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11/19 Big Ten Preview: Buckeyes, Huskers On Upset Alert

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Preview the Big Ten’s matchup for Sunday, including a possibly tough matchup for the Buckeyes.

NCAA Basketball: Robert Morris at Ohio State Joe Maiorana-USA TODAY Sports

It’s another full slate of games for the Big Ten on Sunday with eight teams in action. All but one Big Ten team is favored today, but that doesn’t necessarily mean it’ll be an easy day for everyone.

There are a few teams that should be on upset alert, including Ohio State, Illinois and Nebraska. There aren’t any big-name opponents on the schedule today, but it’ll still be a fun day of basketball in the Big Ten. Check out previews for every game on Sunday.

Big Ten Game of the Day

Northeastern Huskies at Ohio State Buckeyes

  • Time/TV: 2:00PM ET - BTN+
  • KenPom Spread: Ohio State (-9)

This is an intriguing game for me because Northeastern is sneaky good and we still aren’t really sure what to expect out of Ohio State. The Buckeyes enter this game unbeaten while Northeastern has one loss — a 14-point defeat at Stanford.

A fun matchup to watch in this game will be between both team’s leading scorers — forwards Keita Bates-Diop and Tomas Murphy. Bates-Diop has been incredible for Ohio State so far this year, averaging 19.3 points and 11 rebounds in the Buckeyes’ first three games. Murphy has also had a good start to the year, putting up 11.5 points per game in the Huskies’ three games. He did, however, struggle in the team’s last game against Stanford, scoring only four points.

On paper Ohio State should win this game, and probably by double-digits. However, Northeastern will contend in the Colonial Athletic Association this year and has proven they can pull an upset against a Big Ten team before — most notably against Michigan State last year. So don’t sleep on the Huskies in this one. Buckeyes win but it’s closer than fans would probably like.

Pick Against The Spread: Northeastern

The Rest

Coppin State Eagles at Rutgers Scarlet Knights

  • Time/TV: 12:30PM ET - BTN+
  • KenPom Spread: Rutgers (-21.5)

Can Rutgers keep it going? Yes, yes they can. The Scarlet Knights will remain unbeaten for at least another game to improve to 4-0. Coppin State is 0-4 so far this year, losing by an average of 27.25 points per game. The Eagles are also one of the worst teams in the Pomeroy ratings. So chock this up as another easy victory for Rutgers.

Pick Against The Spread: Rutgers

North Dakota Fighting Hawks at Nebraska Cornhuskers

  • Time/TV: 2:00PM ET - BTN
  • KenPom Spread: Nebraska (-10.5)

Nebraska is looking like it’ll be battling to not finish in the cellar of the Big Ten this year. The Cornhuskers have looked shaky at best in two of its three games this year -- a four-point victory over Eastern Illinois and a 23-point loss at St. John’s on Thursday. North Dakota doesn’t appear to be a great team but they have one hell of a player in junior guard Geno Crandall. He’s averaging 27.3 points per game so far this year, and dropped 41 points in the season-opener against Troy. The Huskers must lock him down to get a much-needed bounce back win.

Pick Against The Spread: North Dakota

Stony Brook Seawolves at No. 2 Michigan State Spartans

  • Time/TV: 4:00PM ET - BTN
  • KenPom Spread: Michigan State (-21.5)

Speaking of bounce back wins, Michigan State could use one after losing a hard-fought match on Tuesday against No. 1 Duke in Chicago. The Spartans continue to struggle with turnovers -- 21 against North Florida and 17 against Duke -- and Stony Brook is decent enough to take advantage of those mistakes if Michigan State keeps making them. I could be wrong but I think the Spartans learn from Tuesday and take it to the Seawolves.

Pick Against The Spread: Michigan State

Western Carolina Catamounts at No. 14 Minnesota Golden Gophers

  • Time/TV: 4:30PM ET - FS1
  • KenPom Spread: Minnesota (-23.5)

Niagara hung around with the ranked Golden Gophers on Wednesday night for 30 minutes until Minnesota finally pulled away. It was the third straight time this year Minnesota used a strong finish to win by double-digits. I don’t anticipate the Gophers’ needing another late surge to put away the Catamounts on Sunday. Let’s see if Jordan Murphy can have another dominating performance against Western Carolina.

Pick Against The Spread: Minnesota

Marshall Thundering Herd at Illinois Fighting Illini

  • Time/TV: 5:00PM ET - BTN+
  • KenPom Spread: Illinois (-10)

Give the Illini credit. The win over DePaul on Friday night improved Illinois to 3-0 this year, and even if it hasn’t always been pretty you have to be happy about where the program is heading so far under new head coach Brad Underwood. Marshall and Illinois have one common opponent on this young season -- Southern. Illinois beat Southern by 47 points while Marshall won by nine. I’m not a huge fan of the transitive property but I think it works here. Illinois remains perfect under Underwood.

Pick Against The Spread: Illinois

Texas Tech Red Raiders vs. No. 20 Northwestern Wildcats

  • Time/TV: 5:00PM ET - ESPN2
  • KenPom Spread: Texas Tech (-1)

After beating La Salle in a close battle on Saturday, Northwestern will take on Texas Tech in the Hall of Fame Tip Off championship game on Sunday. The Wildcats have really had an up-and-down start to the season, making me wonder what we can really expect this year. The Red Raiders are a perfect 3-0, but really haven’t been tested yet. So this is a true toss-up, and based on the Wildcats’ early struggles I’ll go with Texas Tech. Let’s see if Bryant McIntosh can prove me wrong.

Pick Against The Spread: Texas Tech

South Florida Bulls at Indiana Hoosiers

  • Time/TV: 6:00PM ET - BTN
  • KenPom Spread: Indiana (-13.5)

So if you go off the Pomeroy ratings, this should be a walk in the park for the Hoosiers. However, as we all know nothing has been easy for Indiana so far this year. This is an opportunity for Indiana to build up some confidence and try to move past this terrible start to the Archie Miller era. This could also be a breakout performance chance for senior guard Robert Johnson. I think he goes off for 20 points as the Hoosiers win by double-digits.

Pick Against The Spread: Indiana