Sunday, January 15, 2012

Hoops Preview: IU at OSU

Tom Creen may not be Normal Dale, but the Hoosier faithful are starting to believe.

It looked like SEC Guy had so much fun doing a hoops preview, I thought I'd try my hand at it. And considering he lost you money, I'll do what I always do with these guys and try and make things right.

The Who, When and Where:
(7) Indiana Hoosiers (15-2, 3-2 B1G) @ (5) Ohio State Buckeyes (15-3, 3-2 B1G). Sunday, January 15, 2012 at 4:30 p.m. ET on CBS. Value City Arena, Columbus, OH.

Matchup Breakdown:
The Big Ten is the best basketball conference in the land this year. They proved it by defeating the ACC in the B1G - ACC challenge, again, this season. Also consider that these two teams are ranked in the top ten but are fourth and second, respectively, in the conference. Bottom line, it's a monster conference and a national matchup. The beauty is this is their second match in 5 games. I guess it's kind of like ripping off a band aid; get it over quick!

In looking at the four factors, I'm not surprised the game was so close. At the end of the day it came down to turn overs. Indiana maximized it's possessions by not turning the ball over and that margin gave them the extra possession to win the game. And that is how a Tom Creen team wins. They play crazy ass tough defense and force you to make mistakes in the half court. If OSU wants to win today, Craft, Smith Jr. and Buford have to take care of the ball this time around. In the first match up OSU was way over it's TO% average (24.3% vs 17.2% avg).

The TO% is important but for me this game is about the OSU bench. In the first matchup the OSU's bench was dominated by the Hoosiers. The Hoosiers didn't go very deep in that game, and the OSU bench couldn't match up with the Hoosier's starters. If Thad Matta wants to use them, they simply have to be more productive when they are on the floor.

Irreverent (Irrelevant?) Considerations:
It's no secret that I am a Michigan fan. Therefore I loathe the Buckeyes. Even typing their name makes me cringe. Add to that I was in Minneapolis when Marquette, Dwayne Wade and Stephan Jackson upset Kentucky to go to the Final Four. If you were there and not a Kentucky fan, you were a Marquette fan. Since then I've had a little basketball crush on Tom Creen. So I lean Indiana in this one.

This is for you Logan and Halsted!

Vegas Baby, Vegas!:
OSU is a 12.5 point favorite in this game, which grew from 12. The current O/U is 134.5. As you can see the line hasn't done much. And I get that OSU is favored as they are undefeated at home. Because in the B1G this year, home court advantage is huge. I still think 12.5 is too many points for a sharp shooting team like IU.

Productive Sweatpants Pick:
Like I said, the B1G is tough this year and loaded with talented teams. And those teams play really tough at home. Even the unranked teams defend home court, look at Northwestern and Iowa yesterday. Despite the fact that IU beat OSU in the first match up, I think until proven otherwise, you have to take the home team in any B1G game. So I'm picking OSU to win, but not cover. OSU 79-70

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