Thursday, January 22, 2015

Maryland at Indiana

This week's battle of Big Ten first place-ish teams continues tonight with Maryland at Indiana. (Wisconsin beat Iowa, resoundingly, in the first such clash.) Maryland is tied with the Badgers at 5-1, but Indiana is a surprising 4-1 and could make itself a legitimate contender with a win tonight.

Well, let's say a legitimate pretender. I'm still not buying Indiana. They are #55 in the T-Rank and #54 in Kenpom.  They have four close wins and one blowout loss in conference, which leaves them middle of the pack in adjusted efficiency even in conference play. (Among all teams, Indiana's conference-only adjusted efficiency is still just #57. Indeed, they've dropped in the computer ratings since conference play began.)

That said, how real is Maryland? They are clearly a decent team, led by an electrifying freshman. But I'm skeptical that they're truly a top-10 ten. And a game in Bloomington against even a mediocre Indiana team is a perfect chance for them to fall from their perch. This is probably why the Vegas line, which opened Maryland -1, has shifted to Indiana -1.5

Obviously, I think it would be better for the Badgers if Indiana wins, because I think it's much more likely that Maryland is a true contender. And I generally root for the home team in these conference tilts. But I'm going to go ahead and put on record my PREDICTION that Maryland wins. That way I'll be happy either way.