Big Ten conference play will open tonight with two great games. Every team in the Big Ten right now is tied for first because there have obviously been no games played yet, and conference play is a time were teams can prove how good they really are. Michigan State will face off with Iowa on the road and Purdue will travel to Wisconsin to face the Badgers. Michigan State and Purdue are two of the best teams in the Big Ten along with Maryland so far, so it will be interesting to see how both of these teams do with a tough early road test.
Below are the game previews for tonight.
Game of the Night: No. 1 Michigan State Spartans vs. Iowa Hawkeyes (9:00 PM ET| BTN)
This is going to be Michigan State's second game without their star Denzel Valentine, and this is not going to be an easy game at all. Iowa has been great so far this season. They do not really have any bad losses and Jarrod Uthoff has been playing like one of the best players in the Big Ten by putting up 18.3 PPG, 6.3 RPG, and he is shooting a ridiculous 46.4 percent from deep. The Hawkeyes are also undefeated at home this season, and are going to throw all they got at the top ranked team in the land.
The Spartans almost lost to Oakland in their last game, but Eron Harris and Bryn Forbes would not let that happen. Forbes had 32 points and went 7-9 from downtown, while Harris had his best game in the Spartan uniform by recording 27 points. Both Harris and Forbes have to keep scoring efficiently without Valentine if the team still wants to be looked at as one of the best teams in the country.
Get your popcorn ready for this game because it is going to be an early season treat at the end of 2015.
The Badgers have been disappointing this season, but they are 1-0 after Bo Ryan announced his immediate retirement. The one game they won is not that impressive, but their next game against Purdue tonight is going to be the first real test for Wisconsin without Bo Ryan. Purdue has been one of the best teams in the country this season and their frontcourt has proven to be on the best in the country as well. A.J. Hammons, Caleb Swanigan, and Isaac Haas have been terrific this season and the Badgers are going to have a tough time stopping them down low. Those three players lead the Boilermakers in scoring and Swanigan has the ability to shoot from deep which makes their frontcourt even more dangerous.
This is a huge game for the Badgers because right now they are not an NCAA tournament team. The Badgers need a win over a ranked opponent to show that they can compete with some of the better teams in the country. Nigel Hayes is going to have to be terrific, as will Ethan Happ.
Watch for the Boilermakers to try and dominate inside with their elite frontcourt.