The top ranked Indiana Hoosiers have a big challenge coming up on Saturday, when they take on the Butler Bulldogs. The two clubs will battle it out in the Crossroads Classic in Indianapolis. Let’s look at the keys to this interstate matchup.
The biggest challenge for Indiana will be stopping Butler guard Rotnei Clarke. Clarke, is a senior transfer from Arkansas who has been playing very well so far this season. He is averaging over 17 points a game, on 44% shooting from the field. Clarke has played well in big games, scoring 17 in a win over North Carolina, 27 against Illinois and 20 in a win over Marquette.He is the glue to their offense, and shutting Clarke down would make it very difficult for Butler to win.
The other key to this game is Indiana’s depth. If Indiana’s supporting cast plays well they are going to win. A big game form Cody Zeller is nearly guaranteed. If one of Victor Oladipo, Yogi Ferrell or Christian Watford can have a big game it should be to much for Butler to overcome. Indiana has had extremely balanced scoring, and they lead the nation with nearly 90 points a game. Indiana’s usual balanced attack is plenty to win this game.
The problem for them is the fact that Butler is very good at shutting down high octane offenses. They are holding opposing teams to just 65 points a game.
The Hoosiers are heavy favorites going in to Saturday’s game,as they should be. But, I would not put it past Butler to pull off the upset. They are always playing the underdog role, and they are pretty good at it. If Clarke can go off, and the Bulldog defense is solid, this can be a close game.