The Michigan Wolverines try for a second straight win when they take on the Indiana Hoosiers in a key Big Ten matchup on Sunday. The game is scheduled to tip off at 3:30 pm ET at Simon Skjodt Assembly Hall in Bloomington, In.
The Wolverines (8-7, 2-3 Big Ten) are coming off a home win over the Maryland Terrapins on Tuesday in their third game of January. Michigan snapped a three-game losing streak with the victory and is looking to get to .500 in conference play with a win.
Indiana (14-4, 5-3) is on a two-game winning streak, including an upset of the Purdue Boilermakers on Thursday night. The Hoosiers are tied for fifth in the Big Ten standings, sitting 1½ games behind the first-place Michigan State Spartans.
The Wolverines have been dealing with bad play as well as a COVID-19 outbreak that has cost them two games in January as the program took a 10-game break between contests from Jan. 4 to Jan. 14. Coach Juwan Howard’s squad continues to get its timing and health back and is hoping the win over Maryland signaled an upswing and a possible rally in the Big Ten standings.
Center Hunter Dickinson had a big game against the Terrapins, going for 21 points, six rebounds, and six assists to pace the Wolverines in all three categories. The 7-1 sophomore is averaging 16.4 points, 8.6 rebounds, 2.2 assists and 1.1 blocks while shooting 60.1% from the floor this season.
Senior guard Eli Brooks is the only other double-figure scorer for Michigan, averaging 12.1 points and 2.9 assists per contest. Brooks has upped his game on the road this season, averaging 13.3 points and shooting 37.5% from 3-point range.
Heralded freshman Caleb Houstan has been inconsistent this season, but he’s scored in double figures in two of his last three games, including a 16-point performance in the win over Maryland. If Houston can become more reliable as an offensive threat, especially from long range, he can help take some defensive pressure off Dickinson.
The Hoosiers were facing No. 4 Purdue in a rivalry game on Thursday night and had leading scorer Trayce Jackson-Davis limited to only 11 minutes on the court due to foul trouble. But junior guard Rob Phinisee came through with a career-best 20 points, including the go-ahead 3-pointer in the final minute, to lead Indiana to the upset win at home.
“Every time I go home (to West Lafayette, Ind.), people always talk trash to me. I just finally needed to get one,” Phinisee said after Thursday’s win. “It’s just something I won’t ever forget. Just these fans, they’ve supported me through everything, so I just want to say thank you.”
The Hoosiers are hoping not to have to rely on Phinisee as much in this one, as Jackson-Davis will be needed for more minutes against the Wolverines. The sophomore forward is averaging 18.7 points, 8.6 rebounds and 2.8 blocks this season, and he’ll need to be a presence in the paint against Dickinson.
Forward Race Thompson has also been solid on the interior, averaging 10.8 points and 7.6 rebounds. Thompson is shooting 56.9% from the floor, just under Jackson-Davis’ team-best 60.9% field-goal shooting.
It’s the defensive end where Indiana has really excelled this season, holding opponents to a Big Ten-best 62.8 points per game. Opponents are hitting just 37% of their shots against Indiana — another conference-best stat — including 29.7% from 3-point range.
Michigan has been inconsistent, and beating a struggling Maryland team doesn’t show that the Wolverines have found their groove just yet. Indiana has won four of five, including wins over two ranked opponents, and it should have enough to get the win.
When doing your college basketball betting, take Indiana to win and cover at home.