Indiana Hoosiers vs. Kentucky Wildcats
The Kentucky Wildcats and the Indiana Hoosiers meet in the Sweet 16 for a rematch of their thriller earlier this year with a spot in the Elite Eight going to the winner. The Wildcats are -9 point favorites over the Hoosiers with an over/under point total set at 144.5.
The Kentucky Wildcats have been the number one team in the nation for most of the season and they are the number one overall seed in the NCAA Tournament and thus far John Calipari’s team has shown nothing that would make anyone believe they are undeserving of those distinctions. UK knocked off Western Kentucky in round and then made it look easy against Iowa State in the second round. Against the Cyclones Marquis Teague had 24 points and seven assists, Darius Miller had 19 points and six rebounds, Dorn Lamb had 16 points, and Anthony Davis had 15 points, 12 rebounds, and five assists. As a team the Wildcats shot 55.4 percent from the floor, 50 percent from beyond the three point arc, and 68.2 percent from the free throw line. Over the course of the year Kentucky is 8-1 in neutral site games, 8-2 against teams ranked in the top 25, and they played the 38th ranked schedule in the nation. Despite their loss earlier this season to the Hoosiers the road to the NCAA Championship goes through Kentucky this year.
While it has been clear all season that Indiana is a team on the rebound and are on their way to regaining national prominence but now Tom Crean’s team is just two games away from the Final Four. Indiana had no problem with New Mexico State in their opening round game and then gritted it out against a tough VCU team in round two. Against VCU Cody Zeller had 16 points and 13 rebounds, Christian Watford had 16 points and five rebounds, and Victor Oladipo had nine points and six assists. As a team the Hoosiers shot 52.2 percent from the floor, 46.2 percent from beyond the three point arc, and they hit 81.8 percent of their free throws. Over the course of the year Indiana is 4-1 in neutral site games, 4-5 against teams ranked in the top 25, and they played the 26th ranked schedule in the nation. Indiana has something going for them that no other team left in the tournament does and that is that they have already beaten Kentucky once this year but that isn’t going to make beating them twice any easier.
Kentucky is 5-1 against the spread in their last six games against the Big Ten, 1-4 against the spread in their last five games overall, and 9-4 against the spread in their last 13 NCAA Tournament games as a favorite. Indiana is 8-1 against the spread in their last nine non-conference games, 4-10 against the spread in their last 14 games following a game which they didn’t cover, and 4-1 against the spread in their last five games as an underdog of seven to 12.5 points. The favorite has covered in 11 of the last 13 meetings of these two.
The total is at 144.5 for this one and is going higher but I have this staying under that number. The first meeting went to 145 but both of these teams can play defense and will in this spot.