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2/1 Big Ten Preview: Northwestern at Purdue

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Two games are on the schedule Wednesday night, with both being broadcast on the Big Ten Network

NCAA Basketball: Northwestern at Purdue Trevor Ruszkowski-USA TODAY Sports

On the eve of Wednesday night’s conference schedule, fans were treated to a very good game between Maryland and Ohio State.

Although, the Buckeyes eventually lost 77-71, they kept the game within an arms reach throughout. Trailing 73-71 with 1:48 left in regulation, Ohio State went ice cold and Maryland escaped Columbus with a huge Big Ten win.

On Wednesday, the schedule includes a matchup of conference heavyweights and a showdown between two teams desperate for a victory.

You can preview both of Wednesday’s games below. Betting odds are courtesy of Covers.com.

Big Ten Game of the Day:

-(25) Northwestern Wildcats at (23) Purdue Boilermakers

  • Time/TV: 8:30PM ET - BTN
  • Covers Spread: Purdue (-9)

What a great weeknight game.

If Northwestern, Wisconsin, and Purdue are the top three teams in the Big Ten, then this will be the Wildcats first game against the top of the conference.

It will be a very interesting gauge as to how good Northwestern really is.

After watching them for the past few weeks, one thing is clear, they have a tremendous chemistry going for them. No surprise, as that’s the kind of program that Northwestern is. No “one and done” players, no transfers, just homegrown talent who are very familiar with each other.

Purdue was upset by Nebraska in there last game, but that was really a one-off. Like our site manager said, the Cornhuskers are like that drunk guy at the party, just destroying random teams with no real rhyme or reason.

Expect both teams to be ready to play, and in particular, the Wildcats. They should understand that this is their first chance to make a statement. If Northwestern wins, they will catapult up the rankings and create a real national buzz.

Glue yourself to the sofa for this showdown, and marvel at two of the best big men in the Big Ten going head-to-head. Dererk Pardon versus Caleb Swanigan, who ya got?

  • Pick Against The Spread: Northwestern

The Rest:

-Penn State Nittany Lions at Indiana Hoosiers

  • Time/TV: 6:30PM ET — BTN
  • Covers Spread: Indiana (-6.5)

So let’s address the elephant in the room.

Who is going to get buckets for Indiana with OG Anunoby and James Blackmon Jr. out with injuries?

It won’t surprise me to see Thomas Bryant get featured on offense, taking on a bigger role than he has in the first part of the season. In addition, look for Pittsburgh transfer Josh Newkirk to have double-digit field goal attempts on Wednesday night. Newkirk has the ability to get red-hot from three-point range. In Indiana’s first four games this season, Newkirk was 7 of 8 from downtown and he also shot 43.4 percent from three in his freshman year at Pitt. Over his last six games, Newkirk hasn’t made one shot from downtown, making him extremely overdue to break out.

It will be interesting to see if Nittany Lion’s guard Tony Carr can slow down Indiana’s Josh Newkirk. Carr is a good defender with a long wingspan and Newkirk will be giving up a few inches.

Penn State has a nice little team this year, complete with a powerful group of freshman. In the next few years, this freshman class will bring the Nittany Lions back to relevancy.

With the Hoosiers coming off two bad losses, including a 30 point loss to Michigan on national television, expect them to be in desperation mode. In my eyes, they have a lot more to play for than Penn State, as they look to hold onto their NCAA Tournament spot. (Joe Lunardi has the Hoosiers projected as a No. 9 seed)

  • Pick Against The Spread: Indiana

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Casey’s Record vs The Spread: 27-19-1