Indiana (22-11, 12-8/Big Ten)- Led by large man Trayce Jackson-Davis, Indiana was the Big Ten preseason favourite. And though the Hoosiers didn’t seize a Big Ten championship, they look like peaking on the proper time and might be a harmful staff within the Midwest area.
Jackson-Davis has been as soon as once more, spectacular (20.8 ppg, 57% FG) and is able to taking on any sport. Meanwhile, Indiana has developed a legit sidekick in 6-foot-6 freshman Jalen Hood-Schifino (13.5 ppg, 4.1 rpg, 3.7 apg) who has wonderful shot-making skills and may very well be a lottery decide if he leaves for the NBA after this season.
However, the Hoosiers (77th in defensive score) have been weak defensively this season at instances and have additionally been sufferer to a couple true clunkers, with a 22-point residence loss to Iowa and 19-point street defeat at Penn State essentially the most egregious.
Indiana hasn’t been to a Sweet 16 since 2016, a sting on a proud program. Mike Woodson has performed properly to get his staff again within the combine, however they are going to want Jackson-Davis and Hood-Schifino to be dominant, and can have to be cautious to not let Kent State get going if they’re going to keep away from an early exit.
Kent State (28-6, 15-3/MAC)- The Golden Flashes have a Sincere likelihood to win a first-round sport within the NCAA Tournament. That is, senior guard Sincere Carry, their main scorer at 17.6 ppg and 4.9 apg, provides them their finest likelihood to win. Carry went off for 35 factors within the MAC title sport to hold Kent State (sorry, simply too many pun alternatives to cross up right here) to the Big Dance for the primary time since 2017.
The Flashes have a reasonably good backcourt with Carry and senior Malique Jacobs (13 ppg, 3.6 apg), even whether it is small (Carry is 6-1 and Jacobs 6-3). They’re powerful defensively, giving up simply 65.7 factors per sport. MAC groups have been pretty aggressive within the NCAA Tournament, going 33-78 all time, and Ohio earned a first-round upset over Virginia in 2021.
NCAA Men’s Basketball Tournament Predictions: Index