#4 Iowa (19-4, 10-1) at Indiana (19-5, 9-2)
When: Thursday, February 11th 2016
Where: Assembly Hall, Bloomington, IN
Time: 9:00 ET | TV: ESPN
The Indiana Hoosiers will put their perfect home record on the line Thursday when they take on the first-place Iowa Hawkeyes in a key Big Ten showdown. Indiana blew a chance to tie for first when they laid an egg on Saturday against lowly Penn State. The Hoosiers shot a season-low 36.2% from the floor in the 68-63 road loss. Indiana also lost the turnover battle committing 15 turnovers to Penn State’s six. Yogi Ferrell, who is seventh in school history with 1,793 points, was just 3-of-12 from the floor and turned the ball over five times. He leads the Hoosiers in points (17.2), assists (5.8), and steals (1.2), while shooting 45.6% from beyond the arc. Indiana is fifth in the nation in three-point percentage at 42.2% and have made nine or more 17 times this season. Troy Williams (12.8 points) and freshman center Thomas Bryant (12.1) are also scoring in double digits. Nick Zeisloft has 45 3-pointers, but scores just 6.6 points a game. He did have 15 points on five 3-pointers when the Hoosiers suffered a 77-63 loss to Iowa last season. Indiana has won four of the last six meetings with Iowa.
Iowa continues to climb the national ranks and is now fourth in the country thanks to winning 12 of their last 13 games. The Hawkeyes are a half a game ahead of Maryland and a full game clear of Indiana, but could be in a three-way tie with a loss tonight. Iowa has won their last three against the bottom-half of the Big Ten after a 74-68 loss at Maryland on January 28th. Senior forward Jarrod Uthoff had 18 points and tied a career high with 12 rebounds in Sunday’s 77-65 win at Illinois and he leads the Hawkeyes in scoring (18.4) and blocked shots (67), and ranks second in rebounding (6.4). Junior guard Peter Jok is averaging 15.5 points per game while Adam Woodbury has raised his level of play and leads the team in rebounding (7.7) while scoring 8.5 points a game. Woodbury has grabbed more than his average in rebounds in six straight games including five in double-digits after Sunday’s 14 rebound effort against Illinois. Iowa will get 0-12 Minnesota on Saturday before going to Penn State next week.
Iowa came up short in a big road game at Maryland, but I think they come through tonight. Indiana’s lackluster effort on Saturday has me a little worried about this team. Iowa is better from top to bottom.
Pick: Iowa +1.5