The gift of pure madness seems to be coming early this March, as the NCAA Tournament presents a dream matchup between the Kentucky Wildcats and the Indiana Hoosiers in arguably the biggest game of the Round of 32 matchups. From star-studded line-ups to intriguing player vs. player matchups, this game has it all, and that is before we even start to talk about the thrilling coaching encounter served by this showdown. So without further ado, let’s get the ball rolling with this tip-off analysis that includes a free NCAA basketball pick for all betting enthusiasts.
Indiana vs. Kentucky College Basketball Odds and Betting Pick
Why Pick Kentucky in the NCAAB Lines
Coach John Calipari went berserk when the Selection Sunday committee announced that his team would be a fourth-seed, but after watching the No. 2 seed Michigan State get stunned by the No. 15-seed Middle Tennessee in one of the biggest upsets of the March Madness history, the Kentucky coach will probably be happy that his team ended up facing Stony Brook, whom they dismantled to the tune of 85-57.
The bad news, however, for Calipari and his team is that they now have to face the dangerous Hoosiers in a win-or-go-home match this Saturday, presenting the Wildcats with a hellish task. It’s not that the Wildcats are lacking in talent, it is that these two fierce rivals haven’t faced each other in four years, so we can’t really use their stale history to analyze the game. But if you must ask, Kentucky did beat Indiana in the NCAA Tournament when the two teams met last, with the Wildcats going all the way to win the national title that year, something that is likely to motivate Kentucky (27-8, 19-16-0 ATS) to strive for more of the same this Saturday. After all, this is a team that jointly won the SEC regular season title, before going on to claim the SEC Tournament title, showing a lot championship poise in the process.
Why Pick Indiana in the NCAAB Lines
Like Kentucky, the Hoosiers won their regular season conference (in outright fashion), and the manner in which they stifled down their Big Ten competitors down the regular season was nothing short of class. In the Big Ten Tournament, Indiana didn’t fare that well, but it bounced back with a statement 99-74 romp over Chattanooga on Thursday. Like the Wildcats, you can therefore say they Hoosiers (26-7 SU, 18-15-0 ATS) are coming into this game oozing with confidence, hence setting up a dare-not-miss encounter. And although the Wildcats won the last meeting in 2012 between these two teams, the previous meeting before that saw the Hoosiers beat a No. 1-ranked Kentucky team in 2011 via a thrilling buzzer-beating shot. Indiana will therefore feel equally buoyed to step up to the big stage for a chance to claim an all-important win that would take them to the Sweet 16.
NCAAB Pick and Predictions
Both teams have impressive rosters and, on a good day, both teams can be extremely dangerous, as was exemplified by their first round wins. That being said, you can’t help but notice that Kentucky has been more impressive recently, winning their last five straight games as compared to Indiana’s four wins in the last five games. So, although I wouldn’t discount an upset from Indiana, my expectation is that the Wildcats will play well enough to claim the win plus the game’s three cheap points in the ATS lines.
Kentucky Wildcats 81, Indiana Hoosiers 77