It is no coincidence that I decided to write this entry the day after Butler and Purdue lost games that, on paper, they shouldn't have lost. Let's begin with the three Hoosier teams involved.

#23 Butler: The Bulldogs have looked far less impressive so far this year than last year. I've only watched two games on television, the Louisville and Evansville games, but a run deep into the tournament doesn't look likely unless there is some serious personal growth between now and March. I do think that they will make the tournament, by virtue of the Horizon League automatic bid.

#8 Purdue: So far, I have been limited to listening to the Purdue Radio network for coverage of the Boilers. They lost to (a pretty good) Richmond in pretty poor fashion on Saturday, but it was their first loss of the season in game number six. My suspicion is that the team, with its short bench, couldn't handle playing two games in two days. Look for the Boilers to finish fourth or so in the Big Ten, and make the NCAAs in March.

Evansville: The Missouri Valley has a new face compared to the 2009-2010 season. Northern Iowa graduated a lot of talent, and they're having a rebuilding year. But the face of the MVC is not the Purple Aces this year, the #10 (and final) pre-season pick in the conference. With those expectations, the Purple Aces look to be in good shape to exceed them. The 3-2 record isn't great, but very few commentators would have expected Evansville to be above 500 after the Butler game. Based on how the MVC is looking right now, UE will probably be a 7th or 8th place team.

Now the other power conference teams.

Indiana: Hoosiers fans on Twitter tried to convince themselves yesterday that they deserved a top 25 ranking by virtue of defeating Evansville last week. Yeah. Not likely. IU might make a little noise in non-conference play, but they aren't going to fare well in the (very tough) Big Ten.

Notre Dame: I've not personally observed any live coverage of the Irish at this point. Their record is good, and they did down Cal on Friday, but the other teams on their early schedule are fluffy. I look for ND to have a tough time in conference play as well, probably finishing 8th or so in the Big East.

Now we're done with the power teams and the power conferences.

Indiana State: The Sycamores seem to have tumbled with the coaching change during the off-season. Their big non-conference test is coming this week against Notre Dame, but should be good enough to finish pretty well in the MVC

Valparaiso: Will probably struggle in the Horizon League. Can't say much more than that at this point.
IPFW & IUPUI: Two mid-pack teams in the Summit League. Yawn.

As far as the wins, almost all the teams in Indiana have 3 or more wins right now, and Butler looks like they might be a .500 team during the non-conference part of their schedule. The prediction that Purdue and Butler will so far outshine the rest of the Indiana teams will be tough to bear because of that.