Indiana Basketball: Are Hoosiers a threat to win Big Ten?

Jerome Hunter, Trayce Jackson-Davis, Armaan Franklin, Indiana Basketball. (Photo by Emilee Chinn/Getty Images)
Jerome Hunter, Trayce Jackson-Davis, Armaan Franklin, Indiana Basketball. (Photo by Emilee Chinn/Getty Images) /

The Indiana basketball team upset Michigan State on Thursday night for their third straight win over the Spartans. Does this win make them a threat to win the Big Ten?

To say the Big Ten has been crazy this year would be a huge understatement. Outside of Nebraska and Northwestern, any team has proven they can beat just about anyone at home. Until this week when four road teams won, it was almost automatic that the home team would win. In the first weeks of Big Ten play, only seven road teams had won and four of those were against Northwestern or Nebraska.

Because of this, the Big Ten is wide open, but even then it looked like Michigan State was still the favorite. The Spartans, though have lost their last two road games. One by 29 at Purdue and then Thursday night to Indiana.

Those losses and the Hoosiers winning four of their last five has Indiana just one game back of both Illinois and Michigan State for first place in the Big Ten. So does this mean the Hoosiers are a serious threat to win the conference? The Hoosiers still have offensive questions but it isn’t out of the realm of possibility especially this year.

Indiana currently sits at 5-3 in the Big Ten with 12 games left to play. Their schedule is split between road and home games as they play six of both. ESPN predictor currently has the Hoosiers as underdogs in every road game and favorites in every home game except their upcoming game against Maryland who they have already lost to this year.

Based on the way the Big Ten has gone this year, being a favorite at home and underdog on the road is not that unusual. But if the Hoosiers want to compete for a Big Ten title they will have to find a way to win some of those road games.

They do have a win at Nebraska, but again the Cornhuskers are one of the worst teams in the conference so the Hoosiers need to prove they can win away from Bloomington against the better teams.

The Hoosiers did prove Thursday night that they can beat the top of the conference, but they will need to prove it again this weekend when they host the Terrapins. If they can get that win, they will have shown that they can 100% protect their homecourt and can do it against anybody in the conference.

What will set the Hoosiers apart will be the road wins. They still have to travel to Penn State, Ohio State, Michigan, Purdue, Illinois, and Minnesota. They are currently playing better than the Wolverines, Boilermakers, and Buckeyes, but beating them on the road will still be tough.

The fans are still cautiously optimistic about the Hoosier’s chances at a Big Ten title, but with the win against Michigan State, it looks like a definite possibility.

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But in order to come away with a chance, they will probably need to win the rest of their home games and go at least 3-3 on the road, If they can do that we might be talking about the Hoosiers as Big Ten Champions and at the very worst one of the top four seeds in conference tournament.

The Hoosiers are suddenly very much in the mix, but they must continue that against Maryland on Sunday.