On the final day of the College Basketball regular season, the Michigan Wolverines are heading to Bloomington to take on the Indiana Hoosiers. Heading into Sunday, there are still plenty of unanswered questions when it comes to the Big Ten race. With Purdue clinching the Big Ten outright, plenty of teams are still vouching for byes and double byes in the Big Ten Tournament. Seven teams are currently tied with eight losses and a potential 2nd seed. Indiana and Michigan both have eight losses and are in desperate need for a win on Sunday. Indiana enters this game after a brutal loss against Iowa at home, getting blown out on their own court. It’s necessary they are able to bounce back and get at least a double-bye after being picked as Big Ten favorites heading into the season. Michigan enters this game as well after a tough defeat. Losing to Illinois in a double-overtime game that went back and forth all night.
The Hoosiers are currently projected to be a 4-seed in the NCAA Tournament but any more tough losses, especially at home, could have them drop lower and make their Big Ten Tournament run tougher. The Wolverines are currently on the outside looking in for the NCAA Tournament. They are currently projected to be one of the first teams out and losing to Illinois certainly didn’t do them any favors. Now it’s crucial they finish the year strong and a win at Indiana would help them do that. Let’s jump into this game’s picks and predictions:
Michigan vs. Indiana Betting Odds
There are currently no betting lines out yet for this game. It would be a reasonable conclusion however, that Indiana should be the favored team in this matchup. Indiana already beat the Wolverines when it was at Michigan in a crazy finish in which the Hoosiers won by one. They should have an easier time playing against the Wolverines at home. Home court didn’t do any favors against Iowa earlier in the week for Indiana, so it remains to be seen if it truly is an advantage. I would expect Indiana to enter this game as a 4 or 5 point spread favorite. ESPN Analytics is giving Indiana a 79.7% chance to win at home which is decent odds. Looking at Kenpom’s analytical rankings, the Hoosiers are ranked at 29th with the Wolverines being back at 42nd. Both of these teams are desperate for a win, but Indiana might need the win a little more. This is Indiana’s Senior Night and the final game for star Trayce Jackson-Davis in Assembly Hall.
The over/under total line is not out yet either but we can calculate a projected line based on each team’s scoring averages. Michigan currently averages 73.9 PPG with Indiana averaging 75.3 PPG. This shows both teams score similarly but let’s take a look at their defense. The Wolverines allow 69.5 PPG and the Hoosiers allow 68.3 PPG. They are close again, with Hoosiers having the small advantage. Expect the line to fall somewhere around 140 to 145.
Michigan vs. Indiana Picks & Predictions
My Pick: Indiana ML
Indiana had an inexcusable loss against Iowa earlier in the week that I think will inspire them to answer the call on Sunday. They need a win at home before entering the Big Ten Tournament and I think they will be inspired to win on senior night for guys like Race Thompson and TJD. Michigan will give them a fight surely and I think the Wolverines are a competitive team. The problem with Michigan is they haven’t always shown their ability to close out games, especially on the road. They will be counting on their big man Hunter Dickinson to be their leader in this matchup. He is averaging 18 PPG for Michigan and has been their captain all season. If he has a big game, it could be the spark the Wolverines need but I think he will be overmatched guarding TJD. Freshman standout will also need to have a big game for the Hoosiers. He went off for a career-high of 35 points in a win at Purdue but kind of fell closer to Earth against Iowa. If he gets that shooting spark going, expect Indiana to win by at least 5 points in this matchup.
I expect this game to be a big offensive game after Indiana struggled to keep up scoring wise in their last game. I think the total finishes around 145 or 150 and a possible over depending on the line.
Trayce Jackson-Davis vs. Michigan
Trayce Jackson-Davis had one of the best statistical careers in Indiana history as he currently ranks top-5 in all time scorers for the program. His final home game will be against Michigan as he announced he will be included in Senior Night, despite having another year of eligibility. This game will be filled with plenty of emotions but expect him to want to put on a performance. He will also be amped after the embarrassing loss to Iowa. Averaging 20 PPG and 11 RPG, expect a big night for him as he concludes his career at Assembly Hall.