Sunday's Tip Sheet
March 9, 2013
By David Schwab
While the majority of the men’s college basketball mid-major conference tournaments are already underway, this Sunday marks the final day of the regular season for all the majors including the Big Ten. The biggest matchup on the slate pits No. 2 Indiana against No. 7 Michigan in what could very well be a preview of next Sunday’s Big Ten Tournament’s championship game. The following is a handicapping guide for that game as well as a brief look at few other Big Ten matchups on Sunday’s schedule.
Big Ten Game of the Day
No. 2 Indiana Hoosiers vs. No. 7 Michigan Wolverines (CBS, 4:00 p.m. ET)
Indiana had already earned at least a share of the Big Ten regular season title, but its chances for a No. 1 seed in the NCAA Tournament took a slight hit this past Tuesday with a 67-58 loss to Ohio State as a 7 ½-point home favorite. The Hoosiers are now 1-2 straight up in their last three games and 0-3 against the spread. They are 25-5 SU overall and 13-4 in conference play, but the cracks have been apparent with a 5-3 SU (4-4 ATS) record in their last eight games. The total stayed UNDER the 141 ½-point line against the Buckeyes and it has now stayed UNDER in four of their last six games.
Behind Cody Zeller and Victor Oladipo, Indiana remains one of the favorites to win a national title, but both will need to be at the top of their game on the road against the Wolverines. Zeller leads the Hoosiers in both scoring (16.5 points) and rebounds (8.0) while shooting 57.3 percent from the floor. Oladipo is chipping-in another 13.7 points and hitting an incredible 63.1 percent of his shots from the field. Overall, Indiana is ranked third in the nation in scoring (81.1 points) and shooting 49.1 percent from the field.
Michigan has also had its share of problems over the past month or so with a 5-4 SU record in its last nine games that started with an 81-73 loss to Indiana on Feb.2 as a 5 ½-point road underdog. It has gone a costly 1-8 ATS during this stretch and the total has gone OVER in six of the nine games. Despite these struggles, the Wolverines are still in position to claim a share of the Big Ten regular season title with a win on Sunday as a result of a 12-5 record in the conference. They are 25-5 SU on the year but just 13-14-1 ATS.
Trey Burke and Tim Hardaway Jr. have been the driving force behind Michigan’s success this year with Nik Stauskas and Glenn Robinson III coming up big in a supporting role. Burke leads the team in scoring with 19.1 points a game and is shooting a rock-solid 49.2 percent from the field and all four players are averaging at least 11 points a game. The Wolverines have been almost as potent as Indiana on offense with 75.6 points a game and they are holding their opponents to 62.3 points on the other end of the court which all but equals the Hoosiers average of 61.9 points allowed.
The home team in this matchup is 6-2 ATS in the last eight meetings and the total has gone OVER in four of the last five games. The Hoosiers have covered in 14 of the last 19 games.
Big Ten Best of the Rest
Illinois Fighting Illini vs. No. 14 Ohio State Buckeyes (ESPN, 12:30 p.m. ET)
Illinois will probably need to go pretty deep in next week’s Big Ten Tournament to secure a spot in the Big Dance, but a win on Sunday would also help its cause. The Fighting Illini are currently 8-9 in conference play and 21-10 SU (11-16 ATS) overall after losing two of their last three games. They are 0-4 ATS in their last four outings and the total has stayed UNDER in six of their last eight games.
Ohio State has continued to enhance its position for the postseason with quality wins over teams such as Michigan State and Indiana down the stretch. The Buckeyes are holding down fourth-place in the Big Ten standings, but could still claim a share of the regular season title with a win on Sunday and some help. They are 22-7 SU (15-11-1 ATS) this year and 15-2 SU (9-6 ATS) on their home court. The total has stayed UNDER in their last four games.
Illinois stunned the Buckeyes 74-55 in early January as three-point home underdogs with the total staying UNDER the 143 ½-point line.
Northwestern Wildcats vs. No. 10 Michigan State Spartans (Big Ten Network, 6:00 p.m. ET)
The Wildcats are going to need a miracle run to an unlikely Big Ten Tournament title to make an appearance in the NCAA Tournament considering they have an overall record of 13-17 and just four SU victories in conference play. They are 3-7 ATS in their last 10 games and 13-14 ATS overall and the total has stayed UNDER in six of those 10 games. This past Thursday’s 66-59 loss to Penn State as a five-point home favorite extended Northwestern’s current losing streak to seven games.
Michigan State is another team that remains in contention for a share of the regular season title with a 12-5 SU record in Big Ten play. It is coming off a huge 58-43 victory over Wisconsin as a five-point home favorite. The Spartans are now 16-1 SU (6-7-1 ATS) at home this season and 23-7 SU (12-13-2 ATS) overall. They have gone 5-2-1 ATS in their last seven games and the total has stayed UNDER in four of their last six games.
This will be the first meeting this season, but the Wildcats actually beat Michigan State 81-74 as five-point home underdogs the last time they played.
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