The No. 4 Indiana Hoosiers take on the No. 13 Kent State Golden Flashes in the first round of the 2023 NCAA Tournament on Friday, March 17. The game will air on TBS at 9:55 p.m. ET.
No. 4 Indiana vs. No. 13 Kent State picks
Spread: Indiana -4
Moneyline: Indiana -175, Kent State +150
Indiana had an impressive Big Ten streak that included two wins over current one-seed Purdue, but the cracks in their armor started to become exposed in the past few weeks. A loss to Iowa, a near-loss to Michigan, and a loss to Penn State in the Big Ten tournament in quick succession may have taken the Hoosiers out of their zone. They rely heavily on forward Trayce Jackson-Davis for both rebounding and scoring, and if a defense can shut him down effectively, the Hoosiers suffer on the scoreboard.
And that’s just what Kent State can do. The Flashes’ defense is suffocating to opponents. They finished their season with a big win in the MAC Championship over Toledo, and rank 38th in adjusted defensive efficiency at KenPom. They have a scoring margin of +10 and will be a threat on both ends of the court. This is a team primed for a Cinderella run, starting with knocking off IU.
Pick: Kent State +4