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For Indiana right now, it’s not so much whether the Hoosiers will make the NCAA Tournament, but it’s about what seed they’ll be, and that says a lot about how much progress it has made under first-year coach Mike Woodson.

No longer is Indiana an also-ran in the Big Ten, as it had become — unfortunately — under the direction of Archie Miller. Instead, Woodson has the Hoosiers playing in the top half of the Big Ten, with a 16-6 overall record, including 7-5 in the Big Ten. Especially at home, where Indiana has won  13 of 15 games, the Hoosiers have proven to be a difficult team to topple. Just ask ranked visitors like Purdue and Ohio State, who each went to Bloomington and lost.

Thanks to the stellar play of All-America forward Trayce Jackson-Davis and a defense that has embraced rugged Big Ten physicality, the Hoosiers are likely an NCAA Tournament team, a goal they might have hoped for before the season but was far from a guarantee.

As IU hits the last month of its regular season, let’s take a look at where the Hoosiers stand in the Big Ten — and nationally — with the NCAA Tournament right around the corner.

What’s worked?

The Hoosiers have fully bought in to what Woodson is selling.

IU has played an old-school style of Big Ten hoops, clamping down on defense and making other teams have to earn every point. The Hoosiers lead the league in points allowed (63.5) and field goal percentage (37.7) and are 5th in opponents’ 3-point percentage (31.3). Point being, nothing much comes easy for IU’s opponents. In Indiana’s home win against then-No. 4 Purdue, for example, the Hoosiers held the Boilermakers, one of the top offensive teams in the nation, to only 65 points and scored 15 points off 12 turnovers.

The mid-January game was the biggest win of the season, but there’ve been others, too. IU upended then-No. 16 Ohio State — by 16 points — at home 2 weeks earlier, and has scored wins on the road, an accomplishment that would be key to their NCAA résumé.

The occasional foul trouble aside (like in the win over Purdue and in the recent loss to Illinois), Jackson-Davis has been fantastic, averaging 17.8 points and 8.4 rebounds per game, with 57 blocks. But that was to be expected. What’s helped Indiana is the emergence of players like Xavier Johnson, who after a rough start to the season has settled into a role as the Hoosiers’ offensive and defensive tone-setter at the point. The transfer has averaged 10.6 points, has a 2-to-1 assist-to-turnover ratio and has a team-high 24 steals.

But more than individual players or Xs and Os, the Hoosiers are playing with a swagger once again, a confidence that they can beat anyone in the Big Ten on any given night. That’s a credit to Woodson, whose steady presence has brought legitimacy again to Bloomington.

What hasn’t worked?

While Indiana’s defense has been stellar, its offensive production has been iffy, and that’s left the Hoosiers with a razor-thin margin for error.

IU can’t afford an off-night on the defensive end, as it had vs. Michigan a few days after the upset win over Purdue, because it’s simply not capable of engaging in — and winning — a track meet. In its 12 conference games, the Hoosiers are averaging only 67.2 points per game (12th in the Big Ten), while hitting only 32.7-percent of their 3-pointers, which is 10th in the conference.

Although it’s undersized when compared to some of the others in the Big Ten, Indiana’s frontcourt has experienced a great season, with Jackson-Davis and running mate Race Thompson. But the Hoosiers lack a dynamic backcourt scorer, one who can either consistently shoot from the perimeter or can create his own shot, or can do both.

Jackson-Davis has found himself in foul trouble at times too this season, mainly because he’s tasked — on a near nightly basis — of banging with bigs who are bigger than him. It didn’t hurt vs. Purdue, as guard Rob Phinisee came off the bench to nuke his hometown team, but it did vs. Illinois. Kofi Cockburn burned Jackson-Davis and the rest of the Hoosiers’ post players as Illini earned a victory in Assembly Hall.

Indiana has been only so-so on the road, with a 2-4 record, and the wins came against Nebraska and Maryland, 2 of the worst in the Big Ten. If IU really wanted to pad its NCAA résumé, it’d score a Quad 1 road victory in the final month of the season.

The month ahead

Speaking of the road …

Of the Hoosiers’ 8 remaining regular-season games, 5 are on the road, starting with tonight’s contest at Northwestern. If IU can find a way to win at least 3 (vs. NU, Michigan State, Ohio State, Minnesota and Purdue), then it’d go a long way toward locking in the NCAA bid. Not that the home games (Wisconsin, Maryland and Rutgers) are cakewalks.

But IU has lined itself up for a strong conference finish. If Indiana can finish the Big Ten 5-3 in this final month, then a 12-win conference slate would represent a strong debut season for Woodson and Co.

Postseason prediction

It’s probably a safe bet to pencil in Indiana as an NCAA Tournament team, likely anywhere from a 6 to 9 seed depending on how it finishes up the final month.

In his latest bracketology on ESPN, Joe Lunardi has the Hoosiers as the 7 seed in the Midwest Region, taking on No. 10 San Francisco in the First Round in San Diego. Indiana would likely get No. 2-seed UCLA, a Bruins’ team that has shown some vulnerability, in the Round 2.

It’s not unreasonable to think IU could get into the Sweet 16, even though the Hoosiers are likely to be an underdog in the second round of the NCAAs. Defensive will keep them in most games, and if they hit shots, then they could knock off a higher seed. But getting through the second weekend, when opponents will have greater talent and more depth, is probably not in the picture.