Indianapolis Hosts State Powers Indiana, Butler Saturday

By: Willie Bee | Thursday, December 13, 2012

Indiana Hoosiers vs. Butler Bulldogs
College Basketball Betting Preview
Date:
12/15/2012 at 2:00 p.m. (ET)
Opening Lines: Indiana -12½, O/U 142
(click for latest college basketball odds)
Television:
CBS

Indiana Hoosiers: Coach Tom Crean's club gets its first real challenge since whipping North Carolina in late November with this battle against Butler in the Boston Scientific Close The Gap Classic at Bankers Life Fieldhouse in Indianapolis. The top-ranked Hoosiers (9-0 straight-up, 6-1 against the spread) have enjoyed easy wins over Coppin State and Central Connecticut State since then, neither of the games including a spread. Indiana leads the country averaging 89.1 points per game and is sixth in the shooting column at 51.5 percent from the field. Five players are scoring in double digits, led by Player of the Year candidate Cody Zeller's 15.4 ppg. Zeller also leads the team in rebounding (8.9 rebounds per page) as part of one of the nation's best frontcourts alongside Christian Watford (12.4 ppg, 7.2 rpg) and Will Sheehey (12.1 ppg, 4.2 rpg). Overlooked so far has been Indiana's perimeter defense that is holding opponents to just 26.4 percent from 3-point range, tops among Big Ten teams and 22nd overall.

Butler Bulldogs: That perimeter defense will be tested against a Butler (7-2 SU, 5-3 ATS) team that is averaging nearly 22 attempts per game from long-range. The Bulldogs dialed that down a bit in the 74-65 upset victory at Northwestern last Saturday when the oddsmakers were giving them 1½ points on the road. Butler leaned more on its own fine frontcourt with center Andrew Smith scoring a season-high 24 points while also grabbing 10 boards. Rotnei Clarke, the senior transfer from Arkansas, will jack it up from anywhere on the floor and tops all Bulldogs with 17.3 ppg. The one concern for Coach Brad Stevens is the lack of a true point guard to rely on, instead shuttling between sophomores Roosevelt Jones and Alex Barlow in that role. This will be the first time Butler has faced the No. 1 team in the country in nearly 23 years, and the Bulldogs have won their last four games on this floor while going 9-4 vs. Big Ten schools during Stevens' tenure.

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