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12/28 Big Ten Preview: Iowa at Purdue

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Preview the Big Ten’s matchups on Wednesday night, including a key matchup between Iowa and Purdue.

NCAA Basketball: Crossroads Classic-Purdue at Notre Dame Trevor Ruszkowski-USA TODAY Sports

Eight Big Ten teams officially started conference play last night and four more will join their rankings later this evening. There won’t be any massive showdowns on Wednesday, but the two games will feature two ranked teams (Indiana and Purdue) and another (Iowa) coming off an NCAA Tournament appearance last season.

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

Big Ten Game of the Day:

-Iowa at Purdue

  • Time/TV: 8:30PM ET - BTN
  • KenPom Spread: Purdue (-9)

Perhaps no Big Ten team gave last year’s Purdue team more issues than Iowa did last season. Iowa swept Purdue in the two matchups between the teams, first winning in West Lafayette and then beating Purdue at home by double-digits.

Those two losses last season might give Purdue a little extra motivation on Wednesday, but this is an important game for both teams. Purdue needs to keep pace with the other Big Ten title contenders by winning at home and Iowa is looking to make up for a mixed non-conference performance with a huge road upset win.

The matchup to watch in this one will be upfront where Iowa’s Cordell Pemsl and Ahmad Wagner get the unfortunate challenge of trying to slow down Isaac Haas and Caleb Swanigan. Purdue’s big men have been exceptional all year and it’s hard to imagine Iowa slowing them down much on Wednesday.

One other key note heading into the game is that Iowa freshman forward Tyler Cook is expected to play after being out with injury. His return should help the Hawkeyes on the wing and upfront.

  • Pick Against The Spread: Purdue

The Rest:

-Nebraska at Indiana

  • Time/TV: 6:30PM ET - BTN
  • KenPom Spread: Indiana (-15)

This matchup didn’t look all that intriguing on paper heading into the week and when Nebraska announced that guard Anton Gill would miss the remainder of the season, it got even less intriguing. However, like Purdue, this is an important game for Indiana in the Big Ten title race and is as close to a “must win” game as the Hoosiers will get in conference play this year. For Nebraska, fans will just have to hope things stay close.

  • Pick Against The Spread: Indiana

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Thomas’ Season Record vs KenPom’s Spread: 28-29-2