Jonathan Ferrey/Getty Images
When Indiana and Kentucky met in December, the Hoosiers won, 73-72, on a buzzer beater by Christian Watford.
This is the matchup everyone was hoping for in the South region. No. 1 seed Kentucky is a popular pick to go all the way and cut down the nets in New Orleans, but first the Wildcats will have to get past No. 4 seed Indiana, which beat them back in December.
The meeting in December was an all-time classic, as the Hoosiers won, 73-72, on Christian Watford's buzzer-beater and putting themselves back on the national stage.
Kentucky has looked unstoppable in its first two games of the tournament, defeating Western Kentucky by 15 points and then Iowa State by 16. The matchup with the Hoosiers will no doubt be tougher than either of the previous two, but the Wildcats have the necessary pieces to advance to the next round.
In the first meeting between the two, Kentucky was hurt by three specific aspects—lack of three-point shooting, Anthony Davis' foul trouble and Indiana's home-court advantage. The Wildcats shot just 2-of-7 from long range back in December, and Davis was limited to nine points and six rebounds in just 24 minutes of action.
Davis gives the Wildcats a huge advantage inside, as he will be the best big man on both offense and defense no matter his matchup. In the opening two rounds, he averaged 15.5 points per game, 10.5 rebounds per game and 4.5 blocks per game.
The nation's leading shot-blocker has not had to deal with foul trouble often this year, so odds favor that he will not have to spend too much time on the bench for that reason again.
In fact, he has had three or more fouls only four times since the meeting with the Hoosiers. If he stays out of foul trouble on Friday, he, along with Terrence Jones and Michael Kidd-Gilchrist, will dominate the paint on both ends of the floor.
Don't be surprised if this one is another classic, but, unless the NCAA moves the South regional to Bloomington, this time Kentucky will advance to the Elite Eight.
My pick: Kentucky 75, Indiana 68