The Indiana Hoosiers (27-8) and Kentucky Wildcats (34-2) will meet up for the second time during the 2011-12 campaign in the Sweet 16 of the South Region Friday night inside the Georgia Dome in Atlanta.
Indiana Hoosiers vs. Kentucky Wildcats
Indiana has won seven of its last 10 games and owns four wins against teams that made the Sweet 16 round during the 2011-12 season. The Hoosiers captured wins over the New Mexico State Aggies and VCU Rams to earn the right to take on the nation’s top-ranked team. “I feel like we’re playing with a lot more confidence that we were playing with back then,” commented Hoosiers forward Christian Watford. He is obviously referring to the program’s 73-72 upset win over tonight’s opponent as 5.5-point home underdogs on Dec. 10. Indiana is 6-3 ATS as an underdog and the “under” is 7-2 in those contests.
The Hoosiers run in the tournament will likely end in the Sweet 16, but they should be proud of their two victories due to playing in the event for the first time since 2008. Indiana is 62-30 all-time and is making its 36th overall appearance in the Big Dance. Offensively, the team leads the Big Ten Conference in averaging 76.9 points per game, while ranking second nationally in shooting 43.7 percent from beyond the arc. Freshman forward Cody Zeller is certainly the player to watch in averaging a team-high 15.5 points.
Kentucky has won comfortably in its first two games of the event and also gone “over” the total in each contest. The Wildcats are 107-46 in the NCAA tournament and 3-2 when playing in Atlanta. “You’re suppose to win every game by 25,” commented Wildcats head coach John Calipari about the expectations surrounding his talented roster. There’s no question that the nation’s leading defense in terms of field-goal percentage will be looking to hold the Hoosiers to 67 points or less, as the program is 76-1 under Calipari when doing so. Kentucky is 0-4 ATS this season when playing with five or six days of rest.
The Wildcats have four starters that average in double figures offensively, with freshman sensation Anthony Davis leading the way in scoring 14.3 points per game. He also leads the entire country in averaging 4.6 blocked shots a contest. Kentucky is 32-11 in regional semifinal games and 17-5 in the Sweet 16 which began in 1975. The program is 96-57 when taking on the Big Ten overall and 15-11 in this event.
Bettors will likely back the Hoosiers due to their 4-1 ATS mark as an underdog of 7.0 to 12.5 points, while the Wildcats are 1-11-1 ATS in their last 13 non-conference games.
Recommendation: Indiana Hoosiers +9.5
310 total views, 2 views today