost a game this season.
Cody Zeller and the Hoosiers were beat up on the glass 44-30 last night, but the Big Ten leaders still look like national leaders. The Hoosiers (24-4, 12-3), have held the No. 1 ranking for 10 of 17 polls this season including the past four. Who else is there to take their place, Gonzaga? Duke? Miami? the Wolverines? On a side note, who else other than the
Illini have beaten both the polls’ #1 team Hoosiers and the #2 team Gonzaga this season? But we’re not here to discuss Illinois’ resume, we’re here to think about the #1 overall seed when the brackets are filled out.
This year just doesn’t have a dominant team in college basketball. So the Hoosiers have the look and feel of a true #1 overall seed (the NCAA started granting a #1 overall seed in the bracket in 2003) even if they drop from the polls penthouse next Monday. They have a RPI of 7 and SOS of 23, with a record of 7-2 versus the RPI top 25. And they’ve come a long way to get here. Sure the Hoosiers reached the sweet 16 last year. Crean began with a roster consisting of two walk-ons who had scored a combined 36 points in their careers. Crean’s first three seasons saw losing records of 6–25 record (the worst in school history), 10-21, and 12-20. Then last year they beat three top 5 ranked teams and went 27-9.
Crean addressed where he’s been in discussing how he manages what he has now:
“And the person who gets too caught up in the quantity, and loses sight of the quality that person will have a hard time playing, it’s what you inside those minutes, believe me we’ve gone through a lot of times when there was a lot of minutes being played and it wasn’t always at the highest of levels,” Crean said.
Even though the Indiana brand was destroyed by slimy and untrustworthy Kelvin Sampson (and Basketball Judas Eric Gordon), and it suffered during the first three years of the Crean era, the Hoosiers cachet is back now. They were the preseason #1 and I think they’ll be the postseason #1. They have two wins over #9 Michigan State, including a win at the Breslin Center which they haven’t done since 1991. They’ve also beaten Georgetown, North Carolina, Ohio State, Michigan and Ohio State. None of their four losses were bad- Butler, Wisconsin, Illinois Minnesota. The Hoosiers have a top seed resume.
A Fulbright scholar, author and MBA, Banks has appeared on the History Channel, as well as Clear Channel, ESPN and CBS radio all over the world. President Barack Obama follows him on Twitter (@Paul_M_BanksTSB)