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11/21 Big Ten Preview: Northwestern Faces Texas

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Preview the Big Ten’s matchups for Monday, including a key matchup between Northwestern and Texas.

NCAA Basketball: Eastern Washington at Northwestern David Banks-USA TODAY Sports

Outside of a tough loss for Penn State, the Big Ten continued its success on Sunday with a few quality wins, including a controversial one in East Lansing. Now, the holiday tournaments begin with some intriguing matchups for a few Big Ten teams.

You can preview all the games below. All spreads are based on KenPom.

Big Ten Game of the Day:

-Northwestern vs Texas

  • Time/TV: 9:30PM ET - ESPN3/Longhorn Network
  • KenPom Spread: Texas (-2)

Northwestern fans might be somewhat disappointed after the team let a potential marquee win slip away last week against Butler, but Wildcat fans should still feel pretty good about how Northwestern has played so far this season. The team is 2-1 and has played well enough to remain in the postseason conversations.

Now, the team heads to the Barclays Center hoping to score a huge win over a good, but beatable Texas team. Although the Longhorns are 3-0 so far in Shaka Smart’s second season at the helm, the team was fortunate to escape against Incarnate Word to start the season and continues to have trouble shooting.

If Northwestern is going to come out top in this game, then Bryant McIntosh has to win his matchup against Texas freshman Andrew Jones. Both are big guards and quality passers, which should make for an intriguing battle. Northwestern will also have to hold up on the boards against a Texas frontcourt that has rebounded well this season.

  • Pick Against The Spread: Texas

The Rest:

-Winthrop at Illinois

  • Time/TV: 8:00PM ET - ESPN3
  • KenPom Spread: Illinois (-8)

Illinois may be 4-0 this season, but the Illini are still searching for the team’s first quality win of the season. The good news is that it will get such an opportunity on Monday night in a quality good matchup against Winthrop at home. Although Winthrop is coming off its first loss of the season, it appears headed for a top 100 to 150 finish this season and has a few nice players in Anders Broman and Xavier Cooks. If Illinois can keep Winthrop off the free throw line, then the Illini should be in position to score a nice win on Monday night.

  • Pick Against The Spread: Illinois

-Western Carolina at Ohio State

  • Time/TV: 7:00PM ET - BTN
  • KenPom Spread: Ohio State (-25)

The Buckeyes are 3-0 on the year and scored a nice win for the team’s resume last Thursday at home against Providence. While Ohio State has shown some cracks (rebounding and free throw shooting) so far this season, don’t expect those to get exposed on Monday. That’s because Ohio State matches up against arguably its weakest opponent of the season in Western Carolina. Expect a win by double-digits.

Pick Against The Spread: Western Carolina

-Wisconsin vs Tennessee

  • Time/TV: 7:00PM ET - BTN
  • KenPom Spread: Wisconsin (-13)

The Badgers were supposed to already have a marquee win on the year, but after falling on the road against Creighton last week, Wisconsin is still searching for its first notable win of the year. Tennessee probably isn’t good enough to count as a “marquee” win, but the Volunteers should be good enough to at least boost Wisconsin’s resume. If the Badger guards can navigate around two nice shot blockers in Kyle Alexander and Grant Williams, expect Wisconsin to improve to 3-1 on the year.

  • Pick Against The Spread: Wisconsin

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Thomas’ Season Record vs KenPom’s Spread: 20-13-2