After a pretty busy last few days, the Big Ten will get a mild Sunday in terms of conference action. Still, there are a few games here that could have an impact on potential postseason appearances and the appearance of the conference as a whole. This is the kind of day that conference fans want to forget in a good way.
The Big Ten sits at a 39-7 overall and will look to move to 42-7 with three teams playing today.
Game of the Night:
Penn State vs. USC - 3:30PM ET (ESPN 3)
The Nittany Lions have had a pretty entertaining trip to the Charleston Classic so far. They fell to Charlotte in double overtime on Thursday, but rebounded with a dramatic last minute win over Cornell. Overall, Penn State is sitting at 3-1 and are in solid position to knock out a win over USC. If so, it would certainly make Penn State's trip to Chareleston a lot more productive.
The big players to watch on USC are Jordan McLaughlin and Katin Reinhardt. These two lead the Trojans in minutes and are two of the biggest contributors in usage on the team. One thing worth noting about USC's team is that they are relatively underwhelming as an outside shooting team. This could give Penn State a little easier of a job defensively as they probably will not have to close out as well. Watch for how Shep Garner defends in this one.
Sacred Heart at Ohio State - 7:00PM ET (BTN)
The Buckeyes are huge favorites in this game and rightfully so. KenPom has Ohio State as 20 point favorites and considering that Sacred Heart just lost to UMass Lowell on Thursday, this is probably fair. Ohio State is coming off a big win over Marquette where freshman Kam Williams went to work for 15 points on 3 out of 4 shots from 3PT range. This will be a big game to follow to see how the freshmen and bench performs.
The other thing to keep an eye on is that this is one of the least impressive stretches of Ohio State's schedule. They had a matchup with Marquette on Tuesday, but now face three 200+ KenPom teams. They do get Louisville at the beginning of December, but this is a dangerous stretch for RPI purposes. OSU will have to stay focused.
Rutgers vs. St. Francis (NY) - 5:00PM ET (BTN2)
The Scarlet Knights sit at 1-1 after losing to George Washington and beating Fairleigh Dickinson at home. Considering that Kadeem Jack was out for both games, this was pretty expected. Still, Rutgers will be getting two teams in a row that are outside the Top 200 on KenPom in St. Francis (NY) and Saint Peter's. However, considering that Rutgers is #124 themselves, they really need to pull off two wins here.
One of the players that has been doing a lot of work has been Bishop Daniels. He has played 73.8% of the team's minutes and has a 51.6% true shooting percentage. Daniels could be a little better on the board and when passing the ball, but his offensive rating of 105 against Fairleigh Dickinson was pretty solid. Rutgers could use another big performance from him in this one.