staff, February 29, 2012

Draymond Green showed just how good he is in a loss to the Hoosiers, but he also proved that no one is good enough to beat Indiana at home by himself. Green racked up 29 points on 17 shots while his Michigan State teammates poured in 26 points on 34 shots. Against IU at Assembly Hall, that?s tough to overcome. The home/road splits for this team in conference play are stunning:

   Points Per Possession       Opponent Points Per Possession       Efficiency Margin   
Home 1.19 1.06 +0.13
Road 1.03 1.10 -0.07

That impressive home efficiency has allowed the Hoosiers to knock off three top-5 teams this year, which in turn should net them a high seed from the Selection Committee. The downside, of course, is that there is no Bloomington Regional. Given its home dominance and road vulnerability, how Indiana performs on neutral courts will be interesting, to say the least. The only sample we have is a mid-December win over Notre Dame, which looks pretty good now (but the Irish have come a long way since then as well). The other bit of good news is that the Hoosiers can dip their toes in the water before taking a deep dive–while the Big Ten Tournament is technically termed a neutral court, the crowd will almost certainly be overwhelmingly pro-Indiana, at least while the Hoosiers are on the floor.

Also last night, Wisconsin slogged its way to a victory over Minnesota. This was an extremely physical game–there was a lot of contact that wasn?t called, and there were still over 50 free throws attempted between the two teams. But the Gophers? inability to put the ball in the vicinity of the hoop (24 percent shooting, including 26 percent from two-point range) did them in.

Join us for Super Wednesday, when Penn State visits Purdue followed by Ohio State?s trip to Northwestern. This is close to a must-win game for the Wildcats, so they?ll need a big performance from John Shurna in his last home game.