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1/24 Big Ten Preview: Huskers and Hoosiers look to keep NCAA tournament hopes alive

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Nebraska and Indiana can’t afford an unranked loss, can they win on the road?

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

Nebraska and Indiana took two different paths on Monday night, with the Huskers failing to win a huge game at No. 13 Ohio State and the Hoosiers pulling off the upset against Maryland at home. Both of these teams can’t afford a loss to a team below them in the Big Ten standings, so tonight will be a big test for each team’s resiliency.

You can preview each game below. All spreads are based off ESPN.

Game of the Day

-Nebraska Cornhuskers at Rutgers Scarlet Knights

  • Time/TV: 7:00PM ET BTN
  • ESPN Spread: Nebraska (-1)

One may look at this matchup and think Nebraska should easily win this game, but two factors stop Nebraska from strolling right through the Scarlet Knights tonight.

Nebraska has been great at home this year, posting an 11-1 record throughout the entire season, but on the road they have been atrocious. The Huskers are 1-7 on the road with their most recent road loss coming against No. 13 Ohio State, in which their offense struggled mightily in a game they could’ve won. If it weren’t for James Palmer Jr., who finished with a career high 34 points, who knows if Nebraska would’ve scored more than 40 points in the game.

Another factor Husker fans should worry about is Rutgers tendency to play extremely well some nights. Corey Sanders and the Scarlet Knights have shown promise in this down year for Rutgers, beating Seton Hall and coming very close to beating No. 6 Michigan State. If Rutgers play to their full potential like in the games just mentioned, Nebraska could be walking right into a trap.

  • Pick Against the Spread: Nebraska

The Rest

-Indiana Hoosiers at Illinois Fighting Illini

  • Time/TV: 9:00PM ET BTN
  • ESPN Spread: Illinois (-2)

Archie Miller and the Hoosiers are rocking after winning four out of their last five, including a huge win against the Maryland Terrapins this past Monday night. Indiana took Maryland down to the wire, but got the job done on the shoulders of Juwan Morgan, who finished with 25 points and five rebounds.

Unfortunately for the Fighting Illini they lost their sixth straight on Monday courtesy of Miles Bridges and the Michigan State Spartans. It became hard to keep track of the amount of dunks the Spartans had, with Michigan State winning 87-74. While Illinois didn’t play horrible, they now sit at 0-8 in conference play and below .500 on the season.

Illinois has surprised Big Ten viewers this year at times, but ultimately to win Big Ten games you have to play sound basketball for the majority of the game. The Hoosiers just squeak by and give the Illini their ninth loss in Big Ten play.

  • Pick Against the Spread: Indiana