[5:00 PM] #18 Butler v. #9 Indiana

Who will WIN this matchup?

#18 Butler Bulldogs (9-1)

#9 Indiana Hoosiers (8-1)


The line for this game is Indiana by 1.5 points.

Ninth-ranked Indiana is expected to be back to full strength when it takes on No. 19 Butler on Saturday in the Crossroads Classic at Bankers Life Fieldhouse in Indianapolis. Forward OG Anunoby – averaging 12.5 points, six rebounds and 1.5 blocks – is slated to return to the lineup after missing the last three contests for the Hoosiers, who go after their sixth straight win.

Four key players average more than two turnovers per game for the Hoosiers, but each one of them is providing excellent numbers in most other categories. Blackmon also provides 6.6 rebounds per contest and backcourt mate Robert Johnson is averaging 13.1 points – shooting 55 percent from the field – while combining for 39 turnovers. Sophomore center Thomas Bryant (11.9 points, 8.4 rebounds, 1.9 blocks) and junior point guard Josh Newkirk (7.7 points, team-high 3.7 assists) have also each coughed up the ball 20 times in nine games.

The Bulldogs, coming off a 75-65 win over Cincinnati on Dec. 10, are 25-0 under coach Chris Holtmann when scoring 80 or more points and they accomplished that four times in 2016-17. Senior forward Andrew Chrabascz is the only other player averaging in double figures scoring (11.0), but four more register at least 8.3. Senior guard Tyler Lewis (8.7 points, team-high 5.2 assists, 62.5 percent shooting), junior forward Tyler Wideman (8.3 points, 70.5 percent shooting) and freshman guard Kamar Baldwin (8.3 points, team-best 2.2 steals) also contribute.

The Hoosiers lead the all-time series, which dates back to the 1900-01 season, 38-14 and beat Butler 82-73 in the last meeting two years ago.

Indiana F Juwan Morgan went 16-for-17 from the field and averaged 14 points the last three games.

Chrabascz is seven points away from becoming the 38th player in Butler history to reach 1,000.


StreakSmarts Pick: #9 Indiana Hoosiers

Confidence: 5/10

StreakSmarter Pick