INDIANA HOOSIERS (15-11)
at WISCONSIN BADGERS (22-5)
Kohl Center – Madison, WI
Tip-off: Tuesday, 9:00 p.m. ET
Line: Wisconsin -10
No. 14 Wisconsin is back to playing the style of basketball that helped it get off to a 16-0 start, and will look to continue that at home Tuesday against Indiana.
These two teams played earlier in the season on Jan. 14 in Bloomington, with the 4-point home underdog Hoosiers upsetting the then-No. 3 Badgers, 75-72. Both offenses shot very well in that game, with Indiana knocking down 51.6% FG, while Wisconsin connected on 53.3% FG. This result ended the Badgers' 12-game win streak (10-2 ATS) in this series from 2008 to 2013. But in nine games since that upset, the Hoosiers (12-12-1 ATS overall, 6-6-1 ATS in Big Ten) have been unable to find their offense, averaging 59.7 PPG and failing to surpass 66 points in any of the nine games. Despite the recent offensive woes for the young Indiana team that starts four underclassmen, IU has been competitive for most of the season, with SU wins over the Badgers and Michigan, and ATS wins in close losses at Michigan State and to UConn on a neutral court. Wisconsin (13-12-2 ATS overall, 6-8 ATS in Big Ten) moved up to No. 3 in the polls after starting 16-0, but the loss to Indiana started a 1-5 stretch (SU and ATS) in the next six games. But the Badgers are rolling again with five straight victories (3-2 ATS), including three wins over top-15 teams, with the last two coming as road underdogs at Michigan and at Iowa. But they haven't been a good wager at home, going 5-9-1 ATS in Madison this season. The Hoosiers are 3-4-1 ATS in true road games this season. Both teams have positive betting trends for Tuesday, as Indiana is 11-3 ATS versus good three-point shooting teams (37%+ threes) over the past two seasons, while Wisconsin is 10-1 ATS at home under Bo Ryan when revenging a close loss (3 points or less) versus an opponent.
Can Wisconsin extend its win streak with a double-digit victory on Tuesday night? For the latest college basketball picks, check out The Platinum Sheet for all the StatFox Experts selections every week throughout the entire 2013-14 season. The StatFox Experts have been rolling in college basketball Best Bets this season with a stellar 60% ATS (229-155-13) mark, including a hefty 62% ATS (197-121-7) record since Nov. 23. StatFox Brian is at 68% ATS (52-24-3) in Best Bets for the season, 87% ATS (20-3-2) since Jan. 17 and 73% ATS (45-17-2) since Nov. 26. StatFox Dave is 61% ATS (48-31-1) for the season and 66% ATS (31-16) since Dec. 18, while StatFox Zach is 55% ATS (41-34-4) on Best Bets this season, including 57% ATS (35-27-3) since Nov. 22. StatFox Scott is 58% ATS (45-32-3) for the season and 60% ATS (35-23-3) since Dec. 2, while StatFox Gary is 56% ATS (43-34-2) for the season, and 60% ATS (37-25) since Nov. 29.
Indiana had little trouble scoring in non-conference play with 82.2 PPG, but it has scored a mere 63.6 PPG against Big Ten opponents. For the season, the Hoosiers rank 133rd in the nation in scoring (72.9 PPG), 145th in shooting (44.7% FG) and 292nd in assists (11.1 APG). Indiana's defense is decent though, allowing 66.3 PPG (73rd in Div. I) on an impressive 40.4% FG and 30.4% threes. The biggest strength of this team is the ability to dominate the glass, as the Hoosiers rank 11th in the country in rebounding (40.2 RPG). PG Yogi Ferrell (17.7 PPG, 42% threes, 3.8 APG) has played well in his sophomore campaign, but has not gotten a lot of help from his teammates. Ferrell had a big game in last month's upset over the Badgers, pouring in 25 points and four assists. Freshman PF Noah Vonleh (11.7 PPG, 54% FG, 9.4 RPG, 1.3 BPG) is a balanced scorer, as he can dominate a game in the post while stepping out and hitting the 3-point shot (54% threes). He tallied 10 points, five rebounds and four blocks in the win over Wisconsin last month, but is capable of even more production with a suspect Badgers interior. Senior SF Will Sheehey (10.2 PPG, 4.1 RPG) is a solid role player for the Hoosiers, but is not the type of veteran that can take over a game late by himself. Although he scored 13 points in the win over Wisconsin earlier this season, he has not scored 13 points in any of his past eight games. Freshman SF Troy Williams (6.9 PPG, 4.5 RPG) has shown a lot of promise as well, but like the rest of the team, has been unable to get things going on a consistent level and is a horrendous 3-of-25 from three-point range this season. Another big issue for the Hoosiers is turnovers, as the team commits 15.2 TO per game, which is the 12th-highest number in the nation. They can ill-afford to give the Badgers more scoring opportunities with these miscues.
Wisconsin has posted quality offensive numbers this season at 73.5 PPG (106th in nation) on 45.9% FG (97th in Div. I), including 75+ points in three straight games, shooting 47% FG over this timeframe. And unlike the Hoosiers, one thing the Badgers do a great job of on offense is taking care of the ball, leading the nation with a mere 8.3 turnovers per game. Combine that with its ability to hit long-range shots (37.1% threes) and Wisconsin is able to force defenses to have to play disciplined basketball. This is also a team with great balance, as all five starters scored in double-figures in last month's loss to the Hoosiers, with PG Traevon Jackson (10.6 PPG, 4.0 APG, 3.8 RPG) leading the way with 21 points on 9-of-11 shooting (3-of-5 threes). The Badgers have a nice blend of inside-outside scoring threats, led by SF Sam Dekker (13.5 PPG, 6.3 RPG, 1.4 APG) and C Frank Kaminsky (13.5 PPG, 6.3 RPG). These two do a great job of playing together and picking out where the mismatch is. With Kaminsky's ability to hit the outside shot, it allows Dekker to go down into the post where he uses his size and athleticism to finish over smaller defenders. Jackson and SG Ben Brust (12.6 PPG, 37% threes, 4.8 RPG) complement the inside threat with solid play on the perimeter. SG Josh Gasser (9.0 PPG, 46% threes, 3.9 RPG) is the best shooter on the team, and can get rolling from the outside like in the past two games where he's drained 7-of-9 threes. Gasser is able to hit the wide-open shot, but can also score with a defender in his face. Wisconsin is rounding into post-season form, and has the ability to make a deep run.