December 9, 2011

NCAA Basketball Pick: Kentucky vs. Indiana Pick

College basketball betting action on Saturday afternoon heads to Assembly Hall for arguably the biggest game that the Indiana Hoosiers have played in years. They’ll take on the Kentucky Wildcats, the top team in the country in hopes for the huge upset.

The Wildcats are 8-0 this year, and most college basketball pundits accept them as having the most talented team in the nation. They’re very deserving of their top spot, and a win in a game like this one would go a long way towards locking down that No. 1 ranking for quite some time. The problem that Kentucky has is that this is its first real road game of the year, and it comes on the heels of the first truly big showdown of the year against the North Carolina Tar Heels, a game that was just barely won at Rupp Arena last weekend. That being said, we still can’t overlook this talent. We know that if these stars were playing by themselves or with some significantly lesser players around them, they would all be averaging over 20 points per game. The entire starting five could be good for double digits in points on a regular basis, namely Terrence Jones and Doron Lamb, who take at least a dozen shots in seemingly every game that the Wildcats play.

This is clearly the most important game of the year to date for Head Coach Tom Crean and company. Winning this would put Indiana in the Top 25 in the land for the first time in seemingly eons, and it would proclaim that the rich history of Hoosiers basketball is back and is ready to explode once again. Everything really changed when Crean was able to get Cody Zeller to commit to coming to Bloomington. He was one of the top recruits in the nation this year, and he hasn’t disappointed to say the least. Zeller has averaged 15.5 points and 7.5 boards per game, and he is also leading the team in blocks and steals on the other side of the court. Zeller has scored at least 13 points in three straight games, and he has had three straight games with at least 16 points. He’ll be up against it in the paint with Jones on him, but we know that he can get the job done against anyone in the country. The real question is whether this Indiana team is ready for the spotlight of being an 8-0 team going against the top team in the land or not, though being at home is clearly going to help and help out a lot.

Kentucky Wildcats @ Indiana Hoosiers Keys To The Game: Remember that these Cats are playing in their first legit road game this year, and Assembly Hall isn’t exactly the easiest place to come and play. Indiana has to control its emotions and keep the crowd involved, something that is a lot easier said than done. If anything is going to get the Wildcats, it is going to be their lack of depth, as they really only regularly rotate six or seven players in tight games. The good news though, is that it has been a full week since the team ran into North Carolina at home, which should really help out with all of the rest.

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Adam Markowitz

is a staff writer living in the Orlando area. He has covered NFL, MLB, college football, CFL, AFL, NBA, college basketball, NASCAR, golf, tennis, and the NHL for a number of various outlets in his career, and he has been published by a number of different media outlets, including the Orlando Sentinel and the Wall Street Journal.

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