Rogers' 10* NCAAB GAME OF THE DAY >> $10,500 in Hoops!
Wisconsin vs. Indiana,
01/03/2017 19:00 EDT,
Score: 75 - 68
Point Spread: 0/-106 Indiana
The set-up: Indiana began its season with an OT win over preseason No. 3 Kansas at Pearl Harbor and not too long ago, the Hoosiers were burying opponents with a barrage of three-pointers and ascending to a No. 3 ranking, themselves. However, head coach Tom Crean's team is teetering on the brink of being unranked (came in No. 25 in Monday’s AP poll), after back-to-back losses, including a 77-62 ‘spanking’ delivered by Louisville in Saturday's Countdown Classic at Bankers Life Fieldhouse in Indianapolis. Wisconsin was ranked 9th in the preseason poll (Hoosiers were 11th) and have pretty much played according to form, entering this game 10-2 and ranked 13th in Monday’s poll.
Wisconsin: The Badgers will take eight-game winning streak into Simon Skjodt Assembly Hall. The Badgers have always been known for their defense and it’s no different this season, as Wisconsin comes in allowing 58.8 PPG, 8th-best in the nation. Two seniors are leading the way for Wisky, guard Bronson Koenig averages 14.1 PPG and 6-7 forward Nigel Hayes is at 14.0 PPG and 5.8 RPG. 6-10 sophomore Ethan Haps has averaged 12.7 & 9.6, giving Wisconsin a potent trio of players. Badgers head coach Greg Guard assumed control of the Badgers when Bo Ryan quit early last season and this is his first full season on the job but so far, Wisconsin hasn’t missed a beat. The Badgers opened conference play with a 72-52 home win over Rutgers.
Indiana: In stark contrast, the Hoosiers opened Big Ten play with an 87-84 home setback to Nebraska, as a 14-point favorite. Indiana followed that game by getting thumped by Louisville (see above). 6-5 guard Blackmon (17.3 & 5.8) leads the Hoosiers and junior guard Robert Johnson checks in averaging 13.8 & 4.1. However, after being the team's hottest shooter a week ago, he went 1-of-13 in the game against the Cardinals. Up front, it’s the 6-8 Anunoby (12.2 & 6.2) and 6-10 center Bryant (12.1 & 7.6.0).
The pick: This will be offense (Indiana averages 86.5 PPG to rank 13th on 49.8% shooting, which ranks 15th), against that tough Wisconsin D. The Hoosiers can’t afford another home loss after that shocker to Nebraska, which ended the school's 26-game home winning streak. Indiana is 9-1 SU at home this season and averaging 90.0 PPG, so I expect a bounce back. Both of Wisconsin’s losses this year have come against ranked opponents (at Creighton and in Maui against North Carolina) and I expect a third loss to a ranked opponent, here. Make Indiana a 10* play.