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12/19 Big Ten Preview: Cupcake Games in Store for Big Ten

BTP previews Tuesday for the Big Ten.

NCAA Basketball: George Washington at Penn State Linsey Fagan-USA TODAY Sports

With the non-conference schedule quickly winding down, a handful of Big Ten teams will have the opportunity to pick up a confidence-boosting win on Tuesday.

Four Big Ten teams are set to take the court on Tuesday. All of which are heavily favored and should have little trouble avoiding a devastating upset.

Let’s get a brief look at what is in store.

Game of the Day

-Penn State Nittany Lions vs Binghamton Bearcats

  • Time/TV: 7:00 ET/BTN2GO
  • KenPom Spread: Penn State (-17)

The Nittany Lions have been on and off this season against Power 5 opponents. However, when given cupcake matchups like this, Penn State has yet to disappoint.

It is worth noting that the Bearcats are 8-4 and off to their best start since their lone NCAA Tournament appearance back in the 2008-’09 season.

However, none of Binghamton’s wins have come against anyone that would indicate that the Bearcats are capable of pulling off the significant upset against the Nittany Lions.

Tony Carr, Lamar Stevens, Mike Watkins, and the entirety of Penn State’s starting five will go to work and put this game on ice pretty early. Barring an utter collapse, the Nittany Lions will earn double-digit non-conference wins for the first time in three seasons today.

  • Pick Against the Spread: Penn State

The Rest

-The Citadel Bulldogs at Ohio State Buckeyes

  • Time/TV: 7:00 ET/BTN
  • KenPom Spread: Ohio State (-30.5)

Similar to the Nittany Lions, Ohio State will also be looking to pick up its tenth non-conference win of the season on Tuesday night.

And as is the case for all Big Ten teams tonight, there is no reason why picking up a win should arise any level of difficulty for the Buckeyes.

The Citadel actually can put up a lot of points, the Bulldogs’ 89.3 points per game average is the 11th best in the nation. However, The Citadel virtually plays less defense than a high school team.

For example, the Bulldogs lost to Virginia Tech earlier in the season 132-93. In its other Power 5 matchup, The Citadel fell to Florida State 113-78.

This should be a fun one for the Buckeyes.

  • Pick Against the Spread: Ohio State

-Lewis Flyers at Northwestern Wildcats

  • Time/TV: 8:00 ET/BTN2GO
  • KenPom Spread: N/A

Disregard the fact that Northwestern barely escaped Depaul with a victory. Even though the Blue Demons essentially handed the Wildcats the two-point victory by converting only 9-25 free throws, Depaul is actually much improved this season.

Northwestern has proved to us what it can do when faced with competition that it should run over. Before the close call with Depaul, the Wildcats defeated Valpo 84-50 and good ole’ Chicago State 96-31.

-Southern Utah Thunderbirds at Iowa Hawkeyes

  • Time/TV: 9:00 ET/BTN
  • KenPom Spread: Iowa (-17)

Though the Hawkeyes are still heavily favored, they are probably facing the best opponent out of all Big Ten teams on Tuesday. Still, the only thing the Thunderbirds can really be given credit for is the fact that they were only down 12 at half against Michigan State.

Also, given the fact that the 6-6 Hawkeyes actually really need this win, Iowa should be motivated right out of the gate. Look for Iowa to squeeze out of non-conference play with an over .500 record in a pretty comfortable manner tonight.

  • Pick Against the Spread: Iowa

***

Record against the Spread: 5-5