Indiana (5-2) at Duke (6-1)
When: Wednesday, December 2nd 2015
Where: Cameron Indoor Stadium, Durham, NC
Time: 9:15 ET | TV: ESPN
For the first time since 2006, Indiana and Duke will meet on the hardwood as part of this year’s Big Ten/ACC Challenge. The Hoosiers come in off a 112-70 home victory over Alcorn State in which James Blackmon, Jr. scored a career-best 33 points on 11-of-15 shooting. Coach Tom Crean was more impressed with Blackmon’s play on the defensive end as he deflected 15 balls. “You want to get to the point where your defense is creating your offense”, Crean said. Blackmon leads the team scoring 17.0 points a game, but its senior Yogi Ferrell who runs the show. Ferrell is averaging 15.0 points, 5.9 rebounds, and 6.7 assists per game. He’s just 16 points away from hitting 1,500 for his Indiana career. Indiana is shooting lights-out so far this season ranking 3rd in the nation in FG% and 4th in 3-point percentage. On the other hand, their defense is ranked 237th allowing opponents to shoot 44.3% from the field. The Hoosiers lost two of three in Hawaii at the Maui Invitational, but gained some confidence with the win over Alcorn State and hopes that carries over to the big stage tonight.
The Blue Devils will put their 120-game home winning streak against non-conference opponents on the line, a mark that has lasted since 2000. They are an incredible 99-4 at home this decade and have won 283 of the last 302 games overall at Cameron Indoor Stadium. Duke comes in with their only loss this season against #1 Kentucky back on November 17th. Since then, they have won four in a row including wins over VCU and Georgetown. Freshman guard Luke Kennard had best performance of the season in the 85-52 win over Utah State on Sunday with 22 points, hitting four of five shots from 3-point range. Grayson Allen continues to lead the team in scoring with an ACC-best 22.6 points a game. Junior guard Matt Jones, second on the team at 12.7 points per game, had his first single-figure output last time out with just 6 points. Brandon Ingram, another freshman guard, has also been productive averaging 10.9 points a game, while senior forward Amile Jefferson averages a double-double (11.7 points, 10.6 boards). Duke has the best winning percentage of any team in the Big Ten/ACC Challenge at 14-2.
Indiana played some good competition in Maui in preparation for games like this. Duke is just 2-4 against the spread this year. I like the nine points here tonight.
Pick: Indiana +9