Game of the Day: #22 Ohio State vs. Indiana; 12:00 PM ET; ESPN; Spread: IND +1.5
The Buckeyes and the Hoosiers square off in an important match up for both sides. After an impressive win on the road against Minnesota on Tuesday, the Buckeyes will be sure to see another tough opponent on the road. D'Angelo Russell stole the show in the first half against the Gophers with 25 points, and Marc Loving hit the game winner with less than 10 seconds to go. The Buckeyes are 2-1 in conference play, and a win on the road against the Hoosiers would put them in prime position in the Big Ten standings. The key for the Buckeyes will be getting D'Angelo Russell going all game. After scoring 25 first half points, Russell was held scoreless in the second half and the Buckeyes allowed the Gophers to climb back from a double-digit hole. Ohio State will need him going all game long.
The Hoosiers on the other hand come into the game off a disappointing 20 point loss in East Lansing against the Michigan State Spartans. The Hoosiers will have to overcome the 28% shooting performance that plagued them last Monday. Who will be key for the Hoosiers? James Blackmon Jr. He shot a pitiful 1-14 from the field in Indiana's loss to Michigan St, and without the star freshman's firepower the Hoosiers can find themselves in a deep hole.
This game is the battle of the freshmen: James Blackmon Jr. of Indiana (16.6 PPG) and D'Angelo Russell of Ohio State (18.3 PPG). Depending on which freshman plays better, this game could go either way, and it should be a good game in Bloomington.
Minnesota vs. Michigan; 1:00 PM ET; ESPNU; Spread: MICH -1.5
The Gophers come into this match up needing a win to get going and to keep their NCAA tournament hopes alive. Losing to Michigan on the road and falling to 0-4 in Big Ten Conference Play would be very troubling for this Gopher team. Though Minnesota has had a number of opportunities to close out games, they've been unable to get a win thus far and have fallen into a disappointing slump. Meanwhile, the Wolverines have improved to 2-1 in Big Ten play and a win at home against Minnesota would be very helpful to their 6 loss season thus far. This game is very important for both sides and the win will be up for grabs in Ann Arbor.
Maryland vs. Purdue; 2:30 PM ET; BTN; Spread: PUR -1
Though the Ohio State-Indiana game is certainly intriguing, this could shape out to be the most interesting match up of the day. Both teams enter with a 2-1 Big Ten record and impressive play as of late. The Purdue Boilermakers have bounced back from a sub-par non-conference season to beat Minnesota and Michigan at home. Purdue went on the road and played a difficult Wisconsin team from tip to finish before leaving with a 7 point loss. Maryland has been impressive thus far in recording only two losses (Virginia and Illinois) and finding themselves ranked among the top 10 in the nation. That being said, the Boilermakers have been an impressive team at home and are actually favored to win this match up according to the spread. Keep a close eye on this one as it could go either way.