Game Info / How to Watch:
Who? Indiana Hoosiers (16-14 (6-11) #50 KenPom) vs Ohio State Buckeyes (17-13 (7-10) #67 KenPom)
When? Saturday, March 4, 12:00 PM, ESPN
Where? Value City Arena, Columbus, Ohio
Pomeroy? Ohio State by 2, 43% chance of Indiana victory
There’s no way to sugar coat it, Indiana’s basketball has gone down the dumpster chute. Outside of a miracle Big Ten Tournament title run, the Hoosiers will be NIT bound in a few weeks. Indiana will attempt to salvage as much as they can on the road against Ohio State; however, this game means more for the Buckeyes, who are still hanging on to some slim bubble hopes.
Ohio State comes into Saturdays game riding a 2-game win streak, which includes the Buckeyes’ signature victory, an 83-73 win over Wisconsin on February 23rd. Meanwhile, Indiana is coming off an 11-point loss at the hands of rival Purdue. That loss dropped the Hoosiers to an abysmal 1-8 on the road this season.
HERE WOULD YOU LIKE SOME FACTORS
|INDIANA (#32 adj. offense)||54.9 (28th)||21.5 (323rd)||37.7 (11th)||34.7 (202nd)|
|OHIO STATE (#77 adj. defense)||48.5 (83rd)||17.5 (251st)||28.5 (146th)||29.1 (45th)|
|INDIANA (#98 adj. defense)||47.6 (58th)||16.0 (316th)||28.4 (138th)||38.1 (231st)|
|OHIO STATE (#53 adj. offense)||52.0 (110th)||19.3 (223rd)||30.0 (150th)||37.5 (117th)|
At first glance at the effective field goal percentages, this game would figure to be a shootout. The Hoosiers and Buckeyes both struggle immensely on defense, with Indiana being 98th in the country (last in the Big Ten) in eFG. Ohio State does not fare much better, as they are at 77th in the nation (12th in the Big Ten). However, both offenses have also been struggling. Ohio State is sitting with an eFG of just 52, which is 110th in the nation. However, that number has gotten worse in conference play, as the Buckeyes have seen their eFG drop to 50.4 in Big Ten play. While Indiana is sitting with the 28th best eFG in the nation at 54.9, the Hoosiers have not shot the ball well from the outside, only hitting on 35 percent of three point field goals in Big Ten play, which is far below average of Tom Crean coached basketball teams. Indiana’s eFG for the season is also inflated by its awful non conference schedule, which was ranked 302nd out of 351 division one schools.
Another similar trait both teams have is that they are extremely sloppy with the basketball. Indiana’s struggles have been well documented on this site, so I’ll spare that spiel; however, the Buckeyes have are also pretty bad at taking care of the ball. Ohio State turns the ball over on 19.3 percent of their possessions this season, which is 223rd in the country. The Buckeyes have been a bit better in Big Ten play though, as they "only" have a turnover rate of 18 percent in Big Ten play, which is 11th in the conference.
For Indiana to win, the Hoosiers will need to dominate the offensive glass. Indiana is the 11th best offensive rebounding team in the country, grabbing 37.7 percent of their misses. Ohio State, on the other hand, is a very average defensive rebounding team, as they allow opponents to snatch 28.5 percent of their missed shots.
While Indiana should be able to own the backboard, Ohio State will most likely dominate the free throw game. The Hoosiers have been flat out awful at preventing opponents from getting to the free throw line, and are dead last in the Big Ten with a free throw rate of 46.3 on the defensive end in Big Ten play. There is no team in the conference that can take advantage of that issue than Ohio State, as the Buckeyes own the top free throw rate in the Big Ten at 37.5.
STUFF TO WATCH FOR
- De’Ron Davis: The freshman has emerged as a physical force on the inside who is capable of scoring off of the block; however, Davis has struggled mightily with foul trouble throughout Big Ten play. Against Minnesota on February 15, Davis only played 9 minutes before fouling out. Davis had a similar short outing on Wednesday at Purdue, going scoreless in 9 minutes before fouling out. If Davis can stay out of foul trouble, he can give the Hoosiers a big extra boost on the inside.
- Return of the 3 ball: Indiana has struggled shooting the ball from the outside in conference play; however, the Hoosiers have shot the ball better from the outside in their last two games, hitting 8 three’s against Northwestern (24 attempts) and Purdue (22 attempts). While it would have been nicer for Indiana to get hotter behind the arc earlier in February, its better late than never, I guess.
- INDIANA KID VS. INDIANA ALERT: Jaquan Lyle had an on-again, off-again recruitment with Indiana and a well-traveled high school career that started at Evansville Bosse and ended at the IMG Academy in Florida. He was the lone bright spot for the Buckeyes in last year's trouncing in Assembly Hall, pouring in 29 points, 8 boards, and 3 assists in a 25-point loss. He's hitting 51.2% of his threes in conference play (leading the B1G) and does a great job of getting his teammates in position to score. He could flirt with a triple-double if Indiana isn't careful.