MICHIGAN WOLVERINES (20-1)
at INDIANA HOOSIERS (19-2)
Assembly Hall - Bloomington, IN
Tip-off: Saturday, 9:00 p.m. ET
Line: Indiana -4.5, Total: 143
The game of the season in college basketball takes place Saturday night at Assembly Hall when No. 1 Michigan visits No. 3 Indiana.
Since their lone loss of the season at Ohio State, the Wolverines have ripped off four straight wins by an average of 14.8 PPG, shooting 49% or better in all four victories. The Hoosiers have also won four in a row, but are just 1-5 ATS in their past six games. However, they are coming off a 97-60 drilling at rival Purdue on Wednesday. These schools have incredibly alternated wins and losses in each of their past 10 meetings, with Indiana holding a slight 6-4 ATS advantage during this pattern.
Who will win this true marquee matchup on Saturday night? For the answer, connect to College Basketball Best Bets for all the Expert picks throughout the entire 2012-13 season. StatFox Dave was a perfect 5-0 ATS on Best Bets Thursday and Friday, giving him a 10-3 ATS (77%) mark in the past five days and 54% ATS (109-93-3) for the season. StatFox Gary is 4-1 ATS (80%) in his past three days of Best Bets, boosting his season record to 56% ATS (67-53-1).
It's no fluke that Michigan is the No. 1 team in the nation. The Wolverines commit the fewest fouls in the country (11.8 per game) and have the second-fewest turnovers in Division-I (9.4 TOPG). They also take good shots, ranking third in the nation in FG Pct. (51.0%), including a 40.8% clip from downtown (5th-best in D-I). Guards Trey Burke (17.9 PPG, 7.1 APG) and Tim Hardaway Jr. (15.5 PPG, 5.0 RPG) not only lead the team in scoring, but also make 50% FG and 48% FG, respectively. Burke ranks second in the nation in Ast/TO ratio at 3.85 and shoots 78% from the free-throw line. He made just 4-of-15 shots in the loss at Assembly Hall last season, but had seven rebounds and eight assists that game. He then scored 18 points with four rebounds and four assists in the home victory over Indiana last February. Hardaway shot terribly in the series versus IU last season (11-for-33 FG, 2-of-15 threes), but has made 12-of-17 FG (6-of-9 threes) in his past two road games. Freshman SF Nik Stauskas (12.6 PPG, 50% FG) has quickly established himself as one of the best long-range shooters in the country at 49.5% from three-point range, the second-highest mark in the nation. And since getting shut out in the loss at Ohio State, Stauskas has scored at least 11 points in each of the past four games. Fellow freshman F Glenn Robinson III (12.1 PPG, 5.8 RPG) has been outstanding in the past three games with 12.3 PPG on 16-of-21 FG (76%) and 6.0 RPG. Another freshman, PF Mitch McGary (5.6 PPG, 6.0 RPG) has done a great job on the boards, pulling down 19 rebounds in just 31 minutes in his past two games. With PF Jordan Morgan (6.4 PPG, 5.2 RPG) questionable for this game with a sprained right ankle, both Robinson and McGary will need to throw their weight around inside.
Indiana boasts the highest-scoring offense in the entire country with 84.0 PPG, while giving up just 60.4 PPG for a nation's-best 23.5 PPG scoring margin. Like Michigan, the Hoosiers are very smart and take high-percentage shots, making 50.0% FG (5th in D-I) and 42.3% from three-point range (3rd in nation). The Hoosiers allow just 37.4% FG (12th in nation) and do a great job cleaning up the glass with a +10.2 RPG margin (3rd in D-I). They will look to exploit their height advantage on Saturday with C Cody Zeller (16.1 PPG, 8.2 RPG) and PF Christian Watford (12.9 PPG, 6.5 RPG). Zeller posted his third double-double in the past five games Wednesday when he had 19 points and 11 rebounds in just 25 minutes at Purdue. Zeller also scored 18 points on 8-of-10 FG in the home win over Michigan last season and tallied a double-double (11 pts, 12 reb) in the loss at Ann Arbor. Watford has scored in double-figures in 11 straight games, and produced 25 points (8-of-11 FG) with seven rebounds in last season's home win over Michigan. PG Jordan Hulls (11.1 PPG, 3.3 APG) has been slumping in his past five games (9.4 PPG on 39% FG), but he scored 18 points (4-of-5 threes) with five assists in last February's loss in Ann Arbor. SG Victor Oladipo (14.0 PPG, 6.0 RPG, 2.5 SPG) is shooting an incredible 65.5% FG (8th in nation) and 53% (18-of-34) from three-point range for the season. He is hoping to be a much bigger offensive factor on Saturday than he was against the Wolverines last season when he scored just 11 points on 5-of-17 FG in the two meetings combined. SF Will Sheehey (10.2 PPG, 42% threes) has caught fire in the past three games, making 10-of-15 FG and 5-of-6 threes, and freshman PG Kevin "Yogi" Ferrell (7.4 PPG, 4.5 APG) has also stepped up his offense in the past three games with 12.3 PPG on 14-of-22 FG (64%).