NCAA Tournament: Kent State Golden Flashes vs. Indiana Hoosiers Betting Preview
Friday features the second day of first round action in the NCAA Tournament, and the Midwest Region will feature a matchup of the No. 13 Kent State Golden Flashes (28-6) taking on the No. 4 Indiana Hoosiers (22-11). This game will be played at the MVP Arena, with tipoff scheduled for 9:55 pm ET.
The Hoosiers are the favorites in this one. They are -196 to win, while the Golden Flashes’ moneyline sits at +162. The spread features Kent State as 4.5-point underdogs (-115), and the over/under for total points is 140.5 (-110).
Kent State Comes In Rolling
Kent State comes into this tournament rolling after winning six straight, including a 93-78 win over Toledo in the MAC Tournament championship. They will try to keep this hot streak going and hope to be the Cinderella story of this year’s National Tournament.
On the offensive side, Kent State ranks 58th in the nation, averaging 75.7 points per game. They are led by senior guard Sincere Carry. In 34 games, he is averaging 17.6 points, 3.7 rebounds, and 4.9 assists per game.
The Golden Flashes have two others averaging double digits in Malique Jacobs (13 points, 5.2 rebounds, 3.6 assists, 2.7 steals) and Miryne Thomas (10.7 points, 5.5 rebounds, 1.3 steals).
Kent State is also solid on the defensive end. They rank 57th overall in scoring defense, allowing opponents an average of just 66.3 points per game.
Indiana Has Sights On Deep Tournament Run
Having finished the season ranked 21st overall, the Indiana Hoosiers come into this tournament hoping to stick around for a while. After all, with two victories over Purdue (who received a No. 1 seed in the tournament), the Hoosiers feel that they can match up with anyone in the tournament.
On the defensive end, the Hoosiers rank 116th in the country. They are allowing 68.5 points per game to opponents this season.
When it comes to scoring, they rank 74th in the country, averaging 75.1 points per game. They are led by one of the best in the country, though, as senior forward Trayce Jackson-Davis is averaging 20.8 points on 57.8% shooting. He is also averaging 10.8 rebounds, 4.1 assists, and 2.7 blocks per game.
The only other player on the team averaging double digits is freshman guard Jalen Hood-Schifino, who is averaging 13.5 points, 4.1 rebounds, and 3.7 assists per game this season.
Take Kent State And The Points
While Kent State might not be a household name in this tournament, they do come in with some momentum and have shown the ability to play good teams tough. Early in the season, they stayed within five in a loss to Houston and within seven to Gonzaga.
For Indiana, their advantage is in their schedule. While Kent State is 0-2 against top-25 teams, Indiana is 5-2. They have the playmakers and the ability, they just can’t fall into the trap of looking past the Golden Flashes.
With both a solid offense and defense, expect Kent State to put some fear in Indiana fans throughout this game.
There is no guarantee they can pull off the upset, but there is a lot of value in taking them to keep it close.
Take Kent State +4.5 (-115) on the spread.