Indiana Hoosiers vs. Wisconsin Badgers Picks: 2011 College Basketball Picks

Indiana Hoosiers
(10-8, 5-7 ATS)

Wisconsin Badgers
(13-4, 9-4 ATS)

The Big Ten takes center stage on Thursday night for NCAA basketball betting action. The Wisconsin Badgers will look to avoid an unforeseen drop to a team that is up and coming, the Indiana Hoosiers.

This isn’t quite the year that Head Coach Tom Crean is going to complete the turnaround in Bloomington, but just winning a few games here and there is a huge key to help right the ship. An 80-61 win over the Michigan Wolverines stopped a six game skid, and it might have instilled some confidence in a team that was clearly lacking in that area. Christian Watford put up 17 points and 10 boards in that win in one of his biggest games of the year. He is the team’s top scorer at 16.4 points per game, but it is rare that he contributes in the other facets of the game. Verdell Jones III is normally a distributor, as he is averaging almost five helpers per game, but he came up big with 24 points to defeat Big Blue. Jones is the junior leader for a very young team that has been through the mill in recent years, and he is putting up 12.8 points per game on the average night. Rebounding is going to be a huge problem for the Hoosiers in this one, as this is a team that is only putting up 34.7 boards per game.

At times, it feels like Jon Leuer is putting up 34 boards on the average night just by himself. There’s no doubt that he is a man child in the post, and he is the reason that the Badgers are still grinding it out in the Top 20 in the nation coming into this week. He is putting up 19.2 points and 7.4 rebounds per game. Wisconsin is also getting some great contributions from Jordan Taylor in the backcourt at 17.0 points per game. The third year man out of Minnesota has really shined this season, scoring at least 19 points in six straight games to help his team start off at 3-0 both SU and ATS this year at the Kohl Center in Big Ten play. The Badgers do all of the little things right. They are the best free throw shooting team in the land at 81.2 percent, and they are holding teams to just 56.4 points per game with their stout defense. Needless to say, this is really a club to look out for, not just now, but come March Madness time as well.

Though Indiana has at least a tad bit of confidence, it doesn’t have enough horses on offense to be able to hang around in this one. The Badgers are just mauling teams here at home this year, and this should be no exception. As long as we don’t see a number like a 15+ hit the board, the Badgers should be able to get the job done and make this one a runaway.

NCAA Basketball Free Pick: Wisconsin Badgers

Kohl Faces Long-Awaited Hearing

AP Online June 29, 2000 | TONY CZUCZKA, Associated Press Writer TONY CZUCZKA, Associated Press Writer AP Online 06-29-2000 Kohl Faces Long-Awaited Hearing

BERLIN (AP) — After months of buildup, disgraced former Chancellor Helmut Kohl testified Thursday for the first time in his ongoing campaign finance scandal, flatly denying that he traded government favors for cash during his during his 16 years in power.

“The accusation that we were corruptible in our political decisions is absurd,” an unflappable Kohl said at the end of a one-hour statement he read to a parliamentary investigating committee.

“Never in my entire life has anyone been able to buy me,” Kohl said.

As expected, Kohl also refused to talk on the central issue of the investigation: Who gave him some $1 million in undeclared — and thus illegal — campaign funds in the 1990s, names even his own party pressed him to reveal.

“I have acknowledged the mistakes and apologized for them, but I say once again I will not name the anonymous donors,” Kohl said.

Kohl insists the donors were citizens who wanted to support the party’s work in former communist East Germany in the early 1990s. He said he promised them anonymity and refuses to break his word.

After initial banter with members of a parliamentary investigating committee Thursday morning, Kohl launched into a rambling statement focused on his historic achievements as the chancellor who unified Germany in 1990.

Kohl’s long-awaited testimony gives him a chance to counter allegations about murky dealings under his administration that have dirtied that reputation. And Kohl made no secret of his views that the investigation was a well orchestrated vendetta by the committee — dominated by the governing center-left parties — to destroy his legacy. site kohls printable coupons

“The real reason is to wipe 16 successful years out of history,” Kohl said.

Kohl also criticized the committee for not hearing his side of the story immediately after the investigation began seven months ago, as he had requested.

After his initial statement, Kohl will be grilled by committee members for the rest of Thursday’s daylong hearing. Kohl is also expected to be called to testify again over the next few months as the committee digs deeper into the allegations.

The party financing scandal that erupted last fall with Kohl’s admission that he accepted illegal donations as chancellor has developed into an enduring political drama that dogs the conservative Christian Democratic party once led by Kohl.

The parliamentary panel also is investigating several business deals under the Kohl government in which kickbacks allegedly flowed, including a tank sale to Saudi Arabia and the privatization of a major oil refinery in eastern Germany that was sold to French concern Elf Aquitaine.

Facing the panel, Kohl pointedly denied receiving money to push those deals through and maintained he was unaware of anyone in his administration being bought off.

Earlier testimony by former Kohl aides shed little light on the scandal or the role of a businessman at its center, Karlheinz Schreiber.

Schreiber, currently fighting extradition from Canada on German tax evasion charges, allegedly handed over $500,000 in cash to Kohl aides at a Swiss shopping mall in 1991. He also reportedly was involved in the tank sale. go to website kohls printable coupons

But Schreiber shielded Kohl in a television interview this week in which he rejected rumors that he lobbied the Kohl government with cash to support his projects and said he never talked business with Kohl.

Kohl, whose angry demands to testify early in the hearings were turned down, has been virtually banished from German public life. But he has received a steady string of visiting foreign dignitaries since the scandal broke, including President Clinton and, this week, French President Jacques Chirac.

In the latest accusation of criminal conduct, an independent investigator said large numbers of government files — equivalent to 1.2 million pieces of paper — were destroyed in late 1998 shortly before Kohl handed over power to newly elected Chancellor Gerhard Schroeder.

“This massive erasing of data lacked any legal basis,” investigator Burkhard Hirsch said Wednesday after a four-month investigation of chancellery files ordered by Schroeder.

The information contained in the AP News report may not be published, broadcast or redistributed without the prior written authority of The Associated Press.

TONY CZUCZKA, Associated Press Writer

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