Keep Calm and Get to Nine Wins

So that was not a fun week of basketball. I believe those were the first back-to-back losses by 17 or more points in over 15 years. BUT, before completely freaking out, let’s review the goals for this season:

  1. Get to the tournament
  2. Get to the tournament
  3. Get to the tournament

So, given that, and knowing that the Big Ten is the strongest it has been since the early ’90s, the formula to get to the Nine Winstournament has always been “Build as much of a non-conference cushion as possible” + “Get to .500 in the Big Ten” = off the bubble. We did the first part. And, as much as it didn’t seem like it as Wisconsin was raining down set-shot threes on Saturday, the second is still comfortably on the table. I don’t know about you, but I had both Minnesota and at Wisconsin penciled into the “L” column before the conference season started; the former because I think Minnesota is really a nightmarish matchup for us (looking forward to playing them at The Barn!), the latter because every road game must be considered a loss unless Bill Carmody is involved. So while it was horrible watching Joe Coleman (who?) do the same, boring two-handed dunk in transition 12 times and just as bad watching Ben Brust do anything, no real “ground” – so to speak – was lost.

Here’s Robert at A Lion Eye’s breakdown of the path to nine wins – pretty tough to argue with, as it’s fairly conservative with the only possible exception of expecting a win in Iowa City:

at Purdue L
Ohio State W
Minnesota L
at Wisconsin L          
Northwestern W
at Nebraska W
Michigan L
at Michigan State L
Wisconsin W
Indiana L
at Minnesota L
Purdue W
at Northwestern W
Penn State W
at Michigan L
Nebraska W
at Iowa W
at Ohio State L

Before the season, I think many people were hoping (expecting?) a win at Purdue, but also expecting a loss to Ohio State in Champaign, so those two unexpected events cancel each other out. So this leaves us with two things to consider:

  1. Is 9-9 in the B1G without beating Indiana, Michigan or Minnesota anything to worry about? I say no, especially since if we get to nine without beating those teams, we’ll have wins over Wisconsin and Ohio State.
  2. Can we snag an extra home win? That would be amazing, because I don’t know about you, but the thought of having our tourney resume on the line as we finish at Carver-Hawkeye and Value City Arena makes me queasy. Hey, why can’t we come out against IU or Michigan and give them the Gonzaga/Butler treatment. (“Because we can’t hit water from a boat right now!” shrieks the pessimist in my head).

So there it is. Thursday’s game against the NUrds is the must-est of must-wins.

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2 thoughts on “Keep Calm and Get to Nine Wins

  1. Pingback: I Was WAY Off | pro se

  2. Pingback: The Turnaround | pro se

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