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11/15 Big Ten Preview: Michigan State and Kentucky at MSG Highlight Entertaining Night

Previewing the Big Ten’s matchups for Tuesday evening, including another difficult battle for the Spartans.

Stephen F. Austin v Kentucky Photo by Andy Lyons/Getty Images

College basketball may get a bad rep for featuring a ton of lopsided early season games, but tonight shows that there’s been an emphasis to schedule enjoyable and worthwhile games in November to open the season.

Big Ten Game of the Day

#2 Kentucky vs. #13 Michigan State, at Madison Square Garden

  • Time/TV: 7:00pm/ESPN
  • KenPom Spread: Kentucky (-4)

Michigan State failing to stop Arizona’s Kadeem Allen from going coast to coast for the winning bucket on Friday night is a bad omen for tonight’s match-up. It’s just two games against soft teams, but Kentucky’s backcourt of Malik Monk, Isaiah Briscoe, and De’Aaron Fox looks to be as good as advertised. They haven’t quite found their shooting rhythm but have been using superior quickness and athleticism to get to the bucket in a flash.

Michigan State played tough against Arizona but couldn’t capitalize on an early 19-4 start, going an 8 minute stretch in the first half without a point. Miles Bridges expressed buoyancy in his first game, carrying the team with 21 points, but nobody else managed to score in double digits.

Sparty’s guards will have to keep pace with the Wildcats on both ends of the floor to have a chance at a victory. Maybe Nick Ward, who pitched in with 9 points in 14 minutes, will see more action in an effort to protect the rim.

Pick Against the Spread: Kentucky

The Rest:

-McKendree at Illinois

  • Time/TV: 8:00pm/BTN
  • KenPom Spread: N/A

The 2-0 Fighting Illini will also face a Division II school, when they host the McKendree Bearcats of the Greater St. Louis area. Should be a hootenanny.

  • Pick Against The Spread: N/A

-Maryland at Georgetown

  • Time/TV: 6:30pm/FS1
  • KenPom Spread: Georgetown (-8)

Watch the upset here. While Maryland was ranked in the Top 25 last week, and Melo Trimble is a Big Ten POY candidate, they’re one of the least experienced teams in the Big Ten. Mark Turgeon has a bevy of freshman up and down the roster, and spent most of their first game escaping American University shuffling lineups and looking for the night fit. He found it in the end, but that may not suffice against Georgetown and Rodney Pryor, a transfer who dropped in 32 in their first game. Beware the Hoyas.

  • Pick Against the Spread: Maryland

-University of Mary at Nebraska

  • Time/TV: 8:00pm
  • KenPom Spread: N/A

The Cornhuskers continue to get their feet wet on the season, with a home contest against the Division II University of Mary Marauders.

  • Pick Against The Spread: N/A

-Grand Canyon at Penn State

  • Time/TV: 7:00pm/ESPN3
  • KenPom Spread: Penn State (-8)

The more things change, the more they stay the same. Yes, that was Penn State’s new-look Nittany Lions scoring 80 points in their first two games, a feat they managed just three times all of last season. And yes, that was a lost at home to Albany too. The good news: freshmen Tony Carr and Lamar Stevens getting off to a hot start. Can’t wait to see these guys in Big Ten competition.

  • Pick Against the Spread: Penn State

-#9 Wisconsin at #22 Creighton

  • Time/TV: 8:30pm/FS1
  • KenPom Spread: Wisconsin (-2)

Wisconsin’s first crucial match-up of the season, after dismantling Central Arkansas on Friday night, comes on the road against a team with high expectations. With a dynamite one-two punch of Kansas State transfer Marcus Foster and Senior Maurice Watson Jr., Creighton will once again score a ton of points this season. The question for the Blue Jays will be if they can stop anybody.

The Badgers will have their hands full in Omaha, against a deep and experienced team. But as the presumptive Big Ten favorite, they’ll look to notch a big time non-conference win.

  • Pick Against the Spread: Wisconsin


Nicholas’ Season Record vs KenPom’s Spread: 0-0