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1/25 Big Ten Preview & Open Thread: Indiana Hosts Michigan

Preview the Big Ten’s slate for Friday.

NCAA Basketball: Indiana at Michigan Rick Osentoski-USA TODAY Sports

The Big Ten only has one game on Friday, but it’s a marquee matchup in Bloomington. The Michigan Wolverines will go on the road and hope to hold off an upset-minded Hoosiers team desperate to end a five-game skid. It should be a fun one.

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

Game of the Day:

-No. 5 Michigan Wolverines at Indiana Hoosiers

  • Time/TV: 6:30PM (FS1)
  • KenPom Spread: Michigan (-4)

When these two teams met in early January, many thought it was a matchup between two potential Big Ten title contenders. The Wolverines were 14-0 and among the nation’s elite in the human polls and Indiana was 12-2 overall and coming off seven straight wins. By any measure, it was a matchup between two nationally relevant teams.

And after Michigan beat Indiana, many thought the rematch would be equally hyped. The Wolverines may have won the first time, but many figured that things would be different in Bloomington. Give Indiana a little more time to mature and the team would be well poised to pull off the upset against Michigan at home.

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

Michigan is still ranked among the top five nationally, but the Wolverines have struggled as of late. The team lost to Wisconsin last Saturday and was a bucket or two away from losing to Minnesota at home on Tuesday night. The overall measures still look impressive, but Michigan has shown some flaws. The offense is inconsistent and players like Ignas Brazdeikis and Charles Matthews have been inconsistent.

Things, however, have been even worse for Indiana.

Not only did Indiana lose the first matchup to Michigan on January 6th, but the team hasn’t won since. The Hoosiers have lost five straight, including a winnable home game against Nebraska and a matchup against Northwestern. Indiana is now just 12-7 overall and has fallen to 38th nationally on KenPom. Simply put, it’s been a rough go for the Hoosiers.

This leaves us with a unique game on Friday night. Michigan is looking to score a marquee win, get back to its early season dominance, and keep pace with Michigan State in the Big Ten title race. And Indiana is looking to avoid a sixth straight loss and improve its standing for the NCAA Tournament.

Like the first game, the matchup to watch in this one is upfront. Can Michigan slow down Juwan Morgan? His absence after early foul trouble in the first game likely gave the Wolverines the win. The Hoosiers will want to keep him out there on Friday.

  • Pick Against the Spread: Indiana

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Season Record vs KenPom’s Spread: 46-37-3