Indiana vs Miami March Madness Betting Preview
Hoosiers Slight Favorite in Highly Anticipated 4/5 Game
The second round of the NCAA Tournament wraps up Sunday with Indiana vs Miami from Albany, N.Y. Tip-off is slated for 8:40 p.m. on TNT, with the winner advancing to the Midwest Regional semifinals to play either top-seeded Houston or No. 9 seed Auburn.
Indiana Hoosiers: Business as Advertised for Hoosiers
After Fairleigh Dickinson stunned Purdue, becoming just the second No. 16 seed to defeat a No. 1, Indiana was able to save the Big Ten some face by defeating No. 13 seed Kent State 71-60. The Hoosiers opened a 35-27 halftime lead and led by as many as 15 points in the second half to comfortably cover the 4-point college basketball odds spread.
All-American Trayce Jackson-Davis had his way with Kent State’s small frontcourt. The 6-foot-9 forward paced the fourth-seeded Hoosiers with 24 points, 11 rebounds, five assists and five blocks, while Race Thompson added 20 points and nine boards.
Kent State simply didn’t have the size to contend with the Hoosiers. Nevertheless, Jackson-Davis’ performance was inspiring for a team that, if all breaks right, can get to the Elite Eight, if not the Final Four.
Remember, Indiana was the preseason Big Ten favorite before Xavier Johnson’s season-ending foot injury zapped some of its potential. The Hoosiers started 1-4 in conference play before rounding closer to form down the stretch.
At +800, Indiana is currently tied with Xavier for the third-best odds to win the region. March Madness betting odds still have them as a longshot (+4000) to capture the national title.
Miami Hurricanes: It’s Survive and Advance for The ‘Canes
Whew. That was close. A little bit too close. Trailing 12th-seeded Drake by eight points with four-plus minutes remaining, fifth-seeded Miami stormed back for a 63-56 victory.
Guard Nigel Pack scored a game-high 21 points, none bigger than his go-ahead jumper with 1:03 remaining. Woogla Poplar contributed 15 points and Norchad Omier finished with 12 points and 14 rebounds in his return from an ankle injury.
Drake, a slight 2-point underdog, was a trendy upset pick. But Miami is off to the round of 32 for the second straight season and the fourth time under head coach Jim Larranaga. The Hurricanes reached the Elite Eight as a No. 10 seed last year. Can they get back there? At +1200, they’re currently tied with Auburn for the fifth-best odds to advance from the region.
Handicapping The Game
Indiana vs Miami is shaping up to be one of the most anticipated matchups of the second round. For one, both teams can score. The Hurricanes and Hoosiers rank 12th and 24th, respectively, in adjusted offensive efficiency, per KenPom, and are legitimate threats to shake up the Midwest Regional.
After dominating Kent State, Jackson-Davis should face a bit more resistance in the paint from Omier. The 6-7 sophomore from Arkansas State sprained his ankle in the Hurricanes’ ACC Tournament loss to Duke, leaving his status in doubt against Drake. But he was effective in his return, recording his 15th double-double of the season.
Miami was — and still may be — the class of a down ACC. It captured its first regular season title since 2013 and only the second since transitioning from the Big East. Outside of a hiccup in January, when the Hurricanes went 4-4 with a bad loss to Georgia Tech, there hasn’t been much to complain about.
Will that change? Perhaps. With Jalen Hood-Schifino, Indiana has the talent to match Pack in the backcourt. And don’t overlook 6-7 sharpshooter Miller Kopp. The senior forward shot 3-of-6 from beyond the arc last round and has hit over 44% of his attempts on the season. Collectively, the Hoosiers are averaging 5.6 3-pointers a game. It’ll be up to Pack and 6-7 George Mason transfer Jordan Miller to limit their attempts.
Miami is 19-14 against the spread this season, while Indiana is 16-17-1. It wouldn’t be surprising to see Indiana vs Miami come down to the wire. (Odds change frequently, be sure to check for the most up to date changes.)Follow us on Twitter