BLOOMINGTON, Ind. — Kyle Boone from CBSSports.com takes a lot of pride in his analysis of the Associated Press Top-25 college basketball poll, and he doesn’t mind patting himself on the back for calling out three teams that he said were overrated in the first poll of the year.
This year, he’s doing the same thing — and has No. 13-ranked Indiana on his list of overrated teams.
“Someone has to step up in the Big Ten this season and there is no clear and obvious pick, hence an unusual amount of preseason Hoosiers love,” Boone wrote. “While Indiana might very well be the best of the league, No. 13 in the AP poll feels extremely generous. Yes, Trayce-Jackson Davis is back, as are most of the team’s starters. (Plus, freshman Jalen Hood Schifino has star potential.)
“But this team just narrowly made the NCAA Tournament last season as a 12 seed. Expecting them to make the leap to No. 1 in the Big Ten is quite the ask. It’s much more likely IU finishes the season unranked than it finishes as the winner of the Big Ten.”
Boone’s other two overrated teams are actually on Indiana’s schedule. He also thinks that No. 1 North Carolina and No. 5 Kansas are getting far too much love too after meeting in the NCAA championship game last year. (Kansas won.) Indiana plays North Carolina in Bloomington on Nov. 30 as part of the ACC/Big Ten Challenge and plays at Kansas on Dec. 17.
Here’s what Boone said about UNC: “Like UCLA last year, the magical NCAA Tournament run it is coming off of has skewed the reality of what it really was last season: which was a just-OK team that got really hot end of year. Remember: UNC at one point last season didn’t even look like it’d be a tourney team. It had to catch fire down the stretch and eventually got in as a No. 8 seed. The return of four of five starters from its NCAA runner-up roster makes UNC an easy pick here, but UCLA’s similar trajectory over the last two years should serve as a cautionary tale for the Tar Heels and expectations surrounding them this season.
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And on Kansas, he thinks they’ve lost far too much talent off of last year’s title team to be considered a top-five team.
KU lost not only Final Four MOP Ochai Agbaji (and the real Final Four MOP, David McCormack), but also Christian Braun and Remy Martin. It has some nice incoming pieces led by Gradey Dick and Texas tech transfer Kevin McCullar, but I’ m not convinced this is definitely a top-two team in the Big 12 — much less a top-five team nationally.”
Preseason polls are great for conversation and they create the fodder for excellent October stories. Just because Boone was right about UCLA, Kentucky and Oregon last year doesn’t mean he’ll be right this year.
I do think Indiana is the best team in the Big Ten this year, and have a very good shot at winning the league title for the first time since 2016. There are plenty of challengers, so it’s not a lock for sure.
But where Boone is wrong is that Indiana won’t even be ranked at the end of the year. Unless there are major injury issues, I’m very confident that the Hoosiers will be ranked all year.
Related stories on Indiana basketball
- HOOSIERS NO. 13 IN FIRST AP POLL: For the first time since the 2016-17 season, the Indiana men’s basketball team has landed on the Preseason Associated Press Poll at No. 13. CLICK HERE
- INDIANA RANKS NO. 12 IN KENPOM RANKINGS Indiana seems to be the consensus pick as the best basketball team in the Big Ten this season, and that’s been validated again with the first release of the 2022-23 Kenpom rankings. The Hoosiers are ranked No. 12, best in the conference, with Iowa next way down at No. 23. Here are the complete rankings for all Big Ten teams, plus Indiana’s 11 nonconference foes as well. CLICK HERE
- INDIANA-KENTUCKY SERIES GAINS MOMENTUM Indiana basketball coach Mike Woodson has pushed for annual series with Kentucky and John Calipari, and recent reports show that could be coming soon. CLICK HERE
- TOM BREW COLUMN: For the first time in a long time, Indiana is projected to win the Big Ten title and make a long NCAA tournament run. That’s foreign territory for this current group of Hoosiers, and handling all of these lofty expectations will be a challenge to embrace. CLICK HERE