With six games across the conference on Saturday, look for another exciting B1G weekend, especially for the Indiana Hoosiers. The Hoosiers travel to Madison Square Garden to take on the Hoyas of Georgetown in a huge non-conference matchup. Across the league, Maryland, Ohio State, Illinois, Northwestern, and Minnesota all play home games.
Game of the Day:
Indiana vs. Georgetown; 12 PM ET; ESPN2
The Hoyas and the Hoosiers face off in the Garden in what is shaping out to be a huge game for both programs as each tries to add another resume-building win before entering conference play.
The Hoyas (7-3) enter Saturday's game on a two-game winning streak and a relatively impressive non-conference slate thus far. Though Georgetown has logged three losses already, all of them were to teams ranked in the top 40 according to Kenpom.com: Wisconsin (4), Kansas (16), and Butler (38). Georgetown lost to a difficult Wisconsin team by only three points in the Battle for Atlantis before dropping a 6 point loss to theButler Bulldogs. During the same tournament, the Hoyas beat the then ranked #16Florida Gators by 1 in an overtime shootout. The keys for this Hoya team thus far in the season have been their two star players D'Vauntes Smith-Rivera and Joshua Smith. Smith-Rivera averages 13.3 points per game as well as a 93% average from the free throw line. The senior Joshua Smith scores 12.7 points per game on 64% shooting from the field and also pulls down 8 boards per game. The Hoyas average 73.5 points per game (75th) and pull down 37 boards per game (104th).
The Hoosiers (10-2) head into Saturday's contest fresh off an impressive win over the Butler Bulldogs in the Crossroads Classic. The Hoosiers have propelled themselves to be one of the best offensive teams in the country with 86.3 points per game (4th) and 50% shooting from the field (9th). Indiana is led by star guards James Blackmon Jr (17.6 PPG) and Yogi Ferrell (16.3 PPG). Both shoot the ball better than 86% from the line and 43% from three-point range making them a huge offensive threat. Though this Hoosier team lacks size, forwards Troy Williams and Hanner Mosquera-Perea have helped this team pull in 39.4 rebounds per game (44th). The last time the Hoosiers visited Madison Square Garden, they lost 94-74 to the Louisville Cardinals.
Prediction: If the Hoosiers shoot the ball as well as they have lately, then they should have no problem winning this game. That being said, the Hoosiers are one of the worst defensive teams in the country giving up 70.5 points per game, and if the shots aren't falling and D'Vauntes Smith-Rivera gets hot, it could be a long night for Indiana.
North Carolina Wilmington vs. Minnesota; 1 PM ET; BTN
Andre Hollins and the Gophers will play their 6th straight home game in Saturday's matchup and look to log their 11th win before entering conference play. The Gophers have four players averaging in double figures and average a whopping 81 points per game.
Northern Kentucky vs. Northwestern; 3 PM ET; BTN
The Wildcats face a Northern Kentucky team that has faced a few Big Ten teams already this season. The Norse has already dropped games to Wisconsin and Nebraska on the road and will now face a struggling Northwestern team on the road once again.
Oakland vs. Maryland; 5 PM ET; BTN
Oakland finishes off a brutal 5 game road-stretch against the Maryland Terrapins. The Terps have strolled to an 11-1 record with a win against Iowa State thus far and look to continue their success come conference season.
Prediction: Maryland will roll again and go into conference play with just one loss.
Wright St. vs. Ohio St; 7 PM ET; BTN
The Buckeyes should finish off the non-conference slate of their schedule with 2 losses (North Carolina and Louisville) before hosting the Iowa Hawkeyes on Tuesday. The Buckeyes are led by D'angelo Russell with 17.2 PPG.
Kennesaw State vs. Illinois; 9PM ET; BTN
The Illini will look to close out an easy win before moving on to a two-game road stretch against the Michigan Wolverines and Ohio State Buckeyes. After an edgy 62-59 win over Missouri during the Braggin' Rights Game, the Illini should get a nice tune-up win on Saturday.