Game Info/How to Watch:
Who? Indiana Hoosiers (17-14 (7-11), #46 KenPom) vs. Iowa Hawkeyes (18-13 (10-8), #67 KenPom)
When? Thursday, March 9, 6:30 PM, ESPN2
Where? Verizon Center, Washington DC (barf)
Pomeroy? Indiana by 2, 58% chance of victory
From our game preview, Sean Mintert says this is what the numbers tell us:
Basically, these two teams match up almost the same as they did three weeks ago, and the same players who were problems for the Hoosiers are gonna be problems again. Guys like Peter Jok, Tyler Cook, and Big Ten sixth man of the year Nicholas Baer will be the main offensive threats for the Hawkeyes, with Jok doing most of the damage. He’s been one of the best scorers in the country this year and is a finalist for the Jerry West award, which goes to the best shooting guard in the nation.
On the bright side for the Hoosiers, they are ranked in the top 25 in eFG% (22) and offensive rebound % (11), which would point towards a very good offensive performance for Indiana. The bummer for IU, as it has been for the whole season, is that they still have that pathetic 21.4% turnover rate (322). If the Hoosiers can overcome their turnover, which they did against Ohio State to some extent, then Indiana has a real shot to win this game. Iowa’s defense is bang-average this year and IU put up 75 in their overtime loss in Iowa City, so the Hoosiers will have their points, but it’s a question of keeping Iowa off the scoreboard that will decide this game.
On defense, the most important thing for Indiana is to have an eye on Peter Jok and maybe try staying in front of him or something. In their game earlier this year, especially late, Jok seemed to drive to the rim and draw a foul on almost every possession. Indiana does a passable job on defense in general, holding opponents to an eFG of 48.2%, good for 69th in the country (nice). The only real problem is that Indiana only forces turnovers on 15.9% of possessions, which is ranked 320th nationally. This is pretty much IU’s only glaring statistical weakness on the defensive end, and is only a real problem if the Hoosiers have one of those games where they’re bound and determined to turn the ball over on 50% of their possessions.