The three Big Ten games today start early to make way for the Super Bowl, which is expected to draw millions of eyes. The Big Ten has some key match ups today as far as NCAA seeding and the conference race goes. We kick things off with Michigan at Penn State at 12:00 ET on the Big Ten Network. An hour into that one, a key game for the Spartans gets underway with Michigan State at #18 Wisconsin at 1:00 ET on CBS. The last game of the day and what is sure to be a pivotal match up for the conference race is #1 Ohio State at #20 Minnesota at 2:00 ET on ESPN.
Michigan at Penn State: This is a game where Penn State needs to win. They need to take care of business on their home floor to prove that they belong in the tournament. Penn State can not afford to drop this game. If they do, they will start to slip on the bubble and they don't want to do that, especially after they just made it into the first four out. Michigan could use this win as a confidence booster. Penn State has defeated ranked teams at home this year, so if Michigan could get a win, it could do something for the teams confidence. I think Penn State does pull it out, as they know what is on the line.
Michigan State at #18 Wisconsin: Michigan State needs this win. They need this win desperately. Sadly for them, there is a big chance they won't get it. The spread is nine points, but I think Wisconsin will cover that spread plus nine more. I don't think Michigan State has what it takes right now to go into the Kohl Center and get a victory. I think Wisconsin handles them with ease.
#1 Ohio State at #20 Minnesota: A good way to end the day. This should be a closely contested battle. The Barn will be rockin' with the number one team in the country in town and Ohio State is sure to be tested. Minnesota tested Ohio State on the road the last time these two played. Ohio State is favored by five points in this one. The ESPN projected score is Ohio State: 72 Minnesota: 67. Overall, I think Ohio State will find a way to pull it out as they have been doing these days. The entire conference but more specifically Wisconsin and Purdue, will be rooting for Minnesota in this one.