Kentucky to shoot down Indiana?
In a round-of-32 matchup teeming with mystique and substance, Kentucky and Indiana will duel at 5:15 p.m. ET out East.
Neither school had any trouble on the opening day of the NCAA tournament. Oddsmakers, however, anticipate this afternoon’s rivalry reboot to be tight until the end. The Wildcats are currently 4-point favorites in the minds of online sports book Bovada.lv.
UK (27-8) previously crushed Stony Brook, 85-57, behind star guard Jamal Murray’s 19-point effort. Big Blue’s leading scorer also chipped in seven rebounds and a pair of blocks to continue his remarkable month of play. Isaiah Briscoe served as a complementary presence in the paint, notching 13 points and 11 boards.
The Hoosiers (26-7) similarly overwhelmed Chattanooga. Floor general Yogi Ferrell posted his first double-double of the campaign and facilitated matters in a way that allowed IU to convert 65 percent of its shots. Tom Crean’s troops nailed 10 three-pointers, tallied almost twice as many assists as turnovers and legitimately looked like the class of the Big 10.
Nonetheless, will the same free-flowing style work against Kentucky’s ridiculous length? John Calipari’s club established a Big Dance single-game record with 15 blocks vs. the Seawolves. From top to bottom, UK is simply more physically imposing than Bloomington's best.
This figures to be one of the weekend’s crown jewels on the hardwood. While Indiana desperately wants to avenge 2012’s Sweet 16 loss to the Wildcats, it just needs too many things to go perfectly.
SATURDAY NCAA FREE PICK: KENTUCKY -4