With the regular season behind, Indiana (19-12, 9-11 B1G) finished a disappointing 11th out of 14th in the conference standings which necessitates them playing in the first round of the deep conference tournament. However, their path looks favorable to make a deep run into the tournament.
Indiana will face the lowly, struggling Cornhuskers (7-24, 2-18 B1G) around 8:25 p.m. EST on Wednesday.
Nebraska has not won a game since Jan. 7th against the Iowa Hawkeyes at home. Indiana has played the Cornhuskers twice this season and finished 2-0 against them with wins by eight and six points. As the season progressed, Indiana has looked stronger while Nebraska has dug itself into a deeper hole.
Nebraska is dealing with player issues as Cam Mack and Dachon Burke being suspended indefinitely. It is unknown if they will travel to Indianapolis yet.
Assuming Indiana wins, they play another team that has been playing subpar as of late, No. 20 Penn State (21-10, 11-9 B1G). They have lost 5 of their last 6 games with their sole victory over Rutgers by one at home. Over this stretch, they have lost to Indiana and Northwestern.
Indiana should feel good about their chances for the upcoming two games; however, Indiana has never played up to expectations in the Big Ten Conference Tournaments. Their last victory was in 2017 with Tom Crean as head coach against Iowa in the second round of the tournament.
The conference tournament will have major implications for the Hoosiers who have been floating on the bubble for several weeks now. Fortunately, they lie on the good side of the bubble currently and are favored to make the NCAA Tournament still, but with a loss to Nebraska, it would be surprising to see their name announced on Selection Sunday.
Indiana likely has to win against Nebraska to make it in to the tournament. With two victories, they would have substantially more breathing room during the selection show.