NCAA Basketball Picks for Northwestern vs. Indiana in Big Ten Tournament

Joe Gavazzi

Thursday, March 12, 2015 12:44 PM GMT

Our expert NCAA Basketball handicapper explores this matchup between Northwestern and Indiana, while giving his free pick and his reasoning behind it.

Northwestern vs. Indiana (-4) 6:30 ET ESPN2
At 6:30 pm ET, No. 10 seed Northwestern will face off with No. 7 seed Indiana for the right to advance to the Quarter Final Round on Friday.   In an earlier matchup this year, Northwestern prevailed by a count of 72-65 on their home court in Evanston, IL.  Each team enters with ample motivation for victory.  At 15-16 SU, victories in their next two games would assure Northwestern a place in the NIT.  For Indiana, a promising beginning has faded with a recent 0-3 SU ATS slide, returning the Hoosiers to “the bubble.”  This game will be a battle of tempo and pace. Northwestern, the less athletic team and currently listed as underdogs on the NCAA Basketball odds, will look to control the flow with their zone defense and patient offense.  Go-go Indiana prefers to make this an up-tempo game in the open court, taking advantage of their outstanding 3 point shooting.  The Hoosiers knock down 41% from behind the arc, making 9.4 triples per game.  In that regard, the Northwestern defense is vulnerable, allowing 38% of their opponent’s 3 point shots to find the bottom of the net. 

Click Here for Another Capper's Pick on This Matchup

Under 2nd year HC Chris Collins, the former Duke player and Asst. Coach, the Wildcats look to continue their uptick which sees them enter on a 5-2 SU ATS run, since losing 10 consecutive games through February 10th that dropped them to 10-14 SU, 1-10 ATS in the league.  Much of their momentum, however, has been broken when they were walloped 69-52 at Iowa in a game against another team in the upper echelon in Big 10 play.  In fact, playing away from Welch-Ryan Arena has been an issue for this Northwestern team, who when playing the upper echelon of the Big 10 has sustained losses of 7 at Michigan St., 1 at Maryland, 15 at Wisconsin, 26 at Illinois and 17 at Iowa.  All but one of those results gets us the money today.

 

After defeating Rutgers (84-54) February 22nd, Indiana was 19-9 SU for the season, 9-6 SU in Big 10 play. They looked like a lock for the NCAA Tournament, but a 72-65 loss to these Northwestern Wildcats, followed by home losses of 14 to Iowa and 2 to Michigan St., leaves them clearly on the bubble. This game is vital to their NCAA hopes.  There is no question that Indiana has the superior talent, as well as the ability to bust this game wide open with an onslaught of 3 pointers against the Northwestern zone defense.  Should that happen, the Wildcats will be hard pressed to catch up!

 

Final solidifying factor in the selection is Conference Tournament revenge for a single defeat to a foe in the regular season.  In fact, teams playing in their CCT, with single revenge, as a single digit favorite, as the better seeded team are an over 75% ATS proposition, if they are playing off a loss with 4 or more days rest against a foe who failed as underdog in their final regular season game.  For your NCAA Basketball picks, lay it with Indiana to remain an NCAA contention and advance to the next round.

NCAA Basketball Pick: Take Indiana at 5Dimes

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