Bubble Banter: Indiana seems more like than not to miss the NCAA tournament

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LOSERS

Indiana (RPI: 76, KenPom: 41, No. 10 seed): I’ll lock in my prediction now: Indiana is going to miss the NCAA tournament.

As of today, we have them as a No. 10 seed in our bracket, but losing at home to No. 16 Purdue on Thursday night was a killer. The Hoosiers are now 15-10 on the season and just 5-7 in the Big Ten, but the more important record is this: They are now 2-4 since O.G. Anunoby went down with a season-ending knee injury last month. So the team that beat Kansas on a neutral and roughed up North Carolina in Assembly Hall? That team isn’t the team that is currently taking the floor for Indiana.

Here’s the bigger issue for the Hoosiers: Four of their last six games are on the road, including trips to Minnesota and Purdue. On the one hand, that does mean there are opportunities out there for the Hoosiers to add to their profile, but keep in mind that they’re 0-3 in road games since Anunoby’s injury.

Are they actually good enough to get those wins?

If you think they are, you probably think they’ll end up in the NCAA tournament.

WINNERS

UNC Wilmington (RPI: 42, KenPom: 55, No. 12 seed): The Seahawks kept themselves in the mix for an at-large bid by beating James Madison at home. I’ve said it before and I’ll keep saying it: I don’t think that UNCW is going to be able to get into the tournament with an at-large bid on Selection Sunday, so I would strongly recommend winning the automatic bid in the CAA.

Valparaiso (RPI: 69, KenPom: 94, No. 12 seed): Valpo picked up a home win over a mediocre at best Cleveland State team. This is one of the issues with being the Crusaders at this point. They didn’t win the games they needed to win in non-conference play to get them on the right side of the bubble, and every bad team they play in the Horizon hurts those RPI numbers.

Middle Tennessee (RPI: 44, KenPom: 51, No. 11 seed): Despite a 20-4 record, I just really cannot see a team with three sub-100 losses – including one to a team that ranks 298th in the RPI – will have a chance to get an at-large bid, but beating Old Dominion tonight at least keeps them in the conversation.

Wichita State (RPI: 66, KenPom: 17, play-in game): The Shockers don’t have a single bad loss to their name. They also only have one top 100 win and don’t play another top 100 team unless they get Illinois State in the MVC tournament.