Can the Iowa Hawkeyes Knock Off the Indiana Hoosiers?
The second game of Big Ten play tomorrow places no. 5 Indiana on the road at Iowa. Indiana is arguably the most talented team in the country, coming in with one loss on their record at . Iowa, who are 11-2, will have an upset on their minds in front of a soldout crowd. It is scheduled to be a blackout for Iowa fans at the game, and the players will have high aspirations in a charged up environment.
Butler has laid out the road map for beating Indiana. It is no easy task. Butler did it by making three pointers at a high rate and rebounding well. They also limited Cody Zeller defensively, by not letting him isolate and get comfortable. For that matter, Butler did not let any single Hoosier kill them
So, can Iowa do what Butler did?
Making a lot of three pointers could be tough for Iowa, who is not a very strong three point shooting team. Guys like Roy Devyn Marble and Mike Gesell are both making over one third of their threes. However, as a team, Iowa is shooting just 31.7% from three point territory. That is 9th in the Big Ten. Ironically, Indiana is shooting 42%, 10% higher than Iowa and the best in the Big Ten. Now, it is certainly possible for the Hawkeyes to shoot really well from three, but they are more of an inside offense. That is where Indiana is best, though. They have big athletic defenders, who make it difficult to score in the paint. Offensively, Iowa is going to have to figure out how to attack the staunch Indiana defense, who has held opponents to just a 36.4 fg%.
In terms of controlling the glass, things are going to be just as difficult. Iowa is a good rebounding team, ranking 2nd in the Big Ten and 19th in the country with 41.6 rpg. The problem is that the top ranked rebounding team in the Big Ten happens to be none other than Indiana. Rebounding appears to be a wash. But, to be fair, the statistic rebounds per game gives a very limited view of how good at rebounding a team is. Different teams play at different paces, faster paced teams will average more rebounds per game. That does not necessarily mean they are a good rebounding team.
Iowa will have to play their best game yet to have a chance. It will help to have a hostile home crowd, but a lot of things will have to go their way for them to pull off the upset.