The Indiana Hoosiers couldn’t stop their skid against the Minnesota Golden Gophers on Wednesday night, losing 75-74 at Williams Arena.
Indiana has dropped six of its last seven games, including its last four. The Hoosiers, 15-12 overall and 5-9 in the Big Ten, find themselves on the wrong side of the NCAA Tournament bubble thanks to this skid.
Indiana basketball vs. Minnesota live updates, score
Indiana basketball vs. Minnesota game time, details
Time: 9 p.m. ET
Location: Williams Arena (Minneapolis, Minn.)
TV channel: Big Ten Network
Odds: Minnesota -5
Indiana basketball vs. Minnesota preview
Indiana needs to do some serious work over the next few weeks to save its season. And it won’t be easy. The Hoosiers finish with four of their last five games on the road, including Wednesday’s clash with Minnesota. They’re projected to win just one of those games — home against Northwestern on Feb. 25.
Even more concerning than that, Tom Crean appears to be losing control of this team. He ripped his players on his postgame radio show after a Sunday loss to Michigan.
“I’ve never coached a team with this lack of maturity when it comes to being able to respond and rebound from when things are going well for them personally,” Crean said. “And that includes my teams I had that won six and 10 games.”
Crean did say this all falls on him, but it’s never good when your program, a perennial power, is floundering and the coach is saying he’s never coached a group of players so immature.
Minnesota is in the polar opposite boat. Richard Pitino took over a team that went to the tournament and won the NIT in his first season in 2013-14. But he followed it up with a 26-38 mark over the last two years and entering 2016-17 on a warm, if not hot, seat.
But the Gophers stormed out of the gate at 15-2 this season and got Pitino some breathing room. After dropping five straight Big Ten games, they’re back on track to make the NCAA Tournament following three consecutive wins.
Minnesota doesn’t have a star, but five players average at least 10 points per game, and the Gophers play excellent defense — 18th most-efficient in the country, per advanced stats site KenPom.com.
ESPN, USA Today and CBS all have Minnesota in the NCAA Tournament field as either a No. 7 or No. 8 seed.
Selection Sunday is still more than three weeks away, but with just five or six games left in the regular season, teams don’t have much time to improve their resume’s. Indiana better get going fast if it wants to go dancing in March.