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2/22 Big Ten Preview & Open Thread: Iowa Hosts Reeling Hoosiers

Preview the Big Ten’s slate for Friday.

NCAA Basketball: Purdue at Indiana Brian Spurlock-USA TODAY Sports

The Big Ten only has one game on Friday night and it will be an important one for Iowa and Indiana. While the Hawkeyes have risen in recent weeks, Indiana has trailed off over the last two months. It should be an interesting game to see whether these trends change.

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

Game of the Day:

-Indiana Hoosiers at No. 21 Iowa Hawkeyes

  • Time/TV: 9:15PM (FS1)
  • KenPom Spread: Iowa (-7)

In a sport as wild and unpredictable as college basketball, games that look one way early on can drastically change in perception over just a few weeks. By all accounts, that has undeniably happened with regard to Friday’s matchup between the Hawkeyes and Hoosiers. When the two teams met in early February, intrigue was sky high. However, much of that has faded with Indiana’s utter collapse over the last few weeks.

For Iowa, this is an opportunity to continue its upward momentum and score a nice win at home before going on the road for a tricky game in Columbus. The Hawkeyes have likely already earned an NCAA bid, but still have a shot at a double-bye in the Big Ten Tournament and moving up the ranks on Selection Sunday. This is the type of game that keeps both of those things possible moving forward.

On the other side, Indiana’s already faded as a realistic NCAA at-large contender. The Hoosiers are 13-13 overall and are barely within the top 50 on KenPom at this point. Even if Indiana won the rest of its regular season games, it would only end up 18-13 overall. And given the fact that the Hoosiers are 1-11 over the team’s last 12 games, it’s pretty hard to imagine that happening.

But even if an at-large bid seems out the window, Indiana can still pick up momentum with a win on Friday and help its seeding for the Big Ten Tournament. It would also be nice for Hoosier fans to get some good news after the last few months.

The matchup to watch will be upfront between Juwan Morgan and Luka Garza. If Morgan can’t capitalize on a manageable defense, it could be a long night for Indiana.

  • Pick Against the Spread: Iowa

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Season Record vs KenPom’s Spread: 63-51-4