Kentucky and Indiana stormed into the second round of the NCAA Tournament on Thursday, recording emphatic victories over Stony Brook and Chattanooga respectively. The Wildcats and the Hoosiers will look to sustain the momentum of those huge wins when they square off this coming Saturday in a mouth-watering round-of-32 showdown at Wells Fargo Arena.
Read on below for a preview of this East Regional matchup and while you’re at it, you can check out our second-round previews of No. 4 Duke vs. No. 12 Yale and No. 1 North Carolina vs. No. 9 Providence.
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March Madness No. 4 Kentucky vs. No. 5 Indiana Preview
Where: Wells Fargo Arena, Des Moines
When: Saturday, March 19, 5:15 PM ET
Line: Kentucky Wildcats vs. Indiana Hoosiers – view all March Madness lines
TV Broadcast: CBS
Betting on the Kentucky Wildcats
Kentucky’s quest for a ninth national championship is off to a solid start after trouncing the Stony Brook Seawolves, 85-57, in the Round of 64 on Thursday. It was a dominating performance by the Wildcats who extended their winning streak to six games.
We can talk all we want about Kentucky’s offensive firepower but it was really the Wildcats’ effort on the defensive end that swung the game in their favor. The Wildcats held the Seawolves to just 20-of-76 shooting from the field on Thursday. That’s quite an accomplishment for Kentucky considering Stony Brook was shooting 47.6 percent from the floor prior to that contest. To illustrate further Kentucky’s dominance on that side of the floor, the Wildcats blocked a whopping 15 shots, an NCAA Tournament record.
The Wildcats will need that same kind of defensive intensity if they are to beat Indiana this coming Saturday. The Hoosiers are fifth in the nation in adjusted offensive efficiency, scoring 119.9 points per 100 possessions this season.
Kentucky is 8-2 SU and 7-3 ATS in its last 10 games.
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Betting on the Indiana Hoosiers
Indiana barged into the second round of the national tournament with a resounding 99-74 win over No. 12 Chattanooga on Thursday. It was a morale-boosting victory for the Hoosiers who dodged the 5-12 danger that eliminated Big Ten rival Purdue and Baylor earlier in the day.
Indiana was sizzling from the field the entire game, nailing 37 of its 57 field goal attempts for an incredible 64.9 percent clip. The Hoosiers were impressive as well on the defensive end as they held the Mocs to just 3-of-17 shooting from beyond the arc.
To no one’s surprise, it was Yogi Ferrell who stole the show for the Hoosiers in the win against the Mocs. He scored 20 points and dished out a career-high 10 assists as he dissected time and again the Chattanooga defense. The Hoosiers finished plus-29 with Ferrell on the floor. He has been magnificent for the Hoosiers this season, leading the team not only in scoring (17.0 PPG), but also in assists (5.5 APG) and steals (1.2 SPG) as well.
Things are bound to get tougher, though, for Ferrell and co. as standing in their way in the round of 32 are the talented Kentucky Wildcats. Kentucky enters the clash boasting the most efficient offense in the country. According to Pomeroy College Basketball Ratings, Kentucky has an adjusted rating of 122.1 points per 100 possessions.
That won’t faze the Hoosiers, though, who also possess one of the nation’s best offenses. Indiana is 11th in Division I in scoring, averaging 82.3 points per game this season. The Hoosiers are third in the nation in field goal percentage, shooting at a high 50.1 percent clip this campaign.
The Hoosiers are 7-3 SU and 6-4 ATS in their last 10 games.
Kentucky ekes past Indiana, 70-68.