Game Info / How to Watch:
Who? Indiana Hoosiers (15-11 (5-8), #49 KenPom) vs. Minnesota Golden Gophers (18-7 (6-6), #38 KenPom)
When? Wednesday, Feburary 15th, 9:00 PM, BTN
Where? Williams Arena, Minneapolis, Minnesota
Pomeroy? Minnesota by 4, 33% chance of Indiana victory
Things aren't good, and probably going to get worse!
Don't get it twisted, Indiana is in very bad shape with five games remaining. They could arguably lose all five of them but KenPom gives them a decent shot in four of them. The Hoosiers are most likely playing to retain a top-seed in the NIT, but could backdoor themselves into the Big Dance with by going 4-1 down the stretch and winning a game in the Big Ten Tournament. That would put them at 20-13 (9-9) on Selection Sunday, which might even be good enough to clear Dayton given the current state of the bubble. Indiana was in past the First Four with a 20-14 (9-9) record a couple of years ago, and the bubble wasn't nearly as bad as it is this year.
But, again, this would require Indiana pulling off at least four, possibly five, upsets to close the season. They haven't beaten a team that was ranked higher than them on KenPom since thrashing North Carolina in November, they will have to do that at least twice in the next few weeks. They'll also play four of their last five games on the road and play the Big Ten Tournament further away from home than they ever have before.
Shouts to the Big Ten schedule-makers, again, for giving Indiana three home games over Christmas break and then four out of five on the road at the end of the year. Definitely not the beginning and end of the reasons Indiana has struggled this year, but an easily avoidable scheduling absurdity nonetheless.
HERE WOULD YOU LIKE SOME FACTORS?
|INDIANA (#27 Adj. Offense)||56.1 (16th)||21.4 (319th)||37.3 (11th)||36.0 (161st)|
|MINNESOTA (#16 Adj. Defense)||44.4 (11th)
||29.7 (192nd)||29.9 (57th)
|INDIANA (#113 Adj. Defense)||47.6 (63rd)||16.1 (317th)||28.2 (118th)||35.6 (180th)|
|MINNESOTA (#99 Adj. Offense)||48.6 (249th)||16.5 (40th)||30.0 (156th)||39.5 (79th)
Minnesota is playing some great defense this year! What a miserable turn of events for the Hoosiers!
It's pretty easy to shut down the Hoosiers offensively these days, the team's three-point shooting is cratering and the guys have been attempting to shoot themselves out of their collective slump for a month. Don't expect a breakout in The Barn, the Gophers are defending the perimeter as good as anyone. They don't do a substantially great job of turning guys over (though I bet they won't struggle in that area tomorrow) and aren't particularly fierce on the glass, but they keep opponent's off the free throw line and do a tremendous job of forcing misses. For a team struggling as bad as the Hoosiers are on offense, they're probably going to have to hold Minnesota to the low-60s, point-wise, to have any shot at a victory.
The Gophers possess a strange offensive profile, with great marks in turnovers and free throw rate, average rebounding, and a hilarious inability to put the ball in the bucket. They're below-average from beyond the arc (188th) and miserable from inside it (267th), but again, those aren't numbers we expect to be gospel against the Hoosiers, are they? They don't shoot a lot of threes (300th) but the field goals that do manage to go in are usually coming via an assist (42nd).
Enter Nate Mason. He's doing it all for the Gophers this season, and he'd probably be getting a lot more attention if Minnesota were making any sort of noise nationally. He's the kind of guard that can fuel NCAA Tournament runs if the rest of his team can stay out of his way long enough. No one on Minnesota plays more minutes or uses more possessions than Mason, and no one has a higher offensive rating either. His assist rate in conference play is 4th, his turnover rate 3rd, and he hits 38.7% of his threes. Like the rest of his team, he's dreadful from 2PT range (37.0%) but could be in for a big day against Indiana's defense that is basically a layup line warmup where the strength coach lightly bumps you with a pad as you shoot.
Freshman sensation Amir Coffey will also be a problem for Indiana's defense, as he could benefit in the same way that Purdue's Vince Edward did, as he'll likely be matched up with either a guard he's bigger than, or a post he's quicker than. Turns out when you're bad at defense every team is going to present matchup issues.
STUFF TO WATCH INSTEAD
- Reruns of COPS (9 and 9:30 PM, WGN): Always my go-to when I'm trying to avoid sports. The first episode will include a carjacker getting run down by a police dog, which sounds dope. Good dog.
- Free Willy (8:30 PM, Freeform): I'm actually really interested to see if this movie holds up at all. I was five when it came out so there's pretty much no possible way I understood what was happening, but I'm certain I cited it as one of my favorite films in an elementary school assignment (like the ones teachers give out around Christmas when everyone is just mailing it in and running out the clock) so I should probably go back and see if it was worthy of that praise and then call all my former teachers and update them as needed.
- Property Brothers (9 PM, HGTV): Not even going to read the show description but I'll hazard a guess that the Bros are gonna get into a couple disagreements with whatever aggressively stupid couple they partner up with, probably over money or how open the 'open concept' should be. I'll be furious the entire time and then continue to watch.
- CQ LIVE (Mondays, 9 PM, Facebook Live): I'm going to plug this all the time because it's the most effort we've ever put into being flippant on this blog. Every Monday night you can ask me questions while I brush my teeth. If you miss the broadcast, you can watch it on our Facebook page or we'll embed it on the blog for easier access. Don't miss the Good Content:
TFW Indiana doesn't fire tom creams pic.twitter.com/jwoV26rqdq— #CHANOSBIGTENTEAM (@BenG412) February 14, 2017