Iowa Basketball: Hawks look to end road woes

The #21 ranked Iowa basketball team is back in action tonight going on the road to the always rowdy Assembly Hall to take on the Indiana Hoosiers.

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WHO?: Iowa Hawkeyes (17-7, 8-5 conference) at Indiana Hoosiers (15-8, 5-7 conference)
WHEN?: 2/13/20 ; 7:00 PM CST
WHERE?: Assembly Hall; Bloomington, Indiana
WHERE TO WATCH?: Big Ten Network

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After Iowa basketball’s decisive victory over Nebraska, avenging the Hawkeyes worst loss of the season, Iowa moved to 17-7 overall (8-5 in conference play) and right back into control of their own destiny for receiving a top-four seed and a double-bye in the Big Ten tournament. The Hoosiers have struggled as of late, having lost four in a row but have played an absolute grueling schedule including Maryland and on the road at Penn State and Ohio State. Indiana comes in with a 15-8 overall and a 5-7 conference record.

There is no such thing as an easy win in college basketball and this is no different. Assembly Hall is going to be loud, it’s going to be hostile and this Iowa team has not handled situations like that well this season.

The last time the Hawkeyes played in the state of Indiana, it was ugly. We all remember Purdue but the road struggles for Iowa are not a new concept. On the road in the Big Ten, Iowa is allowing 88.1 points per game (including the “neutral-site” game against Penn State in Palestra) and has won just a single game on the road in conference play. And it was over Northwestern, who is awful.

That being said this one is not only winnable but feels almost like a must-win. It sounds kind of crazy saying that but if Iowa falls here, the Fran February Fade could be in full-effect (kind of a kneejerk reaction as we are only halfway through the month). Yes, Indiana has been good at home. They’ve beaten Michigan State, Ohio State and top 10 ranked Florida State at home, but this is a game Iowa should win if they want to be true contenders. The road experience is important and every big ten road game is a fight, but this game is winnable and extremely important.

BLOOMINGTON, IN – JANUARY 26: Trayce Jackson-Davis #4 of the Indiana Hoosiers celebrates during the game against the Maryland Terrapins at Assembly Hall on January 26, 2020 in Bloomington, Indiana. (Photo by G Fiume/Maryland Terrapins/Getty Images)

Indiana is solid on offense, especially in the paint. Leading Indiana in scoring if Trayce Jackson-Davis comes in averaging 13.8 points per game while adding 8 rebounds per game. He’s athletic, quick and long and could potentially give Luka Garza troubles. Paired with Jackson-Davis down low is Justin Smith who is averaging 11.3 points and 5.4 rebounds. The bright side for the Hawkeyes is Indiana struggles from beyond the arc, shooting just 31.5% from three (not that it mattered against Purdue).

Joe Weiskamp was incredible his last time outscoring his career-high totaling 30 points while adding 7 rebound and 3 assists. Wieskamp shot 10/15 from the field and 2/4 from beyond the arc. Luka Garza was Luka Garza finishing with 22 points and 8 boards. Connor McCaffery has looked to shoot the ball more taking 13 threes in his last three games and continued his solid point guard play.

IOWA CITY, IA – JANUARY 10: Connor McCaffery #30 of the Iowa Hawkeyes celebrates during the game against the Maryland Terrapins at Carver-Hawkeye Arena on January 10, 2020 in Iowa City, Iowa. (Photo by G Fiume/Maryland Terrapins/Getty Images)

I’m excited about this game. This excitement is usually associated with Iowa playing a terrible game, shooting like 8% from beyond the arc, Luka Garza getting called for two fouls within 3 minutes but let’s hope that is not the case here.

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How they Match-Up Statistically

Iowa Offense: 79.1 PP/G (20th in NCAA, KenPom Adjusted 3rd)

Indiana Offense: 72.3 PP/G (140th in NCAA, KenPom Adjusted 54th)

Iowa Defense: 71.7 PA/G (247th in NCAA, KenPom Adjusted 109th)

Indiana Defense: 66.9 PA/G (113th in NCAA, KenPom Adjusted 57th)

How they Match-Up in Rankings

KenPom:

Iowa Hawkeyes: 18

Indiana Hoosiers: 44

NET:

Iowa Hawkeyes: 26

Indiana Hoosiers: 64

AP Top 25:

Iowa Hawkeyes: 21

Indiana Hoosiers: Unranked

Sagarin:

Iowa Hawkeyes: 24

Indiana Hoosiers: 51

Vegas Prediction (based on line): Indiana 75 Iowa 73

My Prediction: Hawks by a MILLION! (For real though, Iowa ML, Spread and Over with an 81-73 win at Assembly Hall)

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