Big Ten basketball is back and so is the rest of college basketball, so now we can all rejoice with some early intriguing games and one huge game tonight. Some of the Big Ten games tonight are not that appealing, but this is a good time for two of the Big Ten's top teams to display their skill. Michigan State, Maryland, Wisconsin, Nebraska, Ohio State, and Penn State will all be in action tonight and below there will be a preview for each matchup.
Game of the night: #4 Kansas Vs. #13 Michigan State Spartans (10:00 PM ET| ESPN)
This game between Michigan State and Kansas is by far the biggest game so far to happen for a Big Ten team. The Spartans are ranked No. 12 in the country and Kansas is ranked No. 4. Both coach Tom Izzo and coach Bill Self are two of the best coaches in college basketball, and they are going to have a coaching war during this game which is a neutral game part of the 2015 State Farm Champions Classic.
The matchup between the two teams seems to be pretty even, both teams rely heavily on playing team basketball because they have many options. Michigan State has Denzel Valentine as their go-to scorer this year, but he also has many other options around him to help out like Matt Costello, Bryn Forbes, Eron Harris, and freshmen Deyonta Davis should help out in a big way as well after his impressive opening game against Florida Atlantic University. Kansas has experienced players and fresh newcomers that are ready to make a big impact. The Jayhawks dismantled Northern Colorado in their first game of the season and players like Frank Mason III, Wayne Selden Jr., and Perry Ellis shined.
Look for Davis to be the x-factor for Michigan State tonight if he has a big game in the paint and protecting the rim again, then the Spartans might come out with a victory. The Jayhawks' x-factor has to be Brannen Greene, who went 5-5 from deep last game. If he gets hot from deep, then the Spartans are going to have trouble catching up.
Gavitt Tipoff Games
Georgetown Vs. #3 Maryland Terrapins (9:00 PM ET| ESPN2)
So Georgetown lost to Radford last weekend, which means that either they are going to come out in revenge mode against Maryland or it means that Georgetown is not very good because Radford is certainly not a very good basketball team. Georgetown beat Radford by 27 last year, so it might have been a fluke that they lost, but it is still crazy. Look for Maryland to try and find some rhythm with their new players on the court like Diamond Stone and Rasheed Sulaimon. Both Melo Trimble and Jake Layman should have their way with the Hoyas on offense, and this game could get ugly for Georgetown down the stretch.
No. 3 ranked Maryland is a much more talented team than Georgetown; plain and simple.
Nebraska Cornhuskers at #11 Villanova (8:30 PM ET| Fox Sports 1)
Nebraska looked impressive in their opening game, but it was only against Mississippi Valley State. They will have one of their toughest tests of the season on the road against Villanova. The Wildcats have a talented core of players and they have one of the better freshmen guards in the country in Jalen Brunson.
The Cornhuskers are going to need players like Andrew White III and Shavon Shields to play at a high level and the team will need bench players like Jack McVeigh and Ed Morrow Jr. to step up as well. The Cornhuskers shot 45.5 percent from downtown in their opening game and they hit 10 threes, the Huskers need to shoot like this against the Wildcats or this game could get ugly.
#Huskers win 97-51; Most points scored by NU in Tim Miles era— Nebraska Basketball (@HuskerHoops) November 15, 2015
The Cornhuskers need a statement win early in the season to makeup for last season's forgetful campaign, and if their offense keeps their efficient scoring up, Villanova could be in trouble.
DePaul at Penn State Nittany Lions (5:00 PM ET| ESPNU)
Penn State started off their season on a high note, Sophomore Shep Garner and freshmen Will Reaves impressed in their victory over VMI. Penn State is not getting much publicity this year because they are projected by many to finish near the bottom of the Big Ten, but a victory over DePaul from the Big East could turn some heads early in the season.
North Dakota at Wisconsin Badgers (8:00 PM ET| ESPN3)
Well lets just say that Wisconsin did not start their season in the best way by losing to a team that most people projected to finish near the bottom of their mid-major conference in Western Illinois. Coach Bo Ryan is probably hoping that that loss will wake the team up, and show that they cannot coast through this season and make the tournament like they have in the past. The team did get back on track against Siena on Sunday, but other than Nigel Hayes and Bronson Koenig, the Badgers are not very talented, that is the truth.
The team will hopefully get some more momentum going this season in their matchup tonight against another mid-major foe in North Dakota.
Grambling State at Ohio State Buckeyes (7:00 PM ET| BTN)
Ohio State does not have D'Angelo Russell or some guy named Aaron Craft running the point guard anymore. They do not have Sam Thompson anymore either, and as such, this team is very young. Watch for JaQuan Lyle, Jae'Sean Tate, and Marc Loving to lead the team this year, along with many other freshmen that will have a few easier games to get their feel for the college level before Big Ten play. The team handled Mount Saint Mary's in their first game, and their freshmen played really well, along with Tate and forward Keita Bates-Diop, who posted a double-double.
This game should be another opportunity for the Buckeyes to find their form with a very new and young team.