Indiana Hoosiers (15-8; 10-10-1 ATS; 12-9 O/U) vs. #10 Wisconsin Badgers (19-3; 11-8 ATS; 8-11 O/U)
NCAAB: Sunday, February 5, 2017 at 1:00pm EST
Line: Wisconsin -11
The tenth ranked Wisconsin Badgers will host the Indiana Hoosiers in a Big Ten battle Sunday afternoon from the Kohl Center. Indiana is coming off an exciting 110-102 triple overtime win over Penn State, and Wisconsin notched a solid 57-43 road win over Illinois in their latest action. The Badgers defeated the Hoosiers by a 75-68 score earlier this month.
Hoosiers Defeat Penn State in Triple OT Thriller
The Indiana Hoosiers showed great character in their thrilling 110-102 triple overtime victory over Penn State on Tuesday night. The Hoosiers shot a dazzling 52.6% on the night, and out-rebounded the Nittany Lions 56-35 without their leading scorer. Thomas Bryant came up huge with a career-high 31 points along with 11 rebounds. The sophomore center has now scored a combined 54 points over his last two games, and is now averaging 13.2 along with a team-high 7.1 rebounds per game. Robert Johnson also set a new career high with 27 points and 11 rebounds. The junior guard is having a terrific season, sitting second in team scoring with 14.5 points per game, and scored 12 points in the loss to the Badgers earlier this season. The Hoosiers are playing without leading scorer James Blackmon Jr. (17.6 PP) who is out indefinitely with a leg injury, and OG Anunoby who is out for the season. The Hoosiers will need several players to step up as seen in the win over Penn State to overcome the injuries of Blackmon Jr. and Anunoby. The Hoosiers are 5-5 in Big Ten play, and are ranked 41st overall in Ken Pomeroy’s College Basketball Rankings.
Indiana features a potent offense that is now averaging 83 points per game, good for 21st in the Country, and own a 49.3 field goal percentage. The Badgers are conceding an average of 71.9 points per game, placing them 175th overall.
Badgers Defense Shines in Sixth Straight Win
The Wisconsin Badgers dazzled on defense in their 57-43 road win over Illinois on Tuesday night. The Badgers only shot 40% from the field, however they held the Fighting Illini to just 27% shooting. Ethan Happ led the way offensively with 14 points along with 13 rebounds, collecting his eighth double-double of the season. The 6-foot-1 sophomore is playing outstanding basketball right now, shooting 55% or better in four consecutive games, and is now averaging 14.5 points, and is second in the Big Ten with 9.2 rebounds per game. Happ had a huge night in the win over the Hoosiers last month, sinking 19 points on an 8 for 11 mark from the field. Nigel Hayes chipped in with 11 points to go along with eight rebounds in the win on Tuesday night. The senior forward has slowed down bit offensively over his last four games, but is still having a very productive season, averaging 13.3 points per game. The Badgers are locked in right now, riding a six game winning streak behind phenomenal defense. They are now tied for first with Maryland in the Big East standings with an 8-1 conference record.
Wisconsin is scoring an average of 75 points per game, ranking them 149th overall, and are shooting 47% from the field. The Badgers play phenomenal defense, allowing an average of only 59.8 points per game, good for fourth in the Country.
The Indiana Hoosiers are:
- 1-4 ATS in their last 5 games against Wisconsin.
- 0-4-1 ATS in their last 5 road games.
- 0-5-1 ATS in their last 6 road games against a team with a home winning percentage greater than .600.
The Wisconsin Badgers are:
- 5-1 ATS in their last 6 home games against a team with a losing road record.
I am taking Wisconsin in this one. I feel the injury to James Blackmon Jr. (17.6PPG) will be too much for the Hoosiers to overcome especially going against the Badgers stifling defense, and they are also playing without OG Anunoby (11.1 PPG). Wisconsin’s outstanding defesne is only allowing an average of 50 points over their last three games and I can’t see Indiana doing much without their leading scorer. Indiana has not been nearly as productive on the road, averaging only 66 points in their four conference road games, plus they lost by 30 points to Michigan and 13 points to Northwestern in their last two road games, so I think Wisconsin takes this one easily.
Pick: Wisconsin -11
The Badgers have been incredible on defense, holding the opposition to 39.9% shooting, and Indiana is holding teams to a 41.9% mark from the field. I expect to see Wisconsin continue their stifling defense against an Indiana team that had not been nearly as productive offensively on the road, and the under is 5-1 in the Badgers last six games against a team with a road winning percentage below .400. Also, Wisconsin isn’t a high scoring team, and the under is 18-6 in their last 24 games following an ATS win.