After Indiana won the only Big Ten game on Friday night, the rest of the Big Ten is set to take the floor on Saturday.
The Hoosiers beat SIU-Edwardsville 83-60 last night, giving them three wins in a row following their upset loss to IPFW.
Most of the games this weekend will be against smaller schools, although there are a few power conference match-ups in the evening.
Big Ten Game of the Day:
- Oklahoma State (6-1) at Maryland (7-1)
- Time/TV: 9:00 P.M / BTN
- Covers Spread: Maryland (-2.5)
Maryland looks to bounce back Saturday night after losing in the ACC/Big Ten Challenge to Pittsburgh. They currently lead the Big Ten with a 7-1 record and have had some nice wins so far in 2016. The Terps signature win this year came against cross-town rival Georgetown in the Gavitt Tip-Off Games. Maryland won 76-75.
The Terps will only go as far as junior star Melo Trimble can take them. After losing most of their Sweet Sixteen team from last season, Maryland has three freshman getting major minutes this year (Anthony Cowan, Justin Jackson, and Kevin Huerter.)
Oklahoma State’s lone loss this year came at the hands of No.4 North Carolina. Ironically, their signature win this season also came against Georgetown, except they blew out the Hoyas by 27 points.
- Pick Against The Spread: Oklahoma State
-Oklahoma (5-1) at No.17 Wisconsin (6-2)
- Time/TV: 1:00 P.M/ BTN
- Covers Spread: Wisconsin (-9.5)
Coming off a convincing ACC/Big Ten Challenge win over No.22 Syracuse, the Badgers have another stiff test versus Oklahoma. The Sooners come in as the No.41 ranked team in the KenPom ratings, while Wisconsin sits in the 8th spot, respectively.
Wisconsin is well-coached and disciplined, I don’t see any chance for a let down here. They’re led by senior guard Bronson Koenig, who is as talented as he is interesting.
- Pick Against The Spread: Wisconsin
-Kennesaw State (3-5) at Michigan (5-2)
- Time/TV: 1:00 P.M/ BTN Plus
- Covers Spread: OFF
Yeah, so Michigan shouldn’t have too much trouble beating Kennesaw State. The Owls are currently ranked No.318 in the KenPom ratings and have only won three games all season. Surprisingly, it won’t be their first game against a Big Ten team this season, the Owls lost to Iowa 91-76 in both schools opening game.
Michigan is out for some type of revenge after blowing their 15 point lead over Virginia Tech in the ACC/Big Ten Challenge.
Kennesaw State hasn’t had a vegas line released all year and won’t have one until their conference tournament.
- Pick: Michigan
-South Dakota (6-3) at Nebraska (4-3)
- Time/TV: 2:00 P.M/ BTN Plus
- Covers Spread: Nebraska (-13)
Believe it or not, Nebraska’s basketball team isn’t bad this year. After struggling in Big Ten play the past two years, the Cornhuskers have a nice experienced team this year.
Senior Tai Webster is averaging over 17 points per game and has been very efficient. For a guy who shoots almost four three pointers a game, his 50 percent field goal percentage is very impressive.
Nebraska is overdue for a big win after dropping three straight.
- Pick Against The Spread: Nebraska
-Morehead State (2-4) at Purdue (5-2)
- Time/TV: 2:00 P.M/ ESPN3
- Covers Spread: Purdue (-20)
Don’t judge Morehead State solely on their record, they’re not the pushover that Purdue is hoping they are. Ranked ahead of “Power Seven” schools USF and Tulane in the KenPom rankings, look for the Eagles to come ready to play.
We’re going to fade the public and take the 20.
- Pick Against The Spread: Morehead State
-Omaha (3-4) at Iowa (3-4)
- Time/TV: 2:00 P.M/ BTN Plus
- Covers Spread: Iowa (-9)
Iowa is in rebuild mode after losing seniors Jarrod Utholf, Mike Gesell, and Adam Woodbury to graduation. Senior Peter Jok has been a bright spot for the Hawkeyes and is leading the Big Ten in scoring with 23.9 points per game.
Although he probably won’t hold that high of an average once conference play starts, it should be noted that only one Big Ten player since 2011-12 has averaged over 20 points for a season (Penn State’s D.J Newbill in 2014-15 with 20.7 ppg).
Iowa is in need of a confidence building win, this game is a perfect place to start. They are currently 0-4 against the spread in 2016-17.
- Pick Against The Spread: Iowa
-Illinois (5-3) at VCU (6-1)
- Time/TV: 3:00 P.M/ CBS Sports Network
- Covers Spread: VCU (-6.5)
The Fighting Illini won a huge game versus NC State in the ACC/Big Ten Challenge, led by Malcolm Hill who scored 22 points. Illinois will now travel to South Beach to play VCU in the HoopsHall Miami Invitational. This game looks like a coin-flip with both teams looking to get out and push the tempo.
- Pick Against The Spread: VCU
-Oral Roberts (1-6) at Michigan State (4-4)
- Time/TV: 4:30 P.M/ BTN
- Covers Spread: Michigan State (-21)
Michigan State is very young this year, they have played a brutal schedule to start the season and this game is just what the doctor ordered. Oral Roberts is ranked No.287 in the KenPom ratings and doesn’t pose much of a threat for the Spartans
- Pick Against The Spread: Michigan State
-Fairleigh Dickinson (2-4) at Ohio State (6-1)
- Time/TV: 4:30 P.M/ BTN Plus
- Covers Spread: OFF
Ohio State is making waves in the Big Ten this year; returning all six of their leading scorers from last season. The Buckeyes next two games are just a tune-up for their December 10th showdown with the UConn Huskies.
- Pick: Ohio State
-Wright State (6-2) at Penn State (5-3)
- Time/TV: 5:00 P.M/ BTN Plus
- Covers Spread: Penn State (-9)
State College is still in football mode right now, thanks to Penn States surprise run at the College Football Playoff. This basketball game will take place right before the football team goes to battle versus Wisconsin in the Big Ten Championship. Both Big Ten title qualifiers will triumph on Saturday Night.
- Pick Against The Spread: Penn State
-Morgan State (2-5) at Rutgers (6-1)
- Time/TV: 7:00 P.M/ BTN Plus
- Covers Spread: OFF
Rutgers has been the surprise team of the Big Ten this year, starting their season 6-0 before falling to Miami in the ACC/Big Ten Challenge. Morgan State has a very good point guard in Tiwian Kendley, it will be fun to watch him go head to head with Rutgers star Corey Sanders. It is important for the Scarlet Knights to win this game and keep building momentum for their program resurgence.
- Pick: Rutgers
-DePaul (4-1) at Northwestern (5-2)
- Time/TV: 7:00 P.M/ BTN
- Covers Spread: Northwestern (-14)
One of the few games on the Big Ten slate featuring a “Power Seven” conference opponent. Northwestern is a good team this year and could be looking at their first ever NCAA Tournament berth. The Wildcats are currently No.46 in the KenPom ratings and have major wins against Texas and Wake Forest.
DePaul is the lowest ranked Big East team in the KenPom ratings at No.190.
Although most Big Ten fans will be glued to the Penn State/Wisconsin game, flip over to the Big Ten Network every once in awhile and watch the surprising Wildcats play.
- Pick Against The Spread: Northwestern
-Vanderbilt (4-3) vs. Minnesota (6-1)
- Time/TV: 8:00 P.M/ ESPN3
- Covers Spread: Minnesota (-2.5)
This game will be very competitive, had Oklahoma Stare and Maryland not been facing off, this match-up would be the game of the day.
As far as the KenPom ratings go, this showdown is the closest of all the games. Minnesota is rated No.57, while Vanderbilt is not far behind at No.69. The game will be played at the classic Sanford Pentagon in Sious Falls, South Dakota.
If you haven’t seen Richard Pitino’s Gophers team play, then you need too. They are one of the most exciting teams in the Big Ten and have one of the best freshman in the conference (Amir Coffey).
It will be Vanderbilt’s toughest test since playing Marquette to start the season.
- Pick Against The Spread: Minnesota