Wild Series of Upsets Continue in College Basketball

By Lucas M.

Who knows what’s going on in college basketball anymore? On Saturday, the unranked Wisconsin Badgers hit a miracle three-pointer to send their game against the No. 3-ranked Michigan Wolverines into overtime, where the Badgers eventually won. The Wolverines were one point favorites in the game. On Sunday, the Indiana Hoosiers, who were beaten by the lowly Illini earlier in the week, destroyed the No. 10-ranked Ohio State Buckeyes. That game, in which the Hoosiers won easily, 81-68, was particularly emblematic of college basketball this season. The Hoosiers were actually 1.5-point underdogs heading into the game, and why not? They lost in embarrassing fashion at Illinois earlier this week, and questions swirled about the team all week regarding their ability to win big games on the road. Here were some of the betting trends for both teams heading into the big Sunday tilt, courtesy of OddsShark.com:

Indiana Hoosiers Trends:
When playing on Sunday are 6-4
Before playing Nebraska are 0-1
After playing Illinois are 4-6
After a loss are 8-2

Ohio State Buckeyes Trends:
When playing on Sunday are 7-3
Before playing Northwestern are 7-3
After playing Michigan are 8-2
After a loss are 10-0

Hoosiers at Buckeyes trends:
Indiana is 4-1 SU in its last 5 games on the road
The total has gone UNDER in 4 of Indiana’s last 5 games on the road
Indiana is 2-4 ATS in its last 6 games on the road
Indiana is 1-4 ATS in its last 5 games when playing on the road against Ohio State
Ohio State is 5-0 SU in its last 5 games at home
The total has gone UNDER in 5 of Ohio State’s last 5 games at home
Ohio State is 7-1 SU in its last 8 games when playing Indiana
Ohio State is 7-1 SU in its last 8 games when playing at home against Indiana

 

Despite being underdogs, the Hoosiers blew out the Buckeyes, a top-10 team. Afterward, Indiana attributed their success to the lessons they learned from their crushing loss at Illinois earlier in the week.

“From the very beginning after we lost the other night, the biggest thing for our team was we were not going to spend a lot of our time worrying about bouncing back,” Indiana coach Tom Crean said. “I’m proud of the way these guys responded from a very tough loss.”

“We definitely learned from it,” Indiana’s Christian Watford said, echoing his coach’s sentiments. “That was the main thing from that game. We let one get away but at this point we had to come into a hostile environment and get a win.”

What these outcomes ultimately mean, however, is simple: there is no truly dominant team in college basketball this season. Michigan shows flashes of promise, but can’t quite get it together. Louisville looked dominant for several weeks…but then lost multiple games in a row. Indiana is the closest thing to a basketball powerhouse this season, and they have appeared mighty vulnerable at times. Heck, the University of Miami may quietly be the best basketball team in the country right now; they’re undefeated in the ACC. Then again, the ACC isn’t as good as it usually is, for all of the same reasons described above. You see seasons like this, sometimes, when there is a big exodus of talent to the NBA like there was last year. It can make predicting these games hellishly difficult, but come March Madness, all bets are off anyway. For now, just sit back and enjoy one of the most random (not to mention toughest to gamble on) college basketball seasons in recent memory.