Indiana is young, and while many believe they have serious potential, they have yet to really be tested. That'll change starting tonight when the Hoosiers welcome #24 Marquette to Bloomington for their Gavitt Games matchup. In fact, as Zach Osterman of the IndyStar wrote, the Golden Eagles are just the beginning of a nine-game, month-long stretch of difficult games:
That stretch includes a a trip to Bud Walton Arena - one of the toughest places in the country to play - against Arkansas, a visit to #1 Duke, their biennial root canal against in-state rival Butler, and the start of the Big Ten schedule in early December.
However, with that challenge comes opportunity for Indiana's NCAA Tournament hopes. Nearly all of those teams will qualify as quality opponents, when it's all said and done, and wins in any of those games will likely help IU's at-large chances. Also, it'll give the young Hoosiers a chance to cut their teeth and grow before getting into the remaining eighteen games in their Big Ten season.