Indiana begins their NCAA Tournament journey as the No. 4 seed in the Midwest Region against the No. 13 seed, MAC champions Kent State.
The Hoosiers are paced by star big man, senior Trayce Jackson-Davis, who averaged over 20 points per game and nearly 11 rebounds during the regular season, and will look to send the Hoosiers to their first NCAA Tournament win since 2016.
However, they face a stout Kent State defense that is rated better than the Hoosiers, will they play spoiler to the Hoosiers dreams of a tourney run?
Here are the odds for this first round matchup:
Kent State vs. Indiana odds, spread and total
Kent State vs. Indiana prediction and pick
The Golden Flashes are not some typical mid-major team. They’re battled tested throughout the season, competing with the likes of Houston, Gonzaga and College of Charleston over the course of the non conference schedule, losing by single digits on the road in all of them.
Now, they get an Indiana team that will make it difficult for them to get inside and generate clean looks. The Golden Flashes are top 20 in the country in generating turnovers and have an elite perimeter defense that will force the likes of Miller Kopp and Trey Galloway into contested jumpers.
However, Kent State’s offense leaves some to be desired, outside the top 200 in three-point percentage and struggle to get to the free throw line. The Hoosiers do a good job of forcing offenses to work for their buckets, they average the ninth longest length of possessions on defense and are bottom 100 nationally in turnover percentage.
I think this game becomes a grind with Kent State’s defense keeping a lid on the Hoosiers, but their offense struggling to take advantage. I’ll go with the under in the late night Round of 64 matchup.
Game odds refresh periodically and are subject to change.