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The Big 10 could send as many as 10 teams to the NCAA Tournament and the strength of the league will be a major selling point come tourney time. Both of these teams have intentions of playing deep into March, but the Hoosiers have struggled since the calendar turned to 2019, losing eight of their last nine conference games. Can Indiana get back on the winning track at home versus the Buckeyes on Sunday afternoon?
Hoosiers’ NCAA Tournament hopes are on the ropes
Indiana wasn’t unable to keep their momentum going in Big 10 play on Thursday, falling at home to Iowa 77-72. Freshman Romeo Langford scored 22 points, while Juwan Morgan added 17 in a losing effort for the Hoosiers.
Live from postgame https://t.co/RmrKbPISMH
— Indiana Basketball (@IndianaMBB) February 8, 2019
Archie Miller has guided the Hoosiers to a 13-10 overall record and a 4-8 mark in Big 10 play so far this season. Indiana comes into the weekend ranked No. 46 in the latest KenPom rankings after losing eight of their last nine games. ESPN Bracketologist Joe Lunardi has the Hoosier narrowly missing the NCAA Tournament in his latest tourney projections, putting Indiana among his “First Four Out”. The Hoosiers are scoring 109.8 points per 100 possessions (59th in the NCAA) for the season, but they’ve been one of the worst offensive teams in the Big 10, averaging just 96.2 points per 100 possessions during conference play (12th in the Big 10). Indiana sports an effective field goal percentage of only 46.2 percent during league play (11th in the Big 10), while turning the ball over on 17.9 percent of their offensive possessions (10th in the Big 10).
Miller’s squad hasn’t been much better on defense either. Indiana has limited opponents to just 95.0 points per 100 possessions for the year (37th in the NCAA), but that number has jumped to 105.0 points per 100 possessions during conference play (10th in the Big 10).
Buckeyes pegged as a No.9-seed
Ohio State won for the third time in four contests on Thursday, taking down Penn State 74-70 at home behind 20 points from Luther Muhammad. Andre Wesson and CJ Jackson chipped in 15 points apiece for the Buckeyes, who overcame a sloppy 18-turnover performance by shooting 50 percent from beyond the arc and hitting 23 of their 29 free throw attempts on the night.
Chris Holtman’s squad enters Sunday’s matchup ranked No.37 in the latest KenPom rankings following their 5-6 start to the Big 10 season. The Hoosiers are among the last four byes in Joe Lunardi’s latest NCAA Tournament projections, but they will have to find a way to take better care of the basketball if they want to make a deep run in March. The Buckeyes are scoring 111.3 points per 100 possessions for the year (49th in the NCAA) and 102.1 points per 100 possessions during conference play (8th in the Big 10). They have turned the ball over on 20.9 percent of their possessions versus Big 10 opponents (14th in the Big 10), despite playing at one of the slowest paces in the conference.
On defense, Ohio State has surrendered 94.2 points per 100 possessions for the season (31st in the NCAA) and 102.9 points per 100 possessions during conference play (6th in the Big 10).
- Hoosiers are 3-7 ATS in their last 10 home games vs. a team with a winning road record.
- Hoosiers are 2-5 ATS in their last 7 Sunday games.
- Hoosiers are 1-6 ATS in their last 7 vs. Big Ten.
- Buckeyes are 5-15 ATS in their last 20 games vs. a team with a winning straight up record.
- Buckeyes are 2-7 ATS in their last 9 vs. Big Ten.
- Buckeyes are 2-8 ATS in their last 10 games overall.
The Bottom Line What to bet on this game.
Full-Game Side Bet
The home team has covered the spread in six of the last seven meetings in this series. Ohio State has covered the number just twice in the last seven meetings overall and they are 0-4 against the spread in their last four trips to Assembly Hall. Indiana is in desperate need of another quality win and a strong finish to the conference season in order to secure an at-large bid in the NCAA Tournament. Look for Romeo Langford and company to cover the spread at home in this Big 10 battle on Sunday night.
Prediction: Pick: Indiana Hoosiers -2
Full-Game Total Pick
Indiana has gone under the projected total in 10 of their last 12 Sunday games and the under is 27-13-1 in their last 41 games overall. Meanwhile, the Buckeyes have stayed under in four straight road games and five straight road games against a team with a winning record. Take this matchup to stay under the projected total on Sunday night.
Prediction: Under 135