After a loaded slate for the Big Ten on Saturday, things will be a bit quieter for the league on Sunday with only one game taking place. That matchup will feature Iowa going on the road to face Indiana in the second meeting between the two this season. Both are trying to rebound after tough losses earlier this week.
Let’s take a look at the schedule.
Game of the Day:
-No. 8 Iowa Hawkeyes at Indiana Hoosiers
- Time/TV: 12:00PM ET (FOX)
- KenPom Spread: Iowa by 3
Oh, how quickly things change in the world of college basketball. When these two teams met in late January, Iowa was absolutely rolling. The Hawkeyes had won five straight and seemed destined to play a role in the Big Ten title race and March Madness. So, when Indiana went on the road and knocked off Iowa, heads turned nationally. At the time it was widely regarded as one of the biggest upsets in Big Ten play this season and seemed like it could ignite Indiana’s efforts to get back to the NCAA Tournament.
Unfortunately, it seems like the win was more about Iowa’s issues than anything else.
Since that meeting on January 21st, both teams have struggled. Iowa lost two of its next three games and the Hoosiers have lost twice, falling at home in both outings. And the team’s resumes have suffered accordingly. Iowa has now faded significantly in the Big Ten title race and Indiana is barely holding on to an NCAA spot in ESPN’s latest bracketology.
The January meeting and the teams’ recent struggles make Sunday’s meeting a crucial one for the two teams. Iowa desperately needs to get back on track and start showing its a national contender again. And Indiana needs a quality win to help its NCAA resume. A loss would be really demoralizing to either side.
The matchup itself seems like it will come down to Iowa’s offense against Indiana’s defense. The turning point in the first game was Iowa’s collapse in the closing 10 minutes of the game, when the Hawkeyes had no answer for Indiana’s defensive intensity. Don’t expect to see another dead period like that again from Iowa. But can Indiana at least slow down the Hawkeyes? If so, Indiana should have a chance.
The battle between Luke Garza and Trayce Jackson-Davis should also be an intriguing one in the frontcourt. The two combined for 51 points in the first meeting and it’s hard to expect anything different this time around. They’re two of the best players in the country and should show up well on Sunday afternoon.
Expect a high scoring game with plenty of action in transition that comes down to the closing minutes. This feels like a game where Iowa does just enough to escape with a win.
- Pick Against The Spread: Iowa
Record Against The Spread: 21-15-2