The 5v12 match-up in the East region features the (5) Indiana Hoosiers and the (12) Chattanooga Mocs which will be taking place in Des Moines, Iowa, this Thursday at 6:10 pm CT. This match-up is especially interesting because I personally believe Indiana should have received at least a 4 seed. My beloved Hoosiers won the Big Ten regular season title but saw an early exit in the quarterfinals of the Big Ten tournament after Michigan’s Kam Chatman hit a corner three as time expired. (He traveled before he got the shot off). On the other hand, the Mocs of Chattanooga have been on fire all season as they went 29-5 and won the Southern Conference tournament. It will be interesting to see if the Hoosiers’ stumble to Michigan killed any momentum they had going into that game. Also, will Rob Johnson, Collin Hartman, and Juwan Morgan be healthy and ready to go?
Match-Up to Watch
Yogi Ferrell is going to get his in this game. I believe the key match-up in this game is Thomas Bryant of Indiana and Southern Conference Defensive Player of the Year Justin Tuoyo. It will be key for Indiana to get Bryant going early in this game and establish a low post scoring presence so they will be able to get shooters open on the perimeter. On the other side, if Tuoyo can take care of business down low, it will allow the Mocs to focus their defense on the perimeter and to guard the lethal shooters of IU. Thomas Bryant is shooting an outstanding 69% from the field this year, while Tuoyo is 20th in the country in block%, which is 3 spots higher than AJ Hammons of Purdue. Something has to give down low in this game, and I hope for my own well-being that TB can win that battle.
X-Factor for Indiana
There is no one more important to this team than Yogi Ferrell. However, it seems that this team depends on “Good Troy” Williams to show up, in order for them to be successful. His NBA level athleticism and speed make him a threat not only on offense, but on defense and rebounding the basketball. It is not that simple with Troy though. He often plays way out of control and can make extremely poor basketball decisions. For Indiana to have success in this game, Troy Williams has to choose his spots wisely and play under control, while still playing with a high motor.
X-Factor for Chattanooga
Tre’ McLean is going to have his hands full Thursday guarding Yogi Ferrell. The key for the Mocs is McLean has to at least slow down Yogi a little bit. If he allows Ferrell to dictate the flow of the game and get good looks, it could be a long day for the Mocs. However, Ferrell is sometimes turnover prone, and if McLean can force Ferrell to turn it over, and Chattanooga can get out and score in transition, the Mocs might be able to pull off an upset in Des Moines.
According the KenPom.com, Indiana is 283rd in the nation in offensive turnover percentage, while Chattanooga is 54th in defensive turnover percentage. The turnover margin will likely be a major key in deciding the outcome of this game. Will Indiana be able to limit their turnovers? And will the Mocs be able to create points off of those Indiana turnovers? I expect points off turnovers to be in the favor of the winner of this game.
Indiana will win this game with Senior guard Yogi Ferrell carrying the load for the Hoosiers.
Indiana 78, Chattanooga 68.
Indiana University 2019