INDIANA HOOSIERS (9-0)
vs. BUTLER BULLDOGS (7-2)
Boston Scientific Close the Gap Crossroads Classic Ė Indianapolis, ID
Tip-off: Saturday, 2:00 p.m. ET
Line: Indiana -10.5, Total: 143
Brad Stevens and Butler will get a chance to knock off the nation's No. 1 team as it faces Indiana Saturday afternoon in Indianapolis.
The Hoosiers have lived up to their billing as the countryís top team, especially on the offensive end, where they average 89.1 PPG, the most in the nation. The Bulldogs have two losses to their name, but also own an impressive win against then-No. 9 North Carolina. They also have wins versus major conference foes in Marquette and Northwestern. Both teams have done well against the lines too. Indiana is a dominant 6-1 ATS while Butler is an impressive 5-3 against the lines.
Can Butler put a scare into in-state rival Indiana? For the answer, connect to College Basketball Best Bets for all the Expert picks throughout the entire 2012-13 season. The StatFox experts have a collective 51.1% ATS mark (117-112-6) in college basketball Best Bets for the season, led by StatFox Gary, who is 12-7 ATS (63%) since Nov. 26 and 60% ATS (25-17) for the season. StatFox Dave is at 52% ATS (43-39-2) on the year, helped out by a 5-0 ATS mark over the past six days.
Preseason All-American Cody Zeller (15.4 PPG on 63% FG, 8.9 RPG) leads the Hoosiers on offense, though he has not been quite as dominant as some expected. Heís a terror for defenses though, with his ability to run the floor and man the paint. Victor Oladipo (12.7 PPG, 5.6 RPG) is the teamís second-leading scorer, but he is more dangerous for what he can do on the defensive end. With the length to guard post players and the quickness to cover the perimeter, he is averaging 2.6 SPG. Christian Watford (12.4 PPG, 7.2 RPG) joins Zeller in the post while Will Sheehey (12.1 PPG) and Jordan Hulls (11.9 PPG, 4.0 APG) round out the teamís five double-digit scorers. Hulls will be key for Butler to shut down as the engine of this prolific offense, along with fellow guard Kevin Ferrell (team-high 4.9 APG) who is less of a scoring threat, but still dangerous with the ball, dishing out 44 assists and just 15 turnovers (2.9 ratio).
Butler 6-foot-11 center Andrew Smith (10.4 PPG) has the size to guard Zeller, but heíll need to step up his defense and reboundingóheís averaging just 4.4 RPG despite his size, adding just 0.6 BPG. Rotnei Clarke (17.3 PPG) carries the offensive burden for Stevens and at 6-foot-0, he might be the best pure scorer in the contest. He is hitting an incredible 4.0 threes per game on 45% shooting from deep, something Crean will need to find a way to contain. In his past two games, he is 8-of-12 (67%) from deep. Throw in Khyle Marshall (12.1 PPG, 5.6 RPG) and Kellen Dunham (11.0 PPG, 97% FT) and there is no shortage of offensive weapons on this squad that should be in top form to make this one a national television thriller on a neutral court.