2017 NCAA Title Odds

2017 NCAA Title Odds

Fresh off its first Sweet 16 berth in three years, Indiana seems to be trending back in the right direction under coach Tom Crean. This fall, though, will challenge the Hoosiers’ mettle greatly.

Not only does the blue-blood program have to replace the graduated Yogi Ferrell, Bloomington’s now without forward Collin Hartman for an extended period of time. The senior had surgery on his left knee after going down during a noncontract drill nearly two weeks ago. Athletic director Fred Glass said Hartman’s rehab would commence immediately.

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It’s the latest in a long line of injuries for the Carmel native. As a freshman, Hartman tore his right ACL. Yet he went on to play in 32 of IU’s 34 games the following campaign. Perhaps more impressively, the 6-foot-7, 215-pounder powered through a broken wrist in April to help lead the Hoosiers to NCAA tourney wins over Chattanooga and Kentucky.

Overall, Hartman appeared in 35 contests last season and made 24 starts. He averaged 5.0 points and 3.1 rebounds, forming a terrific low-post tandem with future NBAer Thomas Bryant. Considering the ferocity of Indiana’s annual battles against gritty rivals like Michigan State, Maryland and Wisconsin, the loss in question could prove just as harmful as that of Ferrell, the university’s new pacesetter in career assists.

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Still, handicappers continue to laud IU as a legitimate contender moving forward. Online sports book Bovada.lv gives Crean’s crew odds of +2500 to capture the national championship next spring. In fact, only two Big Ten schools – the Spartans and Badgers (+1600) – are held in higher esteem.

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