#22 Indiana (18-4, 8-1) at Michigan (17-5, 7-2)
When: Tuesday, February 2nd 2016
Where: Crisler Center, Ann Arbor, MI
Time: 9:00 ET | TV: ESPN
The battle to keep pace with Iowa in the Big Ten race heats up Tuesday night as the Michigan Wolverines host the Indiana Hoosiers in a key matchup. Indiana, who has won 13 of their last 14 games, have tied the Hawkeyes for first-place in the conference after their 74-68 win against Minnesota on Saturday. Six of Indiana’s last eight wins have come against opponents with a losing record in the Big Ten, so tonight’s test in Ann Arbor will be a big test for the Hoosiers. Freshman center Thomas Bryant (12.4 points) hit 11 of 13 shots from the field en route to a career-high 23 points to go along with eight rebounds and two blocks to lift the Hoosiers past Minnesota. Yogi Ferrell (17.5) and Troy Williams (13.1) added 13 points apiece while senior graduate transfer Max Bielfeldt (8.1), who spent the previous three years at Michigan, scored eight points in 13 minutes against the Golden Gophers. Bielfeldt has raised his field-goal percentage from 48% to 58% since his last season in Michigan. The Hoosiers have no problem scoring points as they are ranked 7th nationally in points per game (85.2) heading into Monday’s game.
Michigan is also hot winning four straight after their 79-72 win over Penn State in the inaugural edition of the Big Ten Super Saturday doubleheader at Madison Square Garden in New York. The Wolverines will be looking for their 10th straight home victory overall and have won those nine games by an average of 20 points. Michigan has also won four of the last five meetings with Hoosiers in Ann Arbor. Star guard Caris LeVert (17.6 points) could return to action tonight after missing the last eight games with a lower-leg injury. Muhammad-Ali Abdur-Rahkman (6.5 points) continues to fill in admirably for Levert as he added 15 points in the win over Penn State. Zak Irvin (10.6 points) led the way for the Wolverines with 20 points and Derrick Walton Jr. (11.9 points) had 13 points, 10 rebounds and 7 assists to record his second double-double in his last three games. Michigan sits just a game behind Iowa and Indiana in the Big Ten race and will get Michigan State at home later this week.
Michigan is riding high at home despite not having their leading scorer (Levert). Indiana’s wins haven’t been as impressive as Michigan’s, so I’m going to take the Wolverines at home tonight laying the small number.
Pick: Michigan -2.5