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1/23 Big Ten Preview: Minnesota Tries To Stay Alive In NCAA Tournament Hunt

Preview the Big Ten’s action on Tuesday night.

NCAA Basketball: Minnesota at Penn State Matthew O'Haren-USA TODAY Sports

After a fantastic night of action on Monday, fans will get to enjoy two more entertaining games on Tuesday. Wisconsin will go on the road to face Iowa and Northwestern will travel to face Minnesota.

Let’s take a look at the day’s games.

Game of the Day

-Northwestern Wildcats at Minnesota Golden Gophers

  • Time/TV: 9:00PM ET (BTN)
  • KenPom Spread: Minnesota (-4)

After a disastorous start to the season, Northwestern’s at-large hopes are over heading into Tuesday’s tilt. However, the same cannot be said about the Gophers. While Minnesota has struggled over the last few weeks, the team still has a shot to hear its name called on Selection Sunday.

For Minnesota, this is a must win game. There’s simply no getting around it. The Gophers have lost five of six and are now the 27th team outside the field in the latest TRank projections. Time is running out for Richard Pitino to save this season and it’s hard to imagine how that would happen without a win on Tuesday night.

On the other side, Northwestern is looking to build some momentum after a home win against Penn State on Saturday. As mentioned above, the Wildcats have struggled this season, but the team is still good enough to be competitive. Northwestern beat Minnesota on January 10th and will be looking to complete the season sweep.

The matchup to watch will be in the backcourt where Nate Mason will face off against Bryant McIntosh. Who wins there will likely come out on top at the final buzzer.

  • Pick Against the Spread: Minnesota

The Rest:

-Wisconsin Badgers at Iowa Hawkeyes

  • Time/TV: 7:00PM ET (ESPN2)
  • KenPom Spread: Iowa (-1)

This has been a season to forget for Badger and Hawkeye fans. After an impressive run of success for both programs, each finds itself hanging around .500 with just over a month remaining on the season. Simply put, it hasn’t been a fun ride.

However, Tuesday’s matchup between the two offers an opportunity for both to build some momentum and score a key league win. This is especially important considering that both will be fighting desperately for positioning heading into the Big Ten Tournament. Any extra bump is helpful.

The most intriguing matchup will be upfront. Can Iowa slow down Ethan Happ? Iowa’s interior defense has actually been pretty solid for much of the season and Hawkeye fans will hope that can stay true on Tuesday.

  • Pick Against the Spread: Wisconsin

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Season Record vs KenPom’s Spread: 12-22-1