A trip to Madison Square Garden is on the line tonight as No. 1 seed Indiana hosts No. 6 seed Wichita State from Bloomington.
Indiana snuck past Arkansas 63-60 over the weekend behind 18 points and 11 rebounds from Javonte Green. They will play a Wichita State team that has won 13 out of its last 16, including two road wins against Furman and Clemson in the NIT.
Let’s take a closer look at how tonight’s game breaks down.
-No. 6 Wichita State Shockers at No. 1 Indiana Hoosiers
- Time/TV: 7:00PM ET (ESPN)
- KenPom Spread: Indiana (-7)
The question of whether Romeo Langford will play continues to hang over Indiana’s run in the NIT. The latest is that it is still unknown whether the freshman will suit up tonight as he continues to deal with the lingering effects of a back injury.
Still not sure whether Romeo will be in action for #iubb tonight. https://t.co/LeCC1nenpV— IndyStar Sports (@IndyStarSports) March 26, 2019
Indiana has done well without him.
Juwan Morgan destroyed St. Francis PA in the first game with 28 points on 10-13 shooting. Indiana’s guards have also done well in Langford’s absence with the above-mentioned stat line by Green against Arkansas, and Al Durham scoring 22 against St. Francis PA as well.
The Hoosiers will play one of the hottest teams in America tonight in Gregg Marshall’s Wichita State Shockers. Senior Markis McDuffie is averaging 18 points per game so far in the tournament and will square off in a must-see match-up with Morgan.
One of the things to watch for tonight is rebounding. Wichita State ranks in the top-50 of college basketball in offensive rebounding percentage, while Indiana is 172nd in keeping teams off the offensive glass. The Shockers destroyed Furman in their first-round matchup with 14 offensive boards and a 43-26 overall advantage.
Another is shooting. Neither team shoots very well from distance. Wichita State ranks 320th out of 353 Division I teams in 3PT shooting percentage. Indiana is virtually identical at 314th, does have the home floor rims. Just for reference, the over/under is currently 138.5. Maybe think about the under in this one.
Overall, Indiana has done reasonably well without arguably their best player. I’m not sure they will be able to skirt by a hot Wichita State team, even with the game at Assembly Hall. Expect a close one tonight, but I think the Shockers will advance on. If Romeo plays, Indiana has a much better chance.
- Pick To Win: Wichita State