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1/27 Big Ten Preview & Open Thread: Purdue Hosts MSU

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Preview the Big Ten’s slate for Sunday.

NCAA Basketball: Purdue at Ohio State Joe Maiorana-USA TODAY Sports

The Big Ten only has two games on Sunday, but both are massive ones for the league. Michigan State goes on the road to face Purdue and Minnesota hosts Iowa. Both games will have a significant impact on the league’s NCAA Tournament hopes.

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

Game of the Day:

-No. 6 Michigan State Spartans at Purdue Boilermakers

  • Time/TV: 1:00PM (CBS)
  • KenPom Spread: Michigan State (-2)

Since early December, Michigan State has been on an absolute tear. The Spartans have won 13 straight, including nine games against top 70 opponents. As a result of this run, Michigan State now sits atop the Big Ten standings and at No. 2 nationally on KenPom.

And while Purdue can’t match that level of success, it has been on quite a run recently as well. The Boilermakers have won seven of the team’s last eight games with the only loss coming on the road against Michigan State on January 8th. Purdue remains undefeated at home this season and is up to No. 8 nationally on KenPom.

This game is a perfect example of two teams meeting each other at the top of their respective games. Michigan State is arguably playing better than anyone in the country and Purdue remains incredibly tough at home. Something’s gotta give and we’ll find out who slips up on Sunday when the two meet.

Undoubtedly, all eyes will be on Carsen Edwards and Cassius Winston in the backcourt, but the matchup upfront will likely determine the game. Can Purdue’s inexperienced group slow down Nick Ward? Purdue had a lot of trouble with Ethan Happ earlier this month and Ward will present many of the same problems. If Purdue holds up there, it has a chance to pull off the upset.

  • Pick Against the Spread: Purdue

The Rest:

-No. 19 Iowa Hawkeyes at Minnesota Golden Gophers

  • Time/TV: 5:00PM (FS1)
  • KenPom Spread: Iowa (-1)

This game has slipped under the radar with all the great college basketball games on the docket this weekend, but don’t underestimate the significance of this matchup. Both sides need a win, which should lead to a pretty exciting afternoon.

For Iowa, this is a chance to get back on track after losing to Michigan State earlier this week and to keep building momentum for the NCAA Tournament. And for Minnesota, this is a chance to pull off a marquee win at home after slipping against Michigan earlier in the week. Neither team is an NCAA lock quite yet, so these games remain crucial.

The matchup to watch is going to be Minnesota’s Amir Coffey against Joe Wieskamp and Iowa’s other wing defenders. Coffey has been fantastic this season and the Hawkeyes will need to find a way to slow him down.

  • Pick Against the Spread: Iowa

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Season Record vs KenPom’s Spread: 46-42-3