The NCAA Tournament second round gets underway on Thursday. In the South Region the 13th seed New Mexico State Aggies will take on the No. 4 seed Indiana Hoosiers. The game is scheduled for a 9:45 pm start time and it will be televised nationally on CBS. Currently the odds have Indiana favored by 6.5 points with the total for the game sitting at 154.5 points.
Free Analysis: Four years might not constitute an NCAA tournament drought for many schools, but at Indiana, that might as well be considered an eternity. So don't mind Hoosiers fans who are more than a little amped by the turnaround that has taken what was a gutted program a few years ago and turned it into a No. 4 seed in the NCAA tournament that is about to face No. 13 seed New Mexico State (26-9) in the South Region on Thursday. The Hoosiers (25-8) have known for a while they're back - if their December upset of Kentucky wasn't enough evidence. But still seeing their name announced Sunday night was validation of the job performed by coach Tom Crean in just a few short years. The Hoosiers haven’t reached the second weekend of the tournament since the 2001-2002 team finished as national runner-up. Unfortunately, every wild ride includes lows just as it does highs, and Indiana's lowest low may have come late in their Big Ten tournament opener against Penn State when they lost senior leader Verdell Jones III to a torn ACL. Jones' leadership and locker room presence cannot be discounted and, without him, the going just got tougher for Indiana Indiana averages 77.3 ppg and they are one of the country’s most proficient teams at shooting 3-pointers (43 percent), led by the Big Ten's top two perimeter shooters in Matt Roth (55%) and Jordan Hulls (49%), and matching up with the Aggies’ strong perimeter defense could be the key in deciding which team moves on to the Round of 32. New Mexico State led the WAC in 3-point defense, holding opponents to 32 percent from behind the arc, and in three conference tournament games allowed only 10 of 49 (20 percent) from 3-point range. New Mexico State (26-9) comes into the tournament riding high, boasting an 11-2 record since the beginning of February. Head coach Marvin Menzies has his Aggies operating on all cylinders, as they are among the nation's most prolific offenses. The Aggies have averaged 78.5 ppg on the year and are coming off their WAC Tournament win in which they averaged 79.6 ppg in the three games. The Problem for Indiana could be dealing with a massive Aggies frontcourt that's Big Ten quality in terms of size and a versatile star in forward Wendell McKines, who averages a double-double. Wendell McKines had one of the finest all-around seasons in the WAC, leading the league in scoring (18.8) and rebounding (10.8). The senior forward took it to another level in the conference tournament, averaging 21.3 points and 10.6 rebounds, including a monster 27-point, 14-rebound performance against Louisiana Tech in the final. The Aggies are one of the top rebounding teams in the country, grabbing 8.7 more boards than their opponents, but the WAC champions will face a similar team in Indiana. Though the Hoosiers don’t collect nearly as many rebounds as New Mexico State (40.3 to 34.9), they were third in the Big 10 on the glass, led by Cody Zeller, Christian Watford and Victor Oladipo (average a combined 17.8). Indiana was 4-1 on neutral courts this year, while New Mexico State was 2-1 and they were 10-6 ATS away from home, while the Hoosiers were 7-2 ATS away from home.
Free PIck: Expect a high-scoring Round of 64 affair when Indiana and WAC champion New Mexico State get together in the South Regional. Both the Big Ten’s Hoosiers (77.3) and Aggies (78.5) led their respective conferences in scoring, with New Mexico State coming off a title run where it averaged 79.6 points in three tournament games. Indiana on defense has been decent, but they did allow 74 points to an average Purdue off and 79 points to a bad Wisconsin offense down the stretch, plus they also allowed 78 and 89 points in their two games vs High scoring Iowa and 80 points to Michigan State, so this team has trouble with high scoring teams. Not a lot of really high scoring teams in the WAC, but Hawaii is one of those high scoring WAC teams and the Aggies 3 games vs them they allowed 91, 73 and 81 points. Those three games combined for 179 ppg and in a faced paced game like this we could see the same results. Easy Over here. \
Free Picks: Alabama vs Creighton Bettinghttp://PregameVideos.com - Long layoff for Creighton which could affect them and Alabama played the much tougher schedule plus other factors college football bettors need to know about Alabama vs Creighton (Friday, March 16, 2012) from Pregame.com - Including predictions from Vegas Runner and analysis from host Marco D'Angelo.