NCAA March Madness: Indiana vs. Kent State betting preview, odds and predictions

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NCAA March Madness: Indiana vs. Kent State betting preview, odds and predictions

In the 4 vs. 13 matchup in the Midwest region of the 2023 NCAA tournament, Indiana faces Kent State with a spot in the Round of 32 on the line. All tournament long, VSiN will be providing you with March Madness betting oddsin-depth team analysis and expert college basketball picks. Make us your one-stop shop for all of your betting needs. 

 

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How to watch Indiana vs. Kent State

When: Friday, 9:55 p.m. ET

Where: Albany, New York

Watch: TBS

Odds for Indiana vs. Kent State

Spread: Indiana -4

Total: 141.5 

(Odds accurate as of Sunday, March 12th at 11:00 p.m. ET)

Real-time betting splits at DraftKings Sportsbook

Midwest Region No. 4 Seed Indiana

Indiana had some defensive concerns earlier in the season, but the team now looks solid on that end of the floor. That’s good enough when you have an offense as good as the Hoosiers, and it’s hard not to see some sleeper potential in Mike Woodson’s group. Trayce Jackson-Davis is one of the most well-rounded big men in all of college basketball, and freshman guard Jalen Hood-Schifino is a tremendous perimeter scorer. Those two alone make this a tough team to beat, but the Hoosiers also have some competent role players around them. It was, however, a difficult blow for this team to lose Xavier Johnson for the season. He was the third-scoring option for this Indiana squad.

Midwest Region No. 13 Seed Kent State

Kent State earned a 15-point win over the Toledo Rockets to win the MAC and punch its ticket to the Big Dance. The Golden Flashes have the profile of a team that can sneak up on somebody in this tournament. Not only is Kent State a top-40 team in terms of adjusted defensive efficiency, but the team also has somebody it can rely on to score. Sincere Carry had 26 points in the win over Toledo, and he had 21 points against the Akron Zips before that. This is a guy that delivers in big moments, and it wouldn’t be surprising if he showed out on a bigger stage.

Indiana vs. Kent State matchup analysis

Late-night drama on Friday night could come in the form of this game, as Sincere Carry and Trayce Jackson-Davis face off in one of the most intriguing games of the first round. Indiana’s biggest bugaboo is not a secret. The team is bad away from home. At Assembly Hall in Bloomington, the Hoosiers went 15-2 and shot 40.4% from 3. They also shot 55.4% on 2s and had a top-30 offense by adjusted offensive efficiency. In road/neutral settings, the Hoosiers shot 33.2% on 3s, 50.8% on 2s and went just 7-9.

This won’t be a true road game in Albany, but Cinderellas are more fun to root for and it could be a pro-Kent State crowd to some degree with fans that don’t have any allegiance. And make no mistake. Kent State is good. The Golden Flashes had a few slip-ups in MAC play, but their three games against Quadrant I opponents went as follows: loss by two at Charleston, loss by five at Houston and loss by seven at Gonzaga.

Kent State actually led by four with 3:40 left against Gonzaga but failed to score the rest of the way. They led by one at Charleston with 24 seconds left. They led by one against Houston with 1:04 left. This is a really stout defensive team with good guard play and that can be the recipe for putting on a glass slipper in March. Even with a huge discrepancy in strength of schedule, Kent State has a higher adjusted defensive efficiency per Ken Pomeroy.

This game comes down to whether or not Kent State can score on Indiana. This is a Kent State team that struggled from 3 (33.2%) and draws an Indiana team that was very solid defensively at the rim. The Golden Flashes also had some home/road splits of their own on offense. They were 13-6 in road/neutral games, but only shot 32.1% from 3 and about 2% worse on 2-point shots.

Rob Senderoff is a really good head coach and Kent State should give Indiana all they can handle and then some.

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