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Butler Takes on Hoosiers in Crossroads Classic

Bulldogs looking for first win over IU since 2016

NCAA Basketball: Butler at Xavier Frank Victores-USA TODAY Sports

THE FACTS

Time and Date: Saturday, December 19 @ 11:30 am ET

Records: Butler (1-1) | Indiana (4-2)

Rankings: Butler (#63 KenPom) | Indiana (#17 KenPom)

TV Channel: FS1

Watch Online: FOX Sports GO


ODDS AND ENDS

Spread: Indiana (-7.5)

O/U: 133.0

via Oddsshark


GAME PREVIEW

After absorbing a 19-point blowout against Villanova, Butler takes a break from BIG EAST play to face the Indiana Hoosiers on Saturday as part of this year’s Crossroads Classic. The two teams last played in 2018 where the Hoosiers prevailed on a buzzer-beater.

Indiana, who has been about a .500 team over the last few years is difficult to evaluate at this point in the season. The Hoosiers are 4-2 with losses to Texas and Florida State; however, they pummeled Providence back on November 30 and also boast a comfortable win over Stanford.

On the Butler side, it’s hard to know what to expect as there is uncertainty about who will take the floor for the Bulldog on Saturday. Bryce Golden, who was out against Villanova with an unspecified injury, and Aaron Thompson, who injured his knee late in Wednesday’s game, may both be unavailable. Additionally, Bo Hodges, the heralded ETSU transfer, has become eligible due to the NCAA’s ruling that all transfers are eligible to play this year. Hodges was also eligible against Villanova but didn’t play.

There were a lot of encouraging signs for Butler on Wednesday if they can regain and retain their health. The development of their talented freshman class has been accelerated by injuries; Chuck Harris and Myles Wilmoth were both bright spots against Nova. Butler competed well in the backcourt but got dominated down in the paint, with a gaping hole where Golden might have been.

This will be another great opportunity for the young guys to gain experience against stout competition. The dream scenario for Butler this year is that Harris, Wilmoth, and JaKobe Coles can gain comfort and confidence just in time for Thompson, Golden, and Christian David to return to action.

More than anything, Bulldogs fans are hoping to see Thompson suited up on Saturday, but there is, of course, the added stakes of an in-state rivalry. The Bulldogs currently own the matchup against Purdue, whom they beat last season. They would love to also earn the advantage over the Hoosiers.