As the final weekend of November comes and goes, two undefeated Big Ten teams take the court Saturday, both seeking to improve to 6-0 on the season. But while Maryland and Purdue should roll, Penn State and Northwestern face tougher tasks in battles of their own. Here's what to expect from Saturday's Big Ten action.
Game of the Night
#2 Maryland Terrapins vs. Cleveland State Vikings (7:30 ET - BTN)
After back-to-back upset scares against the Georgetown Hoyas and Rider Broncos, Maryland has settled in nicely, swiftly defeating both Illinois State and Rhode Island. Similarly to the last two, the Terps should run away with this one. Thus far, Mark Turgeon's team has been getting solid production across the board, as four starters are averaging double-digits per game. Superstar Melo Trimble has mostly been himself, averaging 16.2 PPG while shooting 53.2% from the field. However, he has yet to heat up from beyond the arc, shooting just 27.8% from three. This might be the game where he can go off, he recently shot 7-7 from the field against Rhode Island and Cleveland State is appears to be a mid-major pushover. I'd expect the Terps by 20 in this one.
Northwestern Wildcats vs. New Orleans Privateers (8:00 ET - BTN2Go)
Bryant McIntosh looks to stay hot when the Wildcats host the Privateers Saturday night. The sophomore guard has been playing fantastic as of late, averaging 18.2 PPG and shooting 54.5 % from three-point land. Tre Demps and Alex Olah have looked good as well, and freshman wing Aaron Falzon has fit into the rotation nicely. A loss this past week to North Carolina won't hurt their resume, in fact sticking close through the 80-69 contest might earn them some respect from the committee. This game, however, is one the Cats simply cannot lose.
#16 Purdue Boilermakers vs. Lehigh Mountain Hawks (7:00 ET - ESPN3)
So far, Purdue has arguably looked like the most dominant team in the entire conference. Last Sunday's 85-70 win over Florida to capture the Hall of Fame Tip Off Tournament is the closest final score the Boilers have managed all season, and just like Maryland, they're doing it by committee. Five players are averaging double-figures and, oh yeah, A.J. Hammons is coming off the bench. What? With a team as deep as Purdue, they have the serious ability to go deep come March. Until then, they will have to revert to pulverizing an 0-5 Lehigh team.
The start to this season has been less than ideal up in State College as the Nittany Lions have dropped two of their first four to subpar teams Duquesne and Radford. Eek. Senior Brandon Taylor has been a bright spot, averaging 16.0 PPG and 4.8 RPG for PSU. Unfortunately for Pat Chambers and company, Bucknell is no easy task. The Bison (3-2) nearly upset Wake Forest earlier this season, and have collectively averaged 86.0 PPG this season. Senior guard Chris Hass is averaging 18.68 PPG and 5.6 RPG thus far, and will be a difficult force to stop. The Nittany Lions may be on upset alert once again.