Its finally here, the battle of the best, the battle of first place, the date each Big Ten fan has had circled on their calendar for a few weeks now. The No. 14 Ohio State Buckeyes go on the road to face off the a perfect Big Ten record team in the No. 3 Purdue Boilermakers.
All signs point to Purdue winning this game, playing at home, possessing more talent, and having more momentum. However, like Big Ten fans, Ohio State also has had this date circled on their calendar, for its most likely their last chance to take over first place in the Big Ten standings.
You can preview all of the games below. All spreads are based on ESPN.
Game of the Day:
-No. 14 Ohio State Buckeyes at No. 3 Purdue Boilermakers
- Time/TV: 8:30PM ET BTN
- ESPN Spread: Purdue (-9.5)
The Boilermakers currently sit at an astounding 23-and-2 overall record with a perfect 12-and-0 Big Ten record. Purdue’s past four wins haven’t been easy, winning at most by eight points against Maryland. That game was also a lot closer than eight points. A couple days after that, they barely beat Rutgers by two, by courtesy of some clutch late game free throws by Carsen Edwards. The Boilermakers scored 70+ in all four games however, so if they score like they have a play solid defense, they should win this tilt against the Buckeyes.
Ohio State has responded well to a tough buzzer beater loss to Penn State, beating Indiana by 15 and pulling away late against the Fighting Illini in Illinois. That's what good teams do, after suffering a close loss to a team worse than you, you win the games you need to win right after that. Instead of being bummed out, the Buckeyes responded well and look to accomplish a huge feat tonight.
Although Ohio State has played extremely well this season, Purdue is just too talented and confident to lose this game. Ohio State does however cover the spread in a six point loss.
- Pick Against the Spread: Ohio State
- Time/TV: 6:30PM ET BTN
- ESPN Spread: Penn State (-4.5)
If it weren’t for the Purdue and Ohio State game, this game would be the game of the day. This matchup features two teams that if they lose, could really impact their NCAA tournament hopes. A win keeps either team alive, but a loss almost certainly knocks them out, assuming neither team makes a huge run in the Big Ten tournament.
Maryland is on a cold streak, losing three out of their last four games, but their latest coming against a good bounce back win against Wisconsin. Maryland boasts a nice 16-and-9 overall record, but a rough 5-and-7 record in the Big Ten. If Maryland wants to go dancing in March, a win tonight and in the future will be needed.
Penn State is as hot as any other team in the Big Ten, winning three out of their last four games, including a surprising upset at Ohio State the other week. Penn State also sits at 16-and-9 on the season, but posts a .500 record in the Big Ten at 6-and-6. Penn State doesn’t have as many marquee wins, but their schedule favors some possible upsets for the Nittany Lions.
- Pick Against the Spread: Penn State