Indiana and Iowa are both coming off last-second losses on Tuesday, but only the Hoosiers are in a world of pain, losing 11 of their last 12 Games and looking more than likely to miss the NCAA Tournament. After a great start to the season, they’ve fallen into a hole and can’t get out. The Schedule doesn’t help, either, with back-to-back Games against Wisconsin and Michigan State following this trip.
As for Iowa, it’s had some lucky wins in the past week, though still doesn’t have a bad loss on the Schedule. All six of its losses have come in Conference play with the worst of them being a road Game at Minnesota. When these teams met a few weeks ago at Assembly Hall, Indiana didn’t play bad, but it was losing for the last 30-plus minutes of the Game and only made things close in the final minutes of a 77-72 loss.
The problem is that not much can change for the Hoosiers. Sure, Iowa went 10-for-25 from deep, but it’s a good shooting team and that’s not an outlying stat. Even offensively, the Hoosiers played about as well as they could with Romeo LAngford and Juwan Morgan hitting their averages and combining for 39 points. Big man De’Ron Davis only had Four points, but he led the team with seven assists in just 22 minutes. since Indiana can’t get much better than that offensively, it will have to come from the other end if it wants to steal this Game.
The problem is that Iowa’s offense is one of the better ones in the Big Ten and usually excels at home. Tyler Cook and Jordan Bohannon combined for 46 points in that first meeting, but other guys could just as easily step up. Isaiah Moss and LUka Garza, who only combined for Four points, could easily push that number above 20. Garza is Iowa’s second-leading scorer and at one point scored 20 points in Four-straight Conference Games. As for Moss, he’s hit double-digits in the last three Games to go with a double-double against Maryland. Throw in Joe Wieskamp, who hit Four threes in that first Game, and Iowa’s versatility is the reason why it’s as good as it is.
Indiana can play good defense at times, but a team with multiple options is usually the antidote. If IU’s active guards hold down Bohannon, it’s likely Cook or Garza will have their way down low against Morgan or Davis. If not them, Moss and Wieskamp will step up at the two and three spots. That’s why it’ll be hard to take the Hoosiers in this Game because they don’t have the same versatility.
Even when LAngford and Morgan combine for 40 points, there’s no telling who else will score. Aljami Durham and Justin Smith have had moments, but those two haven’t surpassed two points in two of the last three Games. As the third- and Fourth-leading scorers on the team, that’s not going to cut it. De’Ron Davis could be a difference, but he doesn’t have a matchup edge against a taller Garza unless he can get the big man into foul trouble early. The Hoosiers are reeling and lost by 21 points in their last road Game to Minnesota. At this point, there’s no reason to trust them and that’s why this spread will only go up.
Our Pick – Indiana +7.5