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1/12 Big Ten Preview: Iowa Hosts OSU

Preview the Big Ten’s slate for Saturday.

NCAA Basketball: Nebraska at Iowa Jeffrey Becker-USA TODAY Sports

The Big Ten will have a lighter slate on the docket for Saturday with the NFL playoffs in full swing, but fans will still get the chance to see two interesting games. Ohio State will travel to face Iowa and Minnesota will host Rutgers. Expect two hard fought contests.

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

Game of the Day:

-No. 16 Ohio State Buckeyes at Iowa Hawkeyes

  • Time/TV: 2:30PM ET (BTN)
  • KenPom Spread: Iowa (-1)

Heading into the new year, most probably would have picked Ohio State in this game. The Buckeyes were rolling and it looked like the team would continue its recent success. On the other side, Iowa had played down to a variety of different mid-majors.

But fast forward a few weeks and things look very different.

Ohio State is coming off two straight losses, including a rough loss to Rutgers earlier this week, and Iowa has won seven of eight. The Hawkeyes have added some really nice wins during that stretch as well, including wins over Iowa State, Nebraska, and Northwestern.

By any measure, this still looks like a 50-50 game. However, it’s going to be hard to pick against Iowa given Ohio State’s recent play. The matchup to watch will be inside with Luka Garza and Kaleb Wesson. The two have been really impressive so far this season. Expect an absolute battle. Whoever wins upfront likely wins the game.

  • Pick Against the Spread: Iowa

The Rest:

-Rutgers Scarlet Knights at Minnesota Golden Gophers

  • Time/TV: 12:30PM ET (BTN)
  • KenPom Spread: Minnesota (-7)

Although Minnesota will enter this matchup as a significant favorite, don’t expect the Gophers to walk away with an easy win. Rutgers has been particularly feisty this year and is coming off a huge upset win over Ohio State. The Scarlet Knights have a great defense that can keep the team in a lot of games.

But even with all that said, this is a game Minnesota should win. The Gophers are still swinging around the bubble range and, as such, this needs to be a win. A home loss to Rutgers would be a pretty rough one. Look for Amir Coffey to have a big game.

  • Pick Against the Spread: Minnesota

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Season Record vs KenPom’s Spread: 41-33-3