Sweet 16 Predictions, Picks: Indiana vs. Kentucky 3/23/12

Last Updated: March 22nd, 2012 by Adam Markowitz (Bankroll Sports Columnist)
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The South Region will send its last team to the Elite 8 on Friday night, and the Indiana Hoosiers and the Kentucky Wildcats duke it out for that spot. We’re set to make our Sweet 16 predictions for the clash in Hot ‘Lanta!

2012 Sweet 16 Matchup: #4 Indiana Hoosiers vs. #1 Kentucky Wildcats
South Region Location: Phillips Arena, Atlanta, GA
Sweet 16 Date/Time: Friday, March 23rd, 9:45 p.m.
Indiana vs. Kentucky Television Coverage: CBS

Key #1: Marquis Teague has to keep up with his strong tourney
Teague is still the freshman of the bunch that is under the most pressure. He is the point guard for this team, and he is the catalyst that has to get the job done. It’s not that he has to be a big time scorer, though he clearly was with his 24 points against the Iowa State Cyclones last weekend. However, Teague has to make smart decisions and take care of the basketball, and that is what we are wondering whether an inconsistent freshman is really going to be able to do. Again, it’s important to state, so far, so good for Teague, but we know that things might not stay that way as the competition gets stronger and stronger. You can bet that the Indiana guards are going to be licking their chops at having another shot at Teague in this one.

Sweet 16 Odds at Wager Web Sportsbook
Indiana Hoosiers +9
Kentucky Wildcats -9
Over/Under 144
Click Here to Bet Your Sweet 16 Picks!

Key #2: Indiana has to weather the storm and keep its head above water
Remember that for as young as Kentucky is, the Hoosiers aren’t all that much more experienced. Cody Zeller is just a freshman, and there are no Final Four runs for any of these players in the past. It was remarkable to think that Christian Watford was able to get the job done and knock down the biggest shot of his career and arguably the biggest shot that a Hoosier has knocked down in a decade to beat #1 Kentucky. We know that the Wildcats are going to come out angry and looking for revenge, and there are going to be times in this game when their talent takes over and they are able to go on a run. This is where Head Coach Tom Crean has to coach the biggest game of his career. He has to make sure to keep his team grounded during every timeout period and make sure that he uses his stoppages wisely. The Wildcats are beatable when they get frustrated, but if they frustrate the Hoosiers, there is going to be no encore performance out of the boys in red.

Key #3: The Kentucky bigs have to be big
Save for perhaps the North Carolina Tar Heels, there isn’t another team in the nation that can rebound the basketball with as much talent and authority as the Wildcats can. If is very clear that if Anthony Davis, Terrence Jones, and Michael Kidd-Gilchrist are all approaching the double-double line, Kentucky is going to be insanely hard to beat. This isn’t a team that takes all that many fouls, and it has to stay that way. Odds have it, a man like Davis and one like Zeller will counter each other. The question is whether Gilchrist-Kidd and Jones are going to be able to really step up and prove that they are the superior athletes in this game. If so, this could be a cakewalk for the boys in blue. If not, it might be Heartbreak Hotel in St. Louis for the Wildcats.

Click Here to get the best March Madness picks that you’ll find on the internet, including our NCAA Tournament picks and the Sweet 16 picks for the rest of the NCAA Tournament game odds.

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Posted in NCAA Basketball - Last Updated on Thursday, March 22nd, 2012 @ 3:54 pm (EST)
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