Palm: Teams Have "Gaping Holes" In Tournament Resumes

The Hoosiers have several quality wins, but they're "not even on the bubble yet," Jerry Palm says

March 05, 2019 - 7:50 am
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Indiana has played four straight games against ranked opponents. The Hoosiers lost by two against No. 15 Purdue, lost in overtime at No. 21 Iowa, beat No. 19 Wisconsin in double overtime, and beat No. 6 Michigan State. 

It’s been a remarkably tough stretch, and the Hoosiers (15-14, 6-12) played well in every game.

Just don’t talk about them making the NCAA Tournament.

“They’re not even on the bubble yet as far as I’m concerned,” bracketologist Jerry Palm said on Ferrall on the Bench. “They’re 15-14. They’re barely a .500 team. Those 15 wins, you’ve got two with Michigan State, they beat Wisconsin the other day, they beat Marquette and Louisville in non-conference play – so they have some really good wins. But you can’t be a .500 team and be in the tournament.”

While there’s not a rule against that, there is precedent – and it’s overwhelming.

“I’ve been doing this 25 years,” Palm said, “and in that time, only one team has gotten an at-large bid that was fewer than four games above .500 – and that was Georgia in 2001. (They) played a schedule so ridiculous, we can’t compare anybody to that team. They played 27 of their 30 games against teams in the top 100 of the RPI. Didn’t have a single bad loss. Indiana’s schedule is good, but it’s not historically good."

The Hoosiers started 12-2; they have since lost 12 of their last 15 games. Of the three wins, two came in overtime; the third came by one point.

 “They’ve got to get to at least three games above .500 before you can even seriously consider them as a tournament team. They’re not playing for bowl eligibility; they’re playing to be one of the 36 best at-large teams, and right now they’re barely bowl eligible. . . . These teams at the bottom of the bracket have some real gaping holes in their tournament resumes. Texas and TCU are on that list, (too).”

Click below to listen to Palm's interview in its entirety.