MINNESOTA GOLDEN GOPHERS (15-1)
at INDIANA HOOSIERS (14-1)
Tip-off: Saturday, 12:00 p.m. ET
Line: Indiana -7, Total: 144.5
Two of the top teams in the nation square off on Saturday afternoon when No. 8 Minnesota visits No. 5 Indiana.
Both schools have just one SU loss on the season, while Minnesota is 10-4 ATS (3-0 ATS on road) and Indiana is 9-4 ATS overall, including 7-1 ATS at home. The Golden Gophers are riding an 11-game SU win streak (7-3 ATS) since their lone loss to No. 1 Duke, while the Hoosiers have won five straight (3-2 ATS) since their lone defeat to No. 14 Butler in overtime by two points. These schools have split their past six meetings, with the road team winning both matchups last season.
Which Big Ten powerhouse will come out on top here? 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 11-6 ATS (65%) mark in the past three days, boosting them to 53% ATS (211-190-8) in college basketball Best Bets for the season, led by StatFox Gary, who sits at 60% ATS (50-34) for the season, while Dave is at 54.2% ATS (78-66-3) on the year. StatFox Scott is 51% ATS for the season, after going 4-1 ATS since Monday.
Minnesota has run an efficient offense this season with 76.0 PPG on 47.3% FG (32nd in D-I) and 16.6 APG (23rd in nation). The Gophers have also outrebounded each of their past eight opponents, posting a whopping +13.6 RPG margin during this stretch. Although PF Trevor Mbakwe ranks fifth on the team in scoring (9.3 PPG), he is the Gophers best player, shooting 59% FG and pulling down 7.9 RPG in just 20.1 MPG of action. His minutes have been limited after he tore his ACL last season, but Mbakwe finally logged 30+ minutes in his last game, responding with 19 points and 11 rebounds in an 84-67 victory at No. 12 Illinois. PG Andre Hollins (team highs 13.7 PPG, 3.7 APG and 43.3% threes) was also outstanding against the Illini with 22 points, eight rebounds and six assists. But his offense has been wildly inconsistent during his team's 11-game win streak with four 20-point games with four games of eight points or less. Senior SF Rodney Williams (12.6 PPG, 5.9 RPG) has been much more consistent with at least eight points in 15 of 16 games this season. SG Austin Hollins (10.8 PPG, 38% threes) is starting to heat up with 12.3 PPG on 52% FG (9-of-15 threes) in his past three games. And Hollins was the hero in last year's upset at then-No. 8 Indiana with 18 points on 7-of-10 shooting.
Indiana leads the nation with 87.0 PPG thanks to a 51.1% FG clip (6th in D-I) and 17.3 APG (11th in nation). The Hoosiers also know how to crash the boards with 41.9 RPG (12th in D-I), but they were outrebounded in Monday's 74-51 win at Penn State. Four players scored in double-figures in that victory -- PF Christian Watford (16 points), C Cody Zeller (15 pts), PG Jordan Hulls (14 pts) and SG Victor Oladipo (10 pts). This foursome has been carrying this team all year with Zeller scoring 16.5 PPG on 63% FG and Oladipo pumping in 13.3 PPG on 67.2% FG, good for 8th in the nation. Zeller has scored at least 15 points in seven straight games, averaging 18.1 PPG on 62.1% FG during this run. He also scored 23 points in the home loss to Minnesota last season, but was limited to seven points in the win in Minneapolis. Oladipo, Watford and Hulls all scored 12 points in that 19-point rout over the Gophers last February. Oladipo has scored at least 10 points in 13 straight games (14.5 PPG), while Watford currently has a run of five straight double-digit outputs (14.0 PPG). Hulls is shooting 52.1% (38-of-73) from three-point land this season, and has committed just 18 turnovers in 15 games (1.2 TOPG) spanning 413 minutes (27.5 MPG).