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11/10 Big Ten Preview: A New Season Begins

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Previewing opening night with 12 Big Ten teams facing off against non-conference foes.

NCAA Basketball: Big Ten Tournament-Michigan State vs Minnesota Geoff Burke-USA TODAY Sports

It has finally come upon us friends. The college basketball season has returned to make its 2017-’18 debut. In tremendous fashion, 12 Big Ten teams will begin their quest for the National Title on this Friday. All of these games, as is customary, are non-conference match-ups. Also customary, is the diminished level of competition in these games.

However, we preview these games regardless of mismatches. Needless to say, the KenPom spreads are a little lopsided...

Big Ten Game of the Day:

-Indiana State Sycamores at Indiana Hoosiers

  • Time/TV: 7:00 PM ET - BTN Plus
  • KenPom Spread: Indiana (-14)

The Archie Miller era at Indiana opens up against the Sycamores of Indiana State. Although this game seems like a rivalry game, that is a semi-misconception. The allure really only lies within the school names. With a non-conference schedule that features Seton Hall and Louisville, the Hoosiers have bigger fish to fry.

That being said, Indiana State can hang their hats on the fact that they defeated Indiana in one thing, they got Larry Bird. Yes, Bird left Indiana because he was homesick and it really had nothing to do with basketball. None the less, the Sycamores got Bird and the Hoosiers lost him. Maybe they can take pride in that.

  • Pick Against the Spread: Indiana State

The Rest:

-Campbell Camels at Penn State Nittany Lions

  • Time/TV: 4:00 PM ET - BTN PLUS
  • KenPom Spread: Penn State (-18)

The Camels enjoyed their first above .500 season in 2016-’17 since 2011-’12. For the Big South, they are fairly average based on the rest of the conference. The Nittany Lions may be a lower rung Big Ten team, but they still blow out Campbell.

  • Pick Against the Spread: Penn State

-Maryland Terrapins vs Stony Brook Seawolves

  • Time/TV: 7:00 ET - BTN PLUS
  • KenPom Spread: Maryland (-11)

Stony Brook could prove to be somewhat troublesome for maybe the first half against the Terrapins. The Seawolves reached their first NCAA Tournament appearance just two years ago. Even if they do hang around, Maryland will flex its muscles eventually.

  • Pick Against the Spread: Maryland

-CCNY Beavers at Rutgers Scarlet Knights

  • Time/TV: 7:00 ET - BTN Plus

The City College of New York won the National Title in 1949-’50 with a record of 24-5. Oddly enough, they were NIT champions that year too. They never made it back to the Division I tournament but have made the Division III tournament. Just a little history lesson...

  • Pick Against the Spread: Rutgers

-Robert Morris Colonials at Ohio State Buckeyes

  • Time/TV: 7:00 ET - BTN Plus
  • KenPom Spread: Ohio State (-19)

As was the case with Stony Brook, the Colonials may give the Buckeyes a run, but it’s unlikely. After making the NCAA Tournament in 2014-’15, they have yet to win over 14 games the last two seasons.

  • Pick Against the Spread: Ohio State

-South Carolina State Bulldogs at Wisconsin Badgers

  • Time/TV: 7:00 ET - BTN Plus
  • KenPom Spread: Wisconsin (-30)

The Bulldogs are coming off an 11 win season which was disappointing given the fact they won 19 games in 2015-’16. Ethan Happ is in for a big game, that’s for sure.

  • Pick Against the Spread: Wisconsin

-Southern Jaguars at Illinois Fighting Illini

  • Time/TV: 8:00 ET - BTN Plus
  • KenPom Spread: Illinois (-19)

Out of all the teams that could upset one of the twelve Big Ten teams on Friday, it is Southern. The Jaguars have had two 20 win seasons over the last five seasons, four of those five being at least over .500 too. Illinois is talented, but in a transition phase, that could lead to an early slip-up. I like the Illini. but do not overlook the Jags.

  • Pick Against the Spread: Southern

-North Florida Ospreys at No. 2 Michigan State Spartans

  • Time/TV: 8:00 ET - BTN
  • KenPom Spread: Michigan State (-28)

Out of all the Big Ten teams playing on Friday, Michigan State has the most lopsided advantage. Ranked 295th in KenPom’s rankings, the Ospreys of North Florida are tremendously outmatched versus the Spartans.

  • Pick Against the Spread: Michigan State

-Chicago State Cougars at Iowa Hawkeyes

  • Time/TV: 9:00 ET - BTN Plus
  • KenPom Spread: Iowa (-26)

Iowa is suffering through some untimely injuries, but that should not stop them from taking care of the Cougars. Chicago State has only had three winning seasons in program history.

  • Pick Against the Spread: Chicago State

-USC Upstate Spartans at No. 15 Minnesota Golden Gophers

  • Time/TV: 8:00 ET - BTN Plus
  • KenPom Spread: Minnesota (-22)

The Spartans have a first year coach and only two seniors. That will not even be close to enough to compete with the wily Gophers.

  • Pick Against the Spread: Minnesota

-SIU-Edwardsville Cougars at No. 20 Purdue Boilermakers

  • Time/TV: 8:00 ET - BTN Plus
  • KenPom Spread: Purdue (-26)

Purdue is incredibly underrated going into the season. To say that SIU-Edwardsville has a chance may be a stretch. The Boilermakers are going to dominate any non-conference foe that lacks size. Too bad for the Cougars, because they lack a true paint presence.

  • Pick Against the Spread: Purdue

-Loyola (MD) Greyhounds at No. 19 Northwestern Wildcats

  • Time/TV: 8:30 ET - BTN Plus
  • KenPom Spread: Northwestern (-22)

The Greyhounds had back to back 20 win seasons six years ago. They barely missed a winning season last year with a 16-17 record. The Patriot league may be a favorable conference for them, but they cannot stack up against a good Big Ten team like Northwestern.

  • Pick Against the Spread: Northwestern