Michigan & Indiana Collide In Tight NCAA Conference Tournament Match

Charles Stark

Friday, March 11, 2016 12:46 PM GMT

Friday, Mar. 11, 2016 12:46 PM GMT

Earlier in the year Indiana handled Michigan easily yet the NCAA basketball odds boards have made this a close line. Will Indiana continue to roll its way to a Big Ten tournament championship?

The NCAA basketball odds boards have made Indiana a -6.5 favorite like at 5Dimes -105. This is a very interesting line considering the Hoosiers beat the Wolverines by double digits at Michigan earlier this season. For one of my NCAA basketball picks I'm going to back Michigan plus the points and look for them to take this game to the wire.

 

Michigan Wolverines
Michigan averages 75.1 points per game and ranks 12th in the country averaging 9.9 three-pointers made per game. What really jumps out at me on the line for this game is the fact that the Wolverines barely escaped a pretty poor Northwestern team and this line simply looks off. On closer examination though when we break down the matchups Michigan actually has a good shot to hang right in with Indiana until the final buzzer.

In their first matchup this season although Indiana beat them handedly by double digits it was more because they were really hot in the first half. Michigan came out the second half and outscored the Hoosiers 43-35 and up and down the stat sheet there wasn't a lot of disparity. This team is very efficient offensively and rank 10th and 13th in the country in effective field-goal percentage and shooting efficiency respectively. They also shoot just over 39% from distance which ranks 19th in the country. Don't sleep on the Wolverines they actually have a shot to pull the upset.

 

Indiana Hoosiers
Indiana averages 82.7 points per game which ranks 10th in the country and rank third at +13.9 in average scoring margin. It has been a tremendous year for the Hoosiers and I love what Tom Crean has done with his team to get them back to close to a elite status. Offensively they are one of the best in the country and rank first and second in shooting efficiency and effective field-goal percentage respectively. Across the board percentagewise they rank in the top five in the country from overall shooting to three point shooting percentage, this team can flat-out score.

However, on the defensive side they still have a lot of work to do and although their statistics are better than last year they still rank in the middle of NCAA basketball in most defensive categories. On closer look, as mentioned, these team match up rather well.  Defensively the Hoosiers allow opponents to shoot 44.1% from the field which is comparable to Michigan who allows 44.9%. As well, while Indiana allows opponents 25.6 field goals made per game, the Wolverines allow 25 field goals per game. Up and down the stat sheet this is what we find is that these teams are actually a lot more even than people may realize.  Expect a tight contest until the final buzzer.

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NCAA Basketball Pick: Michigan +6.5
Best Line Offered: at Bookmaker

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