IU Insider Blog: Peaking at the right time?

Indiana earned its fourth win over a ranked opponent on Sunday afternoon when it beat No. 22 Ohio State 72-64 at Assembly Hall. Can the Hoosiers still make a tournament push, or is it too late?

I got a question from someone on Twitter following Indiana's 72-64 win over No. 22 Ohio State on Sunday afternoon.

"Is Indiana peaking at the right time or is it too late?"

Sunday's win was Indiana's fourth over a ranked opponent this season, and its second in the last four days. The Hoosiers now have 17 total wins and are 7-9 in the Big Ten with two games to play.

On Sunday, the Hoosiers did it without freshman Noah Vonleh, who sat out with inflammation in his foot. They've played without Vonleh's production for the last two games (he had four points against Iowa), and they've won both of those games against ranked teams.

My short answer to the question is, yes and yes. Sure, the Hoosiers are peaking at the right time because there's never a wrong time to peak when you look the way Indiana has looked at times this season. But it also could very well be too late to salvage the season.

I continue to believe that IU has to get to 20 wins to make the NCAA Tournament, meaning the Hoosiers would either have to win their last two regular season games AND a game in the Big Ten Tournament, or one of the last two in the regular season and two in the conference tournament. It won't be easy, but it's not impossible.

Indiana's quality wins this season: Wisconsin, Iowa, Michigan and Ohio State. Its really bad losses: Northwestern, Penn State.

A real reason for hope is the fact we've seen things from IU over the past two games that we hadn't seen all season. Will Sheehey has put two of the best games of his career together back-to-back, Yogi Ferrell continues to play well, and the Hoosiers are getting contributions from guys they don't normally get contributions from.

Sheehey has scored 49 points in the last two games. Ferrell had 20 more points on Sunday. Hanner Mosquera-Perea played the best game of his career against the Buckeyes in Vonleh's absence.

Sure, there are still some weaknesses, but Indiana has made up for and masked those better in the last two games than it had through the first 27.

Now they host Nebraska on Wednesday and travel to Ann Arbor next Saturday.

Less than a week ago, Wisconsin fans chanted "N-I-T!" at the Hoosiers when they lost in Madison. And while the Hoosiers could still very well end up in that tournament, suddenly the Big Dance isn't that big of a stretch.


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