The Maryland Terrapins, Ohio State Buckeyes, Northwestern Wildcats and the Rutgers Scarlet Knights are the only four Big Ten teams in action tonight. Will we see an upset in Maryland? Will the Wildcats bounce back from their Big Ten home opening loss to Maryland? Will the Buckeyes continue their recent winning ways? All of those questions will be answered starting at 7:00pm tonight.
But in order to see the best game of the night, you will have to wait until 9:00pm.
Game of the night: Ohio State Buckeyes vs Northwestern Wildcats (9:00 PM ET|BTN)
The Wildcats are looking to bounce back after their double digit loss to Maryland at home last Saturday night and they will have to earn it against a surging Buckeyes team. With center Alex Olah out indefinitely with a foot injury, Northwestern has to weather the storm as they currently sit at 13-2. Of course, they have some talent to do that as they currently have three players averaging at least 14 points a game.
Wildcats freshman center Derek Pardon had a great game last week against the Nebraska Cornhuskers with 28 points and 12 rebounds. Pardon was originally supposed to be a redshirt freshman this year, but with Olah being hurt, Pardon will have to shoulder a lot of responsibilities in the front court and with Ohio State having two players in the front court averaging over 12 points a game, we will see what he is made of.
With Ohio State, ever since they got blown out by 20 points against the Connecticut Huskies on the road in early December, they have won six straight games by taking out the Kentucky Wildcats and are currently 2-0 in Big Ten conference play as well.
If the Buckeyes can pull off another win to improve to 3-0 in conference play, they will be making a statement that will have everyone wondering if the Buckeyes are a top five team in the conference. They certainly could be. The Buckeyes defense has been the story of their winning streak as they allow only 63.6 points a game which is good enough to be ranked 29th in the country. A good defense on the road travels well in conference play no matter where you are.
-Rutgers Scarlet Knights vs Maryland Terrapins (7:00 PM ET| BTN)
The third ranked team in the nation and the number one team in the BTPowerhouse power rankings, Maryland Terrapins, are starting to play with better chemistry as the season goes on. They still have had their inconsistencies like last week when they had to rally late to beat the Penn State Nittany Lions, but they showed a small dose of what they are capable of when they dominated Northwestern last Saturday to earn their seventh straight win and 13-1 overall on the season.
Little by little, you can hear commentators during Maryland games talk about how this team has NBA level players. It's starting to even evolve into mind games with Maryland opponents as Rutgers Scarlet Knights head coach Eddie Jordan is very concerned about what his team will face Wednesday night.
"It's like the American Dream, man â the rich get richer and the guys underneath at the bottom of the ladder gotta struggle," Jordan noted earlier this week via DailyTargum. "So it's gonna be a struggle for us. But we're up to the challenge."
For Rutgers, they are clearly in rebuilding mode. They have talent, but raw talent. And when you have that going up against well-seasoned teams in the Big Ten, it's going to be a long year. The Scarlet Knights are 6-9 on the season and honestly it is hard to see them winning more than three games at best for the rest of the year. And it doesn't get any easier tonight on the road at College Park.