Submitted by Jim Hurley on Tuesday, February 3, 2015 at 7:00 AM
The Wisconsin Badgers are currently the best team in the Big 10 by quite a bit…and are lobbying very hard for a #1 seed in the Big Dance. They won’t catch undefeated Kentucky from behind. The Wildcats are already a lock for a top seed barring serious injuries. Wisconsin is hoping to chase down #2 Gonzaga (tough given their soft schedule), #3 Virginia, or #4 Duke. Both of those ACC teams could fall again at least a couple of times. Wisconsin wants to plant some seeds in the minds of voters Tuesday night with a TV blowout of Indiana.
Apparently their TV blowout of Iowa wasn’t enough!
Patience is a virtue. If Wisconsin keeps running roughshod over the Big 10, their time will come. The selection committee has great respect for any team that dominates a major conference. Let’s see what the chances are for a big TV statement-maker Tuesday in Indiana/Wisconsin matchup you can watch on ESPN.
Adjusted Offensive Efficiency
Indiana: 117.3 per 100 possessions (#6 in the nation)
Wisconsin: 124.8 per 100 possessions (#1 in the nation)
A lot of potential for excitement here. We have two of the best offenses in the nation once you adjust for pace and schedule strength. Wisconsin’s ability to work for good looks on treys or pound it inside for easy baskets has them as NUMBER ONE in the country according to Ken Pomeroy’s methodology (see all teams at kenpom.com). You may be aware that Indiana was recently in the Top 25, but fell out. We can deduce that their issues must be coming on the other side of the ball. The Hoosiers have an offense that’s almost as great as Wisconsin’s
Adjusted Defensive Efficiency
Indiana: 104.7 per 100 possessions (#233 in the nation)
Wisconsin: 96.3 per 100 possessions (#74 in the nation)
Oh my God! Indiana isn’t even in the top 200 on defense! That sure makes for entertaining games to watch on TV. But, it puts way too much pressure on their offense to outscore what others teams are getting easily. Clearly Indiana’s temporary national ranking was a bit of a joke. Pollsters felt they had to get somebody from the Big 10 into the rankings besides Wisconsin. The league has been a disappointment thus far this season. Let’s note that Wisconsin’s poor ranking of #74 is a big strike against them for Dance hopes. They can still dominate lesser lights. When push comes to shove against teams who push and shove…you have to have a top 25 defense to be considered a real championship threat. A disappointment and a debacle on this side of the floor.
It’s always fun when we see a battle of extremes. Indiana wants to run and gun (which is part of why their defense is so bad...the kids are too tired to guard anyone!). Wisconsin prefers to slow everything down then crush your soul with an easy basket. Generally speaking the home team controls the flow. This puts Wisconsin in position to totally dominate the game…working patiently for shots against a horrible defense. Think about that…the best offense in the country gets to work for shots against one of the worst defenses they’ll see all year!
Against the Spread
Indiana: 10-11 (15-5 to the Over)
Wisconsin has been a 60% cover team even though everyone knew they’d be good. That speaks very favorably about their quality We wanted to point out the Over trend for the Hoosiers. The market has been slow to realize how bad this defense is. Tuesday’s total may be too low if oddsmakers focus too much on Wisconsin’s slow pace and not enough on Indiana’s bad defense.
This game may or may not be part of the final Tuesday card for JIM HURLEY. There are several appealing options in both college and pro hoops. You’ll be able to purchase NETWORK’S BEST BETS in the hours leading up to tipoff right here at the website with your credit card. If you have any questions, call the office at 1-888-777-4155 for complete details on packages that take you through MARCH MADNESS or the NBA Finals.
A great week (and a great month!) of basketball continues here in the NOTEBOOK. Here’s the schedule over the next few days…
Wednesday: College Basketball…American Athletic Conference report
Thursday: College Basketball…UCLA at Stanford in the Pac 12
Friday: College Early Look…Georgetown at Villanova in the Big East
Saturday: College Basketball…Kentucky at Florida in the SEC
Sunday: NBA Big Game Preview (Clippers/Thunder, Hawks/Grizz, or Spurs/Raptors)]
Monday: College Basketball Preview (either Duke/FSU or Iowa State/OU)
Football is over. We’ll be very heavy in college baskets in the weeks leading to the Dance…though we’ll pick a few spots to check in on what’s been a very exciting NBA season thus far as well. Read the NOTEBOOK for great handicapping tips…then link up with JIM HURLEY’S NETWORK for BIG, JUICY WINNERS!
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