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2/2 Big Ten Preview & Open Thread: MSU Hosts Indiana

Preview the Big Ten’s slate for Saturday.

NCAA Basketball: Michigan State at Purdue Brian Spurlock-USA TODAY Sports

The Big Ten has three games on Saturday and all of them come with pretty significant NCAA Tournament implications. Indiana will go on the road to face Michigan State, Ohio State will host Rutgers, and Nebraska will travel to face Illinois.

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

Game of the Day:

-Indiana Hoosiers at Michigan State Spartans

  • Time/TV: 6:00PM (ESPN)
  • KenPom Spread: Michigan State (-17)

College Gameday will be on scene for the Big Ten’s biggest game of the day as Indiana goes on the road to face Michigan State. Both teams are trying to get back on track after losses over the last week. The Hoosiers fell to Rutgers on the road on Wednesday and Michigan State went down to Purdue on the road last Sunday.

On paper, Michigan State should win this game. The Spartans are not only a better team, but have been playing much better over the last month. Cassius Winston has been on a tear and Nick Ward continues to pick up steam upfront. Aaron Henry also looks like one of the better freshmen in the league this season.

For Indiana, this is a chance to get a marquee road win over one of the Big Ten’s best teams. And considering that the Hoosiers have been in free fall for the better part of a month, that would have major ramifications for the team’s postseason hopes. Juwan Morgan will need to come up big on the road if the team is going to have a chance.

The biggest question will be how Indiana shoots from deep. The Hoosiers have been horrific from three-point range over the last few weeks. If that keeps up, Michigan State should be able to get a clear win at home on Saturday.

  • Pick Against the Spread: Michigan State

The Rest:

-Rutgers Scarlet Knights at Ohio State Buckeyes

  • Time/TV: 12:00PM (BTN)
  • KenPom Spread: Ohio State (-9)

This matchup won’t get much attention nationally, but should actually be relatively intriguing. A red hot Rutgers team (yes, that’s a thing) will go on the road to face an Ohio State team that has lost six of seven games. And considering that Rutgers was one of the teams to knock off the Buckeyes in that seven-game stretch, this one should be really fun.

The matchup in this one will be on the defensive side for Rutgers. Can the Scarlet Knights slow down Kaleb Wesson and force the Buckeyes to shoot from deep? If so, Rutgers will have a decent shot to pull off the upset.

  • Pick Against the Spread: Rutgers

-Illinois Fighting Illini at Nebraska Cornhuskers

  • Time/TV: 2:15PM (BTN)
  • KenPom Spread: Nebraska (-4)

January was not a particularly good month for Nebraska. The team went 2-3 and not only saw its lauded home winning streak snapped, but the Huskers ended up losing three games on its home floor. Meanwhile, Illinois had a rough month as well, despite scoring two upset wins against Minnesota and Maryland in the second half of the month.

There’s little debating that this is a huge game for the Huskers. Nebraska cannot afford another loss to a bottom Big Ten team, even if it’s on the road. And Illinois will be hoping to pull off another upset and build off its two recent wins. The key matchup will be how the Huskers try and slow down Ayo Dosunmu.

  • Pick Against the Spread: Illinois


Season Record vs KenPom’s Spread: 49-43-3