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1/15 Big Ten Preview: Maryland Travels To Face Michigan

BTP previews Monday for the Big Ten.

NCAA Basketball: Michigan at Michigan State Mike Carter-USA TODAY Sports

Over the last week, the Big Ten title race has taken firm shape with Michigan State, Ohio State, and Purdue leading the charge. That battle should be even more dramatic over the weekend with several marquee matchups.

As such, let’s take a look at Monday’s action.

Game of the Day

-Maryland Terrapins at Michigan Wolverines

  • Time/TV: 6:30PM ET (FS1)
  • KenPom Spread: Michigan (-7)

Heading into this season, many would have thought that this game would involve Michigan trying to upset a ranked Maryland team at home. However, after two huge injuries for the Terps and a huge upset for the Wolverines over the weekend, the shoe is on the other foot in this one. Maryland is now the team looking for the upset.

For Michigan, this is a huge opportunity to add to what is starting to look like a really nice resume. The Wolverines have won eight of the team’s last nine games, including five against top 100 opponents. Of course, the highlight of that run was last Saturday, when Michigan went on the road and beat rival Michigan State in the Breslin Center.

Notably, Maryland played in Breslin a little over a week ago and lost by 30.

So, yeah, it’s been a good run for the Wolverines.

On the other side, Maryland is trying to navigate its way through the injuries to Ivan Bender and Justin Jackson and keep itself in NCAA Tournament contention. Unfortunately, the Terps have lost two of three, with both losses coming in blowout fashion on the road against Michigan State and Ohio State.

The battle to watch in this one will be in the backcourt. Can Zavier Simpson contain Anthony Cowan enough to grab the win? Additionally, it will be interesting to see who the Terps use to try and slow down Charles Matthews. Both sides have talent and it should be a fun game on Monday night.

  • Pick Against the Spread: Michigan

The Rest:

-Minnesota Golden Gophers at Penn State Nittany Lions

  • Time/TV: 7:00PM ET (BTN)
  • KenPom Spread: Penn State (-6)

Monday’s matchup between Minnesota and Penn State features two teams in divergent circumstances. The Gophers are reeling after an injury to Amir Coffey and the suspension of Reggie Lynch. Meanwhile, Penn State is coming off wins in two of its last three games.

However, both teams are desperately trying to resurrect what once looked like it could be fantastic seasons for the respective programs. Minnesota was once ranked and Penn State appeared to have a solid shot at the NCAA Tournament. Unfortunately, neither projects as a likely NCAA team right now.

The matchup to watch will be in the backcourt where Tony Carr will face off against Nate Mason. It should be a really fun battle between two great point guards.

  • Pick Against the Spread: Penn State

-Illinois Fighting Illini at Nebraska Cornhuskers

  • Time/TV: 9:00PM ET (BTN)
  • KenPom Spread: Nebraska (-5)

Generally speaking, this game doesn’t have a ton to like on paper. Illinois is winless in Big Ten play and will be going on the road to face a Nebraska team that is trying to cling to relevance this season. Not exactly a marquee matchup.

However, there should be a lot of desperation in the air in this one. As mentioned, Illinois desperately needs to find a way to win a Big Ten game. The Illini have lost a bunch of tight games and should win sooner, rather than later. On the other side, Nebraska still has a narrow path to the postseason, but it needs to start winning. As such, expect a close battle between the two.

  • Pick Against the Spread: Nebraska


Season Record vs KenPom’s Spread: 10-18-1