#5 Indiana (26-7) vs #4 Kentucky (27-8)
When: Saturday, March 19th 2016
Where: Wells Fargo Arena, Des Moines, IA
Time: 5:15 ET | TV: CBS
Two long-time rivals will meet on Saturday for the right to advance to the Sweet 16 when the Indiana Hoosiers take on the Kentucky Wildcats from Des Moines, Iowa. This is the first meeting since 2011-12 when Indiana upset Kentucky at the buzzer in the regular season and the Wildcats got their revenge in the Sweet 16. Senior point guard Yogi Ferrell will be playing in his school-record 136th game for Indiana, which shot nearly 65 percent from the field and went 10-of-16 from behind the 3-point line in a resounding 99-74 victory over 12th-seeded Chattanooga on Thursday. Ferrell led the way with 20 points and 10 assists, while freshman OG Anunoby (4.9 points) scored 14 points and is averaging 13.5 on 12-of-13 shooting in his last two games. Indiana freshman Thomas Bryant (11.6 points, 5.7 rebounds) and junior Troy Williams (13.0, 6.0) will try and hold off the physical front-court of Kentucky. The Hoosiers outrebounded opponents this season by an average of 37.2-26.9.
If Kentucky wants to get back to the Final Four, they’ll have to face a couple of monumental tasks the next two games. If they can get by a talented Indiana squad, then they would most likely have to face North Carolina in the Sweet 16 (unless Providence beats the Tar Heels). The Wildcats took care of business on Thursday and beat-up No. 13 seed Stony Brook, 85-57, behind Jamal Murray’s 19 points. Fellow freshman guard Isaiah Briscoe contributed 13 points and 11 rebounds. The other primary member of Kentucky’s backcourt is Tyler Ulis, the SEC Player of the Year who chipped in 10 points and seven assists against Stony Brook, although it was his lowest-scoring game in more than two months. The Wildcats set an NCAA Tournament record with 15 blocks on Thursday, including six by freshman Skal Labissiere and two by senior Alex Poythress. Kentucky lost to the only Big Ten team they played this season (Ohio State).
Kentucky is playing as well as any team in the country right now, and although this will be a tough task, I think the talented Wildcats backcourt can slow down Ferrell enough to put pressure on the other guys. Indiana is a little overrated I think. Kentucky should win this one by more than three.
Pick: Kentucky -3