After a night off, the Big Ten resumes action on Saturday with a handful of interesting matchups. Both Michigan State and Purdue go on the road and Michigan and Penn State look to score solid wins at home.
Let’s take a look at the day’s games.
Game of the Day
- Time/TV: 8:15PM ET (ESPN)
- KenPom Spread: Michigan State (-9)
For just the fifth time this season, Michigan State will go on the road and Spartan fans will hope the team can take care of business. The Spartans have been tested in each of the team’s road games and are desperately hoping to avoid a tough loss in what figures to be a tight Big Ten title race.
On the other side, Indiana is hoping to score a massive upset win at home for new head coach Archie Miller. The Hoosiers have lost three-in-a-row and aren’t in legitimate NCAA Tournament consideration, but could still build momentum for the Big Ten Tournament and next season. Scoring a win like this would go a long way.
The matchup to watch will be upfront where Juwan Morgan will tangle with an excellent Michigan State frontcourt. Can Jaren Jackson and Nick Ward slow down Morgan on Saturday night? That will be the major question.
- Pick Against the Spread: Indiana
- Time/TV: 2:30PM ET (FOX)
- KenPom Spread: Michigan (-11)
After an incredibly difficult six-game stretch, Michigan has now moved into the more manageable portion of its slate. The Wolverines got Northwestern at home on Monday and will get Minnesota at home on Saturday afternoon. It’s an opportunity to build the team’s resume move up in the Big Ten standings.
For Minnesota, this is a chance to score a nice road win and get in better position to make a run at the Big Ten Tournament. The Gophers have lost four-in-a-row and seven out of the team’s last games. The matchup to watch in this one will be how Isaiah Livers and Duncan Robinson try to contain Jordan Murphy.
- Pick Against the Spread: Michigan
- Time/TV: 4:00PM ET (BTN)
- KenPom Spread: Purdue (-15)
Make no mistake about it: Purdue is playing really well right now. The Boilermakers have won 18 straight and are 11-0 in Big Ten play. This is a team hitting on all cylinders. Carsen Edwards looks like an All-Big Ten candidate and the senior cast around him is absolutely loaded.
Unfortunately, things haven’t gone quite as well for Rutgers. The Scarlet Knights have lost four straight and will be hoping to rebound against a vastly superior Purdue team. If there is a route to an upset, it will need to come from Purdue’s side. The Boilermakers will need to shoot poorly and turnover the ball. Otherwise, Rutgers doesn’t have much of a hope in this one.
- Pick Against the Spread: Purdue
- Time/TV: 4:00PM ET (BTN)
- KenPom Spread: Penn State (-8)
While this game isn’t likely to receive much attention nationally, it’s actually quite an important matchup for the Big Ten this season. Penn State still has slim hopes at the NCAA Tournament and this is a game that would destroy those hopes with a loss. Most simply put, Penn State needs to find a way to win this game.
For Iowa, this game is simply about pride and Big Ten Tournament seeding. The biggest question mark for the Hawkeyes will be how the team tries to slow down Tony Carr, who has been on an absolute roll lately. Nonetheless, Penn State is the better team and should be in good position to grab another win on Saturday.
- Pick Against the Spread: Penn State
Season Record vs KenPom’s Spread: 13-26-1