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12/2 Big Ten Preview: Minnesota and Ohio State Tangle

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Preview the Big Ten’s Sunday slate.

U.S. Bank Stadium Basketball Classic Photo by Hannah Foslien/Getty Images

The first games of conference play well underway, the Big Ten heads into Sunday looking to continue a fun first weekend. The highlight will be Minnesota’s trip to Columbus to play a feisty Buckeye squad.

Let’s take a look at today’s Big Ten action.

Game of the Day:

-Minnesota Golden Gophers at Ohio State Buckeyes

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

Generally speaking, marquee matchups with major postseason implications get covered heavily in the media. Fans and the media know which games are the biggest and which should be covered in-depth before they tip off.

But sometimes, games slip through the cracks.

And Sunday’s matchup featuring Minnesota and Ohio State feels like one.

While neither of these teams look like national championship contenders, they should be in the NCAA picture by season’s end, or at least their fans hope so. Both also enter Sunday’s matchup with a solid track record so far. Minnesota and Ohio State are both 6-1 and each has scored at least one impressive victory away from home.

What this leaves us with is a game that feels like it could really push one team in the right direction and one in the wrong direction. Neither can afford to lose this game, which makes it a really important matchup.

The game will likely be decided upfront, where Minnesota’s Jordan Murphy and Daniel Oturu will face off against Andre and Kaleb Wesson. Whoever wins there, will likely end up coming out on top. And there’s little denying that it should be fun to watch.

  • Pick Against the Spread: Ohio State

The Rest:

-Illinois Fighting Illini at Nebraska Cornhuskers

  • Time/TV: 5:00PM ET (BTN)
  • KenPom Spread: Nebraska (-10)

The second game for the Big Ten on Sunday comes with much less excitement. A struggling Illinois team will be asked to go on the road and face off against a hot Nebraska squad. When games are set up under similar circumstances, it doesn’t usually end well for the team going on the road.

Given the circumstances, Nebraska is the easy pick. However, it is worth noting that Illinois has played some good opponents very close this season. The Illini nearly beat Gonzaga and lost by narrow margins away from home against Notre Dame and Xavier as well. Perhaps Illinois can put a scare into Nebraska? We will see.

The matchup to watch will be Trent Frazier against Glynn Watson. If Illinois is going to win, it will need quite a performance from Frazier.

  • Pick Against the Spread: Nebraska

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Season Record vs KenPom’s Spread: 10-9-0