These games aren’t must watch TV, but who cares? College basketball is back everyone. Michigan is a team with a lot of promise this year despite the loss of some key pieces. Tim Miles is coaching for his job in Lincoln, so it will be vital his team gets past these cupcakes opponents.
You can preview these games below. All spreads are based on KenPom
Big Ten Game of the Day
Eastern Illinois at Nebraska
- Time/TV: 8:30PM ET - BTN2
- KenPom Spread: Nebraska (-10)
This is not the most exciting game of the day, but it’ll have to do. The Cornhuskers have some intriguing upperclassmen with junior guard Glynn Watson and Georgetown transfer Isaac Copeland.
With the departure of Tai Webster, Miles brings in freshman guard Thomas Allen. A top-100 recruit, Allen is a scoring guard who can shoot it from the perimeter. If he and Watson can click, they will be the ticket for Nebraska to be competitive in the Big Ten this year.
Eastern Illinois is coming off a 14-15 season and lose their leading scorer, but return four starters from last year’s group. Senior guards Terrell Lewis and Montell Goodwin are a dynamic duo who can give the Cornhusker defense problems and will be a good early season test for Watson and Allen.
Nebraska should come away with this one in the end but it won’t be easy. With a relatively young group, there are going to be some growing pains and must win games like these are important to take advantage of early in the year. Watson’s experience and talent will carry his team tonight, and Copeland will be a huge factor at the forward position.
Pick Against the Spread: Nebraska
North Florida at Michigan
- Time/TV: 7:30PM ET - BTN2
- KenPom Spread: Michigan (-23)
The Wolverines lose Derrick Walton Jr., D.J. Wilson, and Zak Irvin to graduation, but this year’s team is more than capable of being in the top tier of the Big Ten.
Mo Wagner is the difference maker as he will be looking to build on multiple breakout games toward the latter part of last season. Seniors Muhammad-Ali Abdur Rahkman and Duncan Robinson are also experienced members of this team who are poised for breakout campaigns.
The story for Michigan this year is the transfers. Ohio grad transfer Jaaron Simmons will see a lot of time this year at the point guard spot, which is huge considering the loss of Walton. Charles Matthews, a transfer from Kentucky, was a top-50 recruit coming out of high school, brings depth and versatility on both sides of the ball to the wing.
Today’s matchup will be the second of back to back games in the state of Michigan for North Florida. The Ospreys fell to Michigan State last night in East Lansing, but will be getting another crack at high-major competition with the Wolverines tonight.
North Florida loses three of their top scorers from last year, but have 8 to 10 guys who can shoot the ball from 3-point land which could make this game closer than Michigan fans would like.
Pick Against the Spread: North Florida