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1/4 Big Ten Preview: Penn State at Michigan

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Preview the Big Ten’s matchups on Wednesday night, including important games for Michigan and Michigan State.

NCAA Basketball: Michigan at Penn State William Hauser-USA TODAY Sports

Although there won’t be any marquee games that can even compare to last night’s showdown between Indiana and Wisconsin, there are two games that should serve as an appetizer for Big Ten fans on Wednesday night. Both will feature potential 2017 NCAA Tournament teams looking to avoid an upset.

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

Big Ten Game of the Day:

-Penn State Nittany Lions at Michigan Wolverines

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

This game won’t draw much national intrigue (and rightfully so), but this matchup does figure to be an important one for Michigan’s postseason chances. It also offers Penn State the opportunity to have a winning record in Big Ten play for the first time since January 2, 2011, when Penn State coincidentally fell on the road to Michigan.

With Penn State’s lackluster non-conference performance, most of the pressure will be on Michigan in this matchup. The Wolverines have done a good job of avoiding bad losses over the last two seasons and it figures to be a major part of Michigan’s hopes of making this year’s NCAA Tournament. However, this game offers a potential stumbling block in that effort. Michigan really needs to avoid dropping this one.

The matchup to watch in this game will be upfront where Penn State’s young group of Lamar Stevens and Mike Watkins faces Michigan’s more experienced group of Moritz Wagner and DJ Wilson. All four players are trending up and this will be a chance to build on that success for both sides.

  • Pick Against The Spread: Michigan

The Rest:

-Rutgers Scarlet Knights at Michigan State Spartans

  • Time/TV: 6:30PM ET - BTN
  • KenPom Spread: Michigan State (-11)

Earlier this week, I selected this game as the Big Ten’s worst game of this week and I still think it’s wholly deserved. Rutgers still hasn’t shown it can beat a quality team this season and Michigan State is just beginning to hit its stride. On paper, this one figures to be a complete mismatch between teams trending in opposite directions.

On top of that, Michigan State also figures to have star freshman Miles Bridges back in the lineup, which should only make things tougher for Rutgers.

  • Pick Against The Spread: Michigan State

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Thomas’ Season Record vs KenPom’s Spread: 29-30-2