Butler vs. Indiana Picks
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Date/Time: December 15th, 2:00 pm EST
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A pair of teams from the Hoosier State are going to do battle in the heart of the state, Bankers Life Fieldhouse in Indianapolis, where the Butler Bulldogs will look to shock the No. 1 team in the country, the Indiana Hoosiers.
The Bulldogs have already pulled off their share of upsets this year, as they beat both the Marquette Golden Eagles and the North Carolina Tar Heels in Maui earlier in the campaign. The little giants also just went on the road and knocked off the Northwestern Wildcats to boot. The transfer of G Rotnei Clarke to Butler has been an amazing transition for both him and his new team. Clarke is averaging 17.3 points per game, and he is just a pure, cold blooded shooter. Where the Bulldogs will find troubles in this game is on the glass against all of the IU bigs. F Khyle Marshall is the team’s leading rebounder, but that’s not saying all that much considering he is only averaging 5.6boards per game and is just 6’6″. C Andrew Smith, who reaches 6’11″, might be the man that has to come up in a big way. Smith has averaging just 4.4 boards and 0.6 blocks per game though, and that isn’t going to cut it when push comes to shove from a defensive standpoint against a team that is as talented as this.
Unmarred this year, the Hoosiers are looking to just keep on rolling to a 10-0 start to the campaign. The only game that proved to be even a remotely close call was the 82-72 overtime win over the Georgetown Hoyas back on November 20th. Aside from that, it is just romp after romp after romp, as IU is outscoring its foes this year by 31.7 points per game. The Hoosiers have the top rated offense in America, scoring 89.1 points per game, though we know that that figure will drop when the level of competition steps up. There aren’t many teams in the land that feature five players that are all averaging at least 11.9 points per game. F Christian Watford and F Cody Zeller are both the types of players that could log double-doubles any given night. The club is also helped by all of these steals. G Victor Oladipo is averaging 2.6 steals per game by himself to lead the club, but Head Coach Tom Crean has his team making 8.7 thefts per night.
Butler might be 9-3-1 ATS in its last 13 games against teams from the Big Ten, and it might already have a win against an ACC team (UNC), a Big East team (Marquette), and a Big Ten team (Northwestern), all away from home this year, but this is a severe step up in terms of a challenge. Go with the Hoosiers and lay the points on Saturday afternoon. Indiana 80 – Butler 64