St. Mary's vs Indiana: Can the Hoosiers Keep the Ball Rolling?

Indiana looked very impressive on defense in their first four win over Wyoming, but they have a much taller task in front of them now with a very solid St Mary's team. Let's break down the game and find the edge.
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St. Mary's vs Indiana: Can the Hoosiers Keep the Ball Rolling?

St Mary’s comes into this game gaining an at large bid out of the WCC thanks to a very impressive season. They are 25-7 on the season and don’t have a single bad loss on their schedule. 2 of their 7 losses came to Gonzaga and 3 of their other losses are to tournament teams in Colorado St, Wisconsin, and San Diego St. St Mary’s is a team who plays at an extremely slow pace.

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They are ranked 327th in average time of possession at 19.1 seconds and really slow the game down. They run incredibly efficient sets to get their post players in position to finish at the rim and they can also knock down outside shots with regularity. They are currently ranked 62nd in adjusted offensive efficiency, 64th in effective FG%, 68th in 2-point %, and 86th in 3-point shooting as a team. On the defensive side of the ball, they have been even better as they are a top 10 defense who can smother you and make life very hard. They are ranked 9th in adjusted defensive efficiency, 4th in defensive rebounding %, and 66th in defensive 2-point % so they really do a good job of defending the paint and not allowing their opponents to get second chance opportunities.

I think this is a really good matchup for St Mary’s because Indiana already struggles to score on offense and is not a very good outside shooting team. Indiana has one main scoring threat in Trayce Jackson-Davis and if St Mary’s can limit his production or get him into foul trouble, this could be a blowout early.

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Indiana comes into this game after their impressive First 4 win over Wyoming in what was a defensive battle for a full 40 minutes. Indiana has played very well on defense this season as they are ranked 18th in adjusted defensive efficiency, 25th in defensive effective FG%, and 9th overall in defensive 2-point %.

Indiana has two really good post players in Trayce Jackson-Davis and Race Thompson who are really good rim protectors and rebounders. Indiana really struggles to shoot the ball from the outside so they will rely heavily on these two to get it done in the paint. Indiana played a tough schedule in the big 10 this season but didn’t really challenge themselves in the non-conference so it was interesting to see how they stacked up with Wyoming, but they answered the call and moved on.

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One thing that Indiana doesn’t do very well on defense is force turnovers. They are ranked 215th in the nation in defensive turnover % and if St Mary’s can run their offense unimpeded, this till not be good for the Hoosiers. Indiana also plays at a very slow pace as they are ranked 184th in the lowest average time of possession and can be very hard to watch on offense as they are so dependent on TJD for offensive production. Indiana gets 56.2% of their offensive production from 2 pointers which is 47th in the country so if St Mary’s can defend the paint at a high level, I don’t see where the offense will come from the Hoosiers.

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St. Mary's Gaels vs Indiana Hoosiers Prediction

Overall I think St Mary’s is the much better team on both sides of the ball and they actually played a much tougher schedule than Indiana, so I believe they are more prepared for this game. Randy Bennett is an excellent coach for St Mary’s, and I have to think he will have a game plan to stop TJD, who is really the only offensive threat for Indiana. St Mary’s is a very experienced team who plays elite defense and can knock down 3s. That is a good recipe to win in March so my lean for this game is St Mary’s 1H ML at -131 and Full Game ML at -140. My final score prediction for this game would be 61-51 St Mary’s so I also have a slight lean to the UNDER 126.5 as well. My official picks for this game are St Mary's 1H ML at -132 and Full Game ML at -140 for 1U each.

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St. Mary's Gaels vs Indiana Hoosiers Pick

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Joey has spent the last 6+ years betting on sports with a focus on basketball and baseball. Basketball is his main focus, and not many people know more about mid-major basketball than him. Whether you need advice on a Saturday night primetime game or a Tuesday night back-alley SWAC/MEAC game, Joey is your man.

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