Eli Boettger | @boettger_eli | 03/07/2020
Saturday’s most intriguing contest might wind up being between Archie Miller and Joe Lunardi.
Indiana was handed its 12th defeat of the year after Big Ten champion Wisconsin beat the Hoosiers 60-56 at Assembly Hall. The loss dropped Miller’s team to a final record of 9-11 in conference action.
Miller, visibly upset after what could have been a resume-building win, unloaded on Joe Lunardi and fellow bracketologists after the game.
“Every bracketology is a children’s show,” Miller said. “Since December 3, we have not played one team that’s not a high-major team. No one’s done it.”
Despite his agitation, Miller’s team is safely in the tournament picture as it currently stands. Indiana appeared in exactly 108 of the 108 updated brackets on BracketMatrix.com Saturday morning, and checked in as a No. 10 seed in the newest Heat Check bracketology.
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With that in mind, Miller is clearly overreacting. The Hoosiers can lose their only matchup in next week’s Big Ten tournament and still make the field with relative ease. Indiana has wins over Michigan State, Florida State, Ohio State, Penn State and Iowa and its worst loss was in December against Arkansas. IU’s NET ranking and road record leave something to be desired, but the Hoosiers have already done enough.
That hasn’t stopped Miller, though.
To Miller’s credit, Lunardi does have Indiana positioned unusually low as a No. 11 seed. The ESPN bracketologist has Texas and Stanford — teams with fewer wins against likely tournament teams and significantly worse losses — an entire seed line ahead of Indiana.
The Hoosiers will play either Northwestern or Nebraska on Wednesday in the first round of the Big Ten tournament.
Eli Boettger is a college basketball writer and founder of HeatCheckCBB.com. He has previously worked for Sporting News, DAZN and USA TODAY SMG.
Boettger’s content has been featured by Bleacher Report, NBC Sports, FiveThirtyEight, Yahoo Sports, Athletic Director University, Washington Post, Illinois Law Review and Notre Dame Law Review, among other publications. Boettger is also a current USBWA member.