TEST FOR ML**Indiana’s Trayce Jackson-Davis (23) shoots during the second half of an NCAA college basketball game against Illinois, Tuesday, Feb. 2, 2021, in Bloomington, Ind. (AP Photo/Darron Cummings)
- Indiana will attempt to avenge a home loss to Northwestern in a Big Ten rematch in Evanston, Ill., on Wednesday at 5:30pm ET
- Northwestern has lost nine straight after a 3-0 start in the Big Ten that included victories over Michigan State, Ohio State and the Hoosiers
- Check the odds, analysis and betting predictions below
The Indiana Hoosiers (10-8, 5-6 Big Ten) enter a rematch against Northwestern (6-10, 3-9) after their second victory over No. 15 Iowa in two and a half weeks — a 67-65 home win capped by sophomore guard Armaan Franklin’s wnning 15-foot jumper with 1.6 seconds remaining Sunday.
Indiana vs Northwestern Odds
|Indiana Hoosiers||-3.5 (-110)||N/A||Ov 138 (-110)|
|Northwestern Wildcats||+3.5 (-110)||N/A||Un 138 (-110)|
*Odds from Feb 9
Northwestern and Illinois were the only teams with three conference victories by Dec. 26, but Northwestern has lost all nine games since. The closest the Wildcats have come to winning again was an 81-78 loss at Penn State on Jan. 23.
The Wildcats shot a season-high 56% from the field and tied a season high with 10 steals in their 74-67 victory at Indiana as a nine-point dog on Dec. 23.
Riding Rough Road To Rematch
The strength of the Big Ten — seven teams in the AP Top 25 this week, including three of the top six — has made it difficult for Northwestern and Indiana to find a way into the first division, even though the Hoosiers are the only team in the league to beat Iowa twice.
Northwestern has played the second-most difficult schedule in NCAA Division I, according to KenPom, and Indiana has played the sixth-most difficult. The Hoosiers added to their league slate with meaty non-conference opponents including Providence, Stanford, Texas and Florida State.
Completed the sweep. 🧹🧹 pic.twitter.com/8qlsW2dwXM
— Indiana Basketball (@IndianaMBB) February 8, 2021
After its three-game winning streak, Northwestern was 3-0 in the Big Ten for the first time since the 1967-68 season and was ranked No. 19 in the AP poll. The Wildcats fell out the next week, after losses to Iowa and Michigan that began a streak of six straight games against ranked opponents.
By The Numbers
Indiana has not won more than two games in a row or lost more than two in a row this season, but that only tells one side of the story. The Hoosiers are 11-7 against the spread, and they have two three-game winning streaks and a four-game losing streak against the number.
The Hoosiers have shown much better on the road, going 7-1 against the spread in true road games and on neutral courts. They are 4-0 as a road favorite.
“If you genuinely care about the goal, you will take care of the process.”
Just one of the phrases that is helping @Miller_Kopp dominate this season 😈 pic.twitter.com/7JvQqZ2Hmc
— Big Ten Men’s Hoops (@B1GMBBall) January 26, 2021
Northwestern won and covered as an underdog against Michigan State, Indiana and Ohio State, but is only 2-7 against the number during its nine-game losing streak. The Wildcats have covered two of their three, road losses and Purdue and Penn State, and are 0-3 at home since beating Ohio State 71-70 on Dec. 26.
Indiana has won nine of the last 14 in the series but has lost the last three in Evanston, the most recent a 73-66 defeat on Jan. 22, 2019. The Hoosiers are holding opponents to a 41.6% shooting from the field, 98th in Division I. Northwestern’s opponents are shooting 43.6%.
Northwestern Balances It Out
The Wildcats have three players scoring in double figures, Miller Kopp (13.2), Chase Audige (12.5) and Pete Nance (12.1). Kopp, a 6-7 forward, scored 13 against Indiana and 23 against Ohio State in December but has scored 10 or fewer in four of the last seven games.
A 41.3% shooter from three-point range this season, Kopp has made only seven of his last 30.
Audige, a sophomore transfer from William & Mary, had 18 points, including three threes and a career-high six assists in a 75-70 loss at Purdue on Sunday. He had a career-high 25 points in a loss to Ohio State on Jan. 13.
Hoosiers’ Young Players Turning It Up
Indiana has seen a steep improvement in several starters. Sophomores Armaan Franklin, Trayce Jackson-Davis and junior Race Thompson are among the top 10 most improved scorers in the Big Ten this season.
Basketball Hall of Fame Narrows Watch List for 2021 @TheDeliverer_32 Award. #MaloneAward
Fan voting presented by @DellTech goes live Friday at 1PM EST.
📰: https://t.co/pETMTSJIEI pic.twitter.com/TU7HKorYEQ
— Basketball HOF (@Hoophall) January 28, 2021
Franklin is averaging 12.1 points per game (+8.4 from last season, the second-biggest jump in the league from the 2019-20 numbers. Jackson-Davis is averaging 19.9 points (+6.4) and Thompson is averaging 10.1 (+6.4). A 6-foot-9 forward, Jackson-Davis has seven double doubles this season.
Guard Aljami Durham (10.6 points) is Indiana’s the only senior starter,
Franklin Playing Through Ankle Injury
Indiana’s Franklin still appears to be feeling the affects of a sprained ankle suffered early in a 63-55 victory over Maryland on Jan. 4. He missed the next two games returning against Purdue on Jan. 14.
DAGGER!@unkle44artty gives @IndianaMBB the lead late! pic.twitter.com/2fiyS7yWw5
— FOX College Hoops (@CBBonFOX) February 7, 2021
Franklin has made 19-of-55 field goal attempts (34.5%) in the five games since his return. He was 1-for-10 from the field before his step-back jumper beat Iowa on Sunday, and also tied a season high with five assists. He averaged 18.8 points a game in the five games before his injury.
The pick: Indiana -3.5 (-110)
Jack has covered college and professional sports for various Arizona media outlets and has written for the AP, USA Today and Baseball America, among others. He staffed the 2015-17 World Series and has staffed four Super Bowls.